December 2003



Install Surveillance Cameras on 125th?
The Discussion Begins: Do The Ayes Have It?

Services Technology,

By Glenda Johnson
ambassador foot patrol. The increased lighting has been implemented, the handbook has been published, and the ambassador foot patrol is slated to begin in Spring 2004. The final component—the CCTV web-based surveillance system—has become a highly charged issue. One concern is residents’ civil liberties. TELEPHONE or FAX us at 212-876-5697 or EMAIL:, MAIL: P.O. Box 1588, New York, NY 10026 One resident, who preferred not to be named, said that cameras on 125th send a bad signal to community residents because they make people feel violated. He also mentioned that cameras invade the privacy of those who actually live on 125th Street. The logistics surrounding the 125th Street BID’s plans that have yet to be worked out. According to Joseph Handy, co-chair of the Uniformed Services Committee, specific issues such as the number of cameras and their locations haven’t been determined by the 125th Street BID because Askins wanted to broach the issue with CB10 before proceeding with plans. However, the meeting records also state that the funding for the hardware, which came from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, must be used by October 30, 2004. Therefore, Handy is spearheading a Community Board 10 sponsored public hearing to get responses from residents to the 125th Street BID’s plan. The hearing will be held at the Dempsey Center, 127 W. 127th Street, January 26, 2004, at 6:30pm. Invited guests will include a representative from the 125th Street BID, elected officials, business owners on 125th Street, the police department, and representatives from the NY PAGE 3 Breast Examination Center Of Harlem Get free screening services for breast and cervical cancer at B.E.C.H located at163 West 125th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10027, 212-531-8000. PAGES 4-8 PAGE 1 Public Safety on 125th Street Read about the 125th Street BID’s public safety campaign and other initiatives on their website:; the office is located at 271 W 125th St.; hours: Mon-Fri 9:00AM5:00PM, Tel: 212-662-8999, Fax: 212- 233-7954. Contact Community Board 10, 215 West 125th St., Suite 340, Tel:212-749-3105, 212-6624215 PAGE 3 Know Your HIV Status Get free STD and HIV tests: the Central Harlem Health Center at 2238 Fifth Avenue or the East Harlem Health Center at 158 East 115th Street. Or call 311 to find HIV services outside of these areas. County District Attorney’s Civil Liberties offices. In the meantime, the 125th Street BID has been asked by the joint committees of CB10 to “provide information about the effectiveness of surveillance cameras in deterring and New York and preventing crime and guidelines for use and monitoring of surveillance data.” Barbara Askins, at 125th Street BID, could not be reached for comment.■ The Citizen will have an update on this issue in the January 2004 edition.
(photo: Holly’s eyes)

n November 18, 2003, the 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) met with

Community Board 10’s (CB10) Uniformed and Economic and Development, Telecommunications

Committees to discuss their plans to place surveillance cameras on this commercial strip. According to records from the meeting, BID—under the presidency of Barbara Askins—met with CB10 to “explain to the committees the limitations and controls on the use of the surveillance systems in order to allay fears about misuse and encroachment on civil liberties.” In an effort to garner support, Ms. Askins mentioned that other BIDs, namely Fifth Avenue, Gun Hill Road in the Bronx, and Brooklyn’s MetroTech, were using surveillance cameras to enhance public safety. Joe Haslip, of the NYC Comptroller’s office, said that his office had been asked to contact these other BIDs to inquire about the surveillance system’s effectiveness. “We’re looking into these BIDs’ implementation process, the position of their cameras, and also questions like ‘Who’s viewing the film?’ ‘How long is the film kept?’ ‘Who has access to film?’ ‘Is there a relationship with the local police precinct?’” Haslip said that he expects to have findings within the next couple of weeks. This proposed plan by the 125th Street BID is one part of a four-step public safety program, which involves increased security lighting, a safety education handbook, and an

News to Use!
Welcome to the sixth edition of THE CITIZEN, a monthly newspaper produced by and for the residents of Central Harlem.Your neighbors created this publication with the hope that everything in it would be news you could use—especially to be informed about what’s happening in our community and to become more active in the life of our community. We hope you will join us by participating in this forum. Speak out, in your own voice, on issues close to your heart. Write in and suggest story ideas or subjects you want covered in this publication. Call and tell us what you like or don’t like about the paper. Volunteer to write, edit, or research articles; provide illustrations or photographs; work on the layout; or help with distribution. We look forward to hearing from you.


January 26, 2004 6:30pm Dempsey Center 127 W. 127th Street
Discuss Plans For Surveillance Cameras on 125th Street

PAGE 2 Photo in Editor’s Letter The Painting is by Tree Williams @Triple Candie 461 W. 126th Street 212-865-0783

