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© 2020 by The Curious Uptowner


An uptown arts stroll spanning 85 blocks, and more fun things to do this weekend

A free talk by the son of legendary lensman Art Kane of "Harlem 1958" fame, a season-closing classical music concert, and a monthlong celebration of the arts uptown. Art Kane: Harlem 1958 presented by Harlem School of the Arts Harlem School of the Arts, 645 St. Nicholas Ave near W 141st St Fri, May 31 6pm-8pm In 1958 photographer Art Kane took a photo of New York's jazz community–including Thelonius Monk and Dizzy Gillespie–standing in front of a Harlem brownstone. That legendary image, also known as "A Great Day in Harlem," recently inspired a book–the subject of this free talk by the photographer's son, Jonathan Kane. The Harlem Chamber Players Season Finale Gala Concert Miller Theater at

Uptown links: Central Park North's prison is closing, and more

• The Lincoln Correctional Facility, an eight-story prison on Central Park North with views of the park and lower Manhattan, is closing and will be sold off in the next 90 days. Plenty of locals, like Jose Bryson, fear rents will rise. He also told the Daily News he'll miss his neighbors: "They’re all super-nice and say ‘hello’ when I walk by. I’m being serious. They're great neighbors." [Daily News] • Fab 5 Freddy has donated his massive hip hop archive–including VHS tapes of rap shows and handwritten notebooks from the '70s and '80s–to the Schomburg Center. [Atlas Obscura] • Foodie guide Edible Manhattan's roundup of where to eat and drink in Harlem includes many of the neighborhood's newe

Two new attractions are coming to the West Harlem Piers just in time for summer

Two new waterside attractions are coming this summer to West Harlem Piers, the sunny park stretching from W 125th to W 135th Streets along the Hudson River: a floating cafe and boat tours of Upper Manhattan. The Baylander Cafe, opening on the deck of the Baylander IX-514, a decommissioned U.S. Navy vessel moored at the piers, is set to debut in the next month and a half. The casual spot will feature picnic tables with umbrellas and recycled military equipment–the bar box was last used in Afghanistan–and will be run by Michael Trenk, owner of Prohibition on the Upper West Side. In the meantime, you can visit the ship's Billion Oyster Project research station, part of a plan to restore New Yor

Explore a unique green path connecting 7 uptown parks at the 15th annual 'Hike the Heights'

Did you know you can hike from Central Park to Fort Tryon Park using a special green trail that connects through seven Northern Manhattan parks? Incredibly, very few city streets are involved. It's called the Giraffe Path (named after the animal it resembles on a map), and your chance to explore it is coming up this weekend during the 15th annual community-run Hike the Heights. While you can hike (or bike) the six-mile trail at any time during the year, you're invited to walk just a portion this Saturday, June 1–in celebration, the path will be lined with giraffe sculptures made by local kids. Choose one of 11 separate starting points from East Harlem to Inwood, then join the big party at th

Sugar Monk–a new Harlem bar where the cocktails are almost too beautiful to drink–opens tonight

Harlem has a swanky new cocktail bar, and its soft opening is tonight. Serving up a menu of 30 craft cocktails, Sugar Monk at 2292 Frederick Douglass Boulevard is the brainchild of two artists, Simon Jutras and Ektoras Binikos (also a mixologist at the now-defunct 2nd Floor on Clinton). The partners were inspired by the nightclubs of the Harlem Renaissance, but have added a creative, modern twist. Just a few blocks from the Apollo, the bar feels straight out of E. Simms Campbell's famous map of 1930s Harlem–think plush velvet chairs and jungle-themed wallpaper paired with dark lighting and jazz. Here, though, yesteryear's cigarette haze has been replaced with something much more modern: the

Uptown links: new Southeast Asian pub The Expat coming to Morningside Heights, and more

• A new spot called The Expat, serving "Southeast Asian pub grub," is coming to 195 Claremont Avenue between Riverside Drive and Tiemann Place in Morningside Heights. The owners are behind such other uptown eateries as The Handpulled Noodle and Tampopo Ramen. [New Street RA] • Director Ava DuVernay's Netflix minseries "When They See Us," about the five men wrongfully accused in the notorious Central Park Jogger case, had its premiere at the Apollo on Monday night. Attendees included Oprah, Dapper Dan and John Leguizamo. The show hits the small screen on May 31. [NY Times] • Coming to the Apollo on June 24: Lady Gaga. She'll be performing to celebrate the merger of SiriusXM and Pandora. [Page

How to get free Shakespeare in the Park tickets in Harlem, the South Bronx and beyond

