Saturday, July 12, 2014

The ever changing Harlem, NYC

Today I went to Harlem, to the Harlem Book Fair, to see Atim Oton at the Calabar Imports booth.
Atim and her friend Cassandra in Harlem
For those decrying the "whitification" of Harlem, I didn't see much of it. Maybe they stayed home.
On the other hand, there were many Africans, in all kinds of traditional dress, speaking different languages, including French.
I saw no books at the Book Fair, but there were booths selling clothing, jewelry, hair products, African art... There seems to be no need to travel to the African continent anymore to buy anything: I saw Ghanaian-made dresses, bags and clutches, necklaces made of fabric at Calabar; traditional glass and amber bead necklaces; children's clothes; statues and masks, fabric and more (but no books). Maybe the books were elsewhere.
Adana Collins (above) creates hand-painted earrings and braid ornaments for very reasonable prices. Her company's name is Lovable Treasures, and she also sells at Calabar Imports.
On the way back to the Harlem MetroNorth station, I passed food stalls, and more African booths.


Getting closer to 125th, on Lenox Avenue, the gentrification was more apparent, in the form of a mini-Restaurant Row: Astor Row Cafe, Red Rooster, Chez Lucienne (and those are just the ones following each other!).


On 125th Street, to the west of 5th Avenue, on the north side, a pastry shop featuring red velvet cakes is to open soon; samples were being handed out on the sidewalk.
A painted gate on Lenox Avenue

On 135th Street, this statue is said to have been created by a Nigerian artist.