Support Local Artists & Merchants

From the Editor
to do it. The one who embodies both the roughness and smoothness of masculinity. The one who’s always there ‘cause he knows the family structure would be weaker if he was not around. It’s a mother. Strong. Patient. Honest. The one who’s loving and overbearing. The one who takes care of things. The one who gives, and gives, and gives, and gives, and gives, and gives, and gives, and gives, and gives, and gives, and gives. The one who’ll take (but only her share). The one who’s prudent. It’s a grandmother: the one who’s old and old-fashioned. The one who’s wise. The one who’s still making all that greasy food, even though the doctor has told her many times that she’s got to cut back. The one who won’t listen. The one who says that she’s been eating this way since the 1930s and she’s not going to stop now. The one who goes to church every Sunday with a Bible in her hand. The one who wears pretty hats. The one who, when the temperature drops, pulls out her furs. It’s a grandfather: the one who’s old, but not old-fashioned. The one who still dances, and takes a little swig when the feeling hits him. The one who’s a deacon—the faithful one. The one with the biggest heart and the gentlest spirit. The one who talks about the war and remembers segregation. The one who still reads the paper. The one who’s been going to the same barber on the same day for as long as he can remember. The one who still makes his wife smile. It’s an older brother: the one with the tattoo of a panther on his arm; the one who wears a Malcolm X hat (from the Spike Lee movie), and hangs a red, black, and green flag above his bed. The one who’s a philosopher and politician. The one who has read every book about every black person during every time period. The one who always talks about the days when we were kings and queens. The one who’s the entrepreneur—the man with the plan. It’s a sister: the one who complains about not having a man. The one who complains about all the brothers being gay or in jail or with white women. The one who complains about her job, her boss, her bank account, and her age. It’s a younger brother: the one who rarely listens. The one who’s too loud, too brash, and very naïve. The one who makes you shake your head, but you love him anyway (even though sometimes you want to knock him upside the head). The one whom you embrace ‘cause you know he’s got so much potential. It’s an aunt: the one whom you could always trust. The only one who still appreciates the blues. The one who swings to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. The one who cusses a lot, but loves her man even more. It’s an uncle: the one who still dresses in his furs and wears too much gold jewelry. The one who swears up and down that he’s still the most stylish of them all. The one who takes care of business (all of his bizness). The one who always smells good. The one who loves to joke. It’s a cousin—the traveler who embodies the entire universe. The one who has had a lot of schooling and speaks several languages. The one who’s comfortable “in her skin.” The one who has had many loves; the one who has never forgotten who or what is home. The one who walks like she belongs on a fashion runway. It’s a little sister—the beautiful one. The one who’s sweet and innocent. The one whose long legs and natural hair will, one day, make them knock on her daddy’s door. Do they sound familiar? If so, you know why. It’s Harlem. It’s a family affair, and we should give thanks.■ Glenda Johnson, editor-in-chief

t’s a Family Affair.” Do you remember that 1971 hit by Sly and The Family Stone? Well, I was a little too young to actually remember it, but I can recall my older brothers and sisters grooving to it. They all knew somebody who reminded them of the family that Sly sang about. That’s the feeling I get when walking up the boulevards in Harlem. No, this isn’t an all-thingsare-lovely-and-positive-in-my-Harlem-village type tale. It’s my attempt to articulate exactly what makes Harlem so intimate. It’s a father. Strong. Defiant. Bruised but not defeated. The one who talks about the good ole days, and King, Kennedy, and Jesus. The one who knows what must be done, and will break his back


ARTICLE DEADLINES January 2004 issue - December 26 February 2004 issue - January 12 March 2004 issue - February 18
Parting Time
By Jerry Komia Domatob, Ph.d Parting time summons with jet speeds Calling partners to account for deeds With courage and conviction as warriors But uphold ethics high as goldmines And strive for excellence in dignities Forge ahead with love and respect For none snatches your rightful dues Despite adversities and adversaries Stick strong to your principles as tigers Show firm and fair flexibility as foxes But struggle unrelentingly as battlers Despite hurdles be ready at all times For reckoning bells knock fast sirens Tomorrows instantly flash to yesterdays As time rolls past like Concorde planes Presents quickly transform to pasts As futures fast mutate to currents Yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows cross Asking legacies bequeathed to progenies


Success smiles on all who battle failures Each passing minute rings bye-bye bells Alerting all to prepare for inevitable trips Whether humans want journeys or sojourns Life commands as judges’ hammers Unlike court cases no appeal stands

TELEPHONE or FAX us at 212-876-5697 or EMAIL:, MAIL: P.O. Box 1588, New York, NY 10026



For the ruling accompanies arrivals Exit holds high pedestal on agendas For you leave when the bell chimes So work in faith and vision as lions Resolved to shatter irons and chains Beat mountains and valleys as cruisers And pilot your path to fame as heroes


THE CITIZEN office: 27 West 129th Street, New York, NY 10027 Tel/fax: 212-876-5697 Email: Publisher Kitty Barnes Editor-in-Chief Glenda Johnson Marketing Manager Sherry Ellerbe Designer Daniella van Gennep Contributors Valerie Jo Bradley Jerry Domatob Clymenza Hawkins Musa Jackson Martha Mae Jones Shephard Lee Honey Walrond Hashim Warren *All photos by Glenda Johnson, unless noted Advisors Neighborhood Advisory Group, a collective of block associations, tenant associations, and community stakeholders, who work together to improve the quality of life in Central Harlem. Marie Dutton Brown Keith Faulkner Paul Vincent Hendricks Phyllis A. Lodge Nicholas A. Mottern A. Verde Tom Vitullo-Martin Supporters Edna McConnell Clark Foundation Gregory Pascal, Pascal Realty

Mission Statement
THE CITIZEN is a community newspaper produced by and for the residents of Central Harlem. It is meant to serve as a public forum, providing residents with a means to speak out, in their own words, on issues of importance to them. Its goal is to accurately and fairly report news, information, and opinions of interest and concern to the Harlem community and to advocate measures that will make life better for community residents. The process of producing the paper is designed to harness the existing talents and skills of Harlem residents to help others develop and improve their communication skills. We encourage Harlem residents to participate by sharing story ideas; researching, writing, or editing articles; providing illustrations or photographs; developing the layout; and assisting in distribution.

Dr. Jerry Komia Domatob is a journalist, author, poet, and writer. He is a professor of communications and has taught in several universities. He lives in Harlem.

A PRAYER FROM REVEREND LEE AND FAMILY Our Father, Thou hath abundantly blessed this earth on which we live with great harvests. Thou hath provided for mankind all things needful. Bless those who labor in the fields. May we ever rejoice in Thy great goodness to us. Help us to not forgot all Thy benefits. This is a good land in which we live. As we move into another year, we thank thee. May the words of the Psalmist be our prayer: “BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL / AND ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME / BLESS HIS HOLY NAME. Amen.

THE CITIZEN is your forum. We hope you will use it.


