As another evening falls, the Lenox Lounge sits dim and lonely. Commuters pour out of the 125th Street subway station and onto Lenox Avenue, past its padlocked door. At Ginny’s Supper Club across the street, a mostly black crowd of men in suits and women in heels sips and sways as a band turns out a haunting rendition of John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things.”
It is said that Coltrane once blew his sax at the Lenox Lounge, which kept regulars, downtowners and tourists coming back for 70 years, even through the neighborhood’s bleak times. Now, with Harlem resurgent, only its remains are on display: its Art Deco finishes, familiar red paneling and famous sign have all been stripped away.