"This tour was one of the most outstanding my wife
and I have enjoyed. Briefly, we visit New York from
California about every 18 months or so, for theater and
art. It was somewhat frustrating that we never heard any
of the great performance art in the City. I went to Trip
Advisor two days before our scheduled departure, found Big
Apple, and phone Gordon Polatnick (the phone number hours
are from 9 a.m. to midnight!). He was kind enough to
schedule us in for a Harlem tour two days hence.
We met out guide, Amanda Hume, pictured with the white gardenia on the site, at 60th Street near the Lincoln Center. From there, we traveled by subway to Harlem and three separate jazz performance sites in the Harlem area. Two of these were smallish, somewhat obscure clubs that could not have been easily located without a guide.
Amanda was a marvel. She is a personable, open individual who seems to know everybody. She is also enormously proud of Harlem, her adopted community (she is a native Virginian) and full of stories, anecdotes, and local history. She is a graduate of Columbia University, and has been a resident of Harlem since her undergraduate days.
The tour morphed from a simple jazz tour (which would have been excellent if only that) into an extended local tour of Harlem itself, which was fascinating. (N.B. I first visited New York in 1970, when Manhattan was a much darker, bleaker place than it is now, and Harlem particularly so. To see the community now was absolutely a tonic).
Although we had indicated we might need to call it a night early, since the day had been strenuous, we ended up staying till 11:30, enjoying the music, the company, the stream of information, and Amanda's fabulous company. At the last stop, she performed herself, doing an outstanding version of 'Route 66'.
Recommended without qualification. One of the best nights we have ever had in New York, and there have been many, many of them." ~ Frank B. from Mountain View, California
Visited August 2015