Your Invitation to the HNBA Holiday Party

Thursday, December 15th, 7:00 PM

Click HERE to RSVP

Here’s your chance to celebrate with the neighbors you know, meet some of the ones you don’t, and finally introduce yourself to a few who you’ve seen, but haven’t connected with yet…

All welcome.  Feel free to pass this invite on to a neighbor who you think would be interested.  

The goal here is to build community by creating the links that make us all stronger, healthier, safer, better informed, and connected. 

HNBA’s Holliday gatherings are always welcoming, filled with food and good cheer, and we’ll be thrilled to have you join us.  Just sign up below, and let us know what dish or drink you can bring and share.

The gathering will be at Studio 125 – a new event space where the Serengeti Tea House used to be on 125th between Madison and 5th Avenue – 22 East 125th Street.

We will have access to the main area in addition to the lovely covered outdoor patio area with heaters.

Please RSVP using this link:

Protect Your Family from Respiratory Virus

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that is affecting many New Yorkers. The virus often causes mild, cold-like symptoms but may result in severe illness among younger children and older adults.

You can help prevent infection with RSV by following some basic steps:

  • Limit exposure to anyone who is sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces
  • Wear a face mask

How to Care for Mild Cases

Most cases of RSV are mild and can be treated at home with these basic steps:

  • A nasal bulb suction to clear congestion
  • An air humidifier to help clear mucus
  • Frequent feeding to prevent dehydration
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen for children 6 months and older, and fevers below 100.4° F

When to Contact Your Health Care Professional

If your child develops more serious symptoms, including a persistent high fever, wheezing, more trouble breathing and dehydration, do not hesitate to contact your NYC Health + Hospitals pediatrician or talk to a doctor quickly by contacting our telehealth service.

For non-emergency cases, NYC Health + Hospitals Virtual ExpressCare can connect you to one of our health care providers in minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We speak over 200 languages.

Talk to a Doctor Now
Or Call 631-397-2273

Emergency Cases

Young children with RSV can develop severe symptoms quickly. Some of the more serious signs include severe difficulty breathing, drowsiness, inability to cry or speak, bluish or gray lips or face, and ribs that are pulling in with each breath.

If your child shows any of these symptoms, Call 911 or visit your nearest Emergency Department.

Scenes from The 125th Street BID Holiday Lights Parade

Mayor Eric Adams Praises Hero Officers from East Harlem’s 25th Precinct

In East Harlem, NYC Mayor Eric Adams praised the NYPD officers who saved a man who fell into the subway tracks on Thanksgiving:

Criminal Background Checks

New York City Council bill 632 – a “local law prohibiting housing discrimination on the basis of arrest record or criminal history” – if passed, will prohibit owners, managers and brokers from inquiring about criminal record information in rentals, leases, subleases, or occupancy agreements at any stage in the rental application process in New York City. Councilmembers Jordan and Ayala support this measure.

A protest against this bill is scheduled for December 7th:

Harlem Schools’ Trash

You’ve likely encountered this. Piles of trash near NYC Schools and filth that the Department of Education seems to get away with. Now members in Harlem are calling for cleaner streets around New York City public schools and are asking the DOE to follow the same rules enforced on their neighbors in the community.

NYC Bill Intro 163-2022: Ban on Criminal Background Checks

NYC City Councilman Keith Power has re-introduced a bill, Intro 632-2022, to ban the use of criminal background checks in rental & sale applications. This bill is supported by both Councilmembers Jordan and Ayala.

You can participate in VoterVoice to voice your opinion (for or against) bill, Intro. 632. VoterVoice will allow you to send messages directly to your Council representative:

You can read a bill summary and view sponsors here:|Text|&Search=632

Letter From Fordham Hill to HNBA

The Fordham Hill Owners Corporation (a majority Black homeowners group in the Bronx that has worked with HNBA on the issue of oversaturation) sent the following to HNBA, regarding the proposed ‘No Criminal Background Checks’ bill, Intro 632-2022:

Hello All,
I hope you all enjoyed a peaceful and safe holiday with your loved ones. It has been some time since we communicated. I am reaching out to you all in regard to another battle I ask you to join the fight on as we continue to try to take back our city that is being destabilized right in front of our eyes. 
By now you all have probably heard of the Fair Chance Housing Bill that the progressive wing of the New York City Council is aggressively trying to get passed. An earlier version of the bill died in another Council committee at the end of last year when bill creator Councilmember Kevin Powers introduced it. He has now found an audience in the City Council to actually move this bill forward. 
What is so scary about this bill is it is just like bail reform; it is not fully thought through. This bill seeks to protect criminal offenders but doesn’t take families or law abiding citizens into consideration. This isn’t about redemption, for me I am all about rehabilitation and second chances, but this is once again about elected officials not engaging their constituency before passing legislation. 
This isn’t just troubling for landlords and all of us but also for condos and cooperatives that have been formed by visionaries to create living quarters, an investment that provides the quality of life that has often been lacking for many working and middle class in this gilded city. Especially for people of color, a co-op like Fordham Hill Owners Corporation, offers our shareholders an opportunity to acquire an asset that they can safely call their home and gain equity.
Here are several troubling callouts about this bill:

