Friday, June 11, 2021


Harlem Bespoke:  UPDATE: Saturday, June 12th will be the soft opening according to the social media post.

 Things are really moving along at the former Bierstrasse location on 12th Avenue by West 133rd Street and we took the above photo while walking by the location yesterday.  We mentioned last month that a Long Island City restaurant called Skinny's Cantina is apparently getting ready to open a second location in Manhattanville and now there are palm plants all along the sidewalk.  Renovations still appear to be going on inside and official signage has not been displayed yet but that should change very soon.  Curb appeal appears to be a major aesthetic decision here and we are all for it!  For more on Skinny's Cantina arriving uptown, check out our past post: LINK


Harlem Bespoke: Number 13 Sylvan Terrace went up on the market just 2 weeks ago for the asking of $1.699 million and is one of the sharpest priced renovated townhouses on the market. Not a lot of original details in this one but everything is brand new looking inside.  As previously mentioned, these landmark wood frame homes are located on one of the most charming cobblestone blocks in the city by 161st Street just right off of St. Nicholas Avenue and in close proximity of the subway station.  The supermarket is also just down the block along with the majestic Morris-Jumel Mansion on the east side.  More details and contact information can be found on Streeteasy: LINK 2021


Harlem Bespoke:  The Harlem Bespoke companion Instagram account is also now live and has color videos of the best restaurants to order out from this weekend. Food ideas for lunch or dinner will be updated several times for those who want a little inspiration on new spots to try out.  Remember calling up to make an order is best since it helps local eateries avoid exorbitant app fees.   Cinema Bespoke will be the visual social media presence for Harlem Bespoke for video and photos of uptown or greater New York City so make sure to follow for the latest news:  LINK 2021


Saturday, June 12th, 1:00PM-3:00PM, Springtime in Bloom - Drawing From Nature in the Garden  at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, 65 Jumel Terrace, between 160th and 161st Street. In this workshop for children, gather in the Mansion's sunken garden to learn the basics of sketching and use some of the beautiful varieties of plants, herbs, and flower blossoms as our inspiration. Have fun creating pencil drawings with provided materials, and enjoy being surrounded by greenery and fresh air. Anyone can learn the simple steps we'll use to shade and build volume, but seasoned sketchers are also welcome.  Drawing kits supplied at this FREE event with registration at the MJM site: LINK 2021

Thursday, June 10, 2021


Harlem Bespoke:  In celebration of Pride Month, HB will be revisiting some of the great history of uptown's LGBT legacy that goes back to the Renaissance years.  This article was previously published back in 2014 and reveals the range of diversity in Harlem seldom covered by the mainstream media.

James Vander Zee was the famous society photographer of the Harlem Renaissance but few have seen the rare photo from 1927 which blatantly shows the popularity of LGBT culture within the neighborhood doing those years.  A portrait called Beau of the Ball is a play on the traditional cotillions of the time that introduced young women of age to society in a formal manner.  In the gay world, the ceremony took on a more sensational direction with men dressing up as women to entertain the crowds.  Harlem and the village both became a center of gay culture in the early 20th century and the legendary ball scene attracted over 6 thousand revelers to the annual coming out parties of which was a mix of race, class and sexuality.

From what we have researched, the counter culture of the Jazz Age was pretty much for liberal thinkers in that extreme decade of change and the Harlem ball scene was a central part of nightlife for those progressively minded.  Apparently the conservative religious groups were not too happy with it all but this was considered an integral part of popular society during the Prohibition years.  Ballroom culture would stay underground many decades after its height of visibility but would once again be put into the forefront by the late 80s when a dance movement called Vogueing was created within this hidden world of Harlem's Demi-Monde: LINK 2021