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Posts Tagged ‘Led Black’

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Groupon is back on its Uptown grind once again and thankfully so. This time around it is Inwood’s very own La Estufa (5035 Broadway Bet. 214th-215th St). You have approximately 14 hours to get in on this steal: 10 measly bucks for $25 worth of imaginative Italian-American fare that is big on organic and fresh ingredients. Uptown, you don’t want to pass on this deal, I already copped mine. See you there!

For the deal click: http://gr.pn/hkwQyt

For more info:http://www.laestufarestaurant.com/

Check out the Manhattan Times Review of La Estufa: http://www.laestufarestaurant.com/pdf/Manhattan_Times.pdf

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Photography by Paul Lomax (@PaulLomaxPhoto)

Nostylgia is, by choice and design, a work in progress. It is an idea that continues to redefine, remix and reinvent itself. Constant elevation, innovation and dynamism are the hallmarks of the brand. It was nearly 6 years ago that a brash 21-year-old decided that he would single-handedly usher into existence what he conceived as “The New American Classic”. Before anyone ever thought of dubbing Dyckman Street “Inwood Boulevard”, and way before it was cool or even profitable to operate an establishment up here, Jason Devereaux chose Dyckman Street as his base of operations. The rest, as they say, is history.

Q. Nostlygia is constantly evolving is that by design or necessity or both?

I know evolving is a word we hear all the time. In a weird way the process has been so organic to me that I don’t always realize how it looks on the outside. Kind of like an evolution in nature I guess. If I have to think about this question though, hmmm, on principle alone we were definitely designed to evolve. I didn’t use the word evolve when I thought of Nostylgia but from the get-go I made up my mind that we were not trying to be a get-rich-quick/fly-by-night company. We were going to be a brand, the New American Classic brand, and we were here to stay for millennia. Seems a bit lofty as I look back at it now but starting business at 20/21 years old I was bound to undergo some evolution of my own over the years. Beyond this basis though, the details of our evolution get a bit confusing between causes, design and necessity. Sneakers and t-shirts are now penny loafers and tweed blazers and I think I even have a Tea Bar and Chess Lounge that looks like a park in the back of my store. It’s all part of a master plan way too complex to explain. All I can say is that I’m still led by those lofty goals I set as a extremely young man and I’ve had the fortune to be connected to first-hand knowledge passed down by generations spanning as far back as the early days of the industrial revolution. I guess when you combine that with all the ins, outs and necessities of our current economy, culture, fashion aesthetic and of course our super close bond with Uptown, we land where we are today.

Q. You are a kind of a retail pioneer when it comes to Uptown. How long have you have been around and why Uptown?

A. It has been a while man. We opened in 2005 so that would be just about 6 years ago now and Uptown was always my first choice. I grew up in Yonkers (really uptown), leisured in this neighborhood before it was “cool” and I went to college in the village. But if I go back to what I said before about being designed to evolve I think Uptown was the only forum for that and us. It gave us room to grow more than anything else and it gave us a great local clientele and fan base that has really grown with us. I feel the relationship between us and Uptown is almost symbiotic in a way. I came to Inwood before a lot of others but somehow knew they would be there by now and here they are now.  Don’t know if we had anything to do with that but we certainly appreciate the company of many of the new businesses. It really validates a lot of my feeling about this area. I always say Uptown is the last of the real New York neighborhoods and there’s something about that that just fits perfect with the idea of “The New American Classic”. I can get deep on this but lets just say I love Uptown :))

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

This excerpt from Stephen Davis’s Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N’ Roses was brought to our attention by one of our long-time readers in the comments section of an Open Letter To Flavorwire post written by Rainey Skates (@raineyskates). The excerpt appeared in New York Magazine and depicts Washington Heights as the muse behind Guns N’ Roses’ most memorable record Welcome to the Jungle.

Some think the legend of Guns N’ Roses began in the nighttime Los Angeles of 1985, a distant echo of West Hollywood’s neon-lit Sunset Strip. Others think it should begin ten years earlier, at the confluence of two Indiana rivers, the Wabash and the Tippecanoe, in the 1970s. But in this telling, the GN’R saga begins in gritty New York, in upper Manhattan, on a sweltering, run-down street in the late afternoon of a summer day in 1980.

