Apollo Theater | Historic & Legendary Music Venue in Harlem, NYC

by Denise Marie

Having enough seats for just more than 1,500 spectators, the Apollo Theater is a historic music venue that’s tied to the Harlem Renaissance. Located in Manhattan, this iconic theater has hosted some of the most successful artists in Jazz, R&B and other genres.

History and Highlights

The Apollo Theater evolved from a performance venue that was known by a different name in the early 20th century. Specializing in burlesque, Hurtig and Seamon’s New was one of the premier theaters of its kind in the 1920’s. Unfortunately, the end of the Roaring Twenties era also marked the rapid decline of this intimate facility in Manhattan.

The Great Depression exacerbated the condition and fate of Hurtig and Seamon’s New. The mayor of New York City ultimately shut down this venue and several other burlesque hubs. Shortly after, the legendary venue reopened with a new mission and vibe.

At the height of the Great Depression, Harlem already had a thriving African American cultural scene. The renovated theater naturally sparked a revival in Jazz and other musical genres that essentially originated from the tight-knit neighborhood. Leo Brecher and Frank Schiffman managed the venue from the middle of the 1930’s until the end of the 1970’s.

A brief closure marked a new era of the Apollo Theater in the 1980’s. Since then, the facility has been a major multimedia hub for various entertainment sectors with a focus on the local African American community. Amateur Night is perhaps the most famous aspect of the Apollo Theater.

Dating back to the club’s early days, this event has allowed countless performers the opportunities to become famous. Some legendary singers who have won the Amateur Night contest include Ella Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick. Today, the iconic music hall still offers amateur singers the chance to impress an audience on the stage.

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Visiting the Apollo Theater

Centrally located in Harlem, the Apollo Theater is easily accessible by the NYC subway. You can take four different lines to the 125th Street station, which is located underneath the busy St. Nicholas Avenue. The subway trains that serve this underground station make multiple stops in Midtown Manhattan. Alternatively, you could ride the subway to the 125th Street Station that’s situated below Malcolm X Boulevard.

Additionally, several MTA buses stop just around the corner of this historic theater. For example, the M2 route runs along Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. The M10 route makes frequent stops on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Taxis and other vehicles should quickly drop off passengers near the venue’s main entrance on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which merges with W. 125th Street.

Click to visit the Apollo Theater official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Historic Sugar Hill | Take a Walk Through this Distinguished NY Neighborhood

by Denise Marie

This historic Harlem neighborhood inspired the names of the rap record label Sugar Hill Records and the rap group The Sugarhill Gang, famous for their hit “Rapper’s Delight”. The community got its name in the 1920’s when it became a popular place to live for wealthy African Americans who were enjoying “the sweet life.” Sugar Hill was designated a historic district in 2002.

A Sweet Place to Live

Located in the northern part of Harlem’s Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill looks out on the valley of Harlem. Residents enjoy lovely views that stretch past the Harlem River. During the Harlem Renaissance, notable figures made the stately neighborhood their home including Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice and politician Adam Clayton Powell Jr., the first African American elected to Congress.

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Stately Homes

Visitors taking a walking tour of the neighborhood will experience the grand early 20th century architecture of the Sugar Hill brownstones. Designed in the Classical Revival style by architects such as Henri Fouchaux and George Frederick Pelham, the homes feature detailed facades and large living spaces. While the Sugar Hill residences are distinguished by distinct details they also all have a continuous style that links the neighborhood together.

Visiting Sugar Hill in New York City

Sugar Hill is bordered to the north by 155th Street and to the south by 145th Street. Edgecombe Avenue borders the east and Amsterdam Avenue the west.

Click to visit Sugar Hill official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Wall Street & the New York Stock Exchange

by Denise Marie

Wall Street, a narrow street in lower Manhattan between Broadway and the East River, was the first permanent home of the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the one-time headquarters for all of the major banks and brokerage houses in the United States. Although, all of the brokerages have moved elsewhere – to other quarters in New York’s financial district, New Jersey, and Connecticut – the term, “Wall Street” is still synonymous with the US financial markets.

History

Wall Street got its name in the 17th century, when it was the northern boundary of the original Dutch “New Amsterdam” settlement on Manhattan. There actually was, at one time, a wall on Wall Street. Wall Street and the surrounding New York financial district grew up around the New York Stock Exchange. At one time, virtually all of the US banks and brokerages were based in this small area. At the height of the “Gilded Age” in the late 19th and early 20th century, the area was known as the “House of Morgan”, referring to JP Morgan, the country’s largest bank and financier.

The attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001, has had the effect of speeding the exodus of companies from the concentrated financial district. Banks and brokerage headquarters can now be found all throughout suburban New York City.

New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange, located at 11 Wall Street, is the largest stock exchange in the world. Its global capitalization is roughly 20 trillion dollars. The NYSE traces its history back to an event 1792, when 24 brokers and bankers signed the “Buttonwood Agreement”, named for a buttonwood tree that stood at the end of Wall Street. This agreement set into motion the creation of the system of buying and selling stocks that became the NYSE. Unlike the high-tech NASDAQ marketplace, at Times Square, the NYSE today operates much as it did 100 years ago, in an auction format with buyers and sellers’ agents meeting and deciding on a price right on the exchange’s trading floor.

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Visiting Wall Street and the NYSE

Wall Street and the New York Financial District make a nice New York walking tour. The area is easily accessible from all parts of the city via subway, bus, and taxi.

Also within the financial district, at the corner of Wall St. and Nassau St., is Federal Hall National Memorial, the home of the first United States capital and the site of George Washington’s Presidential inauguration. Continuing along Wall Street to the East River, you come to South Street Seaport, a favorite of residents and visitors alike. This historic area was once the site of the Fulton fish market where the New York fishing fleet returned from their day in the harbor and sold their wares. Today, it is a combination shopping mall, museum, and entertainment complex, with spectacular views and a fleet of historic sailing ships.

Also not far from the financial district, at the tip of Manhattan, is Battery Park, a 32-acre waterfront, mixed-use park, which offers spectacular views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

A visit to Wall Street and the New York financial district is an interesting diversion from New York museums and shopping. The area’s imposing facades and rich history, capped with the spectacular views from the tip of Manhattan made a trip to Wall Street a must for any New York sightseeing trip.

Location: at 11 Wall Street, New York City, New York
Phone: 212-656-3000

Click to visit New York Stock Exchange official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.