Balcony or fire escape?You decide

I've been watching this development for a while and I must say it keeps getting weirder. Started as a vacant lot, and then the developer started to build this VERY plain brick box, which looked like it would fall if a stiff wind blew. Then one day they started to build over the top of the neighboring two story building. Now they really have gone mad. Doors onto the firescape? I can't wait to see how this is marketed.



Bowling & Seafood together in Harlem

Saw this on 7th Avenue (AC Powell) and 125th the other day and took a double take.... I had seen the sign for the seafood restaurant coming soon, but a bowling alley too? Wow. Harlem is going to have a bowling alley. The building, 2110 Seventh Avenue, also has a lot of history as the Alhambra Theater>

Soupman Cometh

Probably the only Nazi welcome in Harlem... Seinfeld's Soup Nazi is opening a store in Harlem. The new location, 414 Lenox Avenue, is located between 130th and131st Street on the east side of Lenox Avenue. The site is just north of two luxury condominium buildings (Lenox Grand & The Lenox) currently under construction on Lenox Avenue (see post below.)

Soupman's website



Dueling Condo Cranes

This is Lenox Avenue and 128th Street where 2 new condo buildings are going up right across the street from one another. Here are links to their websites.



Half Gut Renovation

This might look like just another gur renovation in Harlem, but it's only half a gut renovation. Only the right side of this building is being renovated. Why you might ask? Because people still live on the left side.... The building is located on 131st Street between Lenox and 5th Ave.



Carol's Daughter

Carol's Daughter
is coming to 125th Street. The store will offer personal care products "inspired by nature and produced with love..." I'm not familiar with them, but asked around and found out they have a nice store in Brooklyn and they have a great website

12th Avenue is Hot...

The proposed waterfront park and Columbia University Campus expansion are slowly making 12th Avenue a cool new destination. The "Hudson River Cafe" is currently under constuction, just one block north of Fairway. Don't know when they will open yet, but am looking into it.

Inside Citarella


Citarella Opens

Citarella finally opened on 125th Street. For those of you that don't know...Citarella is a gourmet grocer and many see it as a pretty big deal that they opened a store in Harlem. I heard they were feeling pressure from the community board to finally open the store after delaying for a couple of years. The community board was threatening to take away the property (or some other incentive they were given because they promised a store in Harlem.)

The store is really nice inside and you should check it out.



Lenox Avenue Developments

3 developments

There are three developments all within a block of each other on Lenox Avenue between 128th and 130th Streets.
  1. Residential- 8 Story- 19 Units- Rose Tree Development
  2. Residential- No details yet... Know the developer was trying for a 14-story bldg.
  3. Assembly- Some type of Mormon place of assembly. Don't think it is a temple...more like a meeting house.



Victoria Theater Collage



A Hotel Grows in Harlem...

The mayor and Gov. Pataki broke ground yesterday on the 204-room marriot proposed for 125th Street and Park Ave. The $236 million dollar project will also include 167,000 square feet of office space, 100 residential units, retail, a health club, an outdoor swimming pool and an underground garage. The Harlem Park development will be located across the street from the Metro-North railroad station at 125th Street and Park Avenue, a few long blocks from former President Clinton's office.

The developer is Michael Caridi, who is chairman of the Majiic Developoment Group. The building will be constructed on a 53,000 square-foot parcel of vacant land, which will be leased form the current owner, the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. The project is receieving sales and real estate tax benefits totaling $8.5 million from the New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA) The project is also eligible for Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program (ICIP) and Empire Zone assistance.

The glass-walled 34-story building will be designed by Enrique Norten, who also did the Brooklyn Visual and Performing Arts Library, and will have views of Central Park to the south and the East River. The retail portion of the complex would include a Starbucks and possibly the first store of an outlet called Brand Jordan, a division of Nike Inc.



