NYC Speaks: Tell the Mayor What You Think

Concerned about what’s been going down in our neighborhood?

NYC Speaks is an epic effort to amplify the voices of New Yorkers as the new administration of Mayor Eric Adams begins: https://nycspeaks.org.

Speak your mind on issues including:
— Public Safety
— Housing & Neighborhoods
— Youth Development & Education
— Economy & Workforce
— Health & Wellbeing
— Arts & Culture
— Racial Equity
— Gender Justice
— Climate & Infrastructure
— Civic Engagement.

Responses from the survey will guide the new Adams administration, as well as set priorities for the upcoming city budget. The window to respond closes this Friday, January 28.

The survey’s available in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Bengali, Urdu, Polish & Korean. It’s online at https://nycspeaks.org, or text the words NYC SPEAKS to 212-457-1254 and a member of the outreach team from Uptown Grand Central will give you a call to complete the survey by phone.

Open House NY Weekend: Grandscale Mural Project

More than half a mile of murals, created by more than 100 artists: The Grandscale Mural Project is now part of Open House New York Weekend!

Since its start nearly two decades ago, OHNY shines a spotlight on the places, people, projects and ideas that define New York and its future. This year’s event includes some 200 different in-person and
virtual tours, talks and self-guided walks at select locations citywide.

Join Uptown Grand Central this Sunday, October 17, from 1-5 p.m. to walk the walls of the Grandscale Mural Project that stretch along East 125th and East 124th streets, and Park, Lexington and Third Avenues:
https://ohny.org/place/grandscale-mural-project.

The murals feature a wide range of street art styles, and many of our participating artists will be on hand to tell their stories and answer your questions. In-person artists include: Mark Musters, BC1 NBA,
Blanka Amezkua, Laura Alvarez, Erica Purnell, Ysabel Abreu, Yeksoe, Carla Torres, One Rad Latina, Social Icon, Gia Gutierrez, Alexis Vanity, Danny Peguero, EunHea Kim, the CCC Art Collective and SJK 171.

Blazay (from the DMX mural fame) will also be live-painting portraits next to the fire station at Third Avenue & 124th Street.

To start, come find us under the yellow tent just outside the Harlem-125th Street Metro-North Station.

Thank You! HNBA Holiday Donation to East 125th Nursing Home

Shoutout to all neighbors who contributed to HNBA this year! Your donation enabled the block association to team up with Uptown Grand Central to bring a little year-end joy to the staff at Northern Manhattan Rehab nursing home on East 125th Street between Park and Lexington.

Like most nursing homes, Northern Manhattan Rehab has been hit hard this year, with patient deaths and many staff falling ill. For the past several weeks, patients have not been able to leave their rooms due to the center’s attempt to keep COVID from spreading — so the staff have been working extra hard to bring holiday joy from room to room.

On the first night of winter, HNBA and Uptown Grand Central sponsored East 125th small business Ginjan Cafe to deliver cases and cases (and cases!) of their signature drink to the front door of the home as part of Ginjan’s Healthcare Heroes program. (Unlike this past summer, when some of the COVID restrictions were lifted, non-staff are currently not allowed to enter the building.)

The staff were then sipping as the Marching Cobras marching band marched by to celebrate Uptown’s Winter Lights glowing for winter:

Turn your sound ON!

Winter Lights on East 125th Street

You may have noticed the trees glowing for winter along East 125th Street. How did they happen?

Most New Yorkers assume that the holiday and winter lighting that graces many commercial corridors across the city is paid for and programmed by the City. In fact, the City has nothing to do with it: All decorative lighting citywide is brought to you by Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), chamber of commerce — or, in the case of East 125th Street, the 501c3 nonprofit Uptown Grand Central.

The winter lights went up on the first day of winter (December 21, or the Winter Solstice), marked by the Marching Cobras marching band and visits to local small businesses and the Northern Manhattan Rehab nursing home.

Shoutout to Councilmember Diana Ayala and the Community Association of the East Harlem Triangle for supporting the costs for the lights. And to the staff at local small business Urban Garden Center for spending hours upon hours up in the bucket truck to get everything lit!

You’ll have until the end of February to enjoy them. As contrasted to the skyline swags used in other parts of the city, the goal with the trees is to bring more light to street level, adding a safety element as well during very dark winter nights.

LAST CHANCE! To Catch the Holiday Market at Urban Garden Center

Dear neighbors:

It’s pretty much too late to buy anything online and have it get here on time. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered: Join us for some local gift-shopping today, Saturday, December 19, from 3-6 p.m. under the tracks at Urban Garden Center.

We’ll have a curated selection of arts, crafts and treats, all made by local business owners.