Be Proud, Stay Strong, Get Tested
By Hashim Warren
still a high number who are engaging in risky HIV-exposing ed is an important factor that is keeping the AIDS death rate from receding. “An AIDS patient cannot maintain the strict regime required by their medication if they do not have a stable, safe environment to live in,” Oldham says. He also points to a lack of access to health care as a problem. Far too often, those who are infected find out their status only after they are hospitalized and the crippling condition of AIDS has already set in. At that point, it is usually too late to begin a successful treatment and they do not live as long as Frank Oldham Jr., a citywide coordinator of AIDS outreach for Department of Health and Mental Health and Hygiene, reasons that a lack of adequate housing for the HIV infectthey could have. The most unfortunate factor in our high death rate is that many of us are purposefully remaining ignorant about our HIV status. This cannot be totally explained or blamed on economic factors. Like those in many other black and Latino neighborhoods, we are still dealing with the stigma that comes with being HIV positive. Those who think they may be infected rightly fear being shunned by their friends and family or being mislabeled as a drug user or homosexual. Even worse, men who really are having sex with men are not admitting they are gay to their girlfriends and worse yet, not even their doctors. Because of this, they never receive the special information and counseling usually offered to openly gay males by AIDS educators. For those who would like to have a free STD and HIV test, there are two local clinics: the Central Harlem Health Center at 2238 Fifth Avenue or the East Harlem Health Center at 158 East 115th Street. You can call 311 to find HIV services outside of these

be proud of.

behaviors such as intravenous drug use and unprotected sex. However, this seems to be occurring at a lower rate than as compared to other New York communities. So, if we’re being safer than most, why are so many dying so soon? This is an especially troubling question since we are in a time period where those who are HIV-positive can live longer and healthier lives thanks to the powerful medications available in the drug market.

y neighborhood, Central Harlem, has always rivaled other neighborhoods in New

York City with its rich cultural history and beautiful architecture. However, according to a recent neighborhood profile released by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), we have another distinguishing mark: an AIDS death rate that is triple that of the city’s average. And that is not a mark to Though drugs and violence are considerable concerns for parents raising their children in Central Harlem, they must be equally informed and aware of the dangers of HIV infection, which is one of the leading causes of death for young women and men in our community. In fact, twice as many of our neighbors—of any age—lost their lives last year to AIDS than they did to drug overdoses or gun shot wounds combined. Additionally, more neighbors died from AIDS, within that same period, than they did from diabetes or strokes. The health profile also showed that although we, in this neighborhood, are dying of the disease at an epidemic level, there is

By Martha Mae Jones
Bare trees of winter Do not linger ‘til the Spring To claim themselves whole

areas. Each clinic can test you, counsel you about the results, and even help you to find stable housing if you are HIV positive. With all of that help, there is no reason not to know your status.■ Hashim Warren is a 23-year-old student in CUNY and a long time Harlem resident and community activist. He regularly updates a hip-hop web log at

Breast Examination Center Paints A Healthy Picture
By Honey Waldron
delighted to announce the Women’s Health Community Mural Project. B.E.C.H, a community outreach program of Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, has an established reputation in the Harlem community for free high-quality care. Its aim is to educate women within the Harlem community about the importance of having cancer screenings, and about understanding various health issues. The Women’s Health Community Mural is on a 1,400 square foot outdoor wall on the side the H&M clothing store, which is located on 125th Street next to the plaza of the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building. The mural is adjacent to where the Breast Examination Center Of Harlem is located. (Its address is: 163 West 125th Street, 4th Fl.). The Project started a year ago with 14 weeks of workshops provided by B.E.C.H health educator and mural director Alexandra Mitnick. The workshops focused on the importance of women’s health, preventive care, health services, and the ways to communicate those issues through visual images. At the onset of the mural project, B.E.C.H wanted to make it a collaborative of


TELEPHONE or FAX us at 212-876-5697 or EMAIL:, MAIL: P.O. Box 1588, New York, NY 10026

community members, including artists, cancer survivors, B.E.C.H staff and supporters, educators, and young adults. According to B.E.C.H, its aim was to serve as a model for other social services and agencies interested in using this unique technique to communicate important messages about women’s health care. The goal of the Mural Project is twofold: first, to increase knowledge of women’s health issues with the ultimate goal of increasing positive health behaviors among woman in the Harlem community, and second, to address the emotional and psychological needs of women during very difficult times and to support their healing process through the use of arts. In addition, the mural speaks to the intergenerational collaboration and creativity of the participants. It also adds beauty to the neighborhood and increases community pride. Diana Godfrey, the program director of B.E.C.H, says she is just elated to have this type of advertisement, with such high visibility. “With the mural project, which is a form

of advertising through art, we’re going to increase the awareness of those who pass by, and of those who had no idea that such an outreach program existed. My personal feeling is that we’re going to get through to the people about the job that we do best, which is to reduce the high cancer mortality in this community,” she said. Painting began this year on the 16th of May by Bryan Collier, who was commissioned to guide 40 women from the community to design the image, which incorporated

many of their personal sketches. The mural is funded by contributions from the Aaliyah Memorial Fund through Set Up Women’s Network, Essence Magazine, New York State Department of Health Bureau of Chronic Disease, Blockbuster, Johnson& Johnson, and H&M.■ Honey Walrond is an young journalist, writer, CCNY student, and a program director of WHCR's (90.3 fm) HARLEM 411 (Friday's 6-8PM). She's a Harlemite.

o promote breast cancer awareness, the Breast Examination Center Of Harlem (B.E.C.H) is

Mural on the side of the H&M clothing store, 125th Street adjacent to ACPowell, Jr. State Office Building


Young Artists Put Their Best Feet Forward
PCOG Gallery’s Paula Coleman talks about her E.merging Y.oung A.rtists Program
By Glenda Johnson


