Party on Park Next Sunday, October 1st

Make sure to head to Park Avenue on Sunday, October 1st, from noon until 4:00 PM to join in the joy, the festivities, and the celebration of Harlem. The event will be from 125th Street, all the way down to 111th Streets.

Activities, food, music, giveaways, information, and so much more.

HNBA will have a table there, as will the Harlem East Block Association, Lydia’s Magic Garden, and The Greater Harlem Coalition.

Come out and say “Hi!”

The M116 Is Now Free

Starting today – Sunday, September 24th -the MTA will initiate a free bus pilot program on five routes, each representing one of the five boroughs, and in Manhattan, travel on the M116 bus line is free.

This initiative is a pilot program created by the MTA and is expected to run between six months and one year. Following this evaluation period, both the Governor and the State government will convene to discuss the program’s results and its future.

Gibbs vs. Mark-Viverito

City and State is reporting on a lawsuit filed by Assembly Member Eddie Gibbs after he lost an election – 7 votes to 6 votes.

Assembly Member Eddie Gibbs – a close ally of Manhattan Democratic Party leader Keith Wright claims that his loss violated the party’s internal rules. His opponents within the party say he’s just a sore loser. The party leadership, meanwhile, is staying out of the conflict until the courts weigh in.

Former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (left) argues with Assembly Member Eddie Gibbs (second from left) during a Manhattan Democratic Party divisional committee meeting on July 27, 2023.

Gibb’s recent attempt to run for re-election triggered the New York City Board of Election to note various election law violations, including “failing to correct a cover sheet defect,” according to the BOE. As a response, the Manhattan Democratic Party convened a divisional committee meeting on July 27 to elect individuals to fill the seats. But tension broke out during the meeting, as Gibbs and others attempted to influence the 13 committee members eligible to vote to fill the district leader position.

Video footage of the meeting obtained by City & State captured a chaotic scene, with former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito – who had been elected the chair of the meeting – repeatedly attempting to stop Gibbs from speaking to committee members. “No more talking to any of the members!” she told Gibbs. “No more talking to the members. Assemblyman, you’ve got to stand to the side.” On several occasions, security stepped in to push Gibbs away from the seated members of the meeting.

Read more, here:

Jazz in Marcus Garvey Park – Today!

The 2nd Annual John Coltrane | Miles Ahead Jazz Festival, presented by Senator Cordell Cleare on Saturday, September 23rd will feature:

Reggie Workman, Kim Clarke, Ron Blake, Patience Higgins, Norman Connors, Bertha Hope, Yayoi Ikawa, John Lander, Frank Lacy, John Satchmo Mannan, Alvin Flythe, Ray Blue, Tomoki Sanders, Sista Zock, Bill Saxton, Claire Delisser, Sean Hong, Tarik Shah, Benito Gonzalez, Billy Hart, T.K. Blue, Lady Leah, Denton Darien, and Wallace Roney Jr., plus Najee and other surprise guests! 
More Information

Black Belts and Blessings

A classic 1994 New York Times article on nuns in East Harlem learning martial arts as they perform charity in the community:

Sister Marie Chantal could be the scariest dream imaginable for legions of smirking, snickering Catholic schoolboys: a nun adept in judo and tae kwon do.

They can relax.

The martial arts are just a diversion for the smiling, shy 33-year-old member of the Fraternite Notre Dame, a French religious order dedicated to serving the poor. She and five other sisters run a cramped soup kitchen in East Harlem that feeds 300 people daily as part of their ministry to the hungry, the homeless and the sick.

Dressed in traditional habits of black and gray, they live and walk among some of the toughest, most drug-filled blocks of the city, so perhaps it is just as well that Sister Marie Chantal and the others know a bit about self-defense. But they don’t see themselves in any special danger. ‘It’s Just a Sport’

“The fact we know tae kwon do does not change anything,” said Mother Marie Martha, the group’s mother superior. “It’s just a sport.”

The order was founded 20 years ago in France by Bishop Jean-Marie Roget Kozik, and considers itself Roman Catholic but independent of the Vatican. There are many young members among the 60 nuns and 30 priests and brothers assigned to missions in France, Cameroon, Haiti and New York. Members of the order said they were encouraged to keep up with outside pursuits like music, art or even martial arts, to be happy in their vocation.

