Rain, Rain…Go Away!
Well, it doesn’t take a Doppler 2000 or Mike Woods the Weatherman to further sell me on today’s rainy conditions. As I write, giant droplets of water bash against the window reminding me of the threat that the Sun is still being held hostage…somewhere. I haven’t been told what the ransom demands are. However, the rain did remind me of a couple spots I would rather be sitting in as it rains. These are places that because of the excuse of umbrage you can get away with just hanging out:
Gallery M: This gallery on 135th street has always been a place for new and exciting artwork that is constantly getting refreshed. If you’re running from the rain, step, take a few minutes to look at the art pieces (should only take you minutes, literally) and drop a buck in the donation box. [123 W 135th St bet. Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell J. Blvd]
House of Hoops: This is one of the newest commercial additions to 125th St. I walked in there and felt like a little kid on Christmas Day! There are so many sneaker styles and funky t-shirts to look at the place might as well be a museum. But it is not! You can actually buy these pieces of art! You’ll spend a good 30-45 minutes(or more) there if you look through all the cool collections. [268 West 125th Street btwn Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglas Blvd.]
MLK Pavilion at Harlem Hospital: I know this sounds weird. A hospital! But the main entrance to the hospital has this seating area where people just come in to sit. It’s not an emergency room area or anything like that. People just sit there and read newspapers. There’s this diner right inside called Towers Cafe where they make a mean Panini sandwich and serve Bustelo coffee (my favorite). [506 Malcolm X Boulevard bet. 135th St and 136th St]
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: Another spot with huge dividends! This place is THE cultural hot spot of Harlem. They always have exciting exhibits. Right across the street from Harlem Hospital and around the corner from the M Gallery, this place is perfect for out-of-the-rain cultural education. [515 Malcolm X Boulevard bet. 135th St and 136th St]
Gamestop:This is for the game lover in all of us. One of the best things about Gamestop and EB Games when it’s raining is that you don’t have to deal with the line of kids around the demo stations. So for you Big Kids…go and have fun while you’re drying and play some GTA4 or NBA Live. [ 3540 Broadway Corner of 145th St (212) 862-0594]
Paul’s Pizza: You can read my Ode to Paul’s Pizza. Basically a no-frills pizzeria with a crispy crust under $2.00. The place has an ordering counter that faces the street and on warm days when it rain the window is let open. You can enjoy a delicious, cheap slice and get the cool breeze from the rain until it passes. [3409 Broadway bet. 138th & 139th St]
Rain or Shine Umbrellas:This is the obvious choice if you’re in the neighborhood. This business is the umbrella center of Harlem. It features a host of different umbrellas in various colors and styles. You can even get your own customized umbrella. What better day to invest in an umbrella than a rainy day like today. [531 Lenox Avenue bet. 137th St & 138th St]
Runner ups: Starbucks (too easy), T&J Bakery, Make My Cake, La Flor de Broadway Cubano Sandwiches.