If we had a dollar for every song of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s that included a mention of Harlem (the word “uptown” qualifies, in this case) in the lyrics or title (or both), drinks for the entire Cladrite Clan and, what the heck, their friends’ friends, too, would be on us. If aliens from another planet ever came across a stack of 78s from that era, they’ll no doubt kick themselves for not getting here sooner, for all those songs, from “Doin’ the Uptown Lowdown” to “Putting on the Ritz,” make it sound as if Harlem was the very center of the swinging universe in those days. They’d know they’d missed out on some good times.
And this 1932 Night Clubs Map of Harlem, which we came across recently at boingboing.net, just serves to confirms it. The map has made appearances in a number of places around the web, but that’s okay; it’s well worth sharing again. Believe you us, you’ll want to click through to the hi-res version of this one. It’s a lot of fun to peruse closely.