American Legion Post 398 New York

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Geoffrey from New York

Knowing and loving New York is having lived through many of its manifestations.....

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I have coupled many a Sunday night at the American Legion Post with a Sunday afternoon visit to Marjorie Eliot’s Parlour Jazz recital. I walk from her place — it’s about a mile and a half, mostly downhill and mostly beneath old shade trees lining the embankment that edges Edgecombe Avenue. It’s a ridge that creates Sugar Hill.

At the American Post I get to hear jazz played the old-fashioned way, — the environment of Harlem in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. In a row of brownstones on 132nd Street, down a few steps to the ground floor, is where musicians and jazzers from Harlem, and tourists from all over the world gather.

Dinner is available. All dishes are about $10, served on plastic plates with plastic ‘cutlery’. Vegetables include potato salad, collard greens, and rice; entrées are fried chicken, pork or whiting (fish).

I try to arrive around 6, so that I can sit at the bar, maybe have a piece of chicken.

You must sign in (because it is an American Legion Post) but admission is free. Donations accepted and a coffee can is passed around to accept them.

The nearest train station is 135 Street on the A or C Train (Blue).

The house band — the Harlem Groove Band — was created by Seleno Clarke, a legend on the Hammond B3.

He died just after Christmas 2017 at 88 years of age. His death is a saddening loss to the Harlem Jazz scene. I attended his memorial concert.

Rest in peace.

The club presses onward.

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Geoffrey from New York

Geoffrey Dunbar photo

Knowing and loving New York is having lived through many of its manifestations.....

Read all articles

Details about this spot

Categories

Address

248 West 132, New York

Opening Times

Sun 18:00 - 00:00

Price

Free

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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)