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Posts Tagged ‘Harlem’

The Original Swing Street

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

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We stood in the basement of 169 W. 133rd Street in Harlem shining a lantern at the rotted walls, saturated ceiling panels, and corroded fixtures. A lawn chair surrounded by discarded soda bottles occupied a corner of the room where the bandstand once stood. Who knows how they got there, or who would’ve wanted to spend time in so dank a space. Eighty years ago the Nest would have been throbbing with music, drinking, and dancing. The day we visited with our guide, David Freeland, author of Automats, Taxi Dances, and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan’s Lost Places of Leisure, we found the space as silent as a recording studio. Mushrooms sprouted out of the cold muck on the floor. (more…)