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6 notable spots set to open in Harlem this August (or very soon)

Don't let Harlem's chill summer vibes fool you–there's been a hive of activity behind closed doors at a slew of soon-to-open businesses. Here are six notable establishments set to debut in August or soon after. From south to north they are: Ginjan Cafe The Corn Exchange Building, 81 E 125th St and Park Ave Guinean brothers Mohammed and Rahim Diallo will soon be selling their gourmet brand of ginger juice (plus coffee and more) out of a new cafe in East Harlem's beautifully renovated Corn Exchange Building. The spot debuts in early August. Bread and Yoga Harlem 350 St. Nicholas Ave between W 127th and W 128th Sts The former Unity Yoga on St. Nicholas Avenue is set to reopen as the second loca

5 summery things to do this week in Harlem and beyond

The dog days of summer are officially here, and The Curious Uptowner will be posting on an abbreviated schedule for the next few weeks. In the meantime, try out these warm-weather ideas below or simply scroll through the archives—there’s plenty to discover either way. 1. Enjoy a locally-made frozen treat: Is there anything more summery than a leisurely stroll to a neighborhood spot making its own frozen treats? Some uptown standouts include Sugar Hill Creamery, Harlem's only family-owned ice cream shop; Harlem Shake, mixing up some of the best milkshakes in the city; and Inwood's Choc NYC, serving its own small-batch ice cream, ice cream sandwiches (red velvet cake with vanilla ice cream, a

These 7 uptown pools are staying open longer for the next three days

To beat the heat over the next three days–temperatures are expected to climb to 96 degrees on Saturday and Sunday–the city is extending pool hours to 8pm in all Olympic- and intermediate-sized outdoor pools. That's one full hour longer. Above 96th Street, there are a total of seven free outdoor pools that fall into those two categories. The list includes an impressive four Olympic pools (Lasker at 11oth St and Lenox Ave, Thomas Jefferson at E 112th St and First Ave, Jackie Robinson at Bradhurst Ave and W 146th St, and Highbridge at Amsterdam Ave and W 173rd St) and three intermediate pools (Marcus Garvey at 124th St and Fifth Ave, Wagner at E. 124th St near First Ave, and Sheltering Arms at

Uptown links: 12-seat restaurant Belle Harlem gets a nice review in the New York Times, and more

• The New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells pays a visit to the 12-seat, 275-square-foot restaurant Belle Harlem, and enjoys eating at a spot where everything–from the food to the service–is firmly in the hands of the two proprietors. [NY Times] • Director Steven Spielberg has been shooting the remake of "West Side Story" all over Harlem. [Daily Mail] • The Studio Museum in Harlem's newest artists-in-residence include two performance artists and a painter; one works partly in cyberspace. The Times calls it the most experimental group in years. [NY Times] • Chef JJ Johnson explains why he chose Harlem for his new rice-focused restaurant, Fieldtrip: “This community made me who I am. If I

It's official: Citi Bike is expanding to Upper Manhattan (Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood)

Upper Manhattan's Citi Bike drought is finally coming to an end, most likely by next year. Yesterday the de Blasio administration and Lyft, the parent company of Citi Bike, announced the new boundaries of the bike share's planned expansion over the next five years, and the whole of Upper Manhattan is included. Nine neighborhoods in the Bronx, five in Queens and 10 in Brooklyn are also in the enlarged map. "This expansion will help us build a more fair and equitable city for all New Yorkers," said Mayor de Blasio. "Even more communities will have access to this low-cost, sustainable mode of transportation." Yesterday's big announcement follows last November's news that Lyft would be investing

9 Harlem spots with hidden backyard patios

Hidden from view, Harlem's backyard patios are the perfect place to escape the city's hustle and bustle. Head to these urban oases when you're looking for a serene–and in a few cases green–spot to enjoy a well-crafted sip or bite. From south to north: Lolo's Seafood Shack 303 W 116th St between Frederick Douglass Blvd and Manhattan Ave This island seafood spot's backyard cabana offers serious seaside vibes. Lion Lion Bar 332 E 116th St between First and Second Aves Sip on expertly made cocktails in this East Harlem bar's charming patio. Photo: Lion Lion Bar Double Dutch Espresso 2194 Frederick Douglass Blvd between W 118th and W 119th Sts The South Harlem location of this uptown coffee chain

It's mango flower season! Here are some tips on making this summer treat yourself.

It wouldn't be summer uptown without street vendors selling mango flowers on the busiest corners (a.k.a. right outside subway stations). They're the perfect summer treat: fresh and juicy, the fruit's sweetness brightened with lime juice and a sprinkling of chile powder. Maybe you've even thought about attempting to make one yourself at home. If so, here are some tips: 1. Use the bigger, rounder variety of mango that grows in Mexico and Central America (see picture below), not the smaller, longer, yellow kind from Southeast Asia. 2. To prepare the mango, slice off the bottom and pierce the pit with a sturdy wooden skewer (the pit prevents the stick from going straight through the soft fruit).

