With the cool early fall nights comes that extra urgency to go out, to squeeze in every last moment of breezy fun before the season swings. Where better on such nights than a Harlem jazz club? Unfortunately, Harlem jazz clubs are an endangered species losing habitat quickly. But never fear, the Harlem Renaissance lives on–in maps.

This map from 1932 brings us into the Harlem of Cab Calloway and Bojangles. This map is pregnant with hilarious details and the personality of E. Simms Campbell (the first black cartoonist to publish nationally), its creator. The map has a sense of humor and pulsates with the energy of the place it portrays.

This map comes from the excellent Strange Maps blog written for Big Think by Frank Jacobs who found the map originally posted here, at Mike Thibault’s blog. Thibault first saw the map in a documentary about Cab Calloway who, while looking at the map and recalling the different places in it, remarked that at $0.25 the marijuana cigarettes were quite a deal. Below is the detail Calloway refers to.


The map is full of micro-level information. It recalls our previously featured hand drawn maps by Jenni Sparks bout which we said, “These are the maps tourists should have, essentially visual guidebooks.” This map even more so. Check out the advice the map offers below:


Notice the legend: “The only important omission[on the map] is the location of the various speakeasies but since there are 500 of them, you won’t have much trouble…”

To see a large version of the entire map visit Mike Thibault’s flikr here.

Get in touch with the author @youngzokeziah. See more maps in our Fun Maps column.

 Fun Maps, harlem

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