J.R.O.B. is an artist out of Chicago who is making his name known here in NYC. He’s refreshing – someone who brings high-level musicality and intelligence to his deeply personal views of the world and his own life experiences. He’s authentic, and is never predictable. Every song he makes is a journey full of surprises, driving beats, along with a true, relevant message.
J.R.O.B. was in Harlem at 67 Orange recently, and the atmosphere, of this wonderful, historical speakeasy inspired him to write the above account of his life experiences that led him to the moment he experienced there. He was staying at Aloft Harlem at the time, where the song was written. I asked him how it all came about: 67 Orange Street is a personal record that was sculpted at the Aloft Hotel in Harlem during a dark period of time in my life. ..the song was inspired by 67 Orange, a quaint, cozy little speakeasy that was invisible to the average eye on Frederick Douglass Blvd. in Harlem. Its array of beautifully prepared, classy and tasteful specialty cocktails, and southern style chicken served as a source of comfort during an already difficult time. The hook was created as a way of saying that I will not go down without a fight. I will remain powerful even in my darkest days.
So my friends, you heard it here. Keep an eye out for J.R.O.B. He is destined to achieve high levels of success. He’ll return to the city soon. I’ll keep you posted about his upcoming shows. Please know that the above song contains a little adult content. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think!
Posted in HarlemCondoLife Tagged with: 67 Orange, 67 Orange Street, Harlem, Harlem Condo Life, Harlem Hip Hop, Harlem Rap, Hip Hop Harlem, INto Harlem, J.R.O.B., New York City hip hop, Rap
Vote to send Ruthy Valdez to the finals for a chance to win a Solo show at Art Basel in Miami.
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin and Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation continue to partner together to showcase emerging artists.
During Artisan Series, a select group of artists will be chosen from online submissions and local art gallery events for a chance to exhibit their work at the Grand Finale event at the SCOPE MIAMI BEACH Art Show.
The creators of the top three pieces from the Grand Finale will participate in the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series Mural project in each of their hometowns, and the Grand Finale Winner will receive a solo show at SCOPE NYC in March 2015. SCOPE Arts is one of the most important shows at Miami Art Basel.
Ruthy Valdez has made it to the semi-final round of this contest. She needs our vote to get into the finals.
CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR RUTHY AND SEND HER TO THE FINALS.
You can vote once a day per entry until November 9th.
Ruthy Valdez’s has previously won another contest with Bombay Sapphire and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation this year. The earlier contest was for the most likes and shares on Instagram, for which she ultimately won the grand prize: two tickets to Russell Simmons 15th Annual Art For Life Gala in the Hamptons.
Full disclosure: We have been huge fans of Ruthy’s work since we first encountered it at Harlem’s 67 Orange several years ago. We finally met Ruthy and subsequently acquired one of her works. It delivers reflection, introspection, hope and joy each and every day. Thank you Ruthy.
Posted in Art and Culture, HarlemCondoLife Tagged with: 67 Orange, Artisan Series, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series Mural project, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, Miami Art Basel., Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, ruthy valdez, SCOPE Arts, SCOPE MIAMI BEACH Art Show., SCOPE NYC
“I travel all over the world for work and I am constantly asked to define Harlem. What’s it like, people ask. Is it cool? Is it safe? When I go to places like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to speak among celebrated thinkers and leaders, I’m often asked: Is Harlem good now? I always have to pause before answering. Good compared with what? To when? These questions all miss the mark. Is Harlem good now? That is a question loaded with long-held ideas about race and class, one that dismisses the complex, vital history of this neighborhood and its people, their contributions to civil rights and art, under one word: “bad.”
From the following op ed: http://nyti.ms/1fnop73
You can find books and more by and about Marcus and Harlem on HarlemCondoLife’s new and improved store located here.
Posted in Community, HarlemCondoLife, Quote Tagged with: 67 Orange, @HarlemHCL, A Touch of Dee, Aquavit, Bier Internationa, Cecil Hotel, crab man mike, Davos, Doug E.’s Fresh Chicken and Waffles., Harlem, Harlem Condo Life, HarlemCondoLife.com, Just Lorraine’s Place, Langston Hughes, Malcom X, marcus samuelsson, Melba Wilson, Melba's, mies davis, Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too, Paris Blues, Red Rooster, Showmans Jazz Club, Small’s Paradise, Sylvia's, The Apollo, The Cecil, The Grange, the Y, World Economic Forum, your gateway to harlem
The Cecil Restaurant in Harlem
We recently dined at Harlem’s newest upscale restaurant The Cecil. It was a night to remember. And we look forward to our next visit.