The Public Theater's free, open-air productions of Shakespeare in the Park are back for another summer, and kicking off the season is an inclusive "Much Ado About Nothing" that features an all-black cast (Danielle Brooks from "Orange Is the New Black" plays Beatrice). To make it easier for all New Yorkers to get their hands on the free tickets, the Public Theater now has voucher distribution points across the five boroughs each day there is a performance. (As in years past, you can also wait in line at the Delacorte Theater and the Public, or try the online lottery.) The various distribution points for "Much Ado About Nothing" have been listed online, and include two locations in Harlem (May

Photos: Riverside Park's goats are finally here–and have become instant celebrities

The twenty-four goats brought by the Riverside Park Conservancy to tackle the park's invasive plants are finally here–and hungry. At a festive inaugural event today packed with local politicians, residents, schoolchildren and reporters, the goats were introduced to the public–some by their names, like Carmella–then released into the park, quickly finding much to munch on. The herd will roam a fenced-in stretch of Riverside Park from approximately 119th to 125th Streets, eating weeds like Poison Ivy and Mugwort down to their roots. Dan Garodnick, President of Riverside Park Conservancy, told Eyewitness News, "It's like treating them to an all-you-can-eat-buffet. It's healthy for the goats and

All the ways to celebrate the life of Norma Miller, the Lindy-Hopping Queen of Swing, this weekend

Norma Miller, raised across the street from Harlem's legendary Savoy Ballroom and a star Lindy Hop dancer on its stage by the time she was a teenager, has died at the age of 99. Touring the U.S. in the 1930s and '40s with Whitey's Lindy Hoppers and appearing in such movies as "Hellzapoppin'," she became known as the "Queen of Swing." To celebrate her life, a number of local and international organizations–Miller taught the Lindy Hop in Sweden in her later years–are coming together and hosting events this weekend. It all kicks off this Friday with a viewing in Harlem and ends with a big dance party at the Alhambra Ballroom: 1. Viewing and Burial •Viewing at St. James Presbyterian Church, 409

Four fun things to do this weekend before or after Harlem EatUp!

Head to the fifth annual Harlem EatUp! festival in Morningside Park this weekend, then take your pick of these other fun events taking place around the neighborhood. Harlem EatUp! Morningside Park, W 112th St and Manhattan Ave Sat, May 18 & Sun, May 19 12:30pm-5:30pm Now in its fifth year, this uptown food festival in Morningside Park runs all weekend long. Stroll the Marketplace (a la carte eats from local restaurants and vendors like Harlem Chocolate Factory) or splurge on the Ultimate Grand Tasting, small plates from a selection of Harlem restaurants paired with wine, beer and cocktails (yes, Red Rooster will be there). The Perfume Parlor by Muse Open House 66 Edgecombe Ave at W 138th St

Uptown links: La Marina's reopening is in limbo, the Queen of Swing has died, and more

• Troubled waterfront restaurant La Marina doesn't have the permits to re-open by Memorial Day, according to lawyers for the city's Parks Department. [The City] • Norma Miller, the "Queen of Swing," recently died at the age of 99. Born in Harlem, she was a member of the Lindy Hoppers, the all-black troupe that got its start at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom and popularized the Lindy Hop. [NY Times] • As many as 15,000 people are expected at Harlem EatUp! this weekend. The annual food festival in Morningside Park is now in its fifth year. [NBC New York] • The success story of the Harlem Pie Man: from hawking desserts up and down 125th Street to selling at the now-defunct Mart 125 to making it onto t

6 modern architectural marvels in Upper Manhattan

As Eero Saarinen's TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport comes to life again today as the TWA Hotel, it's a good time to check in with some of Upper Manhattan's most notable examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture. They might not be as famous at Saarinen's masterpiece, but they're just as worthy of a visit–and who knows how long some of them have before the wrecking ball comes. From south to north: 1. Lasker Rink and Pool W 110th Street and Lenox Ave Architect: Fordyce & Hamby Associates Year: 1963 Serving as an ice skating rink in the winter and a public swimming pool in the summer, this facility on the northern edge of Central Park is set to undergo a $150 million makeover in 2020 lasting t

Nutritionist and "The Plan" author Lyn-Genet Recitas opens her first restaurant this week

Nutritionist Lyn-Genet Recitas first published her anti-inflammatory diet book, "The Plan," six years ago. Since then, it's gone on to become a New York Times bestseller, been translated into 15 languages, and spawned two cookbooks plus a meal-delivery service. Now comes the restaurant. Opening this Saturday, May 18, Lyn-Genet's Kitchen at 3473 Broadway in Hamilton Heights will feature an elevated comfort food menu based on Recitas' list of "least reactive"–or non-inflammatory–foods. Ingredients like chicken, steak, sourdough bread and avocado get the green light, while turkey, pasta, and eggplant are big no-nos. "It's all about the chemistry," explains Recitas, who once ran a holistic healt