TELEPHONE or FAX us at 212-876-5697 or EMAIL:, MAIL: P.O. Box 1588, New York, NY 10026

aula Coleman, of PCOG Gallery, wrote an article in the August issue of The Citizen about investing in the human capital of the neighborhood. There, she explained the need to hire community workers to renovate the gallery that she owns with renowned sculptor, Ousmane Gueye. With her E.merging Y.oung A.rtists program, she’s developing the talents of neighborhood youths through art education and practice. We stopped by PCOG gallery to talk to her about the latest show and about her roster of young talent. Glenda Johnson: What is the E.merging Y.oung A.rtists proArtists’ works from the E.merging Y.oung A.rtists Program gram? Paula Coleman: It’s a nonif they’re painting, then they learn about why we created the shoe art theme. profit children’s art program, with chilusing paint brushes, mixing colors, and GJ: Did all the children participate dren ranging from the ages of 5 to 12. basic painting techniques. in the show? Our mission is The artistic media that PC: We have 11 permanent students twofold: first, to are studied include mixed and 10 who audit. So the 11 permanent expose children in media, drawing, painting, students were in the show. urban settings to the photography, and digital art. The pieces aren’t named. The kids arts; and second, to GJ: How are the stucreated their work from things that give them the oppordent artists’ judged? inspired them. tunity to work with PC: By their project Everyone’s installation consisted of established and completions, class attenat least one shoe and a shoe box. emerging older dance and participation, GJ: Who are some of these emergartists. These artists behavior and teamwork. ing artists? teach and mentor Also, while the artistic PC: Robert Davenport, age 10; he them as well. quality of the work is started his shoes first. He was inspired by Most important important, because each the circus, which is why he used clowns though, the prochild has a different level of in his work. It’s tempura and acrylic. gram’s goals are to talent, progress is measured nurture and cultivate By Artist Robert Davenport by how well instructions are the natural talents of followed. the students. They come to understand the way GJ: When did the program begin? galleries work and the discipline it takes PC: In August 2002. to be engaged in the art process. Plus, GJ: How much does it cost? they get the pleasPC: It’s ure of working in a free, but we gallery environaccept donament, along with tions. I’m also great artists planning a who’ve also shown fundraiser here, such as my scheduled for partner Ousmane next year. Gueye, photograGJ: And pher Carrie Mae how are the Weems, and the classes strucBy Artist Navon A. Bird artist and novelist tured? Danny Simmons. PC: The classes are divided into GJ: Approximately how many stugroups of 10-12 students. They meet dents participate in the program? once a week on Saturdays for two hours. PC: Usually from 10 to 17. In these two hours, children are taught to GJ: Is this the first group show? work on individual and collaborative art PC: Yes. It was organized with the projects. Etu Evans Foundation. His foundation Also in these classes, they learn art sponsored a four day shoe drive to collect history and an introduction to that day’s Malcolm X. Blvd., between shoes for young people, ages 18-24. We medium. It is followed by a tutorial on decided to play on that activity, which is using appropriate art tools. For example,

Navon A. Bird, age 8; he was inspired by Native Americans; he was learning about them in school. The colors he chose invoke images of Native American headdress; the colors of the boot make you think of the land. His box has all the elements of the environment—the oceans, land, etc. Other artists were Aja Giles, 12; Jazslyn Saunders, 10; Amalie and Marina Seyffert, 3 and 6; Jenaba and Sirah Sow, 4 and 6; Sojouner Joy Travis, 5; Camera Ford, 9; and Terra Cary, 6. GJ: Was the art for sale? PC: Yes, and all will be sold by the end of the show. Each piece was $100. Some artists had drawings, and they were priced at $50. GJ: When does the show end and will there be another? PC: This show ends December 13. We’ll have a major fundraising and exhibition with a larger body of work. That will be in late spring. Also on exhibit, which will extend past December 13, are works from the two instructors: Chesiel John, a mixed media artist, and Diane Smith, a painter and illustrator. In the meantime, interested individuals can make tax deductible donations to our E.merging Y.oung A.rtists program at PCOG Gallery. Checks must be made payable to the Harlem Renaissance EDC, the fiscal conduit for the program.■ P.C.O.G is located at 1902 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard, between 115th and 116th Streets. You may contact her at 212-932-9669 or email at


129th and 130th streets


HARLEM Dressin’
By Martha Mae Jones

in Grand S tyle
Holley, and Doris Wooten, Jonelle Procope, Harriet Cole, Lu Sierra, Regina Taylor, Nina Freelon, Elsie Simmons, Cynthia Grace, and Shannon Ayers. With her savvy business sense and style concepts, Veronica is very much a role model. She is renowned for her tireless efforts on behalf of young people who are embarking on careers in the fashion industry; she has mentored many through her association with Black Retail Action Group (BRAGG) and Fashion Outreach, for which she served as president for four years. Among those who have honored her are Black Enterprise Magazine, The National Black MBA, and the Harlem Business Alliance. For two years, she appeared in a JC Penny national advertising campaign that celebrated African Americans in fashion. “I hope my experience will motivate others to take an entrepreneurial path. There are millions of Harlemites out there ready to support Harlem,” Veronica declared. Representing grand style in Harlem, Grandview is located at 2531 Frederick Douglas Blvd., between 135th and 136th Street. Sat., Store hours: 12-7:00PM, Tues. Tel: 212-694-7324. Website: Michelle Dudley. While keeping an eye out for t r e n d s , Grandview’s selections veer toward classic lines that are forever contemporary. While she carries casual wear, special Veronica occasion says that it’s the and eveningwear niche that she has captured and that is most popular with

she added.


both Bis

Gene and

randview: the name conjures up images of those with style and grace. And certainly, that is the