The Cecil was created by New York businessman Richard Parsons and chef Alexander Smalls. It is “New York City’s first Afro-Asian-American brasserie…Inspired by the travels, exploration and study of the African Diaspora of Chef Smalls. The Cecil will offer a global adventure in tastes and flavors as diverse and dynamic as the community in which the restaurant resides. Its goal is to connect communities through food, comfort and hospitality.”
Alexander Smalls of Cafe Beulah fame is in charge of the food here and at Minton’s which is just next door and will be opening this month. Joseph Johnson, known as Chef JJ, is in the kitchen. And Jenny Lee is the pastry chef.
The Cecil is in lower central Harlem, a few blocks north from the 2/3 train, the Harlem Meer in Central Park, and adjacent to Jazz club Minton’s, formerly known as Mintons’ Playhouse, which is in the National Register of Historic Places.
Our party of four entered through the main door. The receptionists to our right greeted us warmly and whisked us passed tables along a long window bank to the right and a large bar area to the left into a beautiful, high ceilinged, spacious room – completely unexpected and a refreshing surprise.
The Cecil – Press Release
We were fortunate enough to be seated at the chef’s table which is a wonderful booth located such that we could take in the comings and goings of staff and diners all evening long.
The service was excellent and attentive from beginning to end. This was no doubt a tribute to Beatrice, the Director of Operations, who has known one of our fellow diners for many years, and who spent time with us throughout the night.
We started our meal with several wonderful cocktails made by bartenders whose pedigree includes one of the city’s best bars 67 Orange, where making fine drinks is an art form.
We were then presented with an assortment of appetizers. The Hand-Made Bread Basket was tasty and included several dipping sauces that were smooth and rich. The Collard Green Salad and the Spinach and Black Lentil Salad were fresh, crisp and very well seasoned. The Afro / Asian / American Oxtail Dumplings were nestled in a smooth sauce with a hint of curry and were mouth-watering. The Broiled Giant Spicy Prawns were fiery with a Piri Piri Sauce resting on a flavorful Yam Flapjack. And the Spicy Crispy Ginger Squid was also good paired with Okra and accompanied by a Sweet Chili Peanut Sauce. The appetizers were plentiful and a delicious preview of the main courses to come.
Our main courses consisted of the very flavorful Rice and Vegetable Wok Bar with Sweet Brown Rice and Wok Prawns, Moist Gullah Jumbo Shrimp Burger, perfectly cooked Grilled Beef Petite Tenderloin and delicious Black Benne Seed Ahi Tuna. Conversation at our table stopped as we enjoyed every bite of our meals. Difficult as it was to share, we all tried a little of each others’ meals. The steak was especially memorable – large, lean, grilled and savory. The Ahi Tuna was PERFECT. Nice sized pieces cooked rare with Bok Choy, Coriander Yusu, Curry Crunch along with Chinese Sausages. Really unique and worth trying. Also highly recommended by Alexander Smalls himself was the Cinnamon Scented Fried Guinea Hen. We will have to try this on our next visit.
Black Benne Seed Ahi Tuna
Our meal was topped off with a variety of warm and cold treats, one of which was a rice pudding creme brûlée accompanied with lycgee ice cream. Amazing.
Rice Pudding Creme Brûlée
During our stay our meal was punctuated by visits from Alex and Beatrice, as well as our wonderful server, all of whom helped us navigate the richness of the experience that is Cecil’s.
The crowd was cosmopolitan and well dressed. The Saturday night that we were there, Melissa Harris-Perry and Joy-Ann Reid were sitting in the bar / lounge area, and the following evening, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon stopped by for dinner.
The decor consists of dark tones and leathers with mesh textures. The entrance lounge and bar area are separate from the main dining room – we really liked the layout. At night with the lighting, artwork and grand scale of everything, this really comes into full effect. The space is airy, has a wide variety of seating options, soaring ceilings, and floor to ceiling windows with just the right kind of blinds (almost appeared as a mesh like material from where we were sitting) to keep things private while not closing you in. Their artwork is very interesting, big in scale yet not busy or overcrowded. Better to have a few select pieces of art than many mediocre ones. One of our favorites is a sculpture of sorts which is the centerpiece of the bar, and which is really not to be missed. The light fixtures are very interesting as well. In particular the one below which is located in the entrance.
