The HWM Green Book

Curated products, services, and destinations.


The World’s Best Film Library

Like Harlem’s Sammy Davis Jr., kicking the air and taking names!

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) launched in 1994, we love them, they are the best classic films of all time from one of the largest film libraries in the world.

Fabulous films curated by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and others. 

Tip: Their Wine Club is the hot ticket. 


A Historical Enclave

East Harlem, often overshadowed by Harlem and the Upper East Side, holds a rich historical legacy.

Since the early 1800s, East Harlem has welcomed a rich tapestry of immigrants, from African Americans to Europeans, leaving a lasting cultural and culinary legacy. “East Harlem” is the first visual history book to chronicle this diverse heritage, showcasing factories, tenements, influential figures like Mayor LaGuardia, and iconic landmarks.

East Harlem’s history past, present, and future.

Tip: This collection encapsulates East Harlem’s remarkable past.


Best Scent In Harlem

Founded in 2014 by Teri Johnson, the Harlem Candle Company draws inspiration from her world travels,

She was creating fantastic sensory experiences with fantastic notes. Experience the heartwarming scents of St. Nicholas Ave in Harlem, where they’ve encapsulated the quintessential neighborhood charm and spirit as you indulge in the ultimate luxury candle! Drawing inspiration from her journeys across 68 countries.

Teri inspired her to handcrail over a thousand candles in her kitchen.

Tip: A fragrance house, a chemist, and a fragrance expert collaboration was key.


The Best Mafia Business Film

Hitmen: The Mafia, Drugs, and the East Harlem Purple Gang,” from humble beginnings on the fringes of Mafia families.

The Purple Gang members rose to prominence, infiltrating the highest echelons of the Genovese, Bonanno, and Lucchese clans. Functioning as freelance hitmen, kidnappers, and drug traffickers, their criminal exploits quickly evolved into legendary tales, and captivating media outlets as they struggled to keep pace with the body count.

Author Scott M. Deitche’s narrative immerses the readers in the gritty streets of Harlem.

Tip: Rumor has it that The Purple Gang is still active but undercover.


 The Best Queen of American comfort food

Indulge in the culinary world of Melba Wilson, Harlem’s beloved queen of American yummy comfort food.

She invites you into her kitchen with “Melba’s American Comfort.” With a touch of sass and a lot of class, Melba shares 100 delectable recipes that infuse her signature style into beloved dishes, offering a taste of home with each bite. Ask about the fried chicken and eggnog waffles is the best.

As the owner Melba draws inspiration from her great-grandmother while adding her twists.

Tip: You heard right, ask about the fried chicken and eggnog waffles.


Editor’s Pick Best

Discover the culinary tapestry of Harlem with celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s iconic restaurant.

Red Rooster, serves up a fusion of Southern comfort food and multicultural flavors. James Beard Award-winning eatery Red Rooster, Samuelsson created a restaurant that pays homage to Harlem’s history and his Swedish-Ethiopian heritage. The Red Rooster Cookbook beautifully captures this cultural blend through essays and photos.

Offer a multi-layered culinary experience that honors Harlem’s vibrant traditions.

Tip: Eat, hustle, and stay humble. 


Fall, Spring, And Summer of Love

Paris Blues in Harlem, in Harlem, unfolds as Paris races against time to rescue her grandfather’s struggling uptown jazz club.

Faced with a critical decision, she strives to halt the financial decline of the historic establishment. Her window of opportunity is small and closing as each day passes, with mere hours to persuade her grandfather to accept a substantial cash offer from one of those determined real estate agents.

The work is both real world and imagined.

Tip: A great true-life Harlem story.


The Best Witness in History

The book Witness delves into the rich tapestry of the renowned Abyssinian Baptist Church, nestled in Harlem, NYC.

Spanning back to its inception in 1809, this compelling narrative weaves through its numerous relocations, venerable senior pastors who graced its pulpit, and the myriad trials and victories that have marked its enduring journey up to the present day. During the 1930s, an era preceding the rise of megachurches.

Abyssinian Baptist stood as the largest Protestant congregation in the United States.

Tip: A basic resource in African American history.


Premier in Best Bike Rentals & Tours

Unlimited Biking, established in 2010 in NYC with just a few bikes, has since expanded from Harlem Meer to Hollywood.

Offering affordable rates, robust, well-maintained bicycles, and flexible monthly rental options. Unlimited Biking stands as the premier choice for bike rentals, tours, and experiences. With a plethora of satisfied customers, they guarantee unparalleled biking adventures catering to tourists and Harlemites.

Exploring fresh ways to experience the greatest community.

Tip: Use bike-friendly trails in West Harlem.


