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© 2020 by The Curious Uptowner


Krispy Kreme is coming to Harlem (again)

Harlem is getting its very own Krispy Kreme shop—one of a handful coming to New York this year. The iconic doughnut brand, which announced it was building a 4,500-square-foot Times Square flagship last year, has decided to add five more stores to the city in 2020. Other locations besides Harlem will include the Bronx/East Fordham, the Upper West Side, midtown and the Financial District. As of now, only two shops have addresses: the Times Square flagship at Broadway and 48th Street–complete with stadium-style seating offering views of the assembly line–and the one at 994 Sixth Avenue and W 37th Street. Harlem's Krispy Kreme could very well land on 125th Street–it was the location of a previou

5 Harlem cocktail bars where you can celebrate the end of Dry January in style

Wouldn't it be nice to celebrate the end of Dry January–the monthlong break from booze coming to a close this weekend–not with a string of mediocre drinks, but with one great cocktail? Luckily, Harlem has an increasingly wide array of intimate bars where you can sip on a truly well-crafted drink. From south to north, here are five to check out this Saturday–or any day you need an escape from the ordinary. 67 Orange Street Central Harlem 2082 Frederick Douglass Blvd between 112th and 113th Sts Now a Harlem classic–it's been in the neighborhood for over a decade–this intimate, bi-level bar is both sophisticated and chill. Its name is a nod to the Five Points address where a famed 19th-century

Claire Oliver Gallery opens in Central Harlem, cementing a new mini art district

Harlem, we have a new mini art district. After 18 years in Chelsea, the Claire Oliver Gallery has moved to the ground floor of a four-story brick townhouse at 2288 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard between W 134th and W 135th Streets. It joins two other new art spaces nearby: the African-inspired Kente Royal Gallery, which opened last summer at 2373 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard between W 138th and W 139th Streets, and the two-year-old Faction Art Projects/Gallery Eight at 2602 Frederick Douglass Boulevard at W 139th Street. The dynamic Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, one avenue to the east, regularly exhibits art in its galleries. The formerly-Chelsea-based gallery debuted

These 3 intimate Harlem restaurants are perfect for Valentine's Day

This year Valentine's Day falls on a Friday, a notoriously difficult day to find reservations at a sought-after spot. And if the restaurant is small, the odds of getting a table are even harder. So with less than three weeks before the romantic holiday, here's a reminder that if you want to score a reservation at these intimate, chef-driven Harlem spots, you need to act now. Gaudir East Harlem 251 E 110th St between Second and Third Aves Occupying the ground floor of a charming East Harlem townhouse, this modern tapas restaurant is helmed by Cedric Durand, a chef who earned his chops in Michelin-starred kitchens. Sit at one of the Spanish-tiled tables–the one in the back is next to a firepla

A community forum to discuss the future of Morningside Park is this Wednesday, January 29

Want to hear what the future holds for Morningside Park after last month's tragic incident that led to Barnard student Tessa Majors' death? Come to the Morningside Park Community Forum next Wednesday, January 29 at 6:30pm at the Police Athletic League, 441 Manhattan Avenue (and 119th Street). Get updates from local leaders, the 26th Precinct, the NYC Parks Department as well as representatives from Columbia and Barnard and other members of the community. For daily updates, follow The Curious Uptowner on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. #community #parks

Maria Piadina, a delivery-friendly Italian flatbread spot, opens in Hamilton Heights

There's hardly any signage outside and you can't sit down to eat, but, yes, Maria Piadina is open. The new Italian spot at 128 Hamilton Place between 142nd and 143rd Streets is a delivery-friendly "concept" with a menu by chef Roberto Passon, who owns Cotenna and a slew of other downtown wine bars. The menu focuses on fresh Italian flatbread sandwiches called piadine, which are stuffed with ingredients like prosciutto and mozzarella, roasted porchetta, and eggplant caponata. There are also breakfast and dessert piadine, plus a range of Italian coffees, both traditional and newfangled (Nutella frappuccino, anyone?). The full menu is on Seamless, GrubHub and DoorDash and–if you actually want t

Fairway disputes report it is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and closing all of its stores

Fairway is apparently in some trouble. Last night, the New York Post reported that the beloved New York grocer is planning to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This would mean the supermarket chain would close all 14 of its stores, including the huge Harlem location right by the Hudson River, known for its 10,000-square-foot walk-in cold room and ample parking. But this morning Fairway tweeted it "has no intention to file for chapter 7 or liquidate all of its stores. All 14 stores remain open for business, offering a complete range of high quality, specialty food products, and we look forward to seeing our customers and employees." Time will tell what will happen, but if the bankruptcy does g

