Uptown’s Vanessa Tyler Is Eating Harlem

August 6, 2014

whats eating harlem (2)NYDailyNews reports that Emmy Award-winning news anchor Vanessa Tyler will let the klieg lights shine on her native neighborhood, as host of a new TV show called “What’s Eating Harlem.”

“I have a very soft spot in my heart for Harlem,” said Tyler, who grew up in the Grant Houses, one of the area’s public housing complexes, before her big break on WPIX-TV’s evening news.

The 26-week series, produced by fellow Harlemite Paul Phillips, debuts Thursday at 10 p.m. on NYC Life, a city-owned TV station.

It showcases the latest trends in Harlem food, arts and entertainment, while featuring local artists, entrepreneurs and highlighting the history makers of the area.


“The stories are so rich, and the people have such great backgrounds,” said Tyler, who is now a New Jersey resident and freelance FiOS 1 news anchor.

“People don’t know who their neighbors are.”

The Uptown neighborhood — now ripe with development, luxury condos, restaurants and brownstones — used to be marred in poverty and crime.


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Phillips, 55, a full-time producer, doesn’t want Harlem’s history to get lost in its renaissance.

“Because of all of the changes, we wanted to show it still has the same flavor,” he said.

Phillips, who began working on the series three years ago, was filming in March when Tyler, a former colleague, saw a version of the program online and reached out to him.

It’s a nice change of pace for Tyler, who earned her accolades reporting hard news.

The journalist, won an Emmy in 2006 for her powerful “One Tragic Hit” piece about heroin overdoses amongst youngsters.

“I hope people will look at and love the show and appreciate the people,” Tyler said.

“That’s what makes Harlem Harlem — the people.”

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