A Sunday in Harlem, New York

Harlem Travel Blog

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 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.

A brownstone in Harlem, E 120th St and 5th Avenue.
It was not safe back then. That was when Harlem was a Crack cocaine and heroine haven for addicts. The area was a ghetto with 65% of the buildings abandoned.  Things began to change in the 90's. It has changed a lot and the crime rate has dropped considerably as in all NY.

 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.

Another brownstone in Harlem's E 120th Street
, close to The Apollo.

   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.


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.

Bethel Gospel church logo
Rev. Carlton T. Brown, is the minister. And let me tell  you,  I am not a Baptist, Episcopalian, or anything similar  nor do I like preachers.  But his sermon was so good and so true.  It was a really nice experience, one that I would like to repeat.  My catholic church is boring compared to this church. No wonder many people leave the catholic church and migrate to other churches. But I still like my mass and communion and my own spirituality as I was raised.  Now I am interested in visiting the other Baptist churches with Gospel music, not to change my affiliation , but to have different experiences, Life can be richer when you keep an open mind...


$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.

Strivers' road
 you would say it is dead. Dead animals do not do any of the above.:) No, truly this is a vegetarian restaurant,  although they sell chicken, beef, shrimp ( all veggie).

 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.

The Apollo Theatre
23-Dec. 23
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...

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...

tvillingmarit says:
I have New Yourk on my dream destination
Posted on: Dec 10, 2007
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A brownstone in Harlem, E 120th St…
A brownstone in Harlem, E 120th S…
Another brownstone in Harlems E 1…
Another brownstone in Harlem's E …
Bethel Gospel church logo
Bethel Gospel church logo
Strivers road
Strivers' road
The Apollo Theatre
The Apollo Theatre
Brownstone in Harlem E. 120Th St
Brownstone in Harlem E. 120Th St
Brownstone in Harlem E. 120Th St
Brownstone in Harlem E. 120Th St
A park on E.120th st
A park on E.120th st
A park on E. 120Th St.
A park on E. 120Th St.
A park on E120Th St.
A park on E120Th St.
Grants Tomb, 1897. Biggest mausol…
Grant's Tomb, 1897. Biggest mauso…
Grants Tomb and memorial. It says…
Grant's Tomb and memorial. It say…
Huge crowds attended the dedicatio…
Huge crowds attended the dedicati…
Grants words
Grant's words
Abysinian Baptist Church
Abysinian Baptist Church
Hamiltons Grange in Harlem, NY. 1…
Hamilton's Grange in Harlem, NY. …
Alexander Hamiltons house
Alexander Hamilton's house
Strivers row
Strivers' row
City University Of New York. Harle…
City University Of New York. Harl…
120th Street
120th Street
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photo by: wendyxx