Word – Bookstore in Sugar Hill, Harlem

Word New York

Image by Geoffrey Dunbar

Word – Bookstore in Sugar Hill, Harlem

Geoffrey Dunbar photo

Geoffrey from New York

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

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A bookstore/library specializing in African-American and Black culture with an emphasis on the arts and politics; upstairs, the Jumel Terrace Bed and Breakfast Inn, neither of which advertises except via its informative website. It’s hard to pin down exactly what this place is. I think that’s by design, making it all the more attractive.

It’s across the street from the Jumel mansion and Sylvan Terrace — a row of 1882 wood frame houses arranged along the cobblestone former-driveway to the mansion — and around the corner from 555 Edgecombe, home of Marjorie Elliot, and former home to Joe Louis, Paul Robeson, Count Basie and others.

This fascinating, almost puzzling ‘business’ I discovered one day just before attending a Marjorie Elliot Jazz Parlour event. Susan and I peered in the window and inside was Kurt Thometz, the proprietor and host of the bookstore which is actually part of his private library. One hesitates to buy a book, out of fear of reducing the quality of his collection. We spent a wonderful 45 minutes chatting and sharing ideas with Mr Thometz that afternoon talking mostly of the black cultural scene and its evolution.

Thometz is a writer, producer, hotelier, host, raconteur, perhaps a boulevardier as well as a provocateur. He is known within literary circles.

One almost wishes to have brought along a thermos of Pimms Cup (or old scotch), to stay refreshed while looking around, and while talking.

Quirky hours of operation—be sure to call ahead. Good hunting!

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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

426 West 160th Street, New York

Telephone number

+12129289525

Opening Times

Appointment, Invitation or Serendipity

Website

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