Harlem Travel Guide iPhone and iPad App

For years people have come to Harlem, primarily on tour buses.  They get off the bus to hear gospel music at a church, but usually leave before the worship service ends, and have a meal.

Harlem is the third most visited tourist destination in New York City.  Yet most visitors have no idea what there is to see or what to expect.  Unbeknownst to many visitors, Harlem has three distinct areas: Central Harlem, where African Americans first settled in the early 1990s; East Harlem or El Barrio, which is home to Latinos, with Puerto Ricans first migrating to the enclave after WWI; and West Harlem, which includes a diverse population of African Americans, West Indians, Latinos, and whites.  As a bonus we included Washington Heights’ home to Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan’s oldest house.  We want people’s feet to hit the ground to explore Harlem’s rich history, which is unparalleled by any other New York City neighborhood.  Its ethnic diversity makes it a fascinating place to visit and this app will help visitors and residents alike navigate its nooks and crannies.


  • More than 360 entries with over 2000 photographs
  • This visually rich app consists of detailed New York City visitor’s information from visitor centers, tourist websites, weather, news, holidays, sales tax, smoking rules, tipping and transportation to and from airports and in the city
  • Detailed descriptions which include uncommonly known cultural and historical facts, websites, phone numbers, hours of operation, prices, menus and hyperlinks that link entries and lead to websites for additional historical and factual information.
  • Entries sorted by name, category, distance, price, and neighborhood
  • Once click to websites, phones, online ordering, online reservations, current menus and more
  • Live calendar
  • Ability to share user comments and mark and save favorites
  • Ask the authors questions through in-app comments to get personalized feedback at your finger tips
  • YouTube videos
  • GPS enabled Google maps with walking, driving and mass transit directions
  • Access offline content anytime
  • Free upgrades for life

What’s inside

  • Nightlife and entertainment from jazz, Latin salsa, opera to classical music;
  • Theatre, dance, spoken word and more;
  • Restaurants featuring soul food to French cuisine and everything in between;
  • Unique ethnic retail shops;
  • Museums that celebrate various cultures;
  • Fine art galleries;
  • Majestic churches and gospel music;
  • Amazing landmarks;
  • Parks and free recreational activities;
  • Guest accommodations;
  • Free internet access and Wi-fi locations;
  • Authentic tours ofHarlem;
  • Annual events and festivals;
  • Sales & Deals

About the Authors

The authors are both homeowners and long-time residents of Harlem. Carolyn D. Johnson operates a tour company, a visitor’s center, and a website that provides information about Harlem under the umbrella of Welcome to HarlemValerie Jo Bradley operates a PR and special events planning firm and is proprietor of a small guest house inHarlem. In addition to collaborating with other Harlem-based tour companies to develop unique tours of Harlem, she has trainedHarlem residents to conduct tours in their neighborhoods.

Download the free Sutro World @ www.sutromedia.com/world and purchase the Harlem Travel Guide today for $2.99!

Follow Welcome to Harlem on:

Website www.welcometoharlem.com
Trip Advisorhttp://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d1977036-Reviews-Welcome_to_Harlem-New_York_City_New_York.html


Restoration of Richard Rodgers Amphitheater at Marcus Garvey Park Unveiled

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; City Council Member Inez Dickens; Community Board 11 Chair Matthew Washington; Marcus Park Alliance President and Secretary/Treasurer Carla MacIntosh and Valerie Jo Bradley; City Parks Foundation Executive Director David Rivel; and Mary Rodgers Guettel, daughter of the composer Richard Rodgers and executive board member of the Rodgers Family Foundation, to cut the ribbon on $7 million in improvements to the restored bandshell and amphitheater at Marcus Garvey Park.

The ceremony also featured performances by Laura Osnes and Colin Donnell from the Roundabout Theater Company‘s production of Anything Goes, a performance by trombonist Craig Harris who played an original composition called “Harlem,” and a performance by the P.S. 166 / Richard Rodgers School Fifth Grade Honors Choir.

“This is a great day to whistle a happy tune as the restored Richard Rodgers Amphitheater will revitalize this Historic Harlem park as a place to enjoy the outdoors and to celebrate the arts,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “We are extremely grateful to The Rodgers Family Foundation for its generous $1 million contribution to this project, provided through the City Parks Foundation, and to Borough President Stringer, State Senator Perkins, and Council Member Dickens for their funding allocations which will allow this amphitheater to come alive again with the sound of music.”

“The renovation of this bandshell is enormously good news for the long-term health of this park and this community,” said David Rivel, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation. “Increased programming in Marcus Garvey Park’s bandshell over the last ten years has been one of the most important methods of reclaiming this park as a vital community resource. A renovated bandshell, thanks to the strong leadership of the City, thoughtful input from the community, and the generosity of The Rodgers Family Foundation, will become a vital community and educational resource for decades to come.”

