Lots of changes in African-American neighborhoods in New York. Restaurants, stores, points of interest are disappearing. So sad. Restaurants/clubs that I grew up with in Harlem have closed. M&G’s Diner on the corner of West 125th Street and Morningside Ave is gone. Lenox Lounge is gone. More mainstream stores like H&M from downtown have moved in. For years, no one was interested in Harlem. It was left to its own resources. No more affordable housing. Condos in Harlem where I grew up are priced in the 7 figures. Stores are being priced out by rents that doubled and tripled when leases were up. And the landlords don’t care that they are shutting the doors on neighborhood icons. All about the Benjamins. Is this progress or genocide?
- Minton’s and Cecil Two New Joints in Harlem with Old Appeal Coming this Fall (harlemcondolife.com)
- City Cafe opens in Harlem (harlemcondolife.com)
- Whites meet Blacks in Harlem (mburcharth.wordpress.com)
- L.M. Blumstein Department Store, Harlem, 1886 (harlemworldmag.com)
- Everything Changes- By Shaunda Holloway (shaundaholloway.wordpress.com)
There is always something exciting happening in New York.
Today, June 4 at noon at Macy’s Herald Square, Kid’s Department on 7, Macy’s welcomes Javaka Steptoe, illustrator of the New York Times bestseller, Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow, a Story of Young Jimi Hendrix. Javaka will share his vivid illustrations of Jimi’s story-a boy who always stood out from his surroundings but went on to become one of the most influential figures in music history. Special guest, guitarist Keith “The Captain” Gamble, will play some of Jimi’s greatest hits.
After the reading, kids can create their very own musical instrument. And with any $25.00 purchase from the Kids’ Department, they will receive a FREE signed copy of the book. (Limit one book per customer, while supplies last.)
Grab the kids and go listen to a little music and get some history on a great African American musician. If you grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix, you will definitely enjoy this.
Every heard of Weeksville located in Brooklyn? Neither had I until several years ago when I visited the Weeksville Society Museum located at 1698 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11213, between Buffalo and Rochester Avenues.
The Weeksville Heritage Center (WHC) documents and preserves the history of the free and intentional 19th century African American community of Weeksville. The Hunterfly Road Houses are the original domestic structures of this historic community, dating from 1840 to the 1880’s.
Some history: in 1838, just eleven years after the abolition of slavery in New York, James Weeks, a free African American, purchased some land in Brooklyn, which marked the establishment of Weeksville, a free community of laborers, laundresses, craftsmen, doctors, entrepreneurs and professionals, all African Americans. This community also boasted schools, an orphanage, a home for the elderly, churches and other benevolent associations, newspapers and was very active in anti-slavery activities.
The houses had been threatened by urban renewal near the end of the 1960s until they were granted landmark status in 1971 by the New York City Landmarks Commission, restored and opened to the public in 2005.
Weeksville is now one of the only African American historic sites in the Northeast still on its original property and among the ten most prominent African American cultural organizations in New York City.
In 2009, Weeksville began construction of a new 19,000 square foot Education and Cultural Arts Building set to open in early 2012. This new building will house a performance space, exhibition space, education and workshop rooms, a Resource Center and a media lab.
Sounds like a great place to visit. I visited the original house back in the 1990’s. Definitely intend to revisit once the new building is open. Make this one of your Nuggets in the Hood to see when you come to New York.
Celebrate Black History month in Harlem where history, arts, culture, entertainment and cuisine all come together. Here are some options for you.
Enjoy a concert featuring the Prince of Harlem, saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood, at the Inspirational Gospel Concert, Dwyer Cultural Center, 258 St. Nicholas Avenue @ West 123rd Street. First set, 7pm; 2nd set, 9pm. $15 reserved seating, $10 simulcast seating. Call 212-222-3060 for more information.
While you are out and about, stop by The 5 and Diamond Restaurant, 2072 Frederick Douglas Blvd bet W 112 and W 113 Streets. Call 212-646-684-4662 or log on http://www.5anddiamondrestaurant.com for info.
Enjoy and let us know about your fun time.
BTW-the building in the picture used to be a school and was renovated into a luxury apartment house many, many years ago. I lived a few blocks away and walked past this building daily on my way to the subway.