Monday, February 22, 2010

Chef from Aquavit Comes to Harlem

"It is Very Important to Bring a Restaurant to Harlem." - Marcus Samuelsson

The New York Times interviewed Marcus Samuelsson, known for his culinary achievements at Aquavit, about his yet-to-open Harlem restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem. It will be located on 125th St in Central Harlem which is a bit outside of the East Harlem demographic, but it's still exciting to get such a great chef opening up a restaurant uptown. Expect to see fresh local foods on the menu.

See the full article.

Photo by Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times.

Hat Tip to Dad.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

James De La Vega, "Become Your Dream"

A little snow didn't stop James De La Vega from hitting this old bookshelf with his signature tag, "Become Your Dream." I'm dreaming of another snow day...

Spotted on Lexington and 103rd.

Has anyone else seen De La Vega's work? Let us know where.

Monday, February 15, 2010

103rd St Mural

A New 24 Hour Mexican Restaurant to Open in East Harlem

Maybe you've noticed that shuttered restaurant just as you head up from the 103rd 6 train. It used to be a 24 hour diner -- a rare place to get a late-night bite in the area -- until last summer when it closed. But, by next week we should have a place for our midnight-snacks once again. I've been noticing some movement going on in the restaurant for the past couple of weeks, and today my suspicions were confirmed when I popped my head in to ask what was going on: the restaurant will be opening next week. It will now be a Mexican restaurant, but it will continue to be open 24 hours. Let me know if you visit La Fonda on Lexington and 103rd and what you think of the new place.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

East Harlem: Where the Wild Things Are

When you walk into Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New york City Parks, on view at the Museum of the City of New York, you are surrounded by huge images of the Bronx River Park. You weave through the "river" and move on to more large-scale park images organized by borough: Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Here's the full piece and slideshow I wrote for The Daily Green on the exhibit. Check out the show this weekend. Say "I'm a neighbor" and get in the museum for free.

Monday, February 1, 2010

One of My Favorite Authors Lives in Harlem

In this Saturday's New York Times Real Estate section there was an article about a family living in the Sugar Hill section of Harlem. I soon realized that family was the Kogans and Deborah Copaken Kogan, the mother, photographer and writer in the article was non-other then the author of Shutterbabe. Shutterbabe is a fantastic novel about Deborah working as a war photographer and struggling to find balance in her life. As a photographer and writer myself, Deborah is an inspiration to me, so, I was very excited to see that she lives near by. Perhaps we'll bump into each other.

Here's a slideshow of their home.

Hat tip to my dad for showing me this article. Thanks Dad!

Photo from The New York Times, Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

A New East Harlem Novel

INFINITUDE8 sent me a tip about this book.

A new novel is out about East Harlem in the 1960's. The Hierophant of 100th Street seems fascinating as does the author, Cullen Dorn, who grew up in East Harlem. The book is partially autobiographical.

Here's a brief description from the publisher:

The Hierophant of 100th Street is a remarkable, unusual book: a metaphysical novel set in a violent world of slums, gangs, and prisons. Drawing on the author's experience of growing up in the infamous East Harlem neighborhood of 100th Street in the 1960s, the story follows 17-year-old Adam Kadman and his 9-year-old brother John through their respective initiations into the realities of street life while simultaneously introducing real-life characters who dwell in the life of the spirit.

Veiled in the guise of fiction, most of what appears in the book is actually a truthful account of the author's real-life experience. Like the author, the young Adam also ventures out from the slums of New York to discover the meaning of life amid the horrors of existence, and finds romance, mysticism, and purpose.

Buy The Hierophant of 100th Street.