Woo wee, there's a lot going on in Harlem (and beyond) this year. Here's just some of what will be debuting in the coming weeks and months:
Museum Openings and Closings
• The Studio Museum, Harlem's premier art space dedicated to African-American artists, is closing its doors on January 15 as it prepares to construct its new David Adjaye-designed building on the same site. Satellite locations will host the museum's exhibits and programs after that.
• Uptown will be down one less museum early this summer when El Museo del Barrio re-opens its galleries after a months-long renovation.
Columbia's Manhattanville Campus
• The next building nearing completion on Columbia's Manhattanville campus is the University Forum, a meeting space on the northwest corner of 125th Street and Broadway. The opening is slated for sometime this year.
• One block up, East Harlem coffee shop Dear Mama will open its second branch in Columbia's Jerome L. Greene Science Center. It will join bouldering gym Steep Rock West, which debuted in the same building last year.
Shopping and More
• Believe it or not, even more rock climbing awaits Harlemites. Uptown will get its second major bouldering space when The Cliffs at Harlem opens sometime later this year across from the Apollo Theater.
• Joining the deluge of retailers moving to 125th Street in 2018 are Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works and P.C. Richards, to name just a few.
• Last but definitely not least, Gucci and legendary designer Dapper Dan are teaming up for a luxe new boutique set to open in a Lenox Avenue brownstone later this month.
Food and Drinks
• A number of bars and restaurants have announced their imminent arrival, including coffee and wine-seminar space Nez Cafe on Manhattan Avenue (update: this business no longer has plans to open due to a decision reached by the building it was supposed to open in), comfort food and drinks destination Archer & Goat near Mount Morris Park, and artsy cocktail lounge Sugar Monk in Central Harlem. (Photo of Potter's Field cocktail from Sugar Monk, top, via Instagram.)
• JJ Johnson may no longer be the chef at the Cecil, but you'll soon be able to own the new cookbook he wrote with his mentor Alexander Smalls, "Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day," featuring their own version of dishes like grilled watermelon salad and macaroni and cheese.
Harlem on the Little Screen
• If you were lucky (like me!), you might have glimpsed Mike Colter during the filming of the second season of Marvel's Luke Cage in Harlem last year. Even if you weren't, you can still watch the latest installment coming to Netflix later this year.
Parks and Rec
• If the construction wraps up on time, Hamilton Heights will boast a larger, more open Montefiore Park by the end of this year. The award-winning design by Thomas Balsley Associates calls for a terraced lawn and more space for festivals, performances and green markets.
• Whole Foods is definitely not the last big supermarket to open uptown. Coming soon is Asian-grocery store chain H Mart in Morningside Heights. And East Harlem will welcome its second Super Fi Emporium, set to debut in the new rental building Hap Ten on Third Avenue and East 121st Street.
• Although we're all still waiting for a Trader Joe's to open anywhere above 100th Street, for now let's be thankful for the new TJ's coming sometime this year to 93rd and Columbus. Baby steps, people!