The top three tips for ranked choice voting are…

  1. Vote for your genuine favorites, in your order of preference. Don’t try to game the system and guess who has the best chance. Just vote for whom you like in the order that you like them. There’s no risk of losing your vote, because if your favorite is knocked out, your vote will go to your second favorite, and so on.
  2. Don’t rank someone you don’t like. The last spots on your ballot should be for candidates that you are OK with or could live with. If there are candidates you disagree with or really do not want to win, do not put them on your ballot.
  3. You don’t have to fill all five slots, if there are only three or four candidates that you like, you can just rank them. 

Scott Joplin

Walking the other day on West 131st Street I noticed a brownstone with a historic plaque:

The plaque refers to Scott Joplin that Wikipedia notes:

Scott Joplin (c. 1868 – April 1, 1917) was an American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the “King of Ragtime”.[1] During his brief career, he wrote over 100 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first and most popular pieces, the “Maple Leaf Rag“, became ragtime’s first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.[2]

To listen to his piece “The Entertainer”, see below:

Seen on ACP

Emergency Rent Assistance – What You Need to Know

Kente Royal Gallery

Make sure to take a moment to visit the Kente Royal Gallery on ACP at 139 to see Elan Cadiz’s work on Scaffold: The Equality of Treatment:

https://www.kenteroyalgallery.com/gallery

The current exhibit there from

Scaffold: Equity of Treatment

2020 – ongoing

Scaffold: Equity of Treatment is about the importance  of self-reflection and preservation and how these very important practices need to be manifested  through  equitable treatment in our homes, communities and world. The use of the scaffolding is to symbolize the individual care and support we all need. Elan’s goal is to encourage discussions on self-reflection, self-love and practice in deciphering what we need as individuals and ways our systems of support can better meet these needs. 

Cadiz sees the Scaffold project as a kind of visual spiritual alchemy that challenges the viewer and subject to see themselves as a universal being made up of their experiences and understanding. The scaffold serves as a form of protection and support, it symbolizes the relationship between consciousness and matter within self. When we know ourselves and the kind of support we need, we can better ask of what we require  from the world in order to  bring satisfaction and harmony to ourselves and others. 

College Scholarships for Harlem Teenagers

If you know of a Harlem or East Harlem teenager who fits the criteria on the PDF (below), get them on it! MMPCIA has released their annual college scholarship application.

Community Fridge

126 West 134th Street

Harlem Link is hosting a Spring Fair

In The Heights

This note from Carolyn Brown, the head of our sister block association on Sugar Hill:

Dear Friends, Family and Neighbors,
I wanted to alert you all to the wonderful ‘peoples’ showing of  Lin Manuel- Miranda’s musical IN THE HEIGHTS.  It’s showing outdoors in 5 different spots in Manhattan and in other boroughs.  And also in the beautiful theater across from the GW Bridge Bus Station.
It’s streaming on HBO MAX tomorrow, which is $14.00 a month but you can cancel it after. 
WHY WATCH IN THE HEIGHTS?This is the first award winning production of Lin Man.uel, a graduate of Hunter High School . I saw the Broadway version and apparently this one has been updated – about the Dreamers, gentrification of Washington Heights  – It begins with – ” I’ll tell you a story about Washington Heights and a block that’s disappearing.”  
The Broadway version featured a young Dominican girl who got into Stanford but flunked out because she ran out of money, had to get a job, and couldn’t keep up with her classes. She returns to the neighborhood ashamed to face everyone whose hopes were on her – they called her ‘The Genius’. And then she fails.  I don’t know if she remains in the story but it’s kind of like Harlem’s story. 
The dancing and music is spectacular – a combination of Salsa, Bolero, Merengue, Reggaeton – and the lyrics are so political.  The dance scenes in the middle of the street!!!!  And the swimming pool in Washington Heights. Hundreds of dancers!!! You’ll recognize all the spots. Superb!! Jimmy Smits is the father. A  family friend – Daphne Rubin Vega  from Panama – who played in the original RENT plays one of the grandmothers. You’ll recognize the taxi drivers, the Dominican beauty parlor ladies , the corner bodegas, etc. The shots of the GW Bridge are just amazing.
So – Be sure to watch it. I’ve been watching the trailers for several months just waiting for it to start. There are also some incredible interviews with Lin Manuel and several commentators explaining what a brilliant artist Lin is. He went to Hunter and he produced  Fiddler on the Roof , which some commentators say was one inspiration for the style of the musical. Also the West Side Story. This is a wonderful picture with a ton of excellent LatinX actors. It’s really something when you see your city on the big screen.
Here are some of the links:Trailers 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbyFM4dggCA&list=RDCMUCnIup-Jnwr6emLxO8McEhSw&index=2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0CL-ZSuCrQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa9jMTkN5Q4
Carolyn “You can’t walk down the street without running into someone’s BIG PLANS”

