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New York - Around Town : Morningside Heights and Harlem (part 2) - Places for Music

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A Day in Harlem and Morningside Heights

Morning

Begin late Sunday morning and take the No. 2 or No. 3 subway uptown to 135th Street and Lenox Avenue. Walk to Odell Clark Place and turn west to hear the fabulous choir at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.

Continue west along the street to see the fine 1890s homes of the St. Nicholas Historic District and stop on 8th Avenue to enjoy a gospel brunch at Londel’s Supper Club .

Afternoon

Retrace your steps to Lenox Avenue and head downtown to 125th Street to peruse the shops. Turn west for the famous Apollo Theater and excellent displays of African-American art at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Afterwards, stop for coffee at the Starbucks on Lenox Avenue at 125th Street.

Take the M60 bus to West 120th Street and Broadway. Walk down to Riverside Church for fine views over the Hudson River from the bell tower. Across the street is the monument honoring the 18th U.S. president, Ulysses S. Grant. At 116th Street, head east two blocks to Broadway and the entrance to Columbia University . One block east on Amsterdam Avenue is the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine with its immense interior. End the day with some good southern cooking at Miss Mamie’s and return to Broadway for the No. 1 or No. 9 subway back downtown.

Places for Music

  1. Lenox Lounge

    A standby for 50 years, the lounge has a new retro look and features the latest sounds in jazz as well as more traditional numbers.

    • 288 Malcolm X Blvd, between West 124th & 125th Sts

  2. Showman’s

    Live jazz is the lure on Wednesday and Saturday nights at this club, where the vibes and people are as cool as the music.

    • 375 West 125th St, between St. Nicholas & Morningside Dr

  3. Londel’s Supper Club

    Part of the new Harlem, with upscale ambience, waiters in tuxedos, delicious Southern fare, and live jazz on weekends.

    • 2620 Frederick Douglass Blvd, between West 139th & 140th Sts

  4. St. Nick’s Pub

    Savion Glover and Ray Charles have been known to drop by at this popular venue. Live jazz can be heard six nights a week.

    • 773 St. Nicholas Ave at West 149th St

    • Subway line A, B, C, or to 145th St

  5. Sylvia’s

    The place is jammed for Saturday and Sunday gospel brunches, and always fun despite the tour groups.

    • 328 Lenox Ave, between West 126th & 127th Sts

    Gospel at Sylvia’s
  6. Cotton Club

    Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway are long gone, and the location has changed, but the famous club of the 1920s is currently making a comeback.

    • 656 West 125th St nr West 125th and Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

  7. Apollo Theater

    This theater is Harlem’s famous showcase, where Ella Fitzgerald and James Brown launched their careers.

    • 253 West 125th St, between 7th & 8th Aves

    Apollo Theater
  8. Harlem Stage

    Home to jazz series, as well as ballet, opera, and the Harlem Film Festival.

    City College campus

    • West 135th St & Convent Ave

  9. Miller Theatre

    Columbia’s main performance venue runs the musical gamut, with jazz an important part.

    Columbia University

    • 2960 Broadway at West 116th St

  10. Smoke

    Columbia students and jazz lovers of all ages congregate at this intimate club to hear top notch jazz groups every weekend.

    • 2751 Broadway at West 106th St

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