New York City little known points of interest

Whatz up?

What’s happening to Harlem, South Bronx, Bed-Stuy? Complexion has gotten very, VERY light. Lots of renovations going on but can the natives afford it? Landmarks are being torn down or closed (remember Lenox Lounge and M&G’s Diner?) Stores that avoided Harlem like the plague are now popping up there but the stores that made Harlem what it is (was) are being pushed out. Sad.


January 20, 2015 Posted by | General, Harlem | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Shepard Hall, City College of New York, Conven...

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Who knew? A bed and breakfast in the heart of New York City.

Allie’s Inn offers luxury hotel style studios with the feel of a country bed and breakfast just a 5 minute walk away from City College and a short train ride away from Columbia University. Great way for Mom and Dad to visit their college student for special events, including graduation.

Allie’s Room is a newly renovated large sunny studio with a queen size bed and a daybed with trundle. It has a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, private bathroom with skylight and large walk in closet. There is complimentary WIFI, LCD TV, continental breakfast and housekeeping service upon request.

Garden View Room has a garden view, of course, a luxury full bed and all of the above amenities.

So where is this gem located? In the Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill section of West Harlem. It is adjacent to St. Nicholas Park, which was named after St. Nicholas of Myra, by the way. How many New Yorkers knew that? I didn’t.

Sorry. I digress. The address is 313 West 136 Street, between Frederick Douglass Blvd and Edgecombe Avenue, New York City 10030.

It really is located in a fabulous part of New York. Look at some of the landmarks you can visit while staying at Allie’s Inn:

Sylvia’s Restaurant, 328 Lenox Avenue between 126th & 127th Streets,

Londel’s, 2620 Frederick Douglass Blvd, between 139th and 140th Streets,

National Jazz Museum in Harlem, 104 East 126th Street off Park Avenue,

Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 West 138th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd and Lenox Avenue.

For more info, please call 212-690-3813 or email

And by all means, come, stay at Allie’s Inn, visit some of the landmarks and other points of interest and be sure to let us know all about it.


May 16, 2011 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

National Jazz Museum in Harlem

Autograph of Armstrong on the muretto of Alassio

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WOW. WOW. WOW. I visited the National Jazz Museum in Harlem Tuesday. It was wonderful.

I am a member of Jazz Record Masters of North Jersey, a group of jazz aficionados who know jazz like they know the back of their hands. We meet at each others homes once a week and listen to classic jazz for a couple of hours. Not smooth jazz but what the purists love-1930s, 1940s, 1950s. Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Lou Donaldson, Art Farmer, Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Benny Goodman, etc. You get the idea. They prefer instrumentals though occasionally someone may throw in some Ellie Fitzgerald or Lena Horn. A lot of the artists are unknown to me but I still enjoy the music. These guys can tell what instrument is being played (alto as opposed to tenor sax) and what the person was wearing đŸ™‚ or where the song was recorded.

Anyway, we made arrangements to spend this past Tuesday afternoon, which is our usual meeting day, at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. What a treat. We were greeted by Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director. We were there to hear some of the 100 hours of live recordings of the William Savory Collection, made between 1935 and 1941, that had been packed away for decades. These recordings were made by recording engineer William Savory and consists of 1000 discs which was acquired by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in 2010.

The museum is in a large room with a great collection of books on jazz as well as a tremendous number of CDs. They also have some great photographs on the wall of several artists and places like Minton’s Playhouse and Small’s Paradise. The songs we heard had been restored and placed on an iPod. They are not digitized so you hear all the scratches as these are original recordings. Some of the recordings included an announcer introducing the artist. We heard Billie Holiday sing Strange Fruit and it was obvious that the announcer did not have a clue as what the song was about.

If you love jazz or just want to get some of the history of this genre of music, put the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on your list of places to visit while in New York. This is a true Nugget in the Hood!

This month is featuring Tito Puento, presented by Joe Conzo with special guests. Dates are May 10-on film at Maysles Cinema, 343 Lenox Avenue between 127th and 128th Streets, May 17-The Jazz Years, May 24-The Composer and May 31-The Man. These events are free.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Visitor Center is located at 104 East 126th Street, #2C, NYC 10035. Easily accessible by the 2/3/4/5/6 trains to 125th Street. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm. Call 212-348-8300 or visit for more information.

The museum will be moving to 125 MART across from the Apollo within the next couple of years. In the meantime, the museum is asking for donations to archive, store and digitize the Savory Collection. Hear previews and learn more at

All I can say is WOW. WOW. WOW.

May 7, 2011 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Little History

A street sign for Malcolm X Boulevard (Lenox A...

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How much do you know about Harlem, one of the Nuggets in the Hood I will be featuring? Harlem is known as the Black Mecca of the World but did you know that Harlem has been home to many different ethnic groups? It was originally settled by the Dutch in 1658. Back then, over 200 years ago, Harlem was mostly farmland and undeveloped territory. Harlem has been home to the Irish, Germans, Italians and Jewish immigrants.

Black people began to move into Harlem especially after the Lenox Avenue IRT subway train was completed in 1904. They came from the southern part of America, the Caribbean islands as well as lower Manhattan. They were in search of employment opportunities made available during the First World War in 1915.

Harlem is rich in history and cultural expression. More will be explored when we look at the Harlem Renaissance next.

February 1, 2011 Posted by | General | , , | Leave a comment