A Sunday in Harlem, New York
Harlem Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
I just read in The New York Times that there were 5 Circus in New York at this time.
One of those was at the Apollo in Harlem New York.
"The Apollo Circus of Soul". I was intrigued. I called and bought tickets for the 1:30 show.
I had never been to the Apollo and I thought it was time for me to go.
The Apollo Theater in New York City is one of the most famous clubs for popular music in the United States, and certainly the most famous club associated almost exclusively with African-American performers.
Before the Circus we will go to church in Harlem. I want to experience Gospel music and the spirituality of Harlem. Harlem is considered very religious.
In the 80's I lived in Manhattan and I never got to Harlem.
I searched on the Net and found several churches that I would like to visit.
I decided to attend Bethel Gospel church on 2-26 E 120th St. between 5th Ave, and Madison St. The service is at 11:30 am.
I also found a vegetarian restaurant.
Strictly Roots, on 123th St.
I will also visit "La Grange", a house belonging to Alexander Hamilton (He is on the $5 US dll bill) and a memorial "Grant's tomb and Memorial". Grant is a hero from the American Civil war.
And off we went next day Sunday November 25 2007 to Church and the Circus in Harlem.
BETHEL CHURCH....SINGING TO THE LORD, GOSPEL FOR ALL...
I really enjoyed the church. It was very uplifting.
We had tickets for the 1:30 show at The Apollo and we had to leave before the service ended.I liked it so much that I did not want to leave in the middle of the service. The music was very spiritual. the people really nice and welcoming but the best of all was the Preacher' sermon.
"STRICTLY ROOTS" A CHEAP AND HEALTHY RESTAURANT
$20.00 LUNCH FOR 4 . No, I AM NOT KIDDING.. This is a terrible cheap place. And the food is so great... The meals are vegetarian. They say: "We serve nothing that crawls, walks, swims or flies", of course.
We left the church and walked to the Apollo with a quick stop at Roots.
We parked on 120th St and 5th Avenue for free on the street, can you believe it? In a very nice place that also looked safe, just steps from the church, within walking distance of the restaurant and the theater.
Like in all things in life when you have expectations you can be disappointed. And the theater that is so famous is not fancy, it is actually nice for its age and location but I expected something else. And the Circus, it was good....The experience was very positive.
THE APOLLO CIRCUS OF SOUL Juggling-dance-music-acrobats-“Rapping Granny” & more! Every Friday-Sunday from Nov.
I want to come back for the famous APOLLO AMATEUR NIGHT on a Wednesday at 7:30 PM. Amateurs have to audition in advance to have the honor to appear on stage. This show has been going on every Wednesday since the 1930's.
After the theatre we drove and saw beautiful architecture at CUNY, (City College of New York )and at Union Theological Seminary both on West Harlem. We also saw Striver's raw on 138, and 139 streets, beautiful 116 year old townhomes.
In brief, Harlem is not to be missed when visiting New York . If living in new York, it is an easy uptown ride on the subway. It has a rich culture of its own. Good food. Architecture. History. And many more things...
ON MY NEXT VISIT I WANT TO GO TO THE
Abyssinian Baptist Church
They say it is the center for the Harlem gospel tradition. It is also the church that all the tourists go to see.
I also want to visit the oldest home in Manhattan: Morris-Jummel Mansion, at 160th St.
The Studio Museum of Harlem on 125th st. for contemporary African America art.
The Hispanic Society of America (this is a free museum and it looks very nice on the pictures)
I hope I can be in Harlem another Sunday...