Best Works by Harlem’s Sheila Bridges’ & other artists

The Met Store is a beloved destination for enthusiasts of fine art-inspired collectibles.

They showcase an array of meticulously crafted products, publications, and gifts inspired by The Met’s extensive collection, its ever-changing exhibitions, and the rich tapestry of art spanning 5,000 years and originating from diverse corners of the world.

These treasures make for impeccable gifts year-round.

Tip: Perfect gifts for any time of year.


The Best in Harlem History Gaming

Embark on a journey through Harlem history with “Harlem-Opoly” a creative twist on the classic board game.

Explore the cultural scene of the 1920s and 1930s NYC, celebrating iconic like Josephine Baker, Fats Waller, Madame Stephanie St. Clair, Marcus Garvey and more. Acquire Harlem landmarks such as the Apollo Theater and Abyssinian Baptist Church. Earn St. Clair Dollars, inspired by the real currency of 1920s Harlem.

A gift for enthusiasts of history and a unique addition to your board game collection.

Tip: Creator Carolyn Johnson is from Harlem.


A Harlem Original

Voices Of East Harlem was born from Charles “Chuck” Griffin’s community initiative from 1969 to 1974.

Created their legacy with four albums recorded on Harlem’s historic 125th Street. Their music left an enduring imprint on the music scene. The Voices of East Harlem was an African-American vocal ensemble of up to 20 singers, aged between 12 and 21. Founded as a community initiative in 1969, with four albums in the early and mid-1970s. 

This is a special limited edition available on Amazon Audio.

Tip: This is a special Amazon audio limited edition.


The Best Rising All Tides

Harlem Rising delves into the profound legacy of the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Harlem Rising chronicles the remarkable history and lives transformed by Harlem Children’s Zone – named one of the most ambitious social experiments created to break the cycle of poverty. Using archival footage filmed by Black and Brown youth from the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s, the film captures the transformation of NYC’s.

Harlem through the unique lens of generations of students. support.

Tip: Never give up on young people and they will not give up on you.


A Homage to Harlem

Gregory Porter’s artistry is truly captivating, and his song “On My Way To Harlem” stands out with its achingly poignant lyrics brimming with righteous anger. One of the great jazz vocalists of our time Gregory Porter delivers a soulful performance of his song “On My Way to Harlem.” 

Each of his songs is a masterpiece, but this one holds a special place in our hearts.

Gregory Porter’s talent is simply irresistible, and we can’t help but love him.

Tip: HWM ranked #1.


Fred Williamson – The Man!

The underworld king of Harlem becomes a modern-day Robin Hood in Hell Up In Harlem.

Especially when he goes up against dishonest politicians and a corrupt police department. Following his survival of an assassination attempt, Tommy Gibbs faces off against corrupt NY District Attorney DiAngelo. His mission: rid Harlem’s streets of drug pushing while maintaining his other illicit enterprises.

Family problems and revelations of his ex-wife’s death prepare us for payback against DiAngelo in a saga of power and betrayal.

Tip: The black godfather!


The best in Italian

Rao’s is the legendary, tiny corner restaurant in East Harlem where it’s impossible to book a table: each of the red-checked.

Cloth-covered four-, six-, and two-tops are reserved for a titan of New York industry, a celebrity, or a major politician. Permanently. Now Frank Pellegrino, the third generation of his family to operate the impossible-to-get-into Rao’s restaurant in East Harlem and founder of Rao’s food products line, goes deep into the history of his family.

The restaurant and our love affair with Southern Italian cooking come together.

Tip: Chicken Noodle soup is the hot pick.


An Amazon Original Best

Writer Tracy Oliver’s, comedy Harlem follows four stylish and ambitious best girlfriends.

They are set up for the next phase of their careers, relationships, and Harlem dreams. From writer Tracy Oliver, a new comedy following four stylish and ambitious girlfriends in Harlem, a rising star professor struggling to make space for love; a savvy tech entrepreneur always dating; a no-filter singer; and a hopeless fashion designer.

Together, they level up into the next phase of their careers, relationships & big city dreams.

Tip: Oliver’s comedic insight is unique.


Best Primetime Emmy Winner

The series Godfather of Harlem was created by Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein.

It was inspired by crime boss Bumpy Johnson’s return to a crumbling 1960s Harlem. Starring Forest Whitaker and an all-star cast. In the early 1960s, infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson returns from 10 years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles; with the streets controlled by the Italian mob.

After all this time Bumpy must take on the Genovese crime family to regain control.

Tip: An Primetime Emmy-winner.


History, Transitions & Resilience

Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem: A Memoir is an excellent and captivating one of the best reads around.