“It was just three years ago that I stood here with Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Benepe to announce plans for a new amphitheater,” said Mary Rodgers Guettel, daughter of Richard Rodgers. “On behalf of The Rodgers Family Foundation, I am thrilled that this beautiful new space is now alive with the sound of music.”

Funding for this $7 million project came from $4.9 million from mitigation funds provided to Parks by the MTA in connection with the Second Avenue Subway project; $600,000 allocated by Borough President Scott Stringer; $409,000 allocated by State Senator Bill Perkins when he was a Council Member, and $200,000 through his successor, Council Member Inez Dickens.
The Richard Rodgers Family Foundation, established by the composer Richard Rodgers and his wife, also donated $1 million.

The new amphitheater features a wider stage that is much closer to the audience, a large, multi-purpose area backstage with changing rooms and restrooms for the performers, an improved seating area with seatbacks built of a durable recycled plastic, and a fabric canopy to shield a large portion of the audience from the hot summer sun. The historic park setting coupled with the new amphitheater’s large stage, multi-purpose backstage area, improved seating with sunshade, and upgraded lighting and sound hookups, all work together to create one of the premier outdoor performance spaces that New York City has to offer.

Thanks to the Richard Rodgers Family Foundation, a pool of $25,000 in grants are being made available to support community performances in the space. Another pool of approximately $25,000 will be available to support the commissioning of new work by City Parks Foundation for the space.

The new bandshell and amphitheater was designed by Cooper, Robertson and Partners and the contractor was Triton Structural Concrete, Inc. The City Parks Foundation Project Manager for the construction was Tom McGinty. The Parks Project Manager was Paul Schubert and the Resident Engineer was Heidy Grullon.

“The new Richard Rodgers Amphitheater with its enhanced sightlines and acoustics creates a more intimate and direct relationship between the performers and audience,” said Scott Newman, partner of Cooper, Robertson & Partners and architect for the project. “Taken together with the Park’s magnificent canopy of trees and many historic features, the new Richard Rodgers Amphitheater breathes new life into one of the most treasured outdoor performance spaces in New York City.”

This summer, City Parks Foundation has a full schedule of programs at the Amphitheater including a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry V from August 5-8, music performances with Ryan Leslie, Funkmaster Flex and others from August 9-11, dance performances with the Cecilia Marta Dance Company, Forces of Nature Dance Theater and others from August 12-13, and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival on August 27. To view a video of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Marcus Garvey Park, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/nycparksdepartment#p/u/75/v_aQR0lXvIs

Composer Richard Rodgers (1902-79) enjoyed a spectacular career that spanned more than six decades. His hits ranged from the silver screens of Hollywood to the bright lights of Broadway, London and beyond. He was the recipient of countless awards, including Pulitzers, Tonys, Oscars, Grammys and Emmys. He wrote more than 900 published songs and forty Broadway musicals, including The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, The King and I, and South PacifiC. Rodgers‘ childhood home, at 3 West 120th Street, overlooked what was then called Mt. Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) and which the composer described as “one of the prettiest little parks in New York.” In 1970 he provided funding for the original band shell, which has now been restored and renamed “The Richard Rodgers Amphitheater.”

Read more: http://broadwayworld.com/article/Restoration-of-Richard-Rodgers-Amphitheater-at-Marcus-Garvey-Park-Unveiled-20110602#ixzz1OLhqZs3y

Ebony Escapes! to celebrate ‘All Things Harlem’

This must be the year for beautiful travel guides, because quite a few of them have been coming across my desk lately. I don’t know about you, but although some of the technological popularity of the day seems to lean toward electronic book formats, I still love the look and feel of a traditional print book—one that I can thumb through and feel the paper, delve into the photography, curl up with in a chair, airline seat, hotel lobby or patio, and enjoy as a wonderful addition to my coffee table at home.

One of the latest I have received is the “Harlem Travel Guide,” composed by Carolyn Johnson, president, writer and CEO of Welcome to Harlem, and editor and writer Valerie Jo Bradley. The book has been described by some as “the definitive bible to one of New York’s most fascinating places.” Whether you are visiting Harlem for the first time or are a long-time resident, the “Harlem Travel Guide” highlights and celebrates “all things Harlem.”

This beautiful book is conveniently organized into well defined, easily accessible sections and directions for each of Harlem’s distinct Central, East and West neighborhoods, leading readers to everything from nightlife and entertainment such as jazz, Latin salsa and classical music, to parks and free recreational activities, wonderful accommodations, walking and bus tours, museums that celebrate New York’s multifarious cultures, culinary adventures from soul food to French historic landmarks and so much more.

