The New York Times: Finding a way to stay in Harlem

The New York Times, June 11, 2018: Finding a way to stay in Harlem

When Kathy Smith was growing up in the South Bronx, her parents would often take her and her siblings out for family drives. It was on one of those drives, in the late 1960s, that she saw Harlem for the first time. She was 7 or 8, and she remembers being mesmerized. Someday, she decided, she wanted to live there.

“Everyone seemed like they were busy, together, doing things,” she said. “I had never seen that many black people together in a neighborhood before. It amazed me.”

She finally moved to Harlem in 1999, when she married Joseph Kinlaw and moved into a townhouse he owned on 121st Street. He lived in the three-bedroom downstairs apartment, rented out rooms on the upper floors, devoting most of his spare time to repairs. (They met at Roosevelt Hospital, on the west side of Manhattan, where they both worked.)

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