March 17th, 2014 by harlemhouse

Urban Garden Center HarlemCondoLife

Those of us here at HarlemCondoLife were deeply saddened to learn that Urban Garden Center located directly across the street from the 2 buildings that exploded and collapsed in East Harlem experienced extensive damage.  Luckily none of their staff were hurt in the blast but they did lose friends and many who were seriously hurt.  I think we all join them with our deep sympathies in this devastating tragedy.  These older buildings have to be made secure so that people can feel safe in their homes.  This should have never happened and precautions must be taken so that it will not happen in the future.

So now in the aftermath we can help our neighbors. We here at the blog love this local business Urban Garden Center and visit them each year for plants in our homes as well as our common roof deck garden in the summertime. They’ve always been very neighborly and friendly.  Please visit their “help” page created by Dimitri Gatanas  and if possible do what you can to help out this local business.  It is businesses such as these which make Harlem and our community so great.  We hope that Dimitri and the crew at Urban Garden Center are rebuilding and back to normal soon just in time for Spring/Summer planting.


photo by Susan Cohan circa Spring 2013

Here is the link Urban Garden Center. Please repost / retweet and if you are able, contribute to their gofundme account.


photo by the Associated Press via the Washington Post March 12, 2014

Read more here…

“On Wednesday March 12, 2014, we began our day like any other day under the MTA viaduct on East 116th St. and Park Avenue.  What we never expected to ever happen, became our reality.  An explosion blew up two neighborbing buildings directly across from our retail shop.  We weredirectly in the ‘line of fire’ and suffered a lot of damage.  Luckily, none of our staff was hurt in the blast.  We did, however, lose friends and many are seriously hurt.

While we are thankful for being spared, the timing of this disaster has made our ability to open in time for spring questionable.  We continue to  endure a long and blistery winter.  This made for slower than expected sales.  The need for resources are more important than ever.  We personally invested into the preparation of spring, which most of the work has been blown away from the explosion.  Spring is the most important season for our business and not opening in the next couple of weeks will seriously impact our ability to stay in business….. continue reading“)

Posted in business, Central Harlem, Community, East Harlem, Gardening, Harlem, New York City Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 22nd, 2013 by HarlemGuy


I spent many summers on a farm with my family and cousins. We watched large machines pulled by tractors turn fields of waving tan coloured plants into sturdy bales of hay.

So it was with great fondness that I read in the New York Times about a movement to use bales of hay to grow gardens in places like Harlem New York City where concrete reigns or soil is not otherwise available or suitable.

I was even more pleased to read that Harlem (specifically East Harlem) is once again at the forefront of something new: one of our very own local businesses has bales for sale!

According the New York Times: “The Urban Garden Center on Park Avenue in East Harlem charges $12 for a bale, with a $25 delivery fee to the street. Dimitri Gatanas, whose family owns the store, reported that last fall, “we sold more than we have in 50 years.” When straw is a hot commodity in Manhattan, something strange is blossoming.”

If you are in Harlem and a part of this movement we would love to hear from you and and help share pictures of and promote your efforts.

Posted in Cooking, Food, Gardening, Health & Wellness Tagged with: , , , , , ,

April 19th, 2009 by

by Harlemista


I was looking to re-pot a beautiful hydrangea bought at Harlem Flo and the gentleman there referred me to Mushtari Hardware. What a surprise! In the front it’s a well-priced, extensive hardware store but walk to the back and there’s a hidden floral feast. Or maybe a mini tropical rain forest. Immediately my nose was hit with a beautiful waft of humid fragrant air and my eyes were filled with vibrant hues of healthy, flowering greenery. Beyond the plants themselves, Mushtari sells seeds, bags of potting soil, gardening implements and numerous planters. The people that work there are helpful and amiable and the entire store seemed to be quite popular and crowded. Mushtari Hardware is the perfect place to establish your urban garden.


Mushtari Hardware

31 W 125th st. 10027


Posted in Harlem Tagged with: , , , , ,