5 ways to enjoy the last days of summer–outdoors and uptown

There's no better way to squeeze the last bit of summer out of the weekend than by spending it outdoors. Here are five fun ways to do so–and each is one-hundred percent The Curious Uptowner-approved: 1. Say farewell to Riverside Park's goats. Earlier this summer Riverside Park invited a herd of friendly goats to tackle the weeds near 120th Street and Riverside Drive. Although not all of them are still around–they were a little too good at their jobs–the remaining handful are munching away in the park until Tuesday, September 10th. 2. Explore the Billings Arcade. Yes, one of uptown's secret architectural gems is slightly off the beaten path–it's in a hidden part of Fort Tryon Park–but this gu

Uptown links: a Harlem church seeks to rezone a corner of Central Park North, and more

• A Harlem house of worship in a prime location–La Hermosa Christian Church on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 110th Street–is seeking approval for a 33-story residential building with about 50 affordable units. [Curbed NY] • Last weekend President Donald Trump tweeted about wanting to help New York City complete the Second Avenue Subway–current plans are to extend it to E 125th Street–and left local politicians scratching their heads. [amNewYork] • Two adjoining townhouses on Mount Morris Park West that were marketed as a megamansion and listed for a record-setting $27 million just saw their price drop to $14.9 million. [Curbed NY] • New basketball courts are coming to the Jacob Schiff Playg

A fresh 'Harlem' mural (and much more new street art) debuts at the Graffiti Hall of Fame

In what is now a yearly tradition, some of the best street artists in the world gathered in East Harlem last weekend for the 39th Annual Graffiti Hall of Fame meetup. For two days, legendary muralists including BG183, Bio and Nicer brought their spray cans–and their dynamic visions–to the playground at the Jackie Robinson Educational Complex at East 106th Street and Park Avenue. Now that the event is over, most of the new pieces–and there are many–can only be seen from the street through the school's chain-link fence. But happily the updated "Harlem" mural along Park Avenue faces the sidewalk, offering a great opportunity to see at least one work up-close. For daily updates, follow The Curio

The Ginjan Cafe–a bright new spot in the historic Corn Exchange Building on 125th Street–is now open

It took a pair of brothers with a forward-thinking attitude, but it finally happened. The ground floor of the long-empty Corn Exchange Building at 81 East 125th Street has a new tenant: the Ginjan Cafe. And it checks all the boxes: It's a small business offering a locally-made product that's also fresh and healthy. Opened by Guinean-born brothers Mohammed and Rahim Diallo, the cafe specializes in a type of ginger juice popular in West Africa called ginjan. The brothers' organic version, made with fresh ginger and cold-pressed pineapple and lemon juice, can be ordered cold (poured or bottled), steamed (think instant cold remedy), and in latte form. The stylish space, wrapped in graphic wallpa

See Althea Gibson's tennis outfit, U.S. Open trophy and more at this Harlem exhibit

Trailblazer Althea Gibson's statue is being unveiled at the U.S. Open today, honoring the tennis champion's many historic achievements. Gibson was not only the first African-American to compete in the U.S. Open, but the first black player to win a Grand Slam (the French Open) and to win at Wimbledon. She went on to win 11 titles in all, including five singles trophies. If you don't have plans to visit Forest Hills any time soon but still want to celebrate Gibson, don't fret. It just so happens that the Schomburg Center has an exhibit with an astounding selection of the tennis champion's prized possessions. The terrific "A Ballad for Harlem" shines the spotlight on a range of people and place

You answered: What should go in the old Hamilton Theater space

After years of little-to-no retail activity–Spirit Halloween, we hardly knew ye–the front entrance of the former Hamilton Theater at 3560 Broadway has been divided into two storefronts and is now undergoing renovations. Spectrum is coming to the north space, but the larger property on the corner of W 146th Street still has a For Lease sign out front–and a nicely preserved old "Hamilton" mosaic near the main entrance. Once a place for vaudeville, the impressive building was designed by theater architect Thomas Lamb in 1913; its exterior, complete with 18 cast-iron caryatids, was designated a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2000. Yesterday a question on The Curious Uptowne

