Youth took to the stage at The Apollo recently for Amateur Night and boy did it shine bright! Watch Reignn Acedera sing a Whitney Houston song at the The Apollo Theater for the famous Amateur Night. She does a good job and clearly wants a singing career. If you go to YouTube she has several videos!
And by the way, she won the kids division at Amateur Night at The Apollo. Read the story here and see another video!
While The Wall Street Journal recently posted their Walkabout in Harlem with Vibe Magazine Co-CEO Brett Wright and the WSJ’s Lee Hakwins, I want to share how I did my very own Walkabout with family members who were visiting Harlem from out West during Thanksgiving week. My Walkabout in Harlem included four kids, one adult (appearances will be smudged for obvious reasons) and one objective: to show them why I love Harlem and how they’ll end loving Harlem right back.
For clarification, two kids were entirely new to New York City. The other half have visited NYC before, however they never received a thorough Walkabout in Harlem. So what did I show my family in Harlem? Let’s begin.
First stop was Morningside Park. Since I had four kids with me, I wanted them to see the greenery that Harlem has to offer. After we walked through parts of Morningside Park, I challenged the kids to race each other up on one of the section of steep steps. I said, “pretend you are Rocky and race to the top.” And so they did! They reached the top in no time. I mentioned how some of the steep steps are workout areas for locals.
After the park, we walked over to Columbia University. I had to be a good and influential family member who must encourage education into the minds of little ones. I wanted them to see an Ivy League located in West Harlem.
Next on the list was St. John the Divine. The kids could not believe they were seeing something so massive and majestic! I told them when they get older and travel to part of Europe, they will see similar cathedrals.
We then made our way to Frederick Douglass Circle. Some of these kids have teachers as parents so I wanted them to learn a bit about Harlem’s history through sculptures. I also wanted them to ask, who is this sculpture of? It was a perfect segue to explain what they were seeing.
Next stop was the Duke Ellington sculpture. At this stop, I took the opportunity to remind both kids and adult that Harlem is the birthplace of jazz and that Duke Ellington played a major role. My family was impressed with the size and scope of this sculpture. And of course the kids wanted to stand underneath the sculpture. When your little, how can one resist.
The weather was perfect during our Walkabout in Harlem and Harlem Meer was a Fall magnet. My family thought this part of Central Park North was absolutely gorgeous! On that day my relatives wanted to just hang by the pond and watch the geese and ducks swim by!
To end the Walkabout in Harlem, we headed to 125th Street to see Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater and partake in some street vendor shopping. On 125th Street the kids purchased t-shirts that said “Harlem or I love Harlem.” Clearly, my family Walkabout in Harlem was a success. It caught on to youth clothing that will be worn out West. My objective was…mission accomplished!
Since our inception well over a year ago, HarlemCondoLife (HCL) has been introduced to several interesting people living and working in Harlem-particularly local artists who have a positive link to Harlem. HCL would like to introduce some of these individuals to you, along with their work, in hope that you will be moved and amazed by the wealth of talent that lives right here in our Harlem community. We certainly are impressed and excited to have you meet some of these talented individuals on our blog site. To help us kick off our first HCL Artist Profile, first up is a local watercolorist. In a Q&A (questions and answers) format, meet Lynn Lieberman in her own words on Harlem in watercolor.
What is your area of specialty? And why do you feature Harlem in your art work?
My primary area is watercolor. I live, work and create right here in Harlem. Most of my work is small format-note cards of everything from the famous Lenox Lounge to Apollo Theater to Lee Lee’s Bakery, where Mr. Lee displays my painting of his bakery. In an effort to capture more of Harlem, last year I created a watercolor map of Harlem, which was updated this year and can be viewed on my website.
As for why Harlem, we have street after street of graceful prewar buildings, each with their own unmistakable curves and lines. Many have been home to the people who reside there for decades, and signs of love and longevity protrude from window boxes, along with flower pots and signs in the windows.
Does Harlem move and inspire your art work?
Inspiration here in Harlem is endless for a watercolorist. No matter how many times I walk the streets of Harlem, I always see something different and new to paint, from the Harlem Meer in the Fall to Fields Court at Christmas to the colorful Minton’s Jazz Club, Mike’s Newsstand on 122nd Street and Lenox Avenue, and to Tonnie’s Minis, where they also display my note card painting of the place.
Is it challenging to use Harlem in your work?
The only challenge to painting Harlem is what to leave out.
Aside from watercoloring Harlem, HCL has to ask what are some of your favorite things about it?
Harlem Seasons. At the first sign of Spring and all through the Summer, window sills are abound with color right up until Halloween pumpkins and Christmas trees with lights. No Holiday is forgotten here.
Harlem people. Where else in this City can you find people sitting on the sidewalk in their beach chairs enjoying a beautiful Summer evening or barbecuing in front of their building?
Harlem has a plethora of green space from our major Parks to our local Green Thumb gardens-giving us easy access to hours of walking or bike riding from the minute we walk out our front door.
Our diversity is great. I was born here in the City and have lived in a variety of places over the years, always returning home. Harlem is a place where I feel most comfortable and the place where I live with my family.
In full disclosure, I have purchased notecards from Lynn as gifts. They were a hit on the receiving end with friends and family. Don’t miss out on seeing Lynn’s work in person. Her work is currently hanging, with framed pieces for sale , at Native Restaurant and Il Caffe Latte-both on Lenox Avenue and for sale unframed at www.afinelyne.com
And if you know of a local artist we should spotlight on HCL, who resides in Harlem and their work is linked to all things positive about Harlem, please send your recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org.