National Geographic : 1977 Feb
Oasis in an asphalt desert, water from a fire hydrant refreshes youngsters on a simmering day. Streets traditionally have served as playgrounds, while in recent years parks have become hangouts for drug pushers. Going to an urban well, Charles Cook fills kitchen kettles on a winter day when neither water nor heat reaches his eighth floor apartment. "It was a nice building when I moved in 25 years ago; Dinah Washington once lived here," the dance instructor recalls. Gradually it deterio rated, despite complaints to landlords and building inspectors. "The last straw came when I was held up at gunpoint in the hallway," reported Cook. He has since moved out. To Live in Harlem...