Tag Archives: 67 Orange

Harlem Arts Festival Gala a Huge Success

HAFExecCommittee

Harlemcondolife.com @HarlemHCL

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.

HAFArtistQueenEsther

HAFArtistBenBarso

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.”

NealLudevigSenatorPerkins

New Wine Bar coming soon on Frederick Douglass Blvd.

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.

Society Coffee…One Last Time… (A note from Karl)

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.

Sincerely,

Karl Franz Williams

67 Orange Street Spirit Tasting Event this Tuesday at 7 pm



67 Orange Street is located at 2082 Frederick Douglas Blvd, between W112th & W113th Streets.
Please note: RSVP is required at Reservations@67OrangeStreet.com