Thursday, June 17, 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 2015 and reveals the range of diversity in Harlem seldom covered by the mainstream media.

Over the weekend, we caught up with some Harlem cultural history by watching Paris is Burning for about the 30th time and still wondered where the main ballroom in the film was located at within Harlem.  There is so much going on in the amazing Jennny Livingston documentary from 1990 which showcase the underground ballroom scene of Harlem that one can miss out when the narrator mentions the Imperial Lodge of Elks at 160 West 129th Street.  Viewers actually can see the taxidermy of an elk's head up at the lacquered red balconies in many of the scenes.

Soon after, we walked by the aforementioned address just east of 7th Avenue and took the above photo which shows that the building still stands but now houses a religious institution. It would probably be feasible that the interior ballroom was actually intact nowadays since this would work for church seating but it is unclear if the interior still has the original details shown in the movie.  Ballrooms have quickly disappeared in Harlem over the last few decades but at least this legendary location is still standing as a reminder of the great, diverse culture that has always been uptown.


Harlem Bespoke:  The downtown art scene has been moving uptown in recent years but the Long Gallery on Adam Clayton Powell by 124th Street has been the local exhibit space for emerging and established talent for some time now.  The first exhibit of the year titled Interior Dialogue features painted works by Ron Norsworthy and will be up until August 14th.  Viewings can now be set up by appointment on Saturdays from Noon-3:00PM.  More details and contact information can be found on the official gallery site: LINK


Harlem Bespoke:  An intact landmark brownstone at 352 Convent Avenue located just south of 145th Street has just arrived on the market for $2.7 million. This 2-family home probably has the most original interior details that we have seen recently in a classic brownstone and everything looks to be in decent condition.  The fireplace in the bathroom is also a standout since this once common feature is rarely found anymore uptown.  Anyone familiar with Harlem will tell you that this is also one of the most beautiful historic blocks by the Sugar Hill neighborhood and rarely goes up for sale.  Express trains and Jackie Robinson Park are also a short walk aways.  More details and photos on Streeteasy: LINK


Harlem Bespoke:  The Harlem Collective co-office space debuted a second location by West 152nd Street on Amsterdam Avenue last year in an old parking garage and now has opened a coffeeshop on the ground floor.  The pandemic was also going on previously so this part of the business took a pause until now to get things started.  Notably, this is a public space and anyone can stop by to grab some java or small bites when passing by this corner of Hamilton Heights.  Outdoor seating is also a major plus!  Check out our past post for more on this local business in West Harlem: LINK


Harlem Bespoke: Those who are interested in renting, buying or selling in Harlem should check out the Bespoke Listings page which feature the top experts in Harlem and the uptown market.  Our sponsors are some of the best in the field and cover a wide range of price points within the upper Manhattan market: LINK 2021