For my Harlemites, let's go down memory lane:
Remember Teddy's Shanty's hot dogs on 8th Avenue at 125th St? Every time I went there, they would charge me a different price for the same order: 2 hot dogs and a grape drink. Or the original Wells, Chicken and Waffles. Sherman's BBQ (when the food was good), Mister B's, The Flash Inn, Thomford's ice cream parlor (125th St, corner of St. Nicholas Ave.) And the best Chinese restaurant in NY as far as I'm concerned, Len Fong, which was on Broadway at 145th St. Food was delicious and Cantonese and you could get a nice buzz off the drinks while waiting for your food. Just found out that M & G's diner, corner 125th and Morningside Avenue, has closed!!! Oh the shame of it all. They had one of the best music collections on their juke box. The soul food was great and they were open 24 hours a day and you got to know the waitresses who called you by name. You could eat breakfast at 5pm or 3am. Oh and don't forget Wilson's up on Amsterdam Avenue.
What about some of the bars in Harlem? The Top Club, The Baby Grand (which I think is now a Radio Shack), The Oasis up on Broadway. The Paradise, which was on the corner of 110th Street and 8th Avenue and was a "bucket of blood" where even the bartender would tell you not to turn your back on your drink!!! The other paradise was Small's Paradise, of course. Had lots of fun in there. I used to hang at a bar called The Four Pheasants (weird name for a Harlem bar.) It was a 3 for 1 and they did not water down the drinks. Happened to know the guys running the the place. Sometimes I would have 9 to 12 shots lined up in front of me. Woo Hoo!!! Occasionally stopped in The Flame, 141st Street and Lenox Avenue, which I considered a neighborhood bar. Mostly older folks from the 'Hood, kind of the quiet.
What about the dance halls? I can only remember The Savoy, 149th St in the Boogie Down Bronx and The Carlton Terrace on 96th Street and Broadway. Think I went to all of the dance halls at one time or another because my uncle gave a dance once or twice a year.
Remember when you didn't have to go downtown to the movies? I think there were at least 4 theaters on 125th Street including a Loew's and RKO on 7th Avenue between 125th and 126th Streets. There was another Loew's on 116th Street, along with another RKO, I think.
What about the bakery on 125th Street between St. Nicholas and 8th Avenues? Don't remember the name but they had huge apple turnovers that were full of apples (would you believe) and wonderful glazed donuts. Speaking of glazed donuts, no one, not ever Krispy Kreme could compare to Georgie's Bakery which was down the block from Con Ed. Little tiny place and the line was down the block at holiday time! Had a small menu of pound cake, chocolate cake, coconut pie, sweet potatoe pie, brownies and the best glazed donuts in the world. A tray of freshly baked glazed donuts would be sold out by the time you got to the counter - and - you were already in the store. Across the street was Wimp's which had delicious cakes.
Can't end without mentioning Majester's Fish and Chips. (the original store on Lenox and 129th Street.) There was always a line of people, no matter what time of year it was. I never went to that place and walked right up to the counter. Best fish and chips in town and they were open late for the bar crowd.
Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Hit me back with some of the places you remember.