Today’s line-up:

Food:

Frenchy Coffee — s’mores hot chocolate, coffee, chocolate twists, madeleines, gluten-free and vegan muffins

Cafe Ollin — tamales, churros, salted chocolate chip cookies, Mexican hot chocolate

Mountain Bird — soup, sticky toffee fig cake, hot sake lemonade, peppermint hot chocolate

GAUDIr — mulled cider, champagne, cheesecake

Maryam’s Yum Yum — waffles, chicken & waffles 

Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe — pasteles, doughnuts, regular coquito

Gifts: 
Flaco Coquito — non-dairy coquito

Pop Pins NYC — fashion pins

Jam + Rico — handmade Caribbean-inspired jewelry

Elo Burnz & Jorge Matarrita — art prints

Slone — graffiti canvas

Harlem Hoopz — bangles & hoops

Frida Spirit — painted gardenware

DiLena’s Dolicini & La Befana and Friends — Italian cookies and storybooks


The details:
DRIVE-BY (116TH STREET): Pull up by bike or by car at the 116th Street entrance to Urban Garden Center, and we’ll serve sweets and treats directly to your vehicle. Cash and credit accepted.

WALK-UP (117TH STREET): Urban Garden Center will be selling trees and wreaths at their 117th Street entrance. Enter there, smell that evergreen air, then exit toward 116th Street into the vendor area. Lines will be marked off at 6-foot intervals. Cash and credit accepted.

Of course: No mask, no entry. More info here: http://uptowngrandcentral.org/drivebypie.  

COME HUNGRY! Today’s Line-Up for Holidays To Go 🎁

COME HUNGRY & READY TO SHOP! 

We’ve got your tree, treats and more today, Saturday, December 12, from 3-6 p.m. under the tracks at Urban Garden Center. There’ll be flautas and flan, cake and coquito, plus great gifts for friends — with vendors to get us in the holiday spirit, while keeping us safe and socially distanced in the open air.

TODAY’S LINE-UP:

Mountain Bird — hot chocolate, hot sake lemonade, sticky toffee fig cake, Bird and vege soup

Janie’s Life-Changing Baked Goods — pie crust cookies, chocolate chip cookies, toffee

Harlem Baking Co. — Mason jar desserts, mulled wine, hot cider

Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe — coquito, doughnuts, churros, vegan chocolate mousse

Bistro Casa Azul  — flautas & flan

Maryam’s Yum Yum — waffles 

Slone — graffiti art prints

Harlem Hoopz — bangles & hoops

Frida Spirit — painted gardenware

The details:
DRIVE-BY (116TH STREET): Pull up by bike or by car at the 116th Street entrance to Urban Garden Center, and we’ll serve sweets and treats directly to your vehicle. Cash and credit accepted.

WALK-UP (117TH STREET): Urban Garden Center will be selling trees and wreaths at their 117th Street entrance. Enter there, smell that evergreen air, then exit toward 116th Street into the vendor area. Lines will be marked off at 6-foot intervals. Cash and credit accepted.

Of course: No mask, no entry. More info here: http://uptowngrandcentral.org/drivebypie.

NO LINES! Flu Shots & COVID Testing on Wednesday 12-4 p.m.

Hi neighbors,

Friendly heads-up that we will have the COVID testing van and flu shots back this Wednesday, December 9, from 12-4 p.m., during Fresh Food Box: https://www.grownyc.org/foodbox/UGC

So you can get your veggies and health check, too! (And/or just the health check! The lines are separate, and short for both.)

COVID swab tests are FREE and have a three-day return. The flu shots are $20 or billed to your insurance.

Holler at me with any questions! 

Take care,
Carey

Open Streets this weekend!

Hi neighbors,

We’ve now got not just one but TWO Open Streets here in East Harlem! This weekend’s schedule:

PLEASANT AVENUE AT 118TH:

Saturday, October 17:

  • COVID testing (rapid & antibody), plus flu shots (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • HIV and Hep-C screenings (10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
  • “Pick your own” produce sales at Pleasant Village Community Garden‬ (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
  • Free smoothies by Get Healthy East Harlem Cafe (Noon-5 p.m.)
  • ‬Zumba with Leo Zumba‬ (2-3 p.m.)

Sunday, October 18:

  • Adventure playground with playground:NYC, powered by Patsy’s Pizza (12-3 p.m.)
  • Obstacle course with Street Lab, plus chalk art with Jess Rolls (12-3 p.m.)
  • Free smoothies by Get Healthy East Harlem Cafe (Noon-5 p.m.)

The street will always be open for scooting and biking, plus our (as Patch put it, “staggeringly long”) community table is open for socially distanced dining from Bistro Casa Azul or any picnic you bring from home.

101ST STREET AT LEXINGTON:

101st Street has tables and chairs for open-air dining from local small businesses including Lexington Pizza Parlour, Chu Ros Thai, Au Jus Oklahoma BBQ, Burritos y Mas, Mojo Mousse Bar, Joy Burger Bar, Pro Thai, El Tepeyac, MY NY Cafe, Lloyd’s Carrot Cake & more. Plus games and sidewalk chalk for adults and kids!

Also, Saturday nights at 7 p.m., we’re screening film shorts curated by the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival. Grab dinner and a drink from one of the nearby eateries, and join us!