The sisters arrived in New York three years ago with little more than plans for a soup kitchen that would serve the poorest of the poor. Mother Marie Martha said they were rebuffed by countless landlords who did not want dozens of the down and out cluttering their doorways.

One landlord eventually leased them a storefront for $1,000 a month in what had been a beauty parlor on First Avenue near East 117th Street. They opened the House of Mary Nazareth with a two-burner hot plate and a meager pantry stocked with food donated by hotels, groceries and restaurants. Sister Marie’s Black BeltXxx

Their martial arts training began soon after they arrived in the city, when they lived for a while on the West Side. Sister Marie Chantal, who had earned a black belt in judo before she entered the convent, said she had been eager to resume the sport and she found a tae kwon do master in, of all places, Hell’s Kitchen.

While Sister Marie Chantal is the most avid athlete of the group, Mother Marie Martha said the other nuns also learned basic self-defense moves because they had heard the neighborhood was dangerous. Yet they say they have had no problems in East Harlem, even considering that they now live near the soup kitchen, in a building steps away from a chaotic street-corner drug trade.

One recent morning, three nuns squeezed into the tiny kitchen to prepare the day’s meal of soup, pasta and salad while the hungry lined up.

“I’ve got good stuff!” Sister Marie Valerie declared to the group, some of whom had no doubt heard that line many times before when they wanted something a little stronger.

A grimy man wearing a button that read “I Love Everybody and You’re Next!” woozily took a cup of tea from a nun. He stirred it slowly before making the sign of the cross as he muttered fragments of long-forgotten prayers. No Value JudgmentsXxx

Gregory Robbs, a 51-year-old homeless man, squeezed past him, his stomach as full as his plastic bag holding bread for his afternoon snack.

“Some soup kitchens you don’t go to because they look down on you,” he said. “Here, they don’t make value judgments. You’re just a person in need. People down on the streets are appreciative of that.”

The sisters eat after they have fed those in line. Later in the day they prepare meals to hand out at night by the Port Authority bus station, while others bring food and company to people in the neighborhood who are suffering from AIDS.

“We give them the friendship they need,” said Mother Marie Martha. “We’re not afraid of their illness. We have lots of respect.”

But little money. That is why people like Dolores Baca, a Manhattan hotel manager, have been donating food and time.

“I have never seen something so sincere and real,” Ms. Baca said. “They do their work from the heart. Unfortunately, you cannot feed and clothe people from the heart.” Expanding the Mission

The nuns want to expand their mission here by acquiring a building to house a program for unwed mothers and their children. The ambitious order also has plans for an orphanage in Mongolia and a program for street children in Brazil. The nuns hope to raise money through a concert in May, when 40 members of the order will travel to New York for a performance of religious music.

Wherever they do their work, the sisters said, they do not proselytize, preferring their actions to speak for themselves. For them, their work in East Harlem is their biggest concern.

“We know the neighborhood is dangerous, but we don’t have any problems,” said Sister Marie Francesca.

Sister Marie Valerie agreed, echoing a sentiment familiar to many Americans in Paris. “The people are nicer than in France,” she said.


Join Sinergia and Public Health Solutions on our upcoming free webinar via Zoom on 10/12 from 12 PM-1:30 p.m. 

Event Name: Your Home & the Smoke-Free NYC Program

Presenting Organization: Public Health Solutions

Date: Thursday, 10/12

Time: 12-1:30 PM EST

RSVP via Zoom:

Questions/Accommodations: Contact Mariam Chardiwall via email at [email protected].

The Rat Portal, Redux

NYC’s new Rat Czar and the mayor have created a new look for the city’s rat portal – a map of property in the city, color coded according to rat activity inspections:

Pink and purple are not good (notice how all our parks fail…) and green means all good.

Check it out yourself to see how your building fared:

Party on Park Is Coming

October 1st (Sunday) from noon to 4 PM. Get Ready!


For everyone (meaning all New Yorkers) who’s ever thought that there’s got to be a better way to deal with trash – better than just putting out plastic bags after 8pm – Amsterdam comes to the rescue.

The new proposed system would operate like a typical garbage chute, but the trash would not just go down into the visible bin, but deeper, underground, into a holding bin.

This bin would then be hoisted, out of its hole and emptied by crane into a garbage truck. It’s an amazing idea for a city like New York that also does not have alleys, at least in Manhattan, to store rolling bins, access trash storage in the back, etc.