Kenar Enterprises. And for 10 years, she Veronica Showroom selling Fifth to owned Jones on Saks

mission of Veronica Jones, the owner of this small, cozy boutique. “It exists to bring sophisticated, quality clothing to the Harlem community, which has been greatly underserved in this regard,” says Veronica. “And I’m honored and pleased that Grandview has become a destination for a cross section of Harlemites who are delighted to be able to keep their fashion dollars in our community,” Veronica opened Grandview in Harlem on the eve of this century after having helped to pioneer the revitalization of downtown Nyack, NY. That was fourteen years ago. Now, she’s here and contributing to this community’s spirit of renewal. On the cutting edge of fashion since graduating from Kent State University and New York’s Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, Veronica’s pioneering spirit has taken her to great heights. She entered the Institute’s Abraham & Straus executive training program early in her career. Afterwards, she quickly climbed the corporate ladder to become an esteemed buyer at Gimbels in New York and Joseph Magnin in San Francisco, traveling the world and buying for 48 stores. She served as vice president

Seventh Avenue, Avenue,

B e r g d o r f Goodman, Neiman M a r c u s , Nordstroms, and other the Although, high-end country. by Veronica Jones boutiques across

choice, she operates on a much smaller scale

her eclectic clientele. Grandview’s holiday selec-

now, her expertise and contacts have made her a much sought after authority in both the retail and manufacturing houses of fashion. Grandview specializes in clothing and accessories that make a distinctive difference in every wardrobe. While Grandview carries such brand names as Flax, Michael Stars, Womyn, and Nicole Miller, it showcases many of the best black purveyors of style. Consider a few names: Stephen Burrows, Byron Lars, Courtney Washington, Sandy Baker, Edward Wilkerson, Dabanga, Toma

tions include: cuddly cashmere sweat suits, uniquely crafted patchwork bags and scarves, corset shirts, audacious leather and silk chiffon paneled dresses, tye-dyed and handknit sweater coats. Grandview, as one can see , is not an ordinary store for Harlem or for the city. Prices range from $30 to $1000. Sizes cover 6 to 20. “I’m interested in fitting all of us,” Grandview’s grande dame declares. Some of those whom she wardrobes include Sandra Parks, Audrey Smaltz, Peggy Dillard,■ Martha Mae Jones is a resident of Harlem and is the author of the Haikus appearing in this paper each month.

Take A Stroll and Discover our Community’s Hidden Treasures
By Clymenza Hawkins
children’s bookclub. You can find the following: journals ($10), visual art ($8 and up), wrap skirts ($40 and up). The emporium will also be open December 23rd and 24th during store hours. Free gifts with purchase, refreshments served. Sorry, no credit cards accepted at this time. 939-9738. Let’s head down to St. Nicholas to Sugarhill. This charming shop features beautifully handcrafted Moroccan home furnishings and accessories. You’ll have a hard time picking from the colors and patterns for your holiday dinner party. Items include: candleholders with stained-glass colored stems ($27 and up) and beautifully designed, Where We Live colorful Moroccan dishes ($10 and up); photos on page 6. Sugarhill, 741 St. Nicholas Ave., between 147th and 148th; MondayFriday, 10:00AM-10:00PM, Saturday, 11:00AM-10:00PM, email:; phone: 917-507-2046, major credit cards accepted take the 2/3 train to 145th. Where We Live is open daily from December 15 to December 24, 1:007:00PM, 877 St. Nicholas Ave., @ 154th Street, 646-303-3671, email:;; major credit cards accepted; take the C train to 155th. Chrysalis Emporium at Sisters Uptown Bookstore, L.L.C. Set in a community bookstore offering bestselling titles and a Be greeted by artist Shimoda in the serenity of her living room. Shimoda’s Holiday Home Show features her jewelry made of precious stones, pearls, and glass: earrings ($10-$85), bracelets ($45-$65), and necklaces ($65). She also makes journals with visual art and rubber stamps ($10). (Photo on page 6). Every purchase comes with a giveaway box. Shimoda Accessories Holiday Homeshow, December 12-14 and 19-21, Friday, 5:00-8:00PM; Saturday, 1:00-7:00PM; 137th & Sunday, 1:00-6:00PM, email: 2572C Frederick Douglass Blvd., between 138th;; phone/fax: 212491-6726; major credit cards accepted; take C train to 135th Street. Step into Bakayoko & Sons Company and you’re in an African market. Their housewares are both functional and decorative. And they’re also very resourceful in creating new and inventive recipes with a variety of herbs and spices. Islamic prayer mats can Con’t on page 6 Email:, fax: 212TELEPHONE or FAX us at 212-876-5697 or EMAIL:, MAIL: P.O. Box 1588, New York, NY 10026


rom West 157th to Spanish Harlem, discover great gifts from shops and artists with prices to fit any budget.

($30). Other items (no photo) include: velvet cell phone bags with beaded strap ($18), handknit wool scarves ($28), rabbit fur handbags ($80), young lady’s felt bags ($10), velvet bags ($20). There’s something for everyone!

Let’s begin this stroll with Paula Nixon,

proprietor of Where We Live. On the corner of 154th and St. Nicholas, Paula turned the main floor of her residence into a shop offering personal and home accessories “for the soul.” This is her second holiday year featuring a wonderful variety of gifts and merchandise for adults and children. Items in photo include: Votivo candles ($24), wood bowl ($18), silver and crystal candle set ($40), African candles ($10), rift vase ($10), orange and red striped suede vase ($20), wooden frame ($60), and the large ceramic vase