How to find the Sisyphus Stones on the banks of the Hudson River

The Sisyphus Stones–the stacked rock sculptures that self-taught artist Uliks Gryka has been building (and rebuilding when they are knocked down) by the banks of the Hudson since July of 2017–are not the easiest to find. But with a little planning, a sunny afternoon provides the perfect opportunity to go looking for these magical site-specific figures. The stone towers–read the whole backstory in this excellent article–are tucked away in the middle of Fort Washington Park, a long green ribbon that hugs the river from 155th Street to just past the George Washington Bridge. Since the Henry Hudson Parkway and some serious railroad tracks stand between the park and the folks who live on the othe

Two Mother's Day pop-up events, a free jazz festival, and more fun things to do this weekend

Shop for–or with–Mom at two fun pop-ups, spend an afternoon listening to live jazz, and check out the latest mural by East Harlem artist Manny Vega–all this weekend. La Marqueta Retona Mother's Day Artisan Pop-Up La Marqueta, 1590 Park Ave and 115th St Sat, May 11 at 11am Visit La Marqueta, East Harlem's community-based market space, this Saturday for a day of crafts, food, and music–Fernandito Ferrer is the special musical guest. While there, be sure to stop by the newest food stall, Amuse Bouche NYC., and try their signature croissant sandwiches and savory cheddar scones. You might recognize them from the Marcus Garvey Farmer's Market. West Harlem Jazz Festival Bierstrasse, 2346 12th Ave a

Uptown links: Target's new Washington Heights location will likely be small-format, and more

• At approximately 25,000 square feet, Target's just-announced Washington Heights location–coming to 181st Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in 2020–will likely be one of its small-format stores selling a select mix of food, clothing and beauty. Its corporate site explains "the average small-format Target is around 40,000 square feet, about one-third the size of our full-size 130,000 square-foot store." The chain has opened similarly-sized locations in the East Village and the Lower East Side. [6SQFT] • A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with the funeral expenses of Andrea Pollidore and her four youngest children, who all died in a horrific apartment fire in Harlem this week. [GoFundMe]

Penny Jo's, a new bar from the Uptown Bourbon team, opens in Washington Heights

Penny Jo's, a new bar from the team behind Uptown Bourbon in Hamilton Heights, just opened in Washington Heights. A streamlined take on a traditional bar, the corner spot at 3898 Broadway and 163rd Street specializes in cocktails, but also offers craft beer by the can or bottle. It's currently in soft-open mode–hours are 4pm to midnight–but should have a full drinks and snack menu by the end of the month. Pressed sandwiches and salads will debut in June. While the staff puts the finishing touches on the menu as well as the copper-flecked decor–the back of the bar will eventually be covered in shiny rows of pennies–the space will start offering live music, including acoustic jazz. Of course t

Three very Harlem reasons to visit Shake Shack's new location on 125th Street (updated)

Harlem welcomed its first Shake Shack in December, allowing the neighborhood to indulge in the chain's famous burgers, crinkle-cut fries, frozen concretes and more, without having to go below 125th Street But this uptown Shack isn't exactly like all the rest. Head to the new location at 1 West 125th Street to discover three delightfully Harlem-centric details you won't find anywhere else–including a vibrant, just-installed outdoor mural. 1. Harlem-inspired murals by Creative Art Works Creative Art Works, an organization that empowers young people through art, was commissioned by Shake Shack to create murals inspired by the neighborhood for its 125th Street location. What's more, they were ma

Jane's Walk NYC, the Blessing of the Bikes, and more fun things to do this weekend

Explore East Harlem's first historic district, get your bike blessed at the stunning St. John the Divine Cathedral, peek into the studios of over 50 artists in the South Bronx, and more–all this weekend and beyond. Jane's Walk NYC Various locations Fri, May 3-Sun, May 5 This series of fascinating city strolls starts today and runs all weekend–a great opportunity to explore various parts of the city in the spirit of urban activist Jane Jacobs. Happily, there are more than 20 free, volunteer-led walks in Upper Manhattan, so check the map and find the one that's right for you. Need a suggestion? Try Saturday's walk exploring East Harlem's first historic district–the row house and tenement-fille

Uptown links: South Bend comes to Harlem, and more

• In what is becoming a ritual for Democratic presidential hopefuls, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg visited Sylvia's on Monday to break bread with Rev. Al Sharpton. He's now the second candidate to do so this year–Sen. Kamala Harris stopped by in February. Who's next? [CNN] • More than three dozen street vendors lost their wares–and much of their livelihood–when a raging fire broke out in the Harlem lot where they stored their merchandise. [NY Post] • A new HuffPost investigation of James Manning, the homophobic pastor who runs Atlah World Missionary Church on Lenox Avenue, reveals he's running a cultlike school that psychologically abuses children. [HuffPost] • East Harlem's latest develop

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A Curated guide to life in Harlem And beyond
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