One of the things that makes the “Harlem Travel Guide” so unique in its exploration of people and places is that it delves further than the typical New York travel guide with no more than two to three pages devoted to sites in Harlem, or a bus tour that offers only a passing glance at some of the more well-known sights from inside the bus.


The 350-year history of Harlem alone is a testament to all of the cultural richness it possesses. Originally inhabited by Native Americans, followed by the British, Dutch, Jewish, people of African descent, Irish, Latinos and other ethnic groups, Harlem is an incredible amalgamation of culture, music, gastronomy, entrepreneurship, politics, art and more, which deserves more than a passing nod.

For example, did you know that every August the Dance of the Giglio and Feast is celebrated in East Harlem, which used to be a primarily Italian neighborhood? Founded in the late 1880s in Brusciano, Italy to honor Saint Antonio, this tradition draws throngs of Italian families back to celebrate the feast that includes 125 men carrying a 5-ton, five-story, hand-sculpted tower and 12-piece brass band on their shoulders while dancing through the neighborhood to Italian folk songs.

How about that, in Central Harlem, families can enjoy catch-and-release fishing at the Harlem Meer—Dutch for

“lake”—located in the northern portion of Central Park? Harlem Meer was established in part as a tribute to the 17th century European settlers who first inhabited Harlem. Today it is a thriving wildlife habitat chock full of fish, waterfowl, turtles and other water creatures.

This is just the beginning of all of the wonderful treasures featured in the “Harlem Travel Guide.”

As the third most visited tourist destination in New York City, Harlem has rightfully earned, and deserves, a resource that explores and celebrates everything from its early roots to its perseverance and the revitalization that has made it a vibrant destination for residents and tourists alike.

“Our 250-page book is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on Harlem,” says Bradley. “We recognize that

for years people have visited Harlem, but primarily on tour buses of which they rarely get off. We want people’s feet to hit the ground to explore Guide” does mention many of the iconic, world-renowned sites and attractions such as the Apollo Theater, Abyssinian Baptist Church and Sylvia’s restaurant, it includes so much more of the city’s rich history that is largely unknown and, as a result, unexplored.

“Harlem has been reinvigorated with the addition of new and exciting restaurants, shops, fine art galleries, revitalized parks that offer free recreational activities, unrivaled cultural events, guest accommodations and much more,” Bradley says. “Due to preservation efforts that have saved historic buildings from being razed, and to the housing and economic development renaissance that has transformed vacant buildings and lots, Harlem has become a more exciting place for people to live and visit.”

The “Harlem Travel Guide” has received rave reviews from readers around the world who are amazed at all that Harlem has to offer. Bradley remembers one response she and Johnson received from visitors from Brussels in particular. “[They had] purchased the book [and] enjoyed telling us about the places they visited in Harlem like Billie’s Black and Amy Ruth’s restaurants, and the legendary Apollo Amateur Night. This was not their first visit to New York, but it was their first time staying in Harlem. They had such a good experience that they plan to recommend a visit to Harlem to friends. Even long-time residents have told us that they learned new things about Harlem after reading [it].”

For those who do enjoy or prefer digital book formats, the “Harlem Travel Guide” has been formatted for use on the Kindle, iPad and Android devices. ”We feel it is important to reach out to younger audiences, and we consider it part of the market we are pursuing,” Bradley explains. “However, we recognize that not everyone has access to the hardware or possesses the know-how to access information by using the new technology. For that population, there is the traditional print book.

“Many older readers and [others] still prefer the print book format, and this market travels because they have more time and resources. Also, the print book is a marketing tool. Numerous people have told us that when they refer to the book when they are on the street, people stop them to ask where they purchased the book. To us, that’s a good thing!”

In addition to the information and photographs included in each section of the book, Johnson and Bradley have featured user-friendly maps, easy to understand directions, individual restaurant, retail, accommodation and attraction locations, annual events, useful information about walking and bus tours, where to post letters, hail a cab and how to locate the nearest Internet cafe.

The “Harlem Travel Guide” is available online at www.welcometoharlem.com, http://www.amazon.com (in print and electronic format) and at the Welcome to Harlem Visitor Center, located at 2360 Frederick Douglass Blvd., between 126th and 127th streets. A less expensive version of the book (printed in black and white) is also available at Barnes and Nobles stores and at http://www.barnesandnoble.com. For more information, you can also contact Welcome to Harlem at (212) 662-7779 or (888) 391-7480.

By LYSA ALLMAN-BALDWIN – The New York Amsterdam News March 17 – Marhc 23, 2011

Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including as the cultural travel writer for http://www.Examiner.com and as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website. Lysa can be reached at lallmanbaldwin@kc.rr.com.