Take a Stroll

Con’t from page 5

from Kente to mudcloth. They also make eye-catching bags from their fabric stock. Canvas and leather shoulder bags with adjustable strap ($45 and up). Kaarta Imports & Exports, 121 West 125th street, between Malcolm X Blvd., and 7th Avenue, Monday-Friday, 10:00AM8:30PM; Sunday, 12:00 8:30PM, phone: 212-8665190 fax: 212-665-9815, credit cards accepted; take A,B,C,D or 2,3 trains to 125th. G r e t a Wallace manage where and The three Princess Jenkins Brownstone Sugar Hill brighten any floor in your home. Items include: shredded coconut ($6), small metal teapots in blue and green ($12), large marbled stripped plastic teapots ($6), colorful reversible plastic prayer mats ($10$30). Bakayoko & Son Co., 2278 8th Avenue, between 122nd & 123rd, Monday-Sunday, 9:00AM-6:00PM; phone: 212-749-6875; take A,B,C,D to 125th; no credit cards accepted. Kaarta Imports & Shimoda’s Jewelry Exports offers African fabrics TELEPHONE or FAX us at 212-876-5697 or EMAIL:, MAIL: P.O. Box 1588, New York, NY 10026 floors offer bridal wear, stylish clothing for men a n ral d hair parlor, jewelry women, a café, natuaccessories, and of course, (lots of it). Main floor: Sistaphyre Kreations: Inspired country, West Africa, Powoo designs jew by her Teaty elry Liberia,

are currently sold out (ask her about reorders), but there’s plenty of other jewelry to beautify yourself. Items include rings ($45) and earrings ($45). The sterling silver triangle and square bracelets ($18 each) are also her signature trademarks. Second floor: Find Gina Blalock’s Harlem Charm Bracelet (photo on page 7). She says, “Everyone can own a a brownstone at G without the headache of mortgage squared.” The charms include a brownstone building, chicken and waffles, and other trinkets in sterling silver ($95). gold. She can also The 2032 Sistaphyre Kreations create them in 18kt Your Dream” can be purchased on posters ($10), tote bags ($20), black or white t-shirts ($25), long-sleeve shirts ($30), sweatshirts ($40), hat ($10 and up), and visual art on canvas ($300). As one of his quotes states, “This moment is more precious than you Vega, think.” De The La 1651 Galeria Bakayoko & Son Company

Kaarta Imports & Imports

Brownstone, 7980,

Fifth Avenue, 212-996WednesdaySunday, 11:00AM-7:00PM; G Squared showroom, Thursday-Saturday, 12:007:00PM, Sunday, 12:00-5:00PM; major credit cards excepted; take 2 or 3 trains to 125th. “There’s a lot more going on / outside this box.” The Citizen published this quote from an outdoor mural in the October issue. That quote by De La Vega is available as a greeting card ($5) at his Galeria. De La Vega has written his visual art quotes on sidewalks, murals, canvases, and paper. Settled in the heart of Spanish Harlem, the Galeria is a studio and retail outlet. Such inspiring quotes as “You are your won investment” or “Become

Lexington Avenue @ 104th Street, 212-8768649; take the 6 train to 104th Street, no credit cards accepted.■ Clymenza Hawkins is the producer of Chrysalis Collection greeting cards; she is also a visual artist and writer. Her work will be featured in the new edition of Jumping The Broom by Harriette Cole, due January 2004.

from semi-precious stones, sterling, and copper. Her signature Liberian stone rings

The Galeria De La Vega

Murphy Courtesy of Chrysler Magazine Heyliger: The idea of But a loan would be great. MJ: What was Lenox Avenue like when you started Harlemade? MH: When we started, there weren’t any other new businesses. When I say ‘new,’ I mean those that are currently being classified as part of the ‘new Harlem.’ MJ: What gave you the inspiration to start a business on Lenox Avenue? MH: I’ve always envisioned Lenox Avenue as being like Columbus Avenue on the Upper Westside, with the coffee shops, the chic boutiques, and the sidewalks that make for leisurely strolls. MJ: What do you think about the ‘new Harlem’ and being apart of that? MH: I love it. MJ: You’ve just completed your first major ad campaign. Where can we see it? MH: At the Magic Johnson Theater (124th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd.) during the previews, starting mid-November. MJ: Where do you see Harlemade in the MH: I see Harlemade still going strong, with perhaps one other store either here or in Atlanta. Through our products and merchandise, we will always reflect on Harlem’s rich history and culture. Daniel Dease next three years? Harlemade came about through my love of Harlem. At the time, I was doing graphics for well-known companies—The Gap, Armani Exchange, etc. Then, I thought that it would be cool to have a tee-shirt line. MJ: Have you always dreamt of starting your own business? MH: I always knew that I couldn’t do a Murphy Heyliger 9 to 5 job. When you’re a creative person, it’s difficult to be under the creative control of someone else’s establishment. In some ways, you might be up to the challenge, but in other ways, you’re just a machine. Also, I realized as a black man working as graphic designer, I would never be fully challenged or rewarded. MJ: How did you get investors? MH: The money came from all of us partners—Pat, Kevin, and myself. It was very difficult to sell people the idea and have them believe in it the way we did. So instead of spending energy attempting to find investors, we put it up ourselves. We realized that we could do it. MJ: Have you been able to receive any money from Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) or a bank? MH: The answer is ‘no.’ All the steps and requirements seem like huge obstacles.

By Musa Jackson

MJ: What advice would you give to any entrepreneurs? MH: If you have an idea, go for it. A lot of people will encourage you and there are those who will discourage you as well. But if you want it bad enough, it can happen.■ Musa Jackson is an entrepreneur and community activist.


hree years ago, when Lenox Avenue lay in commercial real estate decay, three pioneering entrepreneurs—

Kevin McGruder, Pat Alfred, and Murphy Heyliger—pooled their resources and talent to open Harlemade, a lifestyle boutique with unique Harlem-centric items made by Harlem residents. This unique shop displays a potpourri of items, including artwork by new artists, quilts, pillows, books, vintage movies, jazz cds, and the coolest graphic tees celebrating Harlem’s rich culture. On behalf of The Citizen, I spoke with

Murphy Heyliger, Harlemade’s founder and creative visionary, about the company’s beginning and plans for the future. Musa Jackson: How did you conceive of the idea of Harlemade?

Model Kahshanna Evans with iconic afro tote and wearing revamped afro tee


By Valerie Jo Bradley
Grandview Montgomery Hats. By Bunn.
2/3 train


B/C train

Schomburg Center



The Scarf Lady One Good Thing Porgy & Bass

charm bracelet from G squared

G squared Fine Jewelry The Brownstone

Hats. By Bunn.