25th Precinct Community Meeting Tomorrow at 6:00

The National Black Theater Building’s Crane, At Night

9th District Civil Court

A gorgeous neo-Romanesque Courthouse in East Harlem has a brownstone scroll with embossed text (seen just above the scaffolding in this photo):

The text on the scroll reads “9th District Civil Court”:

Joshua Clennon’s Fundraiser – One Week From Today

The candidate writes:

“I’m a 4th generation Harlem resident, husband, and father, deeply committed to fighting the widening economic disparities that threaten to displace families like mine from the community we love. With 8 years of hands-on experience in affordable housing, I’ve been on the front lines of this battle. Now, I’m ready to take this fight to Albany to enact real, lasting change.”


For those of us able to remember the ‘Beeper Era’, the ad here, up high on the side of the storefront, is a blast from the past:

Although very faded, you can still make out the number to call and the number to ‘beep’ – 917-949-6247.

An East Harlem bit of commercial ephemera.

Preserve Harlem and East Harlem

As we continue to celebrate our 50th anniversary we are launching a video series called “I am Preservation” to highlight the widespread love of landmarks throughout New York City. We want to show how important historic preservation is to so many people.  Many of our supporters have filmed short clips expressing how they represent “Preservation.” We are featuring three samples in the video above.  Please join in the celebration and send us your video. We will post clips throughout the rest of the year on our many social media platforms.TIPS for making your own “I am Preservation” video.Say your name, and if you like, the neighborhood that you live in.Briefly comment on what you love about New York City landmarks or a specific historic building, place, or structure. And, finish by saying “I am Preservation!”Film in landscape mode (hold smartphone horizontally)If you can’t film yourself, maybe have a friend film you in front of a landmark or your favorite historic building or structure.Be aware of your surroundings (street-level noise, etc.)Check your lighting. If possible, you don’t want to be in an area that is too dark or too bright.Set up your shot (minimize things that might be distracting on screen) We are looking for short clips. Thirty seconds at maximum.Make eye contact, don’t forget to smile.Speak up and enunciate your words. We want viewers to hear you.Send your finished video clips to [email protected]Have fun!
OTHER DETAILS Please submit your videos or downloadable links via email to [email protected]By submitting videos, participants certify that the clips provided are theirs and grant The New York Landmarks Conservancy the right to usage.The Conservancy reserves the right to edit or reject submissions.The “I am Preservation” campaign is not sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook or any other social media.By submitting your video, you agree that clips or still images can be used by The New York Landmarks Conservancy for social media posts, email campaigns, and printed publications.

Neighborhood Streets

Join CIVITAS in a fun workshop on understanding our streets. To register, click here:

Fenimore Cooper

The old Fenimore Cooper School (East 119 to East 120, between Madison and 5th, is now Bethel Gospel Assembly. In the porticoes above entrances, you can still see remnants of cast concrete basreliefs of a number of school disciplines.



Self-Defense For Children at the 28th Precinct

EGN Youth Sports & Development is a non-profit organization missioned to improve youth and their communities through the art of Karate. Our goal is to strengthen the minds, bodies and hearts of the youth in our communities through Karate training.

(Note that the transcription incorrectly misidentifies the Harlem Precinct. It should be the 28th Precinct, not the 20th.

We are a firm believer that physical training leads to increased spiritual connection and strength through patience, which in turn leads to better decision- making from our children. We aim to deepen relationships between children of diverse backgrounds to create community-minded and open–minded individuals who value friendships, and authentic relationships with themselves and the communities they exist in.

Celebrate 50 Years

The 125th Street BID is 30

Signed into law in September 1993 by Mayor David N. Dinkins, Harlem’s BID is 30 years old.

East Harlem Church for Sale

A church and parish house on 119th Street near Pleasant Avenue are for sale:

As Catholic attendance numbers shrink and costs associated with lawsuits continue to rise, the New York Diocese has been shedding property to save on maintenance costs and to get capital.

Asking Price: Not disclosed.

Deal terms are not currently defined. You can request your own specific terms when submitting a non-binding offer.

Cabaret, in German+English, in Harlem

The German Cabaret artist Sylvia Brecko will entertain you in the Harlem Rose Garden this Sunday from noon to 1 PM in both English (if the majority doesn’t understand German) and German.

All welcome.