Uptown links: Langston Hughes' Harlem home gets a preservation grant, and more

• The Harlem home of poet Langston Hughes is one of 22 sites to get funding as part of a National Trust initiative helping preserve African-American history. [National Trust for Historic Preservation] • Happy 114th birthday, Alelia Murphy! The Harlemite is believed to be the oldest person in the U.S. [Today] • Harlem style legend Dapper Dan's memoir is out. [Robb Report] • Korey Wise, one of the five men to be wrongfully accused in the Central Park jogger case, just bought a $960K apartment in Harlem. [NY Post] • Pharrell Williams just offered all 114 graduates of Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy an internship. [Buzzfeed News] • Looking for a fun tour of Harlem? Start here, with stops

Here's the perfect spot to go "forest bathing" in Central Park

Spending time in nature has always been a good thing. But now a growing number of experts are promoting a type of deep-woods therapy called "forest bathing" that might actually improve your health. According to the New York Times, "Some small studies...suggest that spending time in nature, specifically in lush forests, might decrease stress and blood pressure (especially in middle-aged men), improve heart-rate variability and lower cortisol levels while boosting one's mood." Apparently the effects are heightened when a stream or other body of water is added to the mix. Luckily for New Yorkers, there's an ideal uptown spot for taking a forest bath: the Ravine in Central Park. Tucked within th

What's new–and still to come–this year in Hamilton Heights

The year is now more than half over, and it's clear that Hamilton Heights remains one of uptown's fastest-evolving neighborhoods. Three ambitious places to eat and drink have opened in the last six months, and more are coming soon. Here's a quick rundown: The year kicked off with the opening of L'Argot (142 Hamilton Place), a cozy, brick-walled space to enjoy drinks, dishes with worldly flair (see the chimichurri skirt steak), and live jazz–saxophonist Daniel Schnyder is part-owner. A small patio in the back now also offers al fresco dining. More recently, "The Plan" author Lyn-Genet Recitas took over the old Draft House space and turned it into Lyn-Genet's Kitchen (3473 Broadway), a friendl

Chef JJ Johnson returns to Harlem with rice-focused Fieldtrip

Two years after he left The Cecil and Minton's in Harlem–then generated major buzz at the Henry at Life Hotel in midtown–chef JJ Johnson is back in the neighborhood with the casual, rice-focused Fieldtrip. The airy new counter-service restaurant at 109 Lenox Avenue near 116th Street serves five different kinds of rice bowls inspired by Johnson's childhood and travels. Each dish features a particular variety of grain, from Carolina gold and Texas brown to Jollof basmati and China black, which is then paired with a complementary protein or vegetable (chicken, beef, roasted broccoli, shrimp and salmon). Fresh salads and sides round out the menu. ​Fieldtrip caps off a highly successful run for J

The Classical Theatre of Harlem's free outdoor production of The Bacchae kicks off this weekend

The Classical Theatre of Harlem returns to Marcus Garvey Park this month with a free outdoor production of Euripides' Greek tragedy "The Bacchae." In this modern retelling, Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and ecstasy, is a pleasure-seeking rock star (think Lenny Kravitz) who returns to his hometown to challenge its law-and-order king, Pentheus, who has banned Dionysian worship. The play explores how the public blindly picks sides–both extreme–leading to tragic consequences. In keeping with the mission of CTH, the story is told through the lens of the African-American experience. As in the past, dance will mix with the drama; this year the moves will be choreographed and performed by members

Here's the expanded summer schedule for the Totally Kid Carousel in Riverbank State Park

Carousel season is well underway in Riverbank State Park, home of the utterly one-of-a-kind Totally Kid Carousel (with bonus views of the Hudson River). And it's about to get even better. Expanded summer hours start this Fourth of July, and going forward will include not just weekends but Wednesdays,Thursdays and Fridays. At heart, the ride is a spectacular piece of public art–artist Milo Mottola based the funky flamingos, octopuses and other colorful animals on children's drawings. It just happens to have moving parts and be geared towards kids. The 2019 schedule isn't online, so here are the hours that have been posted around the park. Tickets, sold at the entrance to the carousel, are $1

125th Street officially has a new tallest building

The Victoria Theater redevelopment at 233 West 125th Street just topped out, and Harlem's famous commercial strip officially has a new tallest building. The Renaissance by Marriott hotel, which faces 125th Street and sits on top of the historic Victoria Theater, recently reached its full height of 26 stories; the residential tower in the back is now complete at 27 stories. The entire project, on the same block as the iconic Apollo Theater, will include 210 hotel rooms, 191 residential units, a 5,000-square-foot ballroom, 25,000 square feet of retail space and an equal amount of space devoted to the arts. The previous tallest building on 125th Street was the Brutalist 19-story Adam Clayton Po

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