It offers profound insights into culture, hip-hop, and fashion. Praised as a true icon, Dapper Dan’s journey from a Harlem hustler to a world-renowned designer is the epitome of self-made success. His memoir takes readers on a thrilling ride through over seventy years of American history.

A Harlem where innovation, style, and resilience shine against the backdrop of change.

Tip: Valuable life lessons throughout.


Leaders, Legends And Trailblazers

In 1958, Art Kane’s iconic photo ‘A Great Day In Harlem, with jazz legends narrated by Quincy Jones.

This Oscar-nominated documentary explores their captivating lives and music history. In August of 1958, in front of a Harlem brownstone, first-time photographer Art Kane assembled 57 of the greatest jazz stars of all time and snapped a picture that would live forever, this is “irresistible” (Kevin Thomas, LA Times).

Examines the fascinating lives of the musicians who showed up that day to make history.

Tip: Makes a great art gift.


Discover the great cities of the world

Big Bus Tours is the largest operator of open-top sightseeing bus tours in the world guiding and helping millions of tourists.

Discover the world’s iconic cities with Big Bus Tours, the global leader in open-top sightseeing adventures. With over 25 destinations across four continents, our fleet of buses and knowledgeable guides inspire adventure for millions of travelers annually. Join them on a journey to explore, learn, and make memories.

They bring the world’s best sights closer to you from Harlem to Harare.

Tip: Seek out Harlem locals and do some comparison shopping.


The Best in Sustainability and Collaboration

Harlem Grown A Story of Growth and Community Transformation turning an abandoned lot into a thriving farm.

The tells the story of the remarkable journey of Tony Hillery, who, driven by compassion and a desire for change with underprivileged students in Harlem. The story is brought to life by Jessie Hartland’s captivating illustrations, showcasing the power of education, collaboration, and healthy living.

As a not-for-profit initiative, the book’s proceeds reinforce its commitment to change.

Tip: Seek the knowledge of others.


The Best in Harlem book cuisine

Winner of the James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook, “Between Harlem and Heaven” is a culinary revelation.

Celebrated chefs Alexander Smalls and JJ Johnson delve into Afro-Asian-American cuisine, uncovering its intricate layers of flavor. Drawing from three decades of global culinary exploration, they craft over 100 recipes that transcend geographical boundaries. This book is a tribute to the harmonious fusion of African, Asian, and American influences.

Beyond soul food, it’s a captivating journey between Harlem and heaven.

Tip: Original cuisine from a Harlemite.


The Best of where sophistication meets serenity

In ‘More Myself,’ Harlem’s Alicia Keys, with Oprah, Jay-Z, and First Lady Obama, reflects on her life.

In her book Keys does a great job of blending autobiography and inspiration. In “More Myself,” the talented Harlem native, Alicia Keys, shares her remarkable journey with the likes of Oprah, Jay-Z, and former First Lady Obama. This unique memoir seamlessly blends autobiography and inspiration.

Offering an intimate glimpse into the life of a gifted artist who continues to captivate the world with her music and spirit.

Tip: How to keep yourself engaged with your self-discovery journey is key.


The old heart of West Harlem

Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem by Eric K. Washington delves into the amazing Manhattanville.

Harlem’s rich history, from its founding to notable residents and landmarks. Eric K. Washington’s “Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem” offers a captivating exploration of Harlem’s historic district, Manhattanville. From its origins to the luminous figures who once called it home. This book unravels the tapestry of West Harlem’s past.

Celebrating its vibrant history and iconic landmarks for all to discover and cherish.

Tip: West Harlem is “Manhattanville.”


A Fan-Centered Best

TIDAL Global music streaming unique artist experiences with Harlem’s Alicia Keys, Diddy, etc., streaming.

High-quality 100M+ songs, 650K+ videos through collaborations, and empowering artists’ true visions. Tidal is an excellent listening experience, despite the high cost of entry. Curated playlists, exclusive albums, video content, and master-quality audio. It is easy to use and can accomplish quite a lot with fill-in-the-blank forms. It’s an integration with many standard third-party tools.

From delicate instrumentals to powerful vocals, offers delivers the best experience. 

Tip: They do offer a free plan.


The Best of Heritage spoken out loud

Zora Neale Hurston, the Harlem Renaissance author, unveils a great collection of eight “lost” Harlem stories.

We love these stories that illuminate African-American life and culture, narrated by Aunjanue Ellis. The book provides an opportunity to rediscover Harlem’s Hidden Gems: Zora Neale Hurston’s Lost Stories. Renowned Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston’s treasure trove of eight “lost” Harlem stories is a literary revelation.

Dive into this rich cultural tapestry and experience Harlem’s vibrant past anew.

Tip: An Amazon Editor’s pick.


