Where Life Begins At Midnight

Ebay has a rare photo souvenir from The Palm Club at 209 West 125th Street. The tagline is ‘Where life begins at midnight’:

Note that in addition to “Our Own Evelyn Robinson” – the club’s house singer, a photographer is also mentioned (as is his studio at 10 Lenox Ave). 10 Lenox Ave. today is a church with residential above:

And the Palm Club is now a T-Mobile:

One explanation of why there’s a photographer listed on the front is that this item includes a photo of 4 Palm Club patrons in late-1950’s clothing. The photographer clearly took photos of patrons, then developed the film and got the print (in the souvenir cover) to the patrons. What makes the image wonderful is that this foursome appears to be mixed race, and are clearly two couples out on a date (note the hand-holding and smiles all around).

Lincoln Correctional Facility on Central Park to be Redeveloped

The building on Central Park North (110th Street) that began as a Young Hebrew Women’s Association facility back when much of Harlem was Jewish (and that eventually became Lincoln Jail), is now being offered as a development site by New York State.


With the governor’s emphasis on housing, it’s likely this site will be dedicated to affordable housing of some sort.

The original use of this building was as a purpose-built Hebrew “Y” that offered religious services and Hebrew classes, and much, much more. In 1917, a few years after the completion of its new eight-story facility on 110th Street overlooking Central Park, the New York YWHA was described as “the only large institution of its kind in America.” The description of the modern social center continued: “Besides being a most comfortable home for one hundred and seventy girls, the building is also a true center for the communal interests of the neighborhood; it houses a Commercial School, a Hebrew School, Trade Classes in Dressmaking, Millinery, Domestic Science, classes in Hebrew, Bible Study, Jewish History, Art, English to Foreigners, Advanced English, French, Spanish, and Nursing. There is a completely equipped modern gymnasium and swimming pool.” Serving both its residential population and the larger community, the YWHA became a full-service Jewish center. Housing both a synagogue and a swimming pool, the YWHA was nothing less than a “shul with a pool”.

Additional amenities included “musical salons” held on Sunday evenings and weekly dances for young women and men on the outdoor roof garden, which proved to be especially popular. The roof was also used during the summer for day care programs for “anemic and cardiac children, and the children of poor families.” The YWHA also sponsored summer camping, including hiking, canoeing, and all manner of sporting activities. Back in the city, athletics was fostered in classes in swimming, tennis, fencing, and so on. Dance was especially popular, being offered in several varieties. An employment bureau was provided for young women in need of jobs, and during World War I, the YWHA cooperated extensively with numerous war relief efforts. Finally, the earlier emphasis on immigrant adjustment was retained but from a more sympathetic point of view: “An important work to which a great deal of attention has been paid is the formation of Americanization Classes for Aliens, to help lessen the tragedy in the social evolution of the immigrants.”