  • Criminal background checks on sex offenders is only regulated to New York State. If you are an out of state offender and seek residence in NYS you will go undetected.
  • Murder, attempted murder, robbery, and other unethical white color crimes will be hidden from the view of landloards and boards. 
  • There is no probationary clause in the bill that model behavior has to be proven. (For instance 7-10 years of no offence and providing work/school history since entry back into society).
  • Modestly priced coops and rentals (often in communities of color) will most likely receive more of these applicants making us more vulnerable.

For those that haven’t seen the bill please see it below:

I am not sure among us what position is being taken and who has galvanized their communities. Feel free to reach out to me.
Communities and organizations can testify next Thursday, December 8 at 10:00 am at the Civil Rights Committee. Please register to speak at organize your communities to reach out to your council members. Elections are coming up so we do have leverage here. Let’s join together and try to pull a victory out of this one. We at least can make the City Council go back and make the proper modifications to this bill.
Thank you,

Marcus Garvey Park Tree Lighting

On Thursday, December 8th, at 5 PM, bring your family and neighbors to meet at 124th Street and 5th Avenue to celebrate Marcus Garvey Park’s tree lighting ceremony and multi-cultural celebration:

Our World

Ebay has a 1951 edition of Our World up for sale.

The cover has teasers for the stories inside including the children of famous people:

A look at Billy Eckstine:

And Harlem, the Most Slandered City:

5th and 126th

The building on the north-west corner of 126th and 5th Avenue was opened in 1938:


and was the first new building in Harlem that welcomed African Americans.  The beautiful interior and fixtures made this building a classic of the pre-War period.  Until this building’s construction, African-American residents in Harlem had only lived in buildings that were formerly occupied by white residents or in buildings that had been intended for white residents.

Ms. Hill, one of the original tenants noted that the neighborhood was mostly Finnish at the time.  She also noted that the solid, if quiet opulence attracted a number of celebrities to this building:  the singers Billy Eckstine and Juanita Hall, for example, soon moved in.

Before this apartment building was built, a gorgeous Victorian mansion stood on the corner of 126th and 5th

image (4).jpg

This beautiful mansion had been used as the Mary E. Johnson Boarding School for Colored Children. (You probably recognize the sliver of the church to the north of the boarding school that exists today.)

However, before that, it was the Mrs. Helen M. Scofille’s School for Girls (presumably, white only), and before that an ivy-covered mansion, now long gone.


Covid + Stress + Mental Health

The Oldest Scaffolding in New York recently had an article on Village residents rejoicing that a long-standing sidewalk scaffolding was coming down.

Harlem residents near Lenox and 115th Street claim that scaffolding on the north-east corner has been there since 1990 – 32 YEARS!

Somehow generations of City Council and NYC Mayors have not found a way to end the practice of erecting a sidewalk shed and then leaving it in place for years and even decades.

Hotel Rooms By The Hour

 Two hotels that have allegedly rented rooms by the hour at 511 and 515 West 145th Street, have been sold. A worker standing outside was asked who bought them. She would only say “going to a good cause”.

The owner at would not divulge who the properties have been sold to. He said they are doing the closing shortly.

Atalanta (sic) Casino

An ephemeral advertisement for the “Atalanta” (sic) Casino, owned by Gerken & Hedden and located at 155th St. & 8th Ave.

The Atlanta Casino (or “Atalanta”) was a 3 story wood-framed entertainment complex that was eventually destroyed by fire in 1898. This suburban complex was served by the elevated railroad that then ran on Eighth avenue terminating immediately in front of the property.   

As Seen In Harlem

Bonus points if you noticed the double rainbow.

World AIDS Day

The Heat Wave

Another Ebay photo of a Harlem nightclub’s interior from June, 1945. This one was called The Heat Wave, and was located on 145th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

The Heat Wave was located at 266 West 145th Street. The club was active in the 1930s and 1940s under the direction of Louis Metcalf, who also played there until 1946. Hot Lips Page, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Ben Webster, and Lester Young are among those who performed at the Heat Wave; Marlowe Morris was the house pianist.

Today the location is a medical office:

As Seen In Harlem

Blank Check

While the phrase ‘blank check’ may live on, increasing numbers of young people have very little experience with physical checks. When I saw this pristine blank check from the Harlem and Spuyten Duyvil Navigation Co. for sale on Ebay, I was taken by the partially prefilled-out date: “187_”

The image on the left-hand side of the check is also wonderful. It shows the High Bridge when it was exclusively a masonry structure. (A steel span now has replaced the center arches.). You can also see the bucolic Bronx, and yes, a steamship with a paddlewheel, plying the Harlem River.

As Seen In Harlem