Studio Museum Gift Shop

African Paradise Mobay’s Restaurant

Turning Heads Salon & Day Spa Settepani Bakery Xukuma






Harlemade Native Restaurant
ST . N

martini set from Xukuma


2/3 train


remember when it was a pain to have to shop for almost anything uptown, including food. I would have to schlep

shopping with me. You won’t regret it, and those on the receiving end will love you for it! My first stop is Xukuma, which is located upstairs in a brownstone on Lenox Avenue near 119th Street. Last year, I purchased most of my Christmas/Kwanzaa gifts there. At Xukuma, you can purchase wonderful scented candles, unusual picture frames in all shapes and materials, funky/hip tee shirts and hats, cute and uniquely shaped vases, imported aromatherapy products for the bath and beyond, pewter wine stoppers, precious linens for the table, ceramic and hand-painted clay pots, and numerous other items—all for under $50.

You can find high end items too.


holiday party if it’s not scheduled on her work days. By the way, Native will cater your holiday party with élan, or if your place is too small, you can host a party at this eclectically styled facility. I love the French/Moroccan/Caribbean inspired entrees and hors d’oeuvres that owner and chef Brian Washington-Palmer offers up, and I am a “regular” there for dinner and drinks with friends and business colleagues. I make my way up Lenox Avenue at 120th Street to Settepani Bakery. This gathering place—owned by Leah Abraham and Antonino Settepani—is a favorite for Mount Morris Park District residents who start their work day with a take-out cup of latte or cappuccino, and who spend their weekends there reading the newspaper over a delicate pastry with coffee or tea served European style (table side infusers for tea and oversized bowl-like cups for latte). If you are lactate intolerant like I am, Settepani will serve your coffee on request with soy milk. On this visit, I pick up a pound or two of assorted chocolate truffles—dusted with confectionery sugar, unsweetened powdered chocolate, or rolled in crushed almonds. They are placed in a fancy octagonal box with gold elastic string tied in a delicate bow (just the right gift for someone with a sweet tooth). If I’m too busy to bake a cake for Christmas, then I’ll come back to buy a couple of mousse cakes or a lemon tart as Con’t on page 8


A/C train

2/3 train


TELEPHONE or FAX us at 212-876-5697 or EMAIL:, MAIL: P.O. Box 1588, New York, NY 10026

Georgia Boothe and her assistant, Mieko, will expertly gift wrap your purchases, so that all you have to do is put the gifts under the tree. Harlemade is also on Lenox Avenue between 119th and 118th Streets. When I want to reinforce how special Harlem is with out-of-town family and friends, I shop here. This store specializes in Harlem-centric items made by Harlem residents. There is nothing like co-owner Murphy Heyliger’s Harlem motif designed tee shirts. They have become the Harlem rave. In addition, I take my tour guests here to shop for items that will make them remember Harlem. You can find architectural and cultural historian Michael Henry Adams’s coffee table size books, Harlem Lost & Found, and African American Style & Grace here. Also, a popular item is the New York Landmark Conservancy published book, Touring Historic Harlem: Four Walks in Northern Manhattan. You’ll also find postcards of historic Harlem landmarks and celebrities, posters, stuffed dolls, videos of vintage Harlem movies, and other unique Harlem memorabilia. Before I continue my shopping spree, I have to renew my energy with a drink at Native Bistro. Located on the west side of Lenox Avenue at 118th Street, you can get the best mojitos in town. They are prepared by bartender Boi Jackson, who will bartend your

downtown on crowded subways and buses or risk getting those God awful tickets if I dared to drive my car. Thanks to the “second Harlem renaissance” that has stimulated new homeownership development and thereby brought new commercial development, I can walk within two to five blocks from my home to purchase some of the most incredible gifts for family and friends. I am so excited about this new reality that I want to share with you. Come holiday

Celeste Beatty’s Sugar Hill Golden Ale

Sylvia’s, Bayou, Lenox Lounge, MoBay’s, Native, Apollo Theater, Sugar Hill Bistro, Revival, St. Nick’s Pub, Spoonbread, Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread, Max Soha, Sezz Medi, Faculty House at Columbia University, Kitchenette, Pioneer, and Fairway.
Robert Hale Correction: Celeste Beatty’s last name was listed incorrectly in our last issue. It was written as “Bailey.” Also, Robert Hale wasn’t noted as the photographer. We apologize for Sugar Hill Golden Ale the mistake and omission.


