Thursday, March 5, 2015

REMEMBER: HARLEM NEON AT NIGHT CIRCA 1964

We found this set of silent footage taken of Harlem circa 1964 on youtube and it provides a glimpse of the nightlife that uptown was famous for back in those days. Big Wilt's Smalls Paradise, Baby Grand, The West End Theatre, The Apollo, Loew's Victoria Theatre, Harlem Moon, Lido Bar, Silver Rail, Sugar Ray's, Blumestein's and the Chow Mein sign over at the Renaissance Ballroom are all featured after the 3:30 minute mark.   There were also many barbecue spot in Harlem back then and this was the last decade when business was still booming uptown before years of decline up until the late 90s.  Watching the footage is somewhat mundane without sound so we recommend playing The Ronettes in the background to help put things into perspective.

DWELL: HARLEM FOR THREE THOUSAND A MONTH

An average one bedroom in New York City is apparently going for $3,000 a month in 2015 which might sound right for newer buildings but seemed a bit high to us since there are so many larger apartments at this price range in Central and West Harlem. In a quick search of uptown market listings, we found 164 two-bedrooms, 90 three-bedrooms and even 17 four-bedroom apartments (like this one) at $3K or under for monthly rent.   Most of these units are in prewar buildings going under renovations and not new construction so maybe this is what skewing the numbers.  Harlem's market rate rental stock is pretty much still affordable compared to some of the inflated numbers out there and definitely much more convenient transportation-wise than many of expensive formerly unheard of neighborhoods popping up in those outer boroughs.

SHOP: PLYWOOD AT 350 LENOX AVENUE

A restaurant called Yuzu will be arriving at 350 Lenox Avenue and it looks like some major facade work will part of the final design. We walked by this block between 127th and 128th Street in Central Harlem last week and plywood has know concealed the entire storefront.  There is not much information otherwise for this eatery with a Japanese name but we pretty much assume that a sushi spot will arrive at this uptown location.  Read more about Yuzu in our past post: LINK

☞ CONTACT: GOT A HARLEM BESPOKE TIP?

Send any tips and especially photos over our way if you have stories on your section of Harlem: harlembespoke@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

INTRODUCING: SUGAR HILL CAFE OPENS ON 145TH




We received a couple of tips that Sugar Hill Cafe just opened on the lower level of a townhouse at 410 West 145th Street just half a block west of St. Nicholas Avenue.   This well appointed space literally just opened but already has pastries, bagels, coffee and tea service set up to take away at the counter or to stay at one of the many small tables within.  The cozy coffee shop really went beyond our expectation since the owner really came up with a great minimalist space with industrial and vintage accents.  Poured concrete floors paired with exposed beams at the ceiling set the tone alongside cool steel and warm wood furnishings.  This reminds us of a lot of Scandinavian Modern interiors which is definitely a first for uptown and is worth checking out when one is rushing to get to the A train at the 145th Station.  As mentioned in our past post, the blocks just north of 140th Street seem to be were all of the new notable openings are happening these days: LINK