P.S. There’s  also a very political documentary about Lin’s father Luis Miranda. It’s called SIEMPRE LUIS, also on HBO. He came from PR, helped pull Latinos into NYC government and supported Letitia James for Atty Gen’l.  It’s about how he – after the hurricane hit Puerto Rico – arranged for Hamilton to be there to raise money for the restoration of the island It’s a beautiful  It opens with him in a doctors office having a check up after a heart attack!
His trailer is amazing too: https://youtu.be/WHttYJysAV8  Siempre Luis Attachments areaPreview YouTube video IN THE HEIGHTS “96,000” Song ClipIN THE HEIGHTS “96,000” Song ClipPreview YouTube video IN THE HEIGHTS – Official TrailerIN THE HEIGHTS – Official TrailerPreview YouTube video In the Heights Trailer #2 (2021) | Movieclips TrailersIn the Heights Trailer #2 (2021) | Movieclips TrailersPreview YouTube video Siempre, Luis (2020): Official Trailer | HBO

GHC Meeting Tonight

Join the Greater Harlem Coalition’s look at the intersection of Harlem and East Harlem’s quality of life issues and the 2021 NYC elections. Click here to learn more tonight.

City Comptroller

The person who oversees City Hall’s wallet is called the comptroller, a position currently filled by Scott Stringer.

Four contenders are vying to replace the term-limited Stringer (who is running for mayor). And while the ultra-crowded mayor’s race will undoubtedly steal most of the attention this election cycle, choosing our next comptroller is critical for city voters.

The primary vote is set for June 22 of this year. Given New York’s firmly Democratic lean, whichever comptroller candidate nabs a win then will have a strong advantage heading into November’s general election. A Republican has not been elected comptroller since 1938.

New York City’s comptroller is our municipal auditor and fiduciary.

The Office of the Comptroller does several things, but its chief responsibilities are to prepare audits and oversee how city agencies are spending their money, manage the city’s public pension funds — the largest in the world at $224.8 billion as of October, Stringer’s office says — and issue bonds to help pay for large projects. The comptroller also reviews city contracts.

To do all this and more, the comptroller employs a staff of about 800. The comptroller has another important role: serving as second in line of succession to the mayor, after the Public Advocate.Here’s a comprehensive list of duties from the comptroller’s office.

Brian Benjamin

Benjamin, our Harlem neighbor and State Senator represents Harlem, East Harlem and the Upper West Side. The former investment banker and affordable housing developer pledged to return some donations in early January after THE CITY found donors named in campaign records who said they’d never given money to his campaign.

Brad Lander

Lander currently serves as the City Council member representing Carroll Gardens, Park Slope and Kensington. Previous to government work, he directed a community planning center at Pratt Institute.

Kevin Parker

Parker, a Brooklyn native, is the current State Senator representing Flatbush and surrounding neighborhoods from Ditmas Park to Park Slope. Before taking elected office, Parker worked for local officials, including the then-state Comptroller H. Carl McCall and then-Flatbush Council member Una Clarke.

