Sunday, August 22, 2010

An Italian Harlem Time Capsule

In today's New York Times the Real Estate section has a great piece on a couple who has lived in their East Harlem apartment for 35 years. Their home is a time capsule, full of memories from the time when Italian immigrants were coming to the United States and and living in East Harlem. The couple's relatives were some of those immigrants. East Harlem was known as Italian Harlem back in the early 1900s, some of the last remnants of that time are Patsy's, Rao's and this couple's brownstone. The article is a great history lesson and also a wonderful profile on an interesting couple.

Hat tip: Dad

A Starbucks Coming to the Edge of East Harlem

As I got off the bus at 96th St and Lexington, I gasped, said "Oh, No!" and covered my mouth. A Starbucks would be opening right there on the cusp of East Harlem. Is this bad news? My initial reaction was obviously, "Yes." But this could just be another sign of the neighborhood changing. Change is not necessary a bad thing, if it comes with the amenities we need in the area. On the subject of amenities, I'm hoping for larger supermarkets that stay open late and offer more fresh produce. Regarding Starbucks specifically, it would be nice to have a coffee shop with later hours as well (the East Harlem Cafe has fairly limited hours). I'm torn about how I feel about this Starbucks. What do you think? Will you be grabbing a cup o' joe there once it opens in September, or do you prefer supporting a local establishment?