This month starts the Chinese New Year of the Fire Rooster. Similarly, the current Harlem restaurant the Red Rooster marks a renaissance of Upper Manhattan. January’s Culturally Inclined has turned its focus to Harlem touching upon Harlem’s History, Boutiques, Striver’s Row, Music Hotspots and much more!
Harlem, located in the northern portion of Manhattan is one of the foremost African-American communities in the world, but it wasn’t always that way. Settled by the Dutch in 1658 and called Nieuw Haarlem, the area at the northern end of Manhattan featured lush farmland in the flat, eastern section and large estates for well-known families like the Delanceys, Bleekers, Rikers, Beekmans and Hamiltons in the high, western section. Following an economic decline in the 1830s that saw many of the farms abandoned and the estates sold at public auction, Harlem became home to people looking for inexpensive property and housing, and a refuge for newly-arrived immigrants – including the Irish. New York’s population grew and with the advent of the expansion of the elevated rail lines and subways there was an expansion Northward.
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural social, and artistic explosion in music, literature, dance and art spanning the 1920s and 1930s attracted neighborhood folk, jazz greats, authors, politicians and some of the most noteworthy figures of the 20th century such as Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Nat King Cole, Bessie Smith, Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker and James Baldwin. Take a walking tour Tracing 350 Years of Harlem’s Ever-Shifting Boundaries and explore Harlem Landmarks and Harlem New Developments and storied brownstones.
Harlem has become a food mecca of good eats. Summer 2017, Whole Foods on 125th Street is planning on opening and there are so many delicious bakeries, coffee hang-outs, and eateries. Dine at the Red Rooster, and some of the landmarks such as Sylvia’s and Raos and Cecil & Mintons. Other great dining spots to check-out throughout the year: Maison Harlem, Sexy Taco, Melbas, Vinateria, Barawine, Lolo’s Seafood Shack, Lido Restaurant, Settepani, Angel of Harlem, and Babbalucci.
As a new chapter unfolds, a new story is to be told, we say hello to the new and say goodbye to the old. Wishing you keep in touch throughout the year.
“Old New York City is a friendly old town
From Washington Heights to Harlem on
down There’s a-mighty many people all
millin’ al around They’ll kick you when
You’re up and know you when you’re down it’s hard times in the city Livin’
Down in New York town” – Bob Dylan