Lighting in the entrance
The food is a collage of flavors from afrika and asia, so well blended that they will have you longing for another visit.
210 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10026
Previous post (NEW) The Cecil – Opens Today In Harlem
Posted in Art and Culture, business, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Cooking, Culture, Design Decorating, Drink, Entertainment, Food, Harlem, History, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants, Restaurants, South Harlem (SOHA), The Cecil Tagged with: 118th Street, 67 Orange, @HarlemHCL, Alexander Smalls, Beatrice, Black Voices Huffington Post, Cafe Beulah, celebrities, Chef JJ, Chef Joe Johnson, Harlem, HarlemBlogger, HarlemBlogs, HarlemCondoLife.com, HCL, huffington post, jazz clubs, Jenny Lee, Joseph Johnson, Minton's, Mintons' Playhouse, Old Harlem, Richard Parsons, The Harlem Meer
67 Orange Street is offering their prix fixe menu until October 15, 2012. We have only four more nights to enjoy their spectacular (and dubbed as Harlem’s finest) signature cocktails along with an appetizer and entree at a discount price of $30.12. They are offering their prix fix menu between the hours of 6:00 to 10:00PM. See the list below for details on the cocktails, appetizers and Entrees offered on the prix fixe.
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Posted in Art and Culture, Drink, Food, Harlem, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, Music, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants Tagged with: 112th Street, 113th Street, 67 Orange, 67 Orange Street, @HarlemHCL, Bar, cocktails, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Harlem, Harlem Condo Life, Harlem Restaurant Week, Harlem's Restaurant Row, HarlemCondoLife.com, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, nyc, Restaurant, restaurant row, restaurant week
The Harlem Arts Festival gala fundraising event on May 16 at the Alhambra Ballroom was a smashing success raising $6,000 bringing the total amount of money raised to over $18,000 with all proceeds going directly to artists.
The Harlem Arts Festival’s mission is:
“To produce a multidisciplinary arts festival, showcasing local performers and visual artists that will inspire and nourish the artistic community in Harlem. It aims to promote arts education and literacy by implementing arts-related discussion forums, educational workshops, performance opportunities and activities for youth and family. This project will be part of Harlem’s addition to the larger, citywide commitment to provide free art in the public parks during the spring and summer months.”
The event was well attended with stylishly dressed benefactors and performers and founding members of the organization. The tables had beautiful centerpieces, with well dressed waitstaff circulating drinks and tending an open bar.
A diverse group of artists provided the evening’s entertainment. Artists included Saxophonist Ben Barson, a recent Harlem resident and one of the artists selected for the upcoming Harlem Arts Festival.
Queen Esther, with Dan Rosengard on piano, and Briana Thomas, with Conun Pappas Jr. on piano. A special dance performance by eight children of the Ballroom Basix program, a Harlem-based nonprofit non-competitive dance program that teaches children ballroom and Latin dancing skills.
For me the highlight of the evening was singer Brianna Thomas, a vocalist, teacher, composer and arranger who reminds me of my sister and who is very talented and who brought the house down. Below is my favorite performance. Please visit HarlemCondoLife.com on YouTube for more videos.
I also enjoyed catching up with founding members J.J. El-Far, Neal Ludevig and Chelsea Goding and Sakita Holley, Founder & CEO of the House of Success, all of whom impressed me with their stories of how things came to be and their passion and commitment.
My only regret is not having won anything at the silent auction, which included paintings, and offerings from Land Yoga and 67 Orange. But clearly the event did well, which is of great pleasure to me.
The inaugural Harlem Arts Festival is scheduled to take place in the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater at Marcus Garvey Park June 29-30. Out of a pool of 75 applicants, 35 artists have been selected to be part of the festival.
“There’s a very rich, creative legacy here in Harlem, but there is also a lot of talent here right now,” said J.J. El-Far, Harlem Arts Festival’s creative director. “We wanted to create a festival that celebrates all of the arts. Our artists have a diverse array of talents and they all have roots or connections here.”
Posted in Harlem, Menu Harlem Hot Spots Tagged with: 67 Orange, @HarlemHCL, Alhambra Ballroom, Arts festival, Ballroom Basix program, Ben Barson, Briana Thomas, Brianna Thomas, Conun Pappas Jr., Dan Rosengard, Esther, Harlem, Harlem Arts Festival, HarlemCondoLife.com, J.J. El-Far, Land Yoga, Marcus Garvey Park, Neal Ludevig, New Jersey, Queen Esther, Richard Rodgers, Senator Bill Perkins, Sidney Grant, visual art
Looks like a new Wine Bar will be coming to Harlem on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Through the grapevine we have been told that the empty retail space between 113th and 114th in the Gateway Towers will soon be home to another Wine Bar.