The 10 most Instagrammable signs in Harlem

Harlem's signs, whether they're neon, flashing with bright bulbs, painted by hand or issued by the city, are a part of what make the neighborhood such a special place. A captivating blend of old and new, some are lovingly restored remnants of the past, while others have been around for only a handful of years, already leaving their mark. Still others are in such a sorry state of disrepair, they might not last much longer–all the more reason to visit them now. Here, then, are the 10 most iconic signs in Harlem–the one you're likely to see scrolling through Instagram–and where to find them. From south to north, they are: 1. Harlem State of Mind Angel of Harlem, 2272 Frederick Douglass Blvd and

It's hot chocolate season–here's where to indulge in Harlem and beyond

The forecast says snow, meaning it's the perfect weekend for grabbing a hot chocolate and walking in a winter wonderland. Here's where to indulge uptown: Little Bean Coffee 111 Central Park North at Lenox Ave This indie cafe is just across the street from Lasker Rink in Central Park. There's a lot to be said for unlacing your skates, taking a scenic walk past the Harlem Meer, and warming up with an artfully prepared hot chocolate served in a bright yellow cup. Super Nice Bakery 156 E 117th St between Third and Lexington Aves Just a year old, this teeny East Harlem bakery has a way of gilding the lily when it comes to its many sweet treats. The hot chocolate is no exception–it comes with a pe

6 ways to celebrate Martin Luther King in Harlem this weekend

Harlem's the perfect place to find events that celebrate the civil rights giant in big ways and small: Celebrating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Sugar Hill Children's Museum, 898 St. Nicholas Ave at 155th St Saturday, January 18 and Sunday, January 19 A concert by the children's chorus Voices Boston celebrating MLK on Saturday at 3pm is followed by Sunday's free program including MLK-inspired art-making, storytime and more. Martin Luther King Family Tribute Menu Red Rooster Harlem, 310 Lenox Ave between 125th and 126th Sts Available Monday, January 20 Enjoy this special three-course menu inspired by MLK and his family with dishes such as toasted sesame bread, turkey neck soup,

What's coming to Harlem and beyond in 2020

Lately it feels like there's a buzzy new restaurant, coffee shop or bar opening in Harlem and beyond every week. And it's true–uptown's storefronts have become hives of construction activity. From ramen joints to ice cream shops, here are just some of the notable spots set to debut this year, based on public notices, tips and of course announcements from the businesses themselves. Food and coffee: In the not-all-chains-are-awful category, Mexican eatery Dos Toros and coffee roaster Blue Bottle are coming to 2901-2913 Broadway between W 113th and W 114th Streets in Morningside Heights. A food hall from chef and TV personality Franklin Becker is taking over the northeast corner of 3227 Broadwa

Goodbye Spain, hello Cuba: Havana Heights takes over old Galicia space in Washington Heights

The Old World has made way for the New World. Cuban eatery Havana Heights just opened at 4081-4083 Broadway in a space that was once home to Galicia, the 25-year-old Spanish restaurant that closed in 2018 due to a rent hike. Galicia's old-fashioned red-and-white-checked tablecloths have been replaced with industrial chandeliers and colorful murals evoking Cuba in a large, open space (the eatery took over two storefronts, including the corner). Havana Heights' long menu includes plenty of grilled meat and seafood options; the owners previously ran a butcher shop on the same corner. And unlike many of the neighborhood's roast chicken spots, the Cuban eatery specializes in whole chicken that's

A massive new Food Bazaar just opened in the Bronx Terminal Market (just across the Harlem River)

Food Bazaar–the ever-expanding Tri-state supermarket chain where you can fill your cart not just with Cheerios but with things like bitter melon, goat meat and conchas–just opened a new 80,000-square-foot location in the Bronx Terminal Market. The store's fifth location in the Bronx took over the old Toys R Us space on level 4 of the Bronx Terminal Market at 610 Exterior Street. Founded by a Korean immigrant who came to the U.S. by way of Argentina, the store's newest branch is a wonderland of products from around the world, with a particular focus on Asia, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. A quote recently featured on Food Bazaar's Instagram account might say it best: it's "basi

