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June 11th, 2010 by

by HarlemOnaBudget

Pic from Panoramio google images

For those who don’t know Strictly Roots, I highly advise visiting. It is a small and simple venue, easily overlooked if you don’t know it’s there. The atmosphere is laid back and beautiful in its neighborhood feel. Nice as a quick/casual lunch or dinner for everybody, the restaurant is also a must see for vegetarians. Their Vegetarian/Vegan menu has plenty of interesting & healthy options including smoothies, ginger beer, tofu tempura, and veggie salmon.

Pic from “Yelp Eats!”

In addition to the relaxing atmosphere, Strictly Roots provides a friendly staff and the price is right, dishes range from $9 – $15 a plate. It is also BYOB. No reservations necessary.

Strictly Roots Inc
2058 7th Ave
New York, NY, 10027
(212) 864 – 8699
Hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Price: $9 – $15

May 12th, 2010 by

by HarlemOnaBudget

Weusi poster, on sale at the Dwyer Cultural Center

“Weusi Revisited: 2010 showcases  the historically seminal work of the Weusi Collective. Founded in 1965, the Harlem-based Weusi (”way-oo-see,” which means Blackness in Swahili) are considered progenitors of the Black Arts Movement and were among the first artists to make African imagery a central part of their work.” – Dwyer Cultural Center Website (

If you haven’t seen it yet and you have a free afternoon this summer, go visit this amazing exhibit. I have been several times and find it to be both beautiful and powerful. Aside from the afrocentric colorful works, there is also an accompanying video featuring interviews with the individual artists who explain why and how they create their paintings. Also, it’s free! – just a suggested donation from those that can.

Weusi Painting

Gaylord Hassan in front of some of his works featured in the Weusi Reunion at the Dwyer Cultural Center. Photograph by Hubert Williams

"Unaligned" by Robert Daniels


“Weusi Revisited: 2010”
Exhibit ends September 3rd
Free ($5 suggested donation)
at the Dwyer Cultural Center
258 St. Nicholas Avenue (123rd Street)

For more information: 212-360-3255

April 18th, 2010 by

By HarlemOnaBudget

Harlem is a vibrant and diverse community but unfortunately we are not as healthy as we could be.  According to the New York City Department of Health, folks who live in Harlem are almost twice as likely to be obese as those who live in the rest of Manhattan and almost half (48%) report that they get no regular exercise.  Obesity and the lack of exercise lead to higher rates of diabetes and heart disease.  Surprisingly, the simple act of walking can be a step in the right direction to addressing these community health issues.

On Wednesday April 7th, National Start! Walking Day, over two hundred people, the vast majority of them students of Frederick Douglass Academy I, took a walk in Harlem. Organized by Mentoring in Medicine, Inc. and cosponsored by Frederick Douglass Academy I and the American Heart Association, this short walk demonstrated the importance of exercise and the need for cardiovascular health education in our community. It was also a precursor to the Mentoring in Medicine 16-Week Challenge, a culturally relevant exercise and health education initiative, to take place this summer.

Dr. Lynne Holden, Founder and Executive Director of Mentoring in Medicine, Inc


The afternoon started with a school assembly where Amanda Mercep, a representative of the American Heart Association, announced the 4th annual National Start! Walking day. Ms. New York USA, Davina Reeves, not only attended the local community event but also addressed the room asking all the students present to describe what they think it means to be healthy. She received a chorus of responses including such suggestions as eating vegetables, working out, and sleeping regularly. The assembly also included speeches by Dr. Lynne Holden, founder and president of Mentoring in Medicine, Inc. (MIM) and Andrew Morrison, MIM Vice-President of Operations. I remember when Dr. Holden shared a statistic stating that for every two hours of walking one can add an hour onto one’s life. The students in the room began chanting “two for one!”

If the passion I witnessed at this event is any indicator for the upcoming youth-led Mentoring in Medicine walking program this summer, I’m sure the program will be a success. Personally, I look forward to learning more and participating in the Mentoring in Medicine 16-Week Challenge as a fun, free way to get in shape. For more information email!

April 11th, 2010 by

by HarlemOnaBudget

Last week I had the pleasure of stopping by the Studio Museum in Harlem to see their spring 2010 project titled Collected. Reflections on the Permanent Collection. This collection of eight distinct exhibits features a mix of media materials and artwork given to the museum and explores how art is produced and presented.

Abstract by Julie Meheretu (from SMH website)

Of the eight exhibits, my favorite was “Catalogue: Systems of Dis/Order”, an exhibit displaying artwork that challenges normal perceptions of order with various creative patterns and shapes. I was also drawn to a collage entitled “Panthera” by Mickalene Thomas.

While “Catalogue: Systems of Dis/Order” and “Panthera” were some personal highlights, all eight exhibits have interesting and beautiful artwork. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. The exhibits will be on display through June 27th (Admission $7, free on Sundays) at the Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street (between Powell and Malcom X Blvds).  I definitely recommend stopping by!

March 15th, 2010 by

By HarlemOnaBudget

This Thursday Harlem Children’s Zone is hosting a fund raiser to support UNICEF’S Haitian Relief efforts at the Dwyer Cultural Center.  The evening will feature performances by local artists and a silent auction including dinner for two at Chez Lucienne, private showings at local galleries, and personal drawing classes. It is completely free to attend but there is a suggested donation of $10 and guests are strongly encouraged to participate in the auction—it is a fund raiser after all!

 I for one am excited to hear about and attend this event, make a donation, and enjoy the show. Join me and show your love for Haiti!

Harlem Loves Haiti: Whatever it Takes for Harlem’s Kids
Thursday, March 18, 2010
5:00pm-9:00 PM
Harlem Children’s Zone at the Dwyer Cultural Center
258 St. Nicholas Avenue (123rd Street)
For more information: 212-360-3255


Admission: $10 suggested donation