Val’s Shopping Continues
my contribution to dinner with friends. They make good gifts too! Continuing up Lenox, my next stop is Turning Heads Salon & Day Spa at the corner of 121st Street. I purchase a gift certificate for a reflexology session. (By the way, this is a great gift for the man who’s often reluctant to pamper himself in this manner. Or, for the man who want to relax his woman, a certificate for the hot stone therapy session and an herbal facial is a winner.) I buy a “day of beauty” gift certificate—reflexology, facial, and spa manicure and pedicure—for my mother as a personal treat. Turning Heads features a substantial array of Carol’s Daughter products, so you no longer have to travel to Brooklyn to get them; they also make great girlfriend gifts. Also, for that friend who owner wears locks, Shannon Brownstone, I discover a nice collection of hand-made, one-of-a-kind earrings in bronze, semi-precious stones like lapis lazuli, citrine, and carnelian that are priced just right for my gift budget. Co-owners Princess Jenkins (buyer & stylist) and Greta Wallace (Simply Greta designer) have outdone themselves offering all manner of outrageously beautiful sweaters, dresses, suits, slacks, and black tie attire to make your look uniquely special for the holidays. Before walking to the 135th Street area, I have to refuel. I do that at Porgy & Bass, the newest restaurant on Lenox Avenue, on the northwest corner of 126th Street. Karene and Chip, the owners, carry the best gumbo you want to put in your mouth, and that is what I order with a big glass of handsqueezed lemonade. Even though they have some of the tastiest fried fish this side of heaven, they also feature steamed fish accompanied with various lip-smacking sauces. I cap off my meal with an order of Louisiana-style bread pudding sauce! On my way to the 135th Street area, I discover that One Good Thing (featuring art and soul collectibles), located between 128th and 129th Streets, is open! What a treat, because owner Sydney Kai Inis usually opens by appointment only or when she is hosting an exhibit opening. She collects incredible things including furniture, clothing, artwork, books, and jewelry. I bet you can find one good thing in her tiny (but big in what it offers) shop. Through December 27, One Good Thing is featuring an exhibit of John Rozelle’s artwork, Mixed Media: The Blues Project. Nearby on Lenox Avenue, at 130th Street, is The Scarf Lady. This boutique carries Imani Jewelry in addition to some of the most precious handmade scarves in fine fabrics that owner Paulette Gay travels all over the world to find. She designs many of her products. Let’s also talk about all the pretty dresses you can find here. The sizes go from no figure up to full figure. I turn west at 135th Street right at the corner of the Schomburg Center. I would love to go in and browse in the gift shop, but I will come back another day. Before all the redevelopment of Harlem, I purchased many of my holiday gifts at the Schomburg and The Studio Museum gift shops. In both of these gift shops, you can find African-American books, catalogues of past exhibits documenting African-American and African art and culture, ethnic jewelry, posters, calendars, and nice gift items especially from the African Diaspora. The Schomburg has a nice collection of South African N’debele gift items such as beaded earrings, bracelets, pillows, and bead-trimmed tee shirts. Montgomery, located on the west side of 136th Street on Adam Clayton Powell with whiskey Street, Blvd., is a one-of-a kind boutique that carries the fashions of haute couture designer Jolinda Montgomery (who happens to design for the rich and famous). Not only are the clothes phenomenal and stylishly chic, but the accessories are equally as nice. While the rack items seem to be geared for small women, some items can be made to measure for more amply endowed sisters. The décor of the shop is equally inviting. Next, I make my way to Veronica Jones’ Grandview, located on Eighth Avenue between 136th and 135th Streets. For that special New Year’s Eve black tie event, you’re certain to find a drop dead outfit here. My last stop is Hats. By Bunn. located on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. between 135th and 134th Streets. Sisters always have to have hats, and this is the place to get them custom-made to accommodate bigger or smaller heads and for cascading locks. Designer Bunn uses an assortment of domestic and imported natural fabrics to create hats suitable for church or for casual wear. You have a treasure when you own a Bunn hat. (I own several!) Gift certificates are also available. I could take you to many more places for hard-to-find videos, hand-made and custom made shoes, and unique Harlem galleries, but I’ll save that for another column. Until then, enjoy my selections!■

XUKUMA: 222-0490 NATIVE: 161 Lenox Ave., 212-6652525 HARLEMADE: 174 Lenox Ave., 212-987-2500 SETTEPANI BAKERY: 196 Lenox Ave., 917-492-4806 TURNING HEADS DAY SPA: 218 Lenox Ave., 212-828-4600 AFRICAN PARADISE: 125th Street, 212-410-5294 MOBAY: 17 W. 125th Street, 212876-9300, Take Out & Delivery 212828-3400 THE BROWNSTONE: Ave., 212-996-7980 G SQUARED @ The Brownstone: 2032 Fifth Ave., 212-996-7980 PORGY & BASS: 321 Lenox Ave., 212-531-0300 ONE GOOD THING: Ave., 646-342-7389 THE SCARF LADY: Ave., 212-862-7369 SCHOMBURG CENTER: The STUDIO MUSEUM 515 GIFT Lenox Ave. 2nd Floor, 212-491-2206 SHOP: 144 West 125th Street, 212864-0014 MONTGOMERY: GRANDVIEW: 2312 Adam 2531 Frederick 2283 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., 212-690-2166 Douglass Blvd., 212-694-7324 HATS. BY BUNN.: Clayton Powell Blvd., 212-694-3590 408 Lenox 367 Lenox 2032 Fifth 27 West 183 Lenox Ave., 212-

Ayers just purchased a special selection of lock ornaments for the holidays. Now, I am on 125th Harlem’s commercial center. My first stop is African Paradise to purchase a Kwanzaa kinara (candle holder similar to a menorah for Hanukah). This shop, which has an array of everything African, has an interesting collection of kinaras in hand-carved wood. In fact, you TELEPHONE or FAX us at 212-876-5697 or EMAIL:, MAIL: P.O. Box 1588, New York, NY 10026 will find a number of surprises here, like fringed indigo tie-dyed shawls from Burkino Faso, strands of rare West African trade beads that can be used for uniquely designed Afrocentric jewelry for those who like to make their own gifts, and original art and wood and stone sculptures by contemporary African artists. (I have found some serious art bargains here, but you’ve got to know what you are looking at in order to realize a bargain). The next stop is Mobay’s take out for a Red Velvet cake. The cake is slammin’, and so are the hand rubbed St. Louis ribs prepared to the specifications of co-owner Joe Barnes’ legendary family recipe. Just so you know, Mobay has its liquor license now, and that enhances the experience at this new and stylish Harlem eatery. I could never forget The Brownstone, Harlem’s premier shopping emporium located on Fifth Avenue between 125th and 126th Streets. Before I check the apparel and accessories on the parlor floor, I walk to the second floor and visit G squared Fine Jewelry and Other Fine Things to purchase a pair of sterling silver Harlem signature cuff links for my father. Gemologist Gina Ramcharan, who worked for 15 years at Tiffany’s, has created this newest Harlem-themed offering for the holiday. In 2002, Gina gave me a silver Harlem charm bracelet, and I think I will treat myself to some new charms that she recently developed. There are other interesting gift items in G squared, and purchases are boxed and gift wrapped. Back downstairs in the

Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., outside offices of The Amsterdam News

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