Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Taste of East Harlem

After working in East Harlem for the last 16 years I can honestly say that I am still fascinated by this neighborhood. From the remnants of the old Italians to the current influx of Dominicans and Mexicans, it is a place that really illustrates the "melting pot" metaphor so often used in New York City.

Most of these photos were taken as I rode west on 115th Street, starting at my school on Pleasant Avenue.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine
. Long a bastion of East Harlem, this institution hosts an annual feast that lasts for 10 days in July and occupies all of the two block stretch in front of my school. Started by Italian immigrants it now serves a mainly spanish speaking population.
Next door to the church is the National Museum of Catholic Art. One of the advantages of being the closest school to the museum is that you get invited over to see new exhibits. I had the pleasure of a tour before it was officially open to the public and was even shown the secret passage from the museum (formerly a catholic school) to the church next door.Row houses on 115th Street.

On the Upper East small markets are called "delis," not to confuse them with say the Second Avenue or Carnegie Deli, places which serve cured meat sandwiches and such. In East Harlem these markets are called bodegas. After all of these years I tend to call all "delis" bodegas, even if they are Korean grocers.A "Project," aka housing project. No, I'm not sure which one. There are lots of them in East Harlem and I didn't stop to read the name.
This is actually on a corner of 112th street. I noticed it as I was riding to work and had to take a shot of it. Look at the contrast on what, on closer examination, are two halves of the same building.

I've started putting my camera on my bike every time I take it out now so, since my car is out of commission* for another two weeks or so, look for more of East Harlem in the weeks to come.

*The insurance adjuster called the damage "extensive," a term which refreaked me for a bit. He also stated that there was glass damage to one of the windows near the back. I missed that one. My folks offered me a car but we keep turning it down. If we don't get the car back by the end of the month then we may borrow one just to do a serious grocery shopping but in the mean time we will patronize the local stores a bit more then usual.

1 comment:

Cat said...

::SIGH:: Oh I so miss the city. Thanks for the pics. because I can relive it through you.