Neighborhood Watch

Columbia Daily Spectator

125th Street looks a lot different now than it did in 1934, when Hurtig and Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater reopened as the Apollo Theater. Since then, the Apollo’s history as a home for African-American performers endures. But the Apollo isn’t the only trace of Harlem’s colorful history—the times have changed, but music, art, and food have remained constant influences. You may have thought there was no walk longer than the one to Pupin, but stick it out a little longer and explore Harlem this weekend.

West 125th Street


Studio Museum

The Studio Museum isn’t the size of a full-fledged museum, but it’s definitely not a gallery, either. Its art occupies a comfortable space where you can feel closely connected to the exhibitions while simultaneously being affected by the impressive variety of work. And the museum offers a great display of art related to African-American culture and experience. On exhibit until March 9 is “Radical Presence,” an interactive chronology of black performance art over the years. 

144 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027


It would be tough to talk about Harlem’s history and not bring up its many jazz clubs. Showman’s, originally established right next to the Apollo, embodies a rich legacy of music and performance in the black community, with Eartha Kitt and Sarah Vaughan among many who have graced its stage. Now, the club hosts live entertainment Wednesday through Saturday. There’s no cover, but there is a two-drink minimum (I don’t view this a problem, but you might). 

375 West 125th St.
New York, NY 10027

Red Rooster

Soul food spots in Harlem are as common as bus stops, and each has a special energy of its own. Although pricier than neighboring restaurants, Red Rooster seeks to unite the many paths of soul food—it’s a focused celebration of the neighborhood and its food. If you ever end up forgetting to transfer to the 1 train at 96th Street after a night downtown, don’t worry. Red Rooster is open for Midnight Brunch and is sure to satisfy cravings with a nightcap or a stack of pancakes.

310 Lenox Ave
New York, NY 10027

LaGree Baptist Church

Your mom would probably be happy if you went to church this Sunday. Why not take a trip uptown and do it like the Baptists do? LaGree is a church historically connected with the neighborhood, but it has also gained outsider attention for its vibrant services. Spirited gospel performances and the congregation’s powerful energy are sure to make for a special experience. 

362 West 125th St.
New York, NY 10027

Serengeti Teas & Spices

I feel like I’ve had enough Argentinian mate for a lifetime—thankfully, Serengeti Teas & Spices offers an overwhelming selection of teas from around the world. Here, the owner interacts with his customers with a passion and knowledge of tea he inherited from his grandmother in Cameroon. Whether you’re looking for your next tea obsession or an afternoon sampling, this store will surely have something for you on its shelves.

2292 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
New York, NY 10027