Harlem on Thirteen

On February 25, 2005, at 10 p.m., Thirteen visits one of America's most celebrated neighborhoods when its New York Voices series presents Harlem at a Crossroads, hosted by Raphael Pi Roman. The program looks at Harlem past and present, and poses the question, "Is Harlem becoming an international scene or losing its old world charm?" Highlights include a stop at the newly constructed Marriott Courtyard Hotel and discussions with developer Michael Caridi and architect Enrique Norten. Comparisons are made to the old Hotel Theresa, one of Harlem's most famous landmarks, which closed in 1966. Congressman Charles B. Rangel, who worked as a bellhop at the hotel in its heyday, and historian SondraKathryn Wilson reflect on the vibrancy the Hotel Theresa brought to the neighborhood in the 1940s and '50s. Sheena Wright, director of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, also speaks with New York Voices about Harlem's recent development boom.



The Gates- Northern Central Park

Dog taking care of business in front of "Gates"

I know it’s been a long time since I've updated this page, but I've been really busy. I have a lot of stuff cued up to talk about, so check back over the next few days.

With everyone talking about "the Gates" I had to make it to Central Park this weekend. I walked around the often under appreciated northern half of the park and must say that I have never seen this many people this far north in central park. Everyone was enjoying the gates, including this dog, who appreciated the view while he relieved himself.



Dinosaur BBQ NYT Review

Dinosaur BBQ

The NYT's gave the new Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem a very unflattering review, but I think they've got this place completely wrong and I think the crowds that pack in the joint everynight would agree with me. The Time's reporter, Kim Severson, describes the place as "BBQ Disney," and goes as far as to ridicule the writing on the bathroom walls by calling it as "goofy as the loopy suburban high school script in which it is written..." I can't defend what was written in the women's restroom, but I can say "who cares what is written in the women's restroom?"

Other lowlights of the review involve describing the bar as "custom-made for Columbia students," whatever that means.



Shop in Harlem

Click for larger view

Before the holidays someone slipped this card under my front door. The card shows some locations of some of Harlem's coolest boutiques, shops and restaurants. I must admit that I didn't know most of these places existed. The card was supported by the Harlem Business Alliance and offered a 10% discount if used before the end of the year.



New Theater Company in Harlem

Harlem Theater Project Poster

A new theater company, Harlem Theater Project, is performing at the National Black Theatre (2031 5th Ave @ 125th Street.) The group will be performing The Great American Desert for six days only, so be sure to check it out. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/736

First performed in 1961 as the official opener of The Judson's Poet's Theatre, The Great American Desert is getting its first New York performance in over 43 years. The Great American Desert is a multi-dimensional play that follows three cowboys on the run from the law after a bank robbery. Oppenheimer's first dramatic work interrogates the truth behind the romantic mythology of the American West through frequent interruptions of dance, music and commercials read by a chorus of Old West Heroes including Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, and Doc Holliday who comment on the unfolding action. This new production of The Great American Desert fuses elements from Oppenheimer's script, Dante's Divine Comedy, classic American Western cinema, vaudeville, and musical theater. Artists involved in this piece are: Kevin Dodd, Maurice Doggan, Brian Frank, Jerome Hoppe, Joe Jung, Nick Konow, Martha Lindquist, Andrew McCleod, Emily Moulton, and Joe Schiltz.

National Black Theatre 2031 5th Ave at 125th St.
Directions: A,B,C,D,2,3,4,5,6 trains to 125th Station



125th Street River to River Study

125th Street River-River

This isn't new news, but it is current and many in Harlem don't know about it. The Department of City Planning is currently working on a proposal that will have a significant impact on 125th Street and the surrounding neighborhoods. The 125th Street River-River Study looks at existing zoning, traffic conditions, parking and much more with hopes of improving 125th Street. Recommendations from the last presentation include improved signage, lighting, tree plantings and more... To date there have been several presentations and meetings about the study including;


West Harelm Waterfront

West Harlem Waterfront

There was an article in the NY Post online edition today about the development of the West Harlem Waterfront, which will bring a recreation/fishing pier, and a ferry/excursion boat pier to West Harlem as well as extend the greenway loop bicycle path. The project was headed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and more info is available on their website. The development is just acros the street from the Fairway Supermarket and is actually on the old Fairway parking lot. This development is also close to the new Dinosaur BBQ, which I wrote about and the Columbia University Manhattanville Campus.