Uptown links: affordable sailing in Inwood, and more

• Hudson River Community Sailing, a center offering affordable sailing lessons in Inwood, invites locals to sail for free for one hour during special community days. [NY Times] • An Associated supermarket is coming to the old Payless space at 3805 Broadway between 158th and 159th Streets in Washington Heights. [Real Estate Weekly] • As it continues to expand deeper into Upper Manhattan and other boroughs, Citi Bike is offering a free month of membership to NYCHA tenants and SNAP recipients. [Curbed NY] • Southern comfort food spot Kitchenette in Morningside Heights has shuttered. [Eater NY] • Leave your phone at home when heading out to Russell Jackson's new tasting-menu restaurant on Strive

Get your Mac Daddy ice cream sandwich here: the Harlem location of Mikey Likes It has reopened

It was closed for most of the summer–for a while there was even a "for lease" sign in the window–but now the Harlem location of artisanal ice cream shop Mikey Likes It is back in business. An employee at the pop-culture themed ice cream parlor at 2500 Frederick Douglass Boulevard explained it had shuttered due to "bad management;" the original 6-year-old location in the East Village was also closed for a period this summer. The uptown branch opened two years ago, bringing to Harlem the brand's dense, small-batch ice cream made with all natural ingredients. Menu items include Ice Ice Baby ice cream (a blend of three types of vanilla bean), Southern Hospitality (pecan pie ice cream), and the M

Season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is filming in Harlem

Season 3 of Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" premieres later this year– December 6 to be precise–but the show hasn't wrapped yet, continuing to film throughout New York. Today the cast and crew of the popular TV series headed to Harlem. Dressed in period costume, Rachel Brosnahan–Mrs. Maisel herself–was spotted crossing the street mere steps from the iconic Apollo Theater. Other actresses, decked out in sparkling gowns from the same era (most likely 1960, the year referenced in the just-released trailer), were seen leaving the theater's back entrance on W 126th Street. Time will tell if the character will be performing on stage at the Apollo, or if the theater is just being used as a bac

3 very Harlem events you won't want to miss this weekend

The uptown celebration known as Harlem Week–a total misnomer because it lasts a whole month–is in full swing this weekend, and you won't want to miss both Saturday's and Sunday's events. Oh, and Black Woodstock is also marking its 50th anniversary in Marcus Garvey Park on Saturday night, so you may as well stay out all weekend: Summer in the City W 135th St btwn St. Nicholas Ave and Malcolm X Blvd Saturday Aug 17, noon-9pm A long stretch of W 135th Street will be blocked off for a day of music, dancing, and, yes, even a spelling bee. Black Woodstock 50th Anniversary Marcus Garvey Park Saturday Aug 17, 7pm-9pm Fifty years ago Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, B.B. King and other legends came to Mar

Uptown links: a new food hall is coming to Columbia's Manhattanville campus, and more

• A new food hall is coming to Columbia's Manhattanville campus next summer, with possible vendors offering Spanish tapas, Sicilian-style pizza and Israeli hummus. The food court will be located in the glassy new Jerome L. Greene Science Center at 3227 Broadway and W 130th Street, which already houses Dear Mama Coffee and Steep Rock Bouldering. [Eater NY] • It's official: the founder of the Brother Jimmy's restaurant chain is taking over the concession at La Marina. It will be a much more subdued affair, however, with limited hours when music can be played and no valet parking. [Patch] • A group called Northern Manhattan Is Not for Sale has filed a lawsuit seeking to block the de Blasio admi

Massawa reopens tonight, bringing back Ethiopian and Eritrean food to the Columbia U. area

The wait is finally over. After a yearlong renovation–and just in time for the new school year–Columbia-area Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurant Massawa reopens tonight. A favorite with the university crowd since it first debuted in 1988–it's located on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 121st Street–Massawa bills itself as New York City's oldest African eatery. The menu is known for its traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes, including spicy vegetable and meat stews served with injera, a crepe-like sourdough bread. The restaurant will be open every day from 8am to 11pm. For daily updates, follow The Curious Uptowner on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter #MorningsideHeights #restaurant #ethiopianf

