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Lenox Avenue, Harlem’s historical boulevard known for its style and glamour, from “Stomping at the Savoy” to Sunday strolling, will be the place to enjoy old and new Harlem on July 15, from 6 to 10 pm, when Harlem Park to Park and Experience: Harlem present “Summer Sizzles on Lenox,” a sidewalk cafe crawl on Lenox Avenue. Participants are invited to stroll along the avenue’s picturesque wide sidewalks and enjoy delectable samplings from its many restaurants while sipping on signature cocktails created at each stop. For a ticket price of $10, guests will gain access to the special menu of appetizers and cocktails in each venue.
Lenox Avenue has long been the main artery of Harlem culture and today is the center of transformation for the neighborhood, with the welcoming of new restaurants and bars that are fueling a community and entertainment hub. From its eclectic collection of international fare, including French at Chez Lucienne, Barawine and newly opened Cherie, Latin at La Bodega 47 Social Club and Italian at Settepani, to its globally recognized go-to locations, like Sylvia’s, Red Rooster and Corner Social, and the anticipated reopening of the Lenox Lounge, Lenox Avenue is the place to experience the charm, intimacy and fun of Harlem.
To join the festivities, guests can pick up tickets on the north end at Carver Federal Savings Bank on 125th and Lenox or on the south end at La Bodega 47 Social Club at 118th and Lenox on July 15, starting at 6 pm. Tickets are 2 for $10 when purchased in advance and $10 each at the door. Ticket holders get access to the great sampling and drink specials offered at each venue. For more information on Summer Sizzles and to purchase tickets, please visit: summersizzles.eventbrite.com. Restaurants participating include Corner Social, Chez Lucienne, BLVD Bistro, Settepani, La Bodega 47 Social Club, Sylvia’s Restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem, Harlem Shake, Cove Lounge, Lenox Saphire and Barawine, all members of Harlem Park to Park, a network of 75+ entrepreneurs committed to community development in Central Harlem.
The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance kicks its summer programming into high gear with the launch party of The Little Free Libraries – a pop up outdoor library – in the Marcus Garvey Park’s northwest Lawn on West 123rd and Mount Morris Park West. The program is presented in collaboration with Urban Innovations and features the installation of installed two Little Free Libraries . The libraries will be filled with books for early readers through young adults. The basic concept is take a book, leave a book. The community is warmly invited to the opening Saturday July 12 from noon to 4pm as well as to bring a new or slightly used children’s book to donate to the Little Free Libraries. Activities will include reading to children on the lawn, arts and crafts, a community book drive, writing workshop, an exhibition of children’s quilts by the Pelham Fritz Quilting and Crafts Circle, poetry readings by Harvey Pacht, and meet the artists, Ron Islar and Andrew John Dyck, who designed and painted the libraries.
Harvey Pacht is one of the talented voices of the Poets of Corsi, that is based out of the Corsi Senior Center located in East Harlem. One of the founding members of the Self-Advocacy movement here in New York State, Harvey has been a tireless advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. He is the proud father of Samantha, a Gregorian Calendar on legs.
Ron Islar’s design features the historic Fire Watchtower that will undergo a restoration in the near future and the Twin Towers which has been lost to us forever, illustrating the importance of architectural landmarks.
Andrew John Dyck
Andrew John Dyck is a muralist. He created the design for his library with input from young artists from the Urban Innovations family.
The Little Library Programs complements the summer reading program being hosted by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance in partnership with LiteracyInc. The weekly reading program occurs every Thursday, beginning July 10, 10am – 11am, also on the Marcus Garvey Park, Northwest Lawn (123rd & Mount Morris Park West). The program features great read alouds and fun literacy activities for elementary school-aged children. For more information contact the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance at http://mgpalliance.org.
Thunderstorms may have shut down the preview of the Romeo and Juliet on Friday July 4th but passion prevails as the opening continues at planned for the run of the second free outdoor performance by the acclaimed and inspirational The Classical Theatre of Harlem. In its second season, CTH presents a Harlem spin on the class tale with the production of Romeo n Juliet (Ty Jones, producing artistic director; David Roberts, managing director)at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park. Justin Emeka, who edited and adapted the tragedy to bring the colorful characters of Harlem to life, returns for the second year in a row as director. Performances, which are free and open to the public, run from July 5 through 27. CTH again brings together a dynamic cast and creative team of familiar faces from last season’s critically acclaimed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, along with some talented new additions. The production, which has a multiracial cast, is designed to bring professional entertainment to the local community, while drawing hard-core theater lovers from across the city.
“We are thrilled to blow the dust off this classic to reveal an array of identities within the African Diaspora. Exploring centuries-old themes around love, identity, violence and masculinity through this culturally specific lens is an exceptional and unique offering for the theatrical community,” said Jones. “I am proud that we continue to reinvent these timeless works in ways that connect with young, contemporary, multiracial consumers while satisfying the sensibilities of longtime theater patrons.”
This intense and fiery production continues a movement to reimagine classical theater. RnJ reveals the unpredictable passion of love, barely separated from the unforgiving tragedy of violence. The stage explodes with soulful music, verse and movement, as hip-hop beats and dance-hall rhythms provide the backdrop for a community suffering from internal conflict. The Richard Rodgers Amphitheater is located in Marcus Garvey Park (enter at 124th Street and Fifth Avenue and walk south to the venue). Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Friday’s curtain is at 8:15 p.m., following Jazzmobile free concerts at 7:00p.m. (There will be no performance on Tuesday, July 8.) For more information, visit www.cthnyc.org.