$2 million Lot

128th Street and Convent

Saw this lot for sale on Craig's list today for $2M. Can't picture the lot in my head, but $2m for a lot in Harlem off of 125th seems steep.


New Fish on the Block

125th Street between Amsterdam & Old Broadway

There will be a new fish store on the block real soon. I passed by this fish market this weekend as they were bringing in equipment and putting the finishing touches on the new spaces. Fish markets seem like the classic "mom and pop" establishment, so its good to still see them popping up on 125th Street.


Invasion of the banks continues....

125th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd.

The buildout of the North Fork Bank on the corner of 125h and 8th Ave was very active this weekend as the signage was installed and construction fencing removed. I don't know how many banks have moved into Harlem or into NYC in general this year, but it sure seems like a lot. This branch replaces a Krispy Kreme, and the Commerce bank across the street, which opened less than 6 months ago, replace the Disney Store in the Harlem USA complex.



Xmas Decorations in Harlem

122nd & Lenox Ave.

Mike's newsstand on 122nd and Lenox Avenue has gone all out this holiday season. These lights look great. Pic was emailed by jandvkelly.


Dinosaur BBQ opens in West Harlem

131st Street & 12th Ave

A new restaurant called Dinosaur BBQ opened up a couple of weeks ago in West Harlem (also known as Manhattanville) across the street from the new Fairway parking lot. I checked it out the first week it opened and must say the food is great, decor is cool and the location underneath the 12th Avenue Viaduct is perfect (screams meat-packing district.) The restaurant has Syracuse roots and a pretty large group of followers who all preach about the Dinosaur BBQ's upstate. You can check out their menu online, but I recommend going in person.



New shop on 124th & St. Nicholas

124th & St.Nicholas

Saw this new store on 124th & St. Nicholas open last night. Didn't have time to go in, but from the outside it looked like they sold jewlery, art and other kni-knacs. I'll try and check it out this weekend. It looks like a really cool store and they've done a great job sticking out. You might not be able to tell from the picture, but the entire outside of the store is painted orange.


Lenox Ave. Above 125th Part 2

128th & Lenox Ave

This building on 128th and Lenox is moving along nicly. I think it is going to be some sort of Mormon church or temple with parking. At least that is what it says on the DOB website. Funny they just tore down an abandoned church 1 block north (see previous post) and are now building this.


Lenox Ave above 125th Part 1

130th & Lenox Ave.

They finally tore down the vacant church on the east side of Lenox between 129th & 130th Streets. I didn't realize how big the site was until the building was gone. Pretty sure they are building a residential building here, but not sure how big. About a year or so ago a developer was asking the community for a variance in order to build a 14-story tower. The community objected and that was the last I heard of it. Don't know if this is the same developer. Anything built here will be better then what was hear in the first place.



Sidestreets of Harlem

131st Street between Lenox & 5th

Walkdown almost any side street in Harlem and this is what you'll see. Brownstones are being renovated everywhere. This just so happen is right across the street from where I live. I think this building is going to be condos, and they may already be sold. Most shells selling for well over $500k. When I first moved here the building on the right was only half a building and the building on the left wasn't in much better shape. There was a permanent sidewalk bridge to protect pedestrians from falling debris and everyone dumped their garbage in front of the building. I'm looking forward to new neighbors.



125th & Lenox Ave.

Saw this sign this morning on a pretty much vacant building on the southwest corner of 125th and Lenox Avenue. Thought it was pretty funny. I think the buidling is gearing up to be developed. About 6 months ago all of the retail on the ground floor was cleared out. I'm guessing the owner is trying to get the last of the residential tenants out (yes people actually live in this building.) This is a great location for any type of development and would be a great addition to 125th Street.



spidey trash
taken by jv

The beginning

First post. I live in Harlem...have for a couple of years. Seems like nobody ever knows what's going on up here so I figured I'd let you all know. I'm mostly interested in real estate development and architecture so that's what you'll see. I walk to and from work most days and see a lot of crazy stuff. Here is a pick I took it with my camera phone about a month or so back.

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