An indispensable guide

Walking Harlem: The Ultimate Guide to the Cultural Capital of Black America is a way to discover Harlem’s history.

Step into Harlem’s vibrant past and explore its cultural tapestry through five captivating walking tours featured in this illustrated guidebook. Curated by Harlem resident Karen Taborn, these tours reveal ninety-one historical sites, ranging from iconic landmarks like the Apollo Theater to hidden treasures like Jazz Age speakeasies.

Immerse yourself in Harlem’s political, religious, and artistic legacy you’ll love it.

Tip: Check out the detailed maps, estimated walk times, and dining recommendations.


The Best Quality Game

Delve into Harlem’s rich history with Laurance King’s Harlem Renaissance puzzle of artists from the early 20th century.

These artists include Langston Hughes and Duke Ellington. Laurance King invites you to immerse yourself in the cultural tapestry of Harlem with their captivating puzzle. Featuring Harlem Renaissance luminaries from the early 20th century, a tribute to the artistic brilliance that defined an era.

Piece together history while indulging in a delightful challenge.

Tip: An Amazon choice selection.


Oscar Nominee

In Harlem Nights the proprietor of an after-hours club in 1930s Harlem and his adopted son stand up to a white mobster.

Taken from a true story the mobster who’s determined to steal their business. In ‘Harlem Nights,’ a 1930s Harlem nightclub owner and his adopted son confront a relentless white mobster bent on stealing their business. This classic film is perfect for a Saturday night with the whole family.

We love that the film is delivering entertainment that transcends generations.

Tip: A great Saturday night watch with the entire family.


Best Dance History, A Movement, & Celebration

Celebrate the journey of founder Arthur Mitchell of the first African-American ballet company.

The Dance Theatre of Harlem A History, A Movement, A Celebration book, nominated for the 2021 NAACP Image Award, chronicles the journey of the first African-American ballet company. From its 1960s beginnings in Harlem to its powerful performances and commitment to arts-based actions, with never-before-seen photographs.

They challenged ballet’s Eurocentricism, captivating audiences with Mandela, and Misty.

Tip: Very inspirational.


The New Urban Aesthetic

Explore ‘Harlem Style‘ as it traces the global influence and historical roots of ‘Harlem Style.’

The book explores Harlem’s Urban Chic, a design compendium that pays tribute to the upscale urban dwellers. Designer Shade describes Harlem style as an eclectic blend of modernity with a unique ethnic twist, this resourceful guide strikes a perfect balance between social trends and interior design concepts.

Celebrating the global impact and historical significance of ‘Harlem Style’.

Tip: Pure inspiration for design enthusiasts like some of us.


Rice, Rice Baby

Renowned Harlem chef and author JJ Johnson introduces his new book “The Simple Art of Rice.”

This cookbook pays homage to rice’s global importance and its role at the heart of diverse cuisines. With Danica Novgorodoff, JJ Johnson guides readers through an enlightening culinary journey in the book. Explore iconic dishes like “Liberian Jollof” and “Poppy William’s” Red Rice and Beans.

With foolproof rice cooking methods and rice’s cultural and historical significance.

Tip: We love the Champorado with its sweet savory delights.



‘Better, Not Bitter’ is a narrative that addresses historical injustices and serves as a rallying cry for change.

In this poignant memoir, Yusef Salaam, an advocate for prison reform and a member of the Exonerated Five, delivers a powerful call to action for racial justice. Salaam’s journey from wrongful incarceration as part of the Central Park Five to his eventual exoneration is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

His story inspires readers to transform trauma into positive action, and challenge systems.

Tip: Named a 2021 NPR Best Book, Harlem’s Yusef Salaam’s Memoir Inspires Change.


Game Changer

Earthatone Publishing & Earthatone Books founder, Eartha Watts Hicks, boasts a rich literary background.

Formerly the publications director for Cultivating Our Sisterhood International Association (COSIA), an NYFA, ASCAP, and the Harlem Writers Guild member. A fiction fellow at Hurston/Wright Foundation, the North Country Institute, Retreat for Writers of Color, Hicks’ and many more. She received the 2013 “Game Changer” Award and NYC literacy ambassador.

Hicks, featured in the Congressional Black Caucus in 2014, also serves as a PR writer and workshop leader for writing, self-publishing, and publicity.

Tip: Eartha’s book There Enough of Mia to Go Around? has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon.

The HWM Green Book

Inspired by Victor Hugo Green’s historic “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” our GreenBook pays homage to this legacy, supporting businesses and communities throughout Harlem. Contact us to list your offerings and don’t forget to subscribe for unlimited access to HWM Insider.

Our “life and style” picks are rated 4.5+ or better on Amazon and/or used by our team. We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.

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