Saturday, January 22, 2011

East Harlem, The Basics 3 (With Special Tips for East Harlem Dog Owners!)

Heather and her two dogs have lived here in East Harlem for three years, and she has some great suggestions and tips for East Harlemites and their pups! Thanks so much, Heather!

Coffee: Savoy Bakery is amazingly good (and super fresh) pastries, bread, pork buns (!!), coffee, lattes, iced coffee, etc. Worth every penny.
170 E 110th St (between Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave)

Check out the East Harlem NYC's Savory review.

Take-out/Delivery: Dreamers Pizza is a custom/gourmet pizza/Italian/American food place. The food is always delivered in a timely fashion, and I’ve never had a “bad order.” I'd recommend the lasagna pizza, penne ala vodka, calzones, hero sandwiches and more.
1850 3rd Ave (between 102nd St & 103rd St)

Pizza: A slice at Patsy's is by far the best “experience” of a slice of in NYC –– coal oven, delicious, and thin. Buy a pie ($11) vs. buying 2 slices ($3.50) as you can heat it up and eat it later! Note: cash only! And, this is the REAL deal / old school Patsy’s.
2287 1st Ave (between 117th St & 118th St)

Check out East Harlem NYC's Patsy's review.

Another slice that is rated in the category of “more bang for your buck” would be Sam’s Famous Pizza. HUGE slices at a cheap price. And, right next to the subway.
150 E. 116th St. and Lexington

Mexican Food:
El Paso Taqueria is an authentic/gourmet Mexican restaurant with cute back patio area.
237 E 116th St, (Btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave)

Fierce Spa! I have spent the past 3 years looking for a nail salon that is priced accordingly for the neighborhood, doesn’t stink like acrylic when you walk in the doors, and is CLEAN … this brand new salon (opened in Sept. 2010) fits the bill. Cute, pink d├ęcor and priced right. Book an appointment with Guadalupe.
349 E 117th St (between 2nd Ave & 1st Ave)

Nice View of Manhattan:vMarcus Garvey Park – upper level. Take the stairs up on a nice day. You can see downtown, uptown, etc.
Madison Avenue and East 120th Street

Target, Costco, Pathmark, Associated, etc. Tons of supermarkets in the neighborhood. I shop at all of them as I check sales and like the variety of offerings each has.

Especially for the Dog Owner:
from 9pm to 9am (everyday) dogs can be off-leash in Central Park. A nice community of dog owners meet up in the off leash areas every morning. I have met numerous new friends via the off leash areas as all the owners talk to each other as their dogs play
Check out this handy map on off leash Central Park areas (a must for Harlem dog owners!)
I take my 2 dogs (off leash) to the Harlem Meer (enter at 110 Street and Fifth Ave), Great Hill, etc. almost every morning.

Randalls Island Park has off-leash hours from 7am to 3pm (everyday). And, killer views of Manhattan top off this experience of letting your dog(s) run free on this island.
To get to Randall’s – either take Triborough bridge (aka RFK Bridge) pedestrian walkway or the 103rd Street Pedestrian Bridge on the East River. (note: 103 street pedestrian bridge is under construction till mid-2011 – check for updates)

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

De La Vega Fine Art

You may have noticed that James De La Vega has been quite prolific lately. "Become Your Dream" has been sketched everywhere from the Upper East Side to way up in Harlem, and the slogan has been on everything from from toilets to all sorts of trash that piled up during the snow storms. Sammy Davis (not JR) the vintage fashion stylist and entrepreneur spotted an object d'art on her street corner and snapped it up to decorate her pad.

Sammy says:
The artist, De La Vega, does this to things around the city that are in the "trash." Pieces of furniture, mattresses ... the sidewalk with chalk ... etc. I see it often just at the right moment. Once I saw "Become Your Dream" after finishing a run in Central Park, chalked on the sidewalk as I left the 110th street entrance. It's a beautiful thing and I thank De La Vega for passing along his message with such guerrilla tactics!

Check out Sammy Davis Vintage.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vinyl Wine in Edible Manhattan

East Harlem has been in desperate need of a a good wine shop for some time, and this past summer we finally got one -- Vinyl Wine. After checking out the store's great selection and awesome vibe, I thought the shop, and the story of the changing East Harlem scene, would make a great piece for one of my favorite foodie magazines Edible Manhattan. Luckily for me, Edible's editors agreed, and my article is in the newest issue, on newsstands now!

Here's a preview of the piece:

Axl Rose and his glass of wine hold court on one whitewashed brick wall, a record player in the corner plays Sharon Jones then Arcade Fire, the cash register sits on a desk embedded with speaker parts, and behind that desk sits a floppy-haired guy you'd expect to own a record shop. But the wooden bins and plastic crates that line the walls of this narrow store are filled not with records but with organic and natural wines made by small, relatively unknown producers. And, instead of being located on Bleecker or in Brooklyn, the aptly named Vinyl Wine sits between 99th and 100th streets, right on the cusp of East Harlem.

If you haven't checked out Vinyl Wine already here are the details:
Vinyl Wine
1555 Lexington Ave
(between 99th St & 100th St)
Manhattan, NY 10029