Thursday, December 18, 2014

REVIVE: FORMER FLORIDITA BUILDING DEMOLISHED

The century-old commercial buildings at 125th Street on Broadway which used to house local favorite Floridita for decades have been demolished to make way for the new Columbia University Manhattanville campus.  Luckily things worked out for the eatery since they relocated to a new spot just one avenue west next to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que a couple of years back to make way for the $7 billion campus in Harlem's old industrial blocks.  The science building in the background is set to open next year and another structure can be seen just rising to the right which should be the next one to change the view in this part of Harlem.  Check out our past post to get a 3-dimension view of what the area will look like with the new buildings: 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, December 17, 2014

NUMBER 9: SUGAR HILL HISTORIC DISTRICT

Our popular HB series that ranks the top uptown neighborhoods is back for the end of the year count in 2014. Harlem is a large part of Manhattan that changes block by block so we have put together a list of the best micro-nabes based on location, architecture, transportation, local amenities along with record closing prices when applicable. This is our own opinion based on reporting on the neighborhood for a few years and a new post will be made each day until the number one spot has been revealed. 

No. 9: Sugar Hill Historic District,West Harlem, St. Nicholas Avenue, north of 145th Street until 155th, extending to the immediate blocks west and east.  Sugar Hill remains in the same position this year as it did last because things have been slower to develop in 2014.  Tsion Ethiopian cafe did open up recently but the shuttering of Mountain Bird a few avenue over on 145th Street kind of quelled some of the momentum from last year.  We still like the area architecturally and things are usually pretty quiet in this residential part of town.  One of the big pluses in the area can  is that the A train and other express lines are at a hub here and gets one to downtown to 14th Street in just slightly over 15 minutes when running efficiently.  Overall some great deals can be found in this part of Manhattan and anyone strolling the magnificent blocks will easily see their potential.

INTRODUCING: SERAFINA ARRIVING IN WEST HARLEM

We just received a tip in from a Bespoke reader who witnessed construction workers at Amsterdam and 122nd Street putting up signs that have confirmed that Serafina will be arriving in Harlem.  This notable pizza and Italian eatery has established itself in the city's prominent neighborhoods such as the Meat Packing District so this new location just confirms that better businesses are moving up north for better opportunities.  As far as this Harlem corner is concerned, some folks might be surprised that the location of the former Sezz Medi restaurant is actually in Manhattanville and not Morningside Heights based on the CB9 maps.  Regardless, West Harlem Community Board 9 actually consist of Morningside Heights, Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights for those who are still confused: LINK

REMEMBER: DRAMATIC ROOFLINES CIRCA 1905



A photo taken in 1905 shows a Harlem Street with buildings intact on both sides.  Today, the corner tenement to the right no longer exists so those curious to what was on this particular lot now know.  As for the massive roof on the left,  this is probably one of the most distinct local landmark within the immediate area.  Who can guess the vantage point?

A BESPOKE COMMENT GOT THIS ONE RIGHT:   The photo is a view of 128th Street looking east from 7th Avenue. Still standing, the building to the left is Metropolitan Baptist Church an official NYC Landmark, built between 1884-1890. However the apartment building to the right has been demolished and the site is now a vacant lot.