Actually it could begin way below the actual city street, in the deeply recessed concrete canyon of the Cross Bronx Expressway, which is where the two young hitchhikers from Indiana decided to get out of the car. It had been a good ride until then, a straight shot from the Ohio line across I-80, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. Bill Bailey and his friend Paul, both eighteen, had left central Indiana via I-65 thirty hours earlier and were making good hitching time toward their first visit to New York City.

The Ford Econoline van that had packed them up crossed the Hudson over the majestic George Washington Bridge. They were on I-95 now. Crossing on the upper deck, looking south, they could see the Empire State Building and the twin towers of the World Trade Center shimmering in the summer haze. Bill Bailey looked up and saw they were passing a sign that said LAST EXIT IN MANHATTAN. He said, “Hey, man. Let us off, OK?”

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

That’s right people, Uptown now has someone to root for in this season’s American Idol. While the talented singer originally hails from Texas, Jerome Bell makes his home in the Heights. When I originally came across the story I was skeptical but I hollered at Jerome on Facebook and he promptly confirmed that it was true. Good luck Jerome – Uptown got your back.

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

When I was a kid growing up on 192nd Street and Wadsworth Avenue in the 80’s, 181st Street was the center of my universe. A trip to 181st could mean that we were going for the rare meal at McDonalds or better yet, to the now defunct Astral Theatre to see a James Bond or a Cantinflas movie. What was remarkable about the Astral theatre is that the concession stand didn’t sell popcorn but excellent Cuban sandwiches and delectable Morir Soñando shakes. Directly across the street from the theatre was this incredible Cuban/Chinese restaurant that would serve Latino fare such as maduros, rice and black beans alongside Chinese cuisine. All the Chinese workers in that spot spoke excellent Spanish as they hailed from various locales across Latin America. No offense to my Inwood folks but back then, in the 80’s and early 90’s, Dyckman Street was more a backwater then anything else. It has been only in the last few years that the center of gravity of this neighborhood has shifted northward to Dyckman Street. While all of us welcome the positive developments on Dyckman Street aka Inwood Boulevard, I think it is high time that 181st Street once again reclaim some of it’s lost glory. According to Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, 300,000 people traverse 181st Street every weekend. Not to mention that 181st Street boasts such excellent establishments as Probus, Bangkok Heights, Cabrini Wines and Sushi Yu, just to name a few. With that said, the Manhattan Times in close collaboration with the Washington Height’s BID executive director, Angelina Ramirez, has come up with a “I (heart) 181st Street” campaign. According to Pedro Suarez of the Manhattan Times, “the Manhattan Times will produce a special 4-page “wrap” around the newspaper on an almost monthly basis featuring various themes. Our first issue focuses on Valentine’s Day & Romance on 181 Street. Future issues may include topics like Banking & Finance, Women/Latinos in Business, Holiday Shopping, Arts & Culture, Health & Fitness and others to name a few. All these topics, however, will be 181st Street-centric.” So make sure you pick up this week’s copy of the Manhattan Times, which kicks off the I (heart) 181st Street Campaign.

For more info: http://www.manhattantimesnews.com/2011/the-i-heart-181st-street-campaign-in-washington-heights.html

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the good folks at Groupon for selecting Uptown establishments 2 weeks in a row. First it was the mighty Indian Road Café & Market (218th St & Indian Road) and then the elegant Garden Café (4961 Broadway – Near 207th St). I already redeemed my Garden Café Groupon deal last week and had a splendid meal, complete with several glasses of wine, with my good friend, photographer extraordinaire Paul Lomax, before we headed off to shoot this week’s post on Nostylgia. See the pic of my meal below. Groupon keep the deals coming, Uptown appreciates it.

Check out our post on Indian Road Café: http://uptowncollective.com/2010/04/22/indian-road-cafe-market/

Check out our post on the Garden Café: http://uptowncollective.com/2010/09/02/uptown-oasis-the-garden-cafe/

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Photo Credit: Briana E. Heard

If you ever wanted to know the history of the actual High Bridge, which is NYC’s oldest standing bridge, then this Channel Thirteen video is just the ticket. The High Bridge just like the rest of Uptown is experiencing a renaissance and is slated to re-open in 2013. The High Bridge will be another reason to love Uptown.

Check out: http://www.thirteen.org/thecityconcealed/2011/01/11/high-bridge/

Also check out this UC post on Highbridge Park: http://uptowncollective.com/2010/06/04/high-bridge-revisited/

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

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