Harlem is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan to photograph. I typically head there to update my files in the spring after the dismal winter sky has left. The wide boulevards and avenues and rows of brownstones allow ample light to filter down to the streets unlike the concrete canyons in other parts of the city. It is also one of the last neighborhoods in Manhattan where people still commonly make eye contact and say good morning to neighbors and strangers alike. A sense of community still exists.
There is plenty of material to document, from classic brownstone and townhouse architecture to institutions such as the legendary Apollo Theater, Lenox Lounge and Sylvia’s Soul Food Restaurant included in the photos above. They have appeared in advertisements, magazines, travel brochures and textbooks.