Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas East Harlemites!

The Last Minute East Harlem Gift Guide

Stumped on what to buy your favorite neighbor? Want to show your downtown friends how cool your hood is this holiday? Or, maybe you just don't want to venture too far away in this frigid weather. Try one of these East Harlem gifts.

The Coolest Case:
Vinyl Wine offers a 15% discount on any case of wine, even mixed cases and sparklers. Pick up 12 bottles and you'll be good until New Year's at least.
Pick it up at Vinyl Wine, 1555 Lexington Ave

Old-School Shoes: Goliath RF has urban gear and cool kicks for anyone on your list. Last time I was in I saw Reebok Pumps for $30. What a deal!
Pick them up at Goliath RF, 175 E 105th Street

Harlem in Images:
The Studio Museum along with SkiraRizzoli has published a new photography book celebrating Harlem's diverse and distinct landscape in images. Harlem: A Century in Images is the perfect coffee table book for any uptowner.
Pick it up at The Studio Museum, 144 West 125th Street.

A Pass to the Neighborhood:
Give the gift of art in a pass to El Museo Del Barrio, and they'll visit you up in East Harlem all year long. $50 for a single year pass.
Pick it up at El Museo Del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue

And don't forget we have the city's only Costco and Manhattan's only Target here in East Harlem –– both shops are perfect for last minute gifts.

Happy Holidays, Harlemites!

Update: Either Yo In, Or Yo Out

As of late December 2010, Yo in, Yo Out now has a liquor license. French food and there anything better?

Your Neighborhood French Bistro

Speaking of French bistros. Oh, we weren't? Sorry, I'm always thinking of French Bistros. I am a lover of all things French, and now we have another piece of France in East Harlem (have you been to any of the French bakeries around?). An adorable bistro/coffee shop has opened on Lexington. It's been open for only a week or so, but I can see it growing into a great spot for coffee, brunch or a small meal. The decor is whimsical: old-fashioned chandeliers, oversized coffee cups with fun designs and a ceiling painted blue with puffy clouds. I know that East Harlem is called Spanish Harlem, but the area is full of ex-pats from France as well as Puerto Rico and Mexico. We were surrounded by French speakers at this bistro – definitely adding to an authentic French vibe.

Location: 1569 Lexington Ave, between 100th and 101st Sts

Phone: (212) 987-5350

Recommended Dishes/Drinks: Chevre Roti au Miel (Goat Cheese Salad), Truffle Croque Monsieur and Chocolate Chaud (Hot Chocolate)

Average Dish Price: $9


Monday, December 6, 2010

East Harlem, The Basics 2

Levi Fishman, writer, four-year East Harlem resident and this blog's first fan, has agreed to give us his East Harlem basics. You might remember Levi from his AM New York piece on East Harlem –– definitely worth a read if you haven't already.

Coffee: The Love Cafe. The owner (Pat) grew up in the neighborhood, so along with your coffee you can get some great stories of what the neighborhood was like back in the day.
283 Pleasant Avenue
(between 115th St & 116th St)

Haircut: Claudio's Barber Shop. Hang out there long enough and you'll get some stories of what the neighborhood was like when it was run by the Italian Mafia.

Mexican Food: Cafe Ollin has probably the best Cemita in the city.
339 E 108th St
(between 2nd Ave & 1st Ave)

Brunch: Itzocan Bistro for a full meal, Pleasant Pastries if you're looking for a muffin to go.

Take-out/Delivery: I agree with Polash. It's just as good as any of the Indian places down on Curry Row. For Chinese delivery, Chinatown East. They're down on 92nd and 3rd, but they deliver all the way up to 120th.

Laundry: The place at 118th and 1st has $1 machines in the back. And it's half a block from Patsy's.

Groceries: Costco. Or Fine Fare. Over the summer, there is a nice fruit stand on 120th and 1st.

Nice View of Uptown Manhattan:
Top of the East Harlem Plaza parking garage.

If you're an East Harlemite and would like to tell us your "Basics" shoot me an email.

Quesadillas, Even in the Cold

NYC food blog Eating in Transition has a great write-up on a quesadilla stand on 116th St that's open all season. Seems like it's definitely worth checking out. Read the review at Eating in Transition.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

East Harlem, The Basics 1

When you first move to any neighborhood in Manhattan there's always a few things you'd like to ask the local, like, "Where do you get a great slice of pizza?" and "Where can I get a great cup o' joe?" So, here is the first in a new feature, I'm asking East Harlemites where they find their NYC basics. Think of it as East Harlem 101. I'm starting with five year East Harlem resident Craig Nelson. He's a bit of an expert when it comes to suggesting places to eat and things to do, he's the managing editor of Not For Tourists. It's the online version of those awesome little black books.

Craig Nelson's East Harlem Basics:

Pizza: Slice at Patsy's take out window ($1.75 and best in NYC)

Coffee: East Harlem Cafe (but sometimes bodega coffee oddly hits the spot)

Brunch Spot:
Not a big brunch person, but getting pastries at La Tropezienne is a weekend morning tradition

Groceries: When in season, local farmers markets and out of season Fine Fare or Met Foods (or Whole Foods on the west side)

Place on 105th b/w Lex and 3rd

La Fonda Boricua, Sandy Restaurant, or Polash Indian

Thanks for the tips, Craig!

If you're an East Harlemite and would like to tell us your "Basics" shoot me an email.