Take a trip back to the ye old days of A.D. Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Three (1993). Harlem still had its true grit, 8mm was king of art house film, and the Queen was Latifah–at the Apollo Theater, at least. Photographer and blogger Gregoire Alessandrini gives us a rare peak into this quintessential New York neighborhood’s past through a 4 minute film of a ride he took on the M101 bus along Amsterdam and Lexington Avenues by way of 125th Street. The grainy black & white film is not the only thing about the video that has high contrast. It is remarkable to see the differences between the New York of today and the New York of just two decades ago.
We all love our iconic, innovative, and picturesque bridges (insert photos of the Brookly, Manhattan, and Queensboro Bridges here), but New York City is home to far more bridges, each with its own unique story to tell. Below, we round up some of the city’s “other” bridges, who have made the cut either for their obscurity, their interesting history, or their other distinguished features. (more…)
The historic Astor Row in Harlem dates back to land purchased by John Jacob Astor in 1844 for the sum of $10,000 on what is now 130th Street between Lenox Avenue and Fifth Avenue in Harlem. It wasn’t until 1880 though, through the efforts of his grandson William, that 28 semi-attached row houses began construction.
Originally built in 1883-84, this Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival structure was designed by architects Lamb & Rich at a time when Harlem was a suburb and 81 East 125th Street was conveniently located next to a ground-level Metro Station. The main floors were occupied by the Mount Morris Bank and Safe Deposit Company, with luxury apartments on the floors above. The structure had three arched entrances. One used for the apartments, one for the lower-level bank vault and a grand entrance to the main level of the bank. In 1913, the Mount Morris Bank became a branch of the Corn Exchange Bank.
With the seemingly countless proposed changes along the 125th Street corridor in Harlem, including the approved city rezoning plan, we thought we would take a look inside the elevated Metro North Station. There was a time, in 1844, when the New York Central and the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (ancestors of today’s Metro North) ran at grade level along Park Avenue in Harlem.
The world’s first and only pawn shop devoted entirely to sneakers is now in Harlem. And this is not for those grimy gym sneakers you have in your closet. Sneaker Pawn USA, located at 200 Lenox Avenue at 120th Street is run by a father and (teenage) son team from their Harlem apartment selling rare kicks that can sell for up to $15,000.