Harlem looks like a storybook in Autumn. New York City had unseasonably warm weather well into September and October when the trees in Central Park were still quite green and seemed to be changing colors ever-so-slowly. Then suddenly we were hit by the hurricane followed by the nor’easter, so as I was walking through Harlem this week I was struck by the clear signs of the season, as if noticing it was Autumn for the first time. City sidewalks with crimson and gold leaves falling gently to the ground against the backdrop of the deep red and orange brick of Harlem’s majestic brownstones. The warm glow from shop windows filled with flower bouquets of bronze chrysanthemums and steaming cups of corn chowder seemed to be saying, yes indeed, it’s Autumn. I felt compelled to drink it in, because before long it will be Thanksgiving, all the leaves will vanish into piles of pale brown wisps, and snowflakes will usher in Winter.
Today Sean and I went for Sunday brunch in the neighborhood, which is one day of the week when tourists and New Yorkers from across Manhattan flock to Harlem to inhale fried chicken ‘n waffles and behold scores of Harlemites going to church in their Sunday best. Hip cafes and stylish shops are popping up in Harlem all the time. We went to Il Caffe Latte, which is a small cafe on Lenox Avenue that serves up omelets, soups, sandwiches, and of course, lattes. It was packed as usual, but we got a tiny table by the window and tucked in for brunch.
After brunch we strolled through the neighborhood, taking in the sights and sounds of Harlem on a Sunday afternoon…before another Monday morning begins tomorrow.