David Weprin

Weprin, a native of Queens, currently serves as the State Assembly member representing northeast Queens. He previously represented the area in the City Council, worked in the financial services industry and, in the 1980s, served on the state’s Banking Board.

As Seen on 2nd Avenue in East Harlem

Unfortunately, no, the 2nd Avenue Subway isn’t yet in East Harlem. This remnant of an earlier attempt to build the 2nd Avenue Subway is at 117th Street, and was part of the “cut and cover” trenching done in the 1970s

The new 2nd Avenue Subway will incorporate some of this earlier tunneling into the project.

In-Person, Open Mic, Candidates Forums

NYC CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 9 CANDIDATES DEBATE

When:    Saturday, June 12, 2021

Time:      2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Where:   NYC Madison Square Boys & Girls Club 

                 (155 St. & Bradhurst Ave.)

                 250 Bradhurst Avenue

                 NY, NY 10039

Trains:     D to 155 St. Station stop 

Bus:         M10, M3 to 155 St. stop

What Does My City Council Member Do?

Council members are responsible for proposing and voting on bills relating to all aspects of civic life, for example: policinghousingstreet safety and environmental issues like the plastic bag ban.

Bills passed by the Council go to the mayor for to be signed into law. The Council can override a veto from the mayor with a vote of at least two-thirds of the members.

The Council also negotiates with the mayor to pass the city budget every year. Each Council member has his or her own discretionary budget to fund local projects and groups. The Council holds oversight hearings through its many committees. And, critically, the body votes to approve or reject development projects that need public approval.

You can think of the Council as like Congress for the City of New York, as this guide from the Council puts it. The city’s Campaign Finance Board created the below video outlining some of the duties and responsibilities of the City Council:

Sumptuous Gifts from a Black Women-Owned Harlem Business

If you want a gift from Harlem to take to a friend’s (now that you’re both fully vaccinated), the Harlem Chocolate Factory on ACP at 139, is a great place to consider.

Greater Harlem Coalition Meeting on Wednesday

Join the Greater Harlem Coalition for an Election 2021 conversation about what candidates have said they would do about the quality of life issues that impact you, your family, your guests, and your neighbors, on Wednesday at 7:00 PM. Register by clicking on this link:

https://fordham.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yW9VWS-8QtivypY6O6olWA

The ‘Final’ List of City Council Candidates

The New York Board of Elections has finally produced a list of candidates for Harlem:

PRIMARY CONTEST LIST
Primary Election 2021 06/22/2021, New York Democratic Party
TENTATIVE – SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Member of the City Council 8th Council District

Tamika Mapp 342 East 119 Street 5B New York, NY 10035
Manuel Onativia
122 East 103 Street 19 New York, NY 10029
Antoinette D. Glover 2415 2 Avenue New York, NY 10035
Diana I. Ayala 430 East 118 Street 6H New York, NY 10035

Member of the City Council 9th Council District

Pierre A. Gooding 2050 Frederick Douglas Boulevard New York, NY 10026
Athena Moore 216 West 136 Street New York, NY 10030
William A. Allen 1925 Seventh Avenue 6H New York, NY 10026
Kristin Richardson Jordan 45 West 132 Street 2D New York, NY 10037
Bernadette McNear 159 48 Harlem River Drive New York, NY 10039
Ruth L. McDaniels 110 West 137 Street 3A New York, NY 10030
Mario Rosser 300 West 135 Street 4K New York, NY 10030
Keith Taylor 32 Edgecombe Avenue New York, NY 10030
Cordell Cleare 1851 Adam C. Powell Jr. Boulevard New York, NY 10026
Bill Perkins 1295 5 Avenue 15D New York, NY 10029
Billy Council 2130 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard 5J New York, NY 10027
Sheba T. Simpson Amsterdam 30 West 141 Street 8N New York, NY 10037
Joshua Albert Clennon 7 West 122 Street 1 New York, NY 10027

Summer of Soul is Here!

On Juneteenth, in Marcus Garvey Park!

