UNOFFICIAL GUARDIANS OF HARLEM
Posted on July 23, 2013


(AN ODE TO WINSTON) 




by Matthew Green




If you’ve ever taken a walk around Harlem, you’ve had an interaction with a local feline gentleman. Whether it’s a store mascot, or a family of cats living in an alley, these friends are around every corner, willing to lend a helping paw.




This is Winston. We find him here sitting in a community garden on 129th St . Winston spends much of his time enjoying mid day strolls back and forth from the garden to the deli around the corner, where the owners have a different name for him, I believe its Shubba.  While living on 129th St I’d often take a walk to the garden to find Winston and we’d have chats about local restaurants, what flowers were in bloom and sometimes nothing at all, we’d just sit in silence and enjoy the afternoon.




These two characters are a new addition to a building on 7th Ave. I believe they are brother and sister. We find Lois and Clark here, greeting incoming residents with their playful games of hugging and rolling around on the floor.  They’ve also been known to hold the door open for tenants who have armfuls of groceries.




Mr. Lunchbox is a must meet!  Though not so little anymore, this hardware store friend can be found on 8th Ave / 116th St. While often busy keeping an eye on the hammers, nails and sometimes mixing special blends of paint for customers, this playful Harlem friend will always make time to play.  Come by and say hello!




This shy gentleman, Emilio, may seem reserved from afar, but don’t be fooled! He’s just checking to see if there is a chess table open on Broadway / 139th St. He wins too many games and has recently been banned by the local players, but he’ll be back once the ban is lifted! 




With a strong build and a surgeon with the shovel, this Harlem workhorse, Bruno, has executed many local backyard landscapes. Always willing to take on a new project and boasting a degree from Florida State in Landscape Design, he’s a perfect and affordable match for your spring project! We find Bruno here waiting for the rest of his crew to arrive. As Bruno always says, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, YOU’RE LATE!”




Meet Anthony. Need a restaurant, lobby or an apartment cleaned in a jiffy? This is your cat! Ready to deploy with his own mop + bucket, you wont be disappointed by the quality of cleanliness he has to offer.  He can even do windows.




UH OH! There’s Winston again, waiting for someone to chat with. Hope to talk to you soon!