Yet Another Magical Harlem Tour!
Posted: Nov 11, 2012 | 7:07 PM
Harlem Tour: my first since Superstorm Sandy struck in late October.
Touring Harlem with a family reunion delivered an above average amount of magical surprises that are common on my tours of Harlem, as well as tours of the Lower East Side, the East Village, and their Community Gardens.
Our first felicity was Gospel Church singing on a Saturday, the Jewish sabbath, not the Baptists'.
There we were, appreciating the Jewish heritage of the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Jewish Harlem has been referred to as the Jewish Atlantis. From the late 19th Century through the early 20th Harlem was the third most populous Jewish city in the world with 300,000 that came and went within fifty years. The ornate Victorian synagogues remained, many lovingly consecrated as Baptist churches. It is fun to identify Hebrew letters, interiors, and iconography.
Pastor Reverend Jabez Springer welcomed us in.
It was a special Saturday service and pot luck lunch to raise funds for the building. We sang hymns, stood and clapped. We should have returned for lunch.
We had terrific as usual soul food at the end of the tour at Manna's up Lenox (Malcolm X) Boulevard, where I encountered Doris the Harlem Tour Guide with her Grandson!
2nd Magical Moment: A flock of medium size green birds inhabited a young tree on the Avenue median, chirping heartily and hopping about. They were Monk Parakeets. We imagined that they were liberated pets gone wild, flourishing along with their children.
The third kind of Magical Harlem Moment was the usual sort. Various people, usually mature men, happily welcoming us and adding to the tour's details, punctuated by waves, smiles, and handshaking.