There's a pretty new public oasis in Hamilton Heights: Johnny Hartman Plaza

Hamilton Heights has a brand new public plaza–and it opened with just enough weeks left of summer to enjoy it: Johnny Hartman Plaza on Hamilton Place between W 143rd and W 144th Streets. Part of the New York City Department of Transportation's Plaza Program–seeking to ensure quality open spaces within a 10-minute walk for everyone–an entire block bordering Johnny Hartman Square has been transformed into a pedestrian oasis complete with colorful metal tables and chairs, flower-filled planters and huge umbrellas offering pockets of shade. The plaza's official partner, the youth organization Brotherhood Sister Sol–its front door opens onto the space–will be responsible for everything from day-t

4 things to know about Foot Locker's Power Store opening this weekend in Washington Heights

Foot Locker has chosen Washington Heights for its first ever Power Store in New York, located at 605 W 181st Street. Like its two other U.S. "power" locations in Philly and Detroit, this 9,000-square-foot retail destination has been built not just with the community in mind, but with tons of immersive technology to add a more personalized and interactive feel. For the best experience, you'll definitely need your phone. Here are four things to know about this location, which opens tomorrow at 10:30am. 1. It has a special partnership with Nike Foot Locker has teamed up with the footwear giant for digital perks exclusive to the Washington Heights store, where a little more than half the merch i

Uptown links: former Mitchell-Lama apartments are converting back to affordable housing, and more

• About 1,900 market-rate rentals in East Harlem and Roosevelt Island–all in former Mitchell-Lama properties like The Heritage, above–will be converted back into affordable apartments. [Curbed NY] • "Motherless Brooklyn," the Ed Norton movie filmed throughout Harlem last year, will close out the New York Film Festival this fall. During the shoot, a Sugar Hill brownstone was the site of a tragic fatal fire. [Gothamist] • Go on this things-to-do tour of Washington Heights, with stops at coffee shop Cafe Buunni and local Italian spot Saggio. [amNewYork] • Actor Jawan Jackson, who plays Melvin Franklin in Broadway's "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations," knew he wanted to live

Tidal Tea: finally, an authentic bubble tea shop for the City College crowd (and, yes, Harlem too)

When City College students return later this month, they'll find a tempting new spot to grab a tasty (and filling) drink: Tidal Tea, a just-opened bubble tea shop across the street from the main campus on Amsterdam Avenue and 135th Street. Offering more than 30 types of drinks–from the milky to the fruity to the caffeine-free–the shop specializes in authentic bubble tea made with premium teas from Taiwan, where the drink originated; the tea is brewed fresh every three hours to avoid any bitterness. Like all the best bubble tea shops, Tidal Tea has a wide selection of toppings, from classic tapioca bubbles to the decadent-sounding Oreo crust. The spot also lets you decide on the precise sweet

These 3 Harlem basketball courts now double as canvases for fresh new art

Typically, Harlem's basketball courts are places where you pay attention to who's playing and how, not what's beneath the players' feet. That's all changed since three neighborhood courts got colorful makeovers over the past year. Thanks to organizations such as the NY Knicks working with the New York City Parks Department, three different artists were invited to transform the following public courts into something quite eye-catching. Here's where to find them, from south to north: Alley-Oop by Saya Woolfalk Marcus Garvey Park, Madison Ave and E 121st St The colorful mandala by New York artist Says Woolfalk brings an unexpectedly feminine touch to this court on the southern edge of Marcus Ga

How to find the Billings Arcade, the hidden remains of a spectacular mansion in Fort Tryon Park

What was once the entrance to a grand mansion is now a hidden gem in Fort Tryon Park: the Billings Arcade, an arched passage with a remarkable past. Wandering through the park's lush pathways to find these stunning remains is a great way to spend a summer day–and take some memorable pictures. The arcade was once part of Tryon Hall, a mansion built by wealthy horseman Cornelius K.G. Billings to be close to the racetrack (today’s Harlem River Drive). Construction on the $2 million estate began in 1901 and was completed in 1907. In 1917, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. bought the property, but the life of Tryon Hall was short-lived: it burned down in 1925. Soon after, Rockefeller incorporated the land

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