Harlem is trending...as a popular dog name

Pet care service provider Rover has released its list of top pet names in New York City in 2019, and if you live uptown, one immediately stands out. According to the company, Harlem rose 142% in popularity as a dog name. (Thanks to Calvin for illustrating the story so perfectly, even if his name isn't Harlem.) One can only guess the name has started trending as the neighborhood has been undergoing its own renaissance. Other increasingly popular New York-centered names include Bronx and Brighton, which trended up last year by 41% and 400% respectively. What's next, Inwood? Photo: @calvinbthedog For daily updates, follow The Curious Uptowner on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. #Harlem #pets

Uptown links, celeb edition: Cardi B invites Vogue into her grandmother's home in Washington Heights

In this special edition of Uptown Links, a look at what some of your favorite local celebs have been up to recently: • Cardi B welcomed Vogue to the hood for this "73 Question with Cardi B" video filmed in her grandmother's apartment in Washington Heights, the "happy place" where the rapper frequently spends her downtime. [YouTube] • Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka gave a tour of their 1800s Harlem brownstone–it was once a speakeasy, a music school for girls, and a bed and breakfast–all dressed up for the holidays. [AD] • Leading up to Small Business Saturday, Lin-Manuel Miranda shared a list of his favorite local shops and restaurants in Washington Heights, including Word Up Bookshop,

These uptown step streets have all the cinematic drama of the 'Joker' stairs–and none of the crowds

If you're looking to recreate the now-famous "Joker" stairs scene–the one in which Joaquin Phoenix's character dances down a set of steep city steps–you'll need to head to W 167th Street between Shakespeare and Anderson Avenues in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. But if you simply admire their cinematic drama and wish to avoid all the tourists, you have plenty of other choices around the city. Some might even be close to where you live. According to the city's Open Data website, there are more than a dozen step streets–the city's name for these block-long open-air stairs–in Upper Manhattan alone (no surprise to anyone who lives here–it's home to some of the highest points in all of NYC).

Le Petit Parisien brings authentic (read: crispy and airy) French baguette sandwiches to Harlem

Harlem's got a new French sandwich shop, and this one's a little obsessed with getting its baguettes just right. The crispy, airy loaves at Le Petit Parisien at 151 Malcolm X Boulevard–there's another location in the East Village–aren't just made with imported French flour, they're also prepared by venerable New York bakery Orwashers (according to the shop's own recipe). The baguettes are featured in the cafe's dozen sandwiches, which feel straight out of France–there's the classic Le Parisien (bone-in cooked ham and butter), the Napoleon (dried sausage, cornichons and butter), and the Edith Piaf (duck rillettes and cornichons). The sunny shop also sells fresh croissants (they've got the rig

How to watch the Three Kings Day Parade even if you can't make it to East Harlem

The annual Three Kings Day Parade, which brings live camels, puppets, music and dancing to the streets of East Harlem on Epiphany, is set for this Monday, January 6. Hosted by El Museo del Barrio, the procession kicks off at 11am at 106th Street and Lexington Avenue. The parade then heads east, ending at 12:30pm at 115th Street and Park Avenue. The fun doesn't end there. El Museo is opening its doors to free events before and after the parade, including a breakfast starting at 8:30am and live music by Los Pleneros de la 21 at 1pm. Can't make it to East Harlem? The event is also being live streamed on the museum's Facebook page. Photos: El Museo del Barrio For daily updates, follow The Curiou

Yesterday's Hudson fog was magical (and very picture-worthy)

What do you get when the weather outside turns a balmy 50 degrees (for New York in January) and the river temperature hovers somewhere in the low 40s? A foggy spectacle is what. Yesterday those exact conditions along the Hudson River created a rare effect: a thick fog rolling across the water, shrouding, then revealing, passing boats and the boxy New Jersey skyline beyond. A smattering of people who happened to be walking along the fog-covered West Harlem Piers yesterday afternoon stopped, stared in amazement, then took a picture–or five. These are some of The Curious Uptowner's own snapshots from the afternoon. For daily updates, follow The Curious Uptowner on Facebook, Instagram and Twitte

Jumpstart your fitness goals at these unique uptown gyms and studios

The holiday eat-a-thon is finally over. As you start working on your New Year's fitness resolutions, here are some unique uptown gyms to consider. Listed from south to north: Women's World of Boxing 2147 Second Ave between E 110th and E 111th Sts Choose from private or group boxing classes at the city's first privately owned and operated women's boxing gym. Tamron Hall is a fan. Sword Class NYC 1944 Madison Ave and E 125th St This basement martial arts studio has classes in everything from Light Saber Fitness to Advanced Applied Longsword for students of all ages. Steep Rock West 3225 Broadway and W 129th St A sunny bouldering spot on Columbia's new campus with both group and private classes

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A Curated guide to life in Harlem And beyond
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