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: , , , , , ,

May 14th, 2012 by HarlemGuy

Join Dimitri Gatanas and Bryan Ogden as they provide a series of hands on workshops and focused leaning experiences located in the heart of Harlem at the Urban Garden Center.

You can sign up for the 5 class course – or you can attend individual classes ala carte at the individual links:

Starts on Sat, May 19th, 2012 through Sat, Jun 23rd, 2012
DIY: Hot Pepper Spray- No bologna, Pepper Spray is good for pests
Gardening in the Shade of the City
Instantly Plant a Spring Window Box or Mini-Acre Garden
Green Roofs and New Technology
Planning Your Backyard Garden

Bryan Ogden is the editor for He is co-teaching this course with Dimitri Gatanas the lead designer of the Urban Garden Center. Bryan has been gardening in the city for the past three years in environments ranging from residential rooftops and balconies to restoration work for the city at the Parks Department.

Dimitri Gatanas is a professional plantsman who is a third generation retail garden center owner. Dimitri brings the knowledge of a 50 year family tradition. His expertise is in the design building and maintenance of city backyards and gardens.

Urban Garden Center is a newly founded (1 yr) enterprise focused on gardening and green lifestyle.

It’s located in the heart of Harlem beneath a train trestle.

Posted in Harlem Tagged with: , ,

June 27th, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemCondoLife
If you’re surfing through Facebook daily like I am, you can find some deals. I just came across this deal/coupon shown below by Urban Garden Center located at 116th and Park Avenue. If you like/follow them on twitter, Facebook, or tumblr, you can receive a 15 percent discount. They are giving out this coupon through their social networks as a way of saying “thanks” to those who interact with them. Not a bad way to say “thank you.” Check out Urban Garden Center on Facebook!


Posted in Community, Harlem Tagged with: , , , , ,

May 3rd, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemCondoLife
It ain’t easy being green in New York City. However, it just got easier for us Harlemites! We have the Urban Garden Center right in Spanish Harlem at East 116th Street and Park Avenue. This week Urban Garden Center is celebrating its Grand Opening May 4! They are a part of La Marqueta!

For the Grand Opening, there will be drinks, rice & beans and roasted pig! And for those that want to come up for this from downtown, take the 6 train to Lexington Avenue and 116th Street or drive! Urban Garden Center offers free parking to its patrons on Park Avenue between 117th and 118th Street. Discounts will be offered as well.

So it looks like Spanish Harlem is the place to be this week, i.e. May 4 for Urban Garden Center and May 5 for Cinco de Mayo! Que suave!

Urban Garden Center Grand Opening
Free food Great music and big discounts.
116 Street Park Avenue
May 4 2011 from 4pm to 8 pm

Posted in business, Community, Free!, Gardening, Harlem Tagged with: , , , ,