SUMMER OF SOUL (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Screening: SUMMER OF SOUL (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) – City Parks Foundation

SCREENING: SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED)

Presented by Target and In Association with NYC Parks’ Historic Harlem Parks and Jazzmobile

Saturday, June 19, 2021

5:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Doors open 3:00 pm)

Marcus Garvey Park

18 Mt. Morris Park West, New York, NY 10027

Celebrate Juneteenth in Harlem with a free, outdoor screening of Summer of Soul presented by Target in association with Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage, NYC Parks’ Historic Harlem Parks and JazzMobile. The special advance screening will be followed by live performances at The Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park featuring Questlove and surprise guests. Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, highlights the story of the momentous 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, featuring never-before-seen footage from the massive concert series that was – until now – virtually eliminated from the history books. The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and was met with rave reviews, taking home both the grand jury prize and the audience award. SUMMER OF SOUL will stream on Hulu in conjunction with Disney General Entertainment’s Onyx Collective; Searchlight Pictures will release it theatrically on July 2, 2021.

The Triboro and Dapper Pedestrians

A lovely 1935-1940 postcard with dapper pedestrians and depression era cars taking in the Triborough bridge with Manhattan in the background.

This painting (then turned into a postcard) shows the fashion (and hats) of the day.

Note the hatless man on the right who appears to be the only one without a suit on a warm, sunny day. And while the Manhattan skyline appears to be generalized, Riverside Church stands out on the left-horizon.

The postcard is for sale on Ebay

Marcus Garvey Park’s Little Free Library Has Plexiglass

The doors on the 3 Little Free Library’s in Marcus Garvey Park now have plexiglass on them.

Before:

After:

Property Tax Reform Coming

Image

Dear New Yorker:
The NYC Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform recently announced three new virtual hearings on its 10 preliminary recommendations, scheduled for Queens on June 9The Bronx on June 14, and Manhattan on June 16. All three hearings will begin at 6 pm. Flyers with additional details about the hearings are available in multiple languages on the Commission’s website here.
On January 31, 2020, the Commission released a Preliminary Report with the following 10 initial recommendations aimed at making the City’s property tax system simpler, clearer, and fairer:
Moving coops, condominiums, and rental buildings with up to 10 units into a new residential class along with 1-3 family homes.
Using a sales-based methodology to value all properties in the residential class.
Assessing every property in the residential class at its full market value.
Annual market value changes in the new residential class being phased in over five years at 20 percent per year.
Creating a partial homestead exemption for primary resident owners with income below a certain threshold.
Creating a circuit breaker within the property tax system to lower the property tax burden on low-income primary resident owners, based on the ratio of property tax paid to income.
Replacing the current class share system with a system that prioritizes predictable and transparent tax rates for property owners.
Current valuation methods should be maintained for properties not in the new residential class (i.e. rental buildings with more than 10 units, utilities, and commercial).
A gradual transition to the new system for current owners, with an immediate transition into the new system whenever a property in the new residential class is sold.
Instituting comprehensive reviews of the property tax system every 10 years.
The Commission was formed by Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in 2018 with a mandate to reform NYC’s property tax system while ensuring there’s no reduction in revenue used to fund essential city services. An in-person hearing following the report’s release was initially scheduled for March 12, 2020, in Staten Island, but was later postponed due to COVID-19. However, the hearings resumed virtually this past May, with hearings for Staten Island and Brooklyn on May 11 and May 27, respectively.
The Commission is soliciting input from the public on the 10 initial recommendations in the Preliminary Report, specifically whether they would achieve the goals of a fairer system, would be improved by certain modifications, or should be enhanced with additional recommendations.
The public can submit feedback by emailing it to [email protected] or uploading it through the Commission’s online portal.
The public may also register to testify at the upcoming hearings for Queens on June 9, The Bronx on June 14, and Manhattan on June 16. To do so, speakers must register on the Commission’s website here.
Anyone wishing to testify must register no later than 24 hours in advance of the hearing. Following registration, speakers will receive further instructions. Speakers may (but need not) submit their presentations ahead of time.