More news on this as it develops.
And don’t forget two of our other great existing spots on FDB for good wine.. Nectar Wine Bar and 67 Orange.
Posted in Drink, Harlem Tagged with: 113th Street, 114th Street, 67 Orange, 67 Orange Street, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, HarlemCondoLife, HarlemHouse, Nectar Wine Bar, Photos by HarlemHouse, The Gateway Tower
When I first moved to my slice of Harlem approx. six (or was it seven?) years ago now, from 110th – 125th on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, there was basically Mama’s (for fast food chicken), Melbas (for what I call classic american soul-food), and Patisserie Des Ambassades (for African inspired fare). Then came Society which we (and I personally) liked, frequented and promoted.
Which is why I was sad to learn that the venue was closing, effective this past Monday. And doubly sad that I could not attend closing weekend activities.
I remember many things about Society. The food, music, atmosphere including innovative DJs and interesting artwork. But I think what stands out the most is how hard the owner, Karl Franz Williams, worked. I would always see him at the store, working with staff, talking to customers, evaluating the voice of the customer through sites like Yelp, and walking to and fro between Society and 67 Orange (his other venue) on Frederick Douglass Boulevard.
To the owner of Society I give much respect, and a heartfelt thank you. As I have told him many times in person each time we’ve run into each other on the street, at a function, in Society or at his other venue 67 Orange, what he did and continues to do in Harlem is no small feat. It is simply awe-inspiring. I love entrepreneurs. Their spirit. Vision. Passion. Their pioneering ways.
I am glad Karl took the risks, has had successes, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. I’ll be a customer and advocate for life.
I look forward to Karl’s next act. Get ready for it.
Below is Society’s Farewell Notice.
Society Coffee…One Last Time… (A note from Karl)
“Dear Loyal Guests,
After seven years of serving the best coffee, red velvet waffles, and shrimp & grits in Harlem, I have made the difficult decision to close Society Coffee on Monday, October 10. A pioneer on Frederick Douglass Blvd, Society has been a true labor of love and a place I’ve called home. Over the years I have shared Society with thousands; I’ve watched people meet each other and fall in love, I’ve watched families begin and grow, deals get done, and business plans get written. I’ve watched college students work, friends hang out, and poets write. I’ve met so many great people who have changed and elevated my life.
Rooted in the richness of the Harlem community and the transformation on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Society Coffee leaves with a sense of pride and appreciation to all our friends who made each day unique and flavorful. Society has served its purpose and has set neighborhood standards for a new generation in historic Harlem. We were always very close and involved with the community and it remains in our hearts. 67 Orange Street will continue to operate and serve great cocktails.
I would like to personally thank you for all your support these past years. To show you our appreciation, I would like to cordially invite you to our closing party Monday, October 10 from 5pm-7pm.
Meanwhile, please come by this weekend and enjoy brunch with us or just say hi. Thanks again for seven great years.
Karl Franz Williams
Posted in Harlem Tagged with: 67 Orange, Karl Franz Williams, Society Cafe
67 Orange Street is located at 2082 Frederick Douglas Blvd, between W112th & W113th Streets.
Please note: RSVP is required at Reservations@67OrangeStreet.com
Posted in Community, Drink, Harlem Tagged with: 67 Orange, cocktails, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Harlem, HarlemCondoLife, NativeNewYorker, spirit tasting
By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
On June 21, look around in Harlem. You may hear music everywhere. Harlem Park to Park (HP2P) and its HP2P businesses are taking part in Make Music New York, the citywide free live musical celebration on Tuesday, June 21st.
From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., participating Harlem Park to Park businesses will become impromptu outdoor stages offering live musical performances and some select specials. A complete list of business are listed below.
Posted in Art and Culture, business, Community, Drink, Food, Free!, Harlem, Music, Restaurants Tagged with: 67 Orange, @HarlemHCL, Aloft Hotel, bier international, bikram yoga east harlem, Chez Lucienne, Harlem, Harlem Flo, Harlem Park to Park, HarlemCondoLife.com, Land Yoga, Levain Bakery, Nectar Wine Bar, new york city, Slyvia's Also, Society Cafe, your gateway to harlem