Business Owner of G. H. Cross Culture/Egypt Cross Culture and Harlemite.
1. What makes living in Harlem so special?
Harlem is and has always been the center of Black America.
When the great migration took place as southern Blacks moved to northern cities, Harlem was the place the artist, entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders flocked. When you hear stories of people from all around the world and throughout the United States wanting to move to “New York, the City of Dreams”, for Black America it was Harlem. When you research history, Harlem was always somewhere in the story. Through every era, Harlem is always different with its own vibe, totally different energy. It is a blessing to be from Harlem; the culture, the heritage; our DNA is special and unique. Often when I travel abroad I have to remind myself, not only am I from the United States, I’m from New York City, not only am I from New York City, I’m from Harlem, I go even more personal as I was raised in the Polo grounds and think of the baseball field where Willie Mays was roaming center field. In my eyes, it does not get any more special than that. Harlem geographically is very small, but we have more cultural impact and history anywhere in the entire country. Harlem is sacred land. I can write a whole essay or article on this I have so much to say, let me calm down… next question….
2. Three favorite local spots in Harlem?
Magic Johnson’s Movie Theatre, the 125th street area, whether I’m shopping up and down the avenues.
I’m lounge hopping on Lenox I love two fifths, and by the water at Riverbank State Park during the summer, I’m a Scorpio I love the water.
3. Best place for a night out in Harlem?
It’s hard to catch me in one single spot. I’ll say go everywhere but you can end your night at The Shrine on 134th and 7th ave, it’s one of the few places that stay open past 2 am. It’s also clutch late night during the mid-week. Bored at 2:00 am on a Sunday through Wednesday night? try Shrine, you might get lucky and find a few dozen people partying like its 1999.
4. Most delicious menu items?
Africa Kine Restaurant is a Senegalese Spot on 134th & 7th Avenue (Adam Clayton Powell BLVD) the Fish Yassa is tasty, and the Thiebu Djen is amazing. Corner Social on 125th and Lenox Avenue (Malcolm X BLVD) I like the Shrimp and Grits, and the Lamb Sliders at Hexagon Lounge 142nd street between 8th ave (Fredrick Douglass BLVD) and Edgecombe avenue.
5. What do you like to do in your free time in Harlem?
I go to the movies, shop and lounge hop. If you linger around long enough, you can find me on the 125th street at Magic Johnson’s theatre catching a movie. Shopping on 125th street, or hopping to lounges between my favorite Harlem lounges uptown as far as Hexagon Lounge down to the Road House and everywhere in between.
Bonus: How long have you lived in Harlem?
Are you a local or know someone who is? Want to be part of our new ongoing Your World Q&A series? Answer the five questions above (plus the Bonus) and send a high-quality headshot (preferably horizontal. Only you in the photo, no kids, no pets, no spouse) to email@example.com, with the words in “Your World” in the subject line and we just may include you next! We may not be able to use every submission, but we certainly thank you for taking part!
Follow Rashad @Rashad_McCrorey