You can testify at any borough hearing, not just the borough where you reside.To request interpretation services please email [email protected] or call 212-676-3072 by 5 pm three business days before the hearing. For ASL, or to request an accommodation for a disability, please email or call by 5 pm five business days before the hearing.
Thank you and, as always, stay safe.

In service,
                                                                         
New York City Council

In-Person, Open Mic, Candidates Forums

FORUM ONE – Your chance to see the candidates and to ask them questions

What:     NYC Mayoral Debates

When:    Saturday, June 5, 2021

Time:      2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Where:   NYC Madison Square Boys & Girls Club 

                 (155 St. & Bradhurst Ave.)

                 250 Bradhurst Avenue

                 NY, NY 10039

Trains:     D to 155 St. Station stop

Bus:         M10, M3 to 155 St. stop 

HBCU College Fair for Harlem Teens

If you have, or know of a Harlem teenager, make sure to encourage them to attend the upcoming HBCU College Fair on June 5th 2021 12-4 pm in Harlem St. Nicholas Avenue between West 122-West 123 Street! 

Imagine a World without COVID!

If you know an un vaccinated teenager, send them to Marcus Garvey Park tomorrow – Noon to 8 PM!

Press Conference and Protest Regarding Rising Crime

With the rise in both shootings in our streets and rise in crimes within our train systems community advocates and clergy have come together to demand accountability of our elected officials for their failed policies and reckless funding of ineffective programs.

Who: Community Advocate Alpheaus Marcus, Police Clergy Members Pastor Antoinette Glover, Pastor Robert Rice, and Pastor Staci Ramos along with community members who are tired of the violence and rise of homelessness within their communities?

When: Friday June 4th.

Where: At both the hotbed for homelessness and crime 125th Street and Lexington Avenue Train Station.

Time: 12:00 pm.
Cordially
Mr. Alpheaus Marcus
(718) 916-2141

Pastor Staci Ramos

HNBA June Meeting

On Tuesday next week, the Harlem Neighborhood Block Association will host our final pre-election meeting at 7:00 PM. (we will be taking a break during July and August, returning in September with a – planned – hybrid meeting on Tuesday, September 14th)

We hope you’ll be able to join us on Tuesday at 7:00 PM to hear more from (and ask questions of) a number of candidates for office: 

  • Joshua Clennon (City Council 9)
  • Mario Rosser (City Council 9)
  • Athena Moore (City Council 9)
  • Tali Farhadian (Manhattan DA)

If you’d like to join, please contact us on our Contact Us page: https://hnba.nyc/contact-us/ and we’ll get you the Zoom link

Pet Friendly?

Localize looked at the data for pet friendly rental listings and came up with this:

Top pet-friendly Manhattan neighborhoods

  • Morningside Heights: 98%
  • Upper West Side: 84%
  • Greenwich Village: 83%
  • Washington Heights: 80%
  • East Harlem: 79%

While New Yorkers love their pets, many property managers don’t share the sentiment. The following neighborhoods are more challenging to find buildings that allow pets.

Worst neighborhoods for pet-friendly listings

  • Brooklyn: Park Slope (16%), Bedford Stuyvesant (24%), Crown Heights (33%)
  • Manhattan: Harlem (17%), East Village (19%), LES (23%)
  • Queens: Astoria (21%), Glen Oaks (29%)

While Park Slope had a higher overall score due to its proximity to dog parks and other amenities, it also ranks as a difficult neighborhood to find pet-friendly listings due to low inventory. It’s still possible to find pet-friendly apartments in the areas listed above, they just have the least number of available listings currently on the market. 

For more, see:

https://www.localize.city/blog/pet-friendly-neighborhoods-nyc/

The Tree of Hope III

On the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd’s median, you can see a sculpture – The Tree of Hope III – at the location of the original Tree of Hope that was a talisman to performers in Harlem’s many clubs.

The style of the sculpture – the colors and form in particular – certainly situate it as a product of the early 70’s, but it has a vibrancy and panache that works (even if it’s too small for the location).