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Not only did he come up with the unique back-to-back layout of the houses, which allowed the residents to share a rear courtyard and the back alleyways that allowed for the discreet stabling of horses and delivery of supplies, but he was also responsible for the beautiful gateways and arches that once stood at the entrances to the rear courtyards. Despite all of these design innovations the houses even had modern indoor plumbing, a new and quite coveted domestic amenity , the King Model Houses development failed spectacularly, and ownership of the houses reverted to The Equitable Life Assurance Society , which had financed the project.

Naturally, such a place was and continues to be largely associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Louis T. By the s, the houses had started to decay, and many were converted into Single Room Occupancies SROs , several losing the original decorative details because of renovations. Luckily, the exteriors of these houses are considered historical landmarks, so the integrity of the original facades remains undamaged, but to this day, people are still allowed to renovate inside, much to the dismay of many Harlem residents today.

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Other Harlem history enthusiasts, like antiques collector Danny DeKind, buy the townhouses themselves and work to preserve their original state. Still, it is fun to stroll past these elegant townhouses on a sunny day; just be sure to download some old jazz music and maybe wear that old vintage dress you found down in some East Village thrift shop. Get in touch with the author kellitrapnell.

There was silence for a few, long moments -- then the renewed sound of pounding feet, as the first rabbits flew out from the bushes. Lean, gray, winter hares, leaping ahead with their eyes wide and their long ears back, the dogs scrambling after them. Running so fast and hard that Malcolm thought they must surely escape -- the only sound their powerful, widened winter feet thumping softly over the grass.

He could not understand why the men hadn't fired, all these old, slow, black men still staring out from the bushes, and he rose as if to run after the rabbits. But then he felt Mr. Gohannas's hand on his arm, pulling him back down -- and sure enough, the hares turned and headed back, toward their hidey-holes in the thicket.

The blast knocked him flat on his back but the birdshot picked off one of the galloping hares in midair, flipping his thin gray rabbit body head over heels, leaving him to twitch and heave on the ground. The rest of the men and boys fired at nearly the same time -- a fusillade from all their battered, ancient guns that stunned and nearly deafened Malcolm.

He shut his eyes, and lowered his head against the noise.


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When he looked up again he could see five or six more hares on the ground. The younger boys already running out to claim theirs, picking them up by their long ears and smashing their heads with lengths of lead pipe if they were still moving, an act that made Malcolm look away, and his stomach turn over.

The Hearts of Men: A Novel (Strivers Row) by Travis Hunter

Gohannas told him, placing a gentle hand on his chest and turning him around. The dogs were already flushing the thicket again, and a few minutes later out came more hares. Running slower and a little raggedly this time, if just as frightened. For all of their fear they ran in the exact same direction, around the edge of the field.

Making the same long loop back to their homes, the men firing and yelling exultantly as they turned. Malcolm fired wildly himself, his shot rustling the branches in some nearby trees, the men nearest to him snorting in surprise and indignation -- "Where you shootin' , boy? The dogs went in to flush the hares a third time -- both dogs and hares moving noticeably slower now -- and after he reloaded Malcolm scrambled out of the blind before Mr.

Gohannas could stop him, Big Boy calling plaintively after him. He ran to a spot that was halfway along the hares' trajectory, as best he could figure it, just before the point where they were bound to turn and head back to their thicket. He heard the alarmed shouts of the men behind him, but he ignored them.

Kneeling and aiming carefully this time, taking down one hare, then another, before they ever got back within range of the rest of the hunters. The exhausted creatures always flipping over the same way, their long back feet catapulting them over in one final, cinematic somersault. When the shooting stopped it was Malcolm who ran out after them this time, plucking his hares up by their big ears. Ignoring the continuing, angry shouts of the older, blacker men -- smiling to himself, to think how he had been able to figure it out when the rest of them had not.

They broke cover and ran up to him, Mr.

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Gohannas among them, his wide, brown face looking uncomfortable behind his spectacles. The foregoing is excerpted from Strivers Row by Kevin Baker. All rights reserved. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Buy Online, Pick up in Store is currently unavailable, but this item may be available for in-store purchase.

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Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview The Rev. About the Author. Read an Excerpt Malcolm He thought about the rabbits sometimes, lying awake at night in the little room in Ella's house, under the eaves.


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Write a Review. Strivers Row 3. I thought it was two weeks, but then I remembered I started another book or two and abandoned them as not worth my time before starting this one. So, maybe it wasn't so bad. Anyway, it was a really fat book.