East Harlem Cafe OpensBy Jose B. Rivera
East Harlem - October 23, 2008. The day finally arrived, the day which Michelle Cruz has been working and planning for a good long time. It was the day she finally opened her East Harlem Cafe. It takes a lot of effort to open a business, and Ms. Cruz did all that was necessary to open to make her dream come true.
The Grand Opening ceremonies began at 5:00 PM and included such dignitaries as; Borough President Scott Stringer, State Assemblyman Adam C. Powell IV, State Senator Jose Serrano Jr., Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, Democratic District Leader Yvette Zayas, Hope Community Inc. Executive Director, Robin Leabaron, Hope Community Inc. Board Chairman, Robert Caban, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone President Mr. Kenneth Knuckles, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Vice President Hope Oliver, Community Board 11 Chairman Roberto Rodriguez, East Harlem Business Capitals Corporation Coordinator of the East Harlem Empire Zone, Sandra Morales-De Leon, , veteran community activist, Roberto De Leon, East Harlem Poet Jesus Papoleto Mendez, Art Historian Mario Cesar Romero, and East Harlem activist/webmaster (www.eastharlempreservation,org) Marina Ortiz.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was held outside and went off without a hitch. Everyone then went back inside to sample the coffee and chat with friends. The inside of the cafe is spacious a nice rustic color scheme. Artistic photos cover the walls to give the cafe an artistic flavor. The East Harlem Cafe will be a great place to meet with friends over a cup of Joe or to hold small meetings for your group. It is rumored the intelligentsia of East Harlem will begin to gather there. See you there!!