Local scenery

I’m always happy to take the little fella for his morning walk. We always head down Frederick Douglass bvd which is by far my favourite street in Harlem. I really enjoy the scenery along and around it. And because Noah’s vocabulary has come on leaps and bounds since being here, I actually enjoy the little conversations we have (until he falls asleep).  Once upon a time I was an influential figure on the UK marketing scene (some say). And now I idle the hours away chatting with an 18 month year old. Ha!

It usually takes around an hour or so for him to fall asleep so we cover some ground – I mean geographically not conversationally. And today it was quite a pleasant morning with the rain having blown over. So I thought I’d take a few shots of some of the buildings and sights that caught my eye this morning…

Probably my favourite row of brownstones in this area because I love the way the stoop turns 90 degrees…

Most emergency escape ladders that they put on the outside of buildings here are really ugly but these look nicely designed, and almost elegant…

This is an empty office block on a triangle of land at the junction of FD Blvd and St Nicholas and it reminds me of the Flat Iron building. It’s dinkier and I love it. If I ran a company and had 5 million dollars to spend on a head office, I’d buy this place…

I’m also rather partial to this small office block which reminds of the places around Hoxton in London…

Next up a view towards the college chapel up at Colombia University looking along 122 st….

Across the junction here is possibly my favourite store in Harlem…

I’ve never been in as I’ve no need for the product or should I say I’ll never buy a hat because I look a complete prick in any type of headgear. But I love the name of the place and I like to peer in.  You can get anything from a Panama hat to a trilby and they even have an extensive supply of cutesy Tyrollean numbers.  Who would have thought the local populace would be big into headgear favoured by Adolf Hitler. That’s NYC for you.

Now an anonymous apartment block heading up towards 125th. It looks like nothing from street level but look up and it’s decorated with fabulous detailing especially at the highest levels including – if you zoom in – a high level balcony running right around the top floor. Neat, though scary.

Compare it with the horrible slab of a building sited across the same junction…

I can’t find anything nice to say about this monolith which happens to be the main civic centre for the Harlem district. I don’t want to get all Prince Charles about this but it always amazes me how an authority can approve a monstrosity like this for its own administrative centre. If I was the President (and let’s face it I might be in with a shout these days) civic construction projects should be tasked with delivering architectural merit to their surroundings. Not concrete bunkers like this.

Enough of sitting on a high horse. Next up a typical bit of street dedication; I may have mentioned earlier that at the end of our street lies Lenox Ave which is also re-dedicated as Malcolm X Blvd. But at the other end of the street lies Adam Clayton Powell  Blvd which is already a re-dedication and as you can see from the street signs below they’ve also re-re-dedicated the top section of it to a former great boxer, hence Sugar Ray Robinson Way…

Our local police station is just a typical Frank Gehry design; beautiful, contemporary concrete slab. It’s an Assault waiting to happen…

Just grim. But next up some uplifting street art; here’s a fab end of terrace mural just near Precinct 28 police bunker…

And here’s a screen across a vacant lot but instead of just some boring wood panels somebody authorised a series of cool abstract art installations – I love this kind of thing…

Talking of art and culture, you can’t walk around NYC without bumping into a film crew and we passed these guys on the way home filming on the stoop of a nearby brownstone property…

Finally another bit of sidewalk art, this time around the theme of protect yo heart. I’ve no idea what it’s about but I’ll try and find out but these pavement stencils are all over the place…

It’s not a bad slogan though is it?



2 thoughts on “Local scenery

  1. Hi Paul – you probably won’t remember me but I was Helen’s best mate during our school years in P-l-F!

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs – particularly as my husband and I visited NYC for the first time last year and absolutely fell in love with it. So much so that we are planning another trip next year and we really can’t wait!

    We didn’t have time to fit Harlem into our itinerary but it will definitely feature in our 2018 visit.

    In the meantime I’m looking forward to reading more about your experiences in that wonderful city!

    Sarah Norris (nee Burke)


    1. Hi Sarah
      Lovely to hear from you and thanks for the nice comments. I’m just in Macy’s – carol’s going some retail therapy. You must visit this place next time you’re here! Thanks for following the blog. Take care Sarah


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s