Harlem Celebrates Joe Louis’ Victory

A silent film with Harlem joy at Joe Louis’ victory over Max Baer on this day in 1935.

Hilarious is not the word we’d likely use today, but the enthusiasm of the community is palatable even without sound to accompany the short clips.

Harlem Teacher Rises From Homelessness to New York’s Teacher of the Year

Nick Garber at Patch.com has an amazing story of a Harlem teacher who just won the 2023 teacher of the year for New York State.

Billy Green, who is now a chemistry teacher at Harlem’s A. Philip Randolph Campus High School, focuses on engagement, creativity, and student success.

You an read the whole article, here:

https://patch.com/new-york/harlem/harlem-educator-new-york-states-teacher-year

New York, Ukraine

Um, I have to admit this came as a shock when reading news about the shelling of New York while reading a report on the situation in Ukraine. I did a double take on the map, and sure enough, Wikipedia has a page on it:

The settlement first appeared on maps in 1846 under its original name of New York and was then situated in the Yekaterinoslav Governorate of the Russian Empire. The wife of one of the founders was from the United States.[6][7] According to official data, in 1859, the village consisted of 13 households, 45 male residents, 40 female residents, and a factory and was formally named Oleksandrivske.[7][8] The precise origin of the settlement’s name is unclear.[9]

New York’s Crest

Before the war it had a population of 10,000.

Handmaids of Mary

You may remember the convent on the north side of Marcus Garvey Park that was the home for the (predominantly) Black Handmaids of Mary for many years. The building was knocked down and only a field of rubble seemingly remains.

Looking closely in the back right corner, however, you can see a garden raised-bed, a potted tree, and a secluded, outdoor shrine that would have been for private devotion, now forlorn and exposed.

Stop and Swap, Tomorrow

https://www.grownyc.org/swap

First Annual Jazz Appreciation Jam – Tomorrow

Jazz is an art that has been part of our community since the 1930’s and continues to be appreciated in Harlem to this day. We will continue this tradition Saturday afternoon with State Senator Cleare’s First Annual Jazz Appreciation Jam in honor of jazz legend John Coltrane.

Music will be performed by jazz’s finest artists including; Camille Gaynor, Sweet Lee Odem, Zockia, Yayoi, Patience Higgins and Omar Edwards, who will be playing in the Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater from 1:00pm-7:00pm

National Day of Rememberance Walk

On Sunday, September 25th you are invited to walk with us for the National Day of Remembrance. 

In Harlem/East Harlem we will begin our walk at 112th and 1st Avenue ending at City Hall.  We walk in honor of our friends, family, and community members that were lost to senseless violence and we walk together to send a message that violence is unacceptable. 

We walk together in UNITY!

New Exhibit at Claire Oliver Gallery

Make sure to check out the new exhibit at Claire Oliver Gallery (ACP between 134/135)

Drumming In Marcus Garvey Park, Saturday

Wheelie Life

If you’ve ever seen a wave of young people doing wheelies down a Harlem street on bicycles, this documentary explores the culture, the comradery, and the thrills inherent in this urban subculture.

Featuring a number of shots and interviews under the Harlem Viaduct (125th Street and the Harlem River), the documentary follows the athleticism and passion of the young men and women who find freedom on one wheel.

Philadelphia Artist Walks From Harlem to Canada

The Philadelphia Inquirer has an article on Ken Johnston, the Philadelphia “walking artist” who set out from Harlem, N.Y., in July, walked across the Rainbow Bridge into Niagara Falls, Ontario to honor and follow the route of American hero, Harriet Tubman.

Johnston reached St. Catharines, Ontario, the city where Harriet Tubman, perhaps America’s most famous Underground Railroad leader, lived between 1851 and 1861, before the start of the Civil War in early September

Johnston, 61, of Cobbs Creek in Philadelphia, ended his approximately 450-mile walk at Salem Chapel British Methodist Episcopal Church, where Tubman once worshiped.

Johnston said he was both excited to have arrived in Tubman’s former (Canadian) city — and exhausted.

Read the full article, here:

https://www.inquirer.com/news/ken-johnston-walk-freedom-harriet-tubman-new-york-canada-200-birthday-20220910.html

Free Concert in Harlem Rose Garden, Saturday

Sidewalk Detail

Upon first viewing, this entry into a Harlem brownstone courtyard look fairly typical. A gate. Steps down to the lower level. Steps going up to the top of the stoop.

Looking down, you can see the nice detail that the sidewalk installers added the street address into the cement.

Michelin Ranked Harlem Restaurants Increases

Harlem has a number of restaurants mentioned by Michelin:

  • Abyssinia
  • Barawine
  • Fumo
  • Jin Ramen
  • Melba’s
  • Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too
  • Oso
  • Red Rooster

Earlier this month, 3 more were added to the list:

  • Clay (553 Manhattan Ave.)
  • Contento (88 East 111th St.)
  • Reverence (2592 Frederick Douglass Blvd.)

To learn more, see:

https://guide.michelin.com/us/en/new-york-state/new-york/restaurants

Housing Policy Briefing

Join @IssueVoter this Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 5:00pm EST for a look a Congressional Housing Policy

Register here: 

https://tinyurl.com/housingpolicy2022

Rowing on The Harlem River

The Harlem River was (in the 18th and 19th Century) a popular destination for rowing or sculling. Remnants of this pastime were visible into mid 20th century.

In the photo below, you can see 4 large boat houses on the Bronx side of the Harlem River (note the Highbridge water tower in the back-left corner):

The bridge visible on the river would be the 155th Street Bridge, so the apartment buildings in the Bronx are the ones that overlook Yankee Stadium, today.

East River Crew reports that in 1937, Robert Moses The Power Broker” of New York City started evicting rowing boathouses “to build tennis courts for the people living in Harlem.”

By the 1950s all of the Row, boathouses were gone.

Can Collecting Property Hoarder

The Post has an interesting article on a woman who owns dilapidated property in Harlem, collects cans in a beat-up car, while living and hoarding in Brooklyn.

https://nypost.com/2022/08/21/nyc-to-demolish-landmark-building-owned-by-secret-millionaire-bag-lady/

Silicon Harlem Events

Silicon Harlem Meetup – Wed, September 21, 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Register for the Meetup (virtual)

Please join us on September 21, 2022 to talk about the upcoming “Future Ready Communities” conference and our new impact token for uptown. Your voice matters!

Silicon Harlem 9th Annual Next Gen Tech Conference – Fri, October 21, 2022

Agenda and registration below:

futureready2022.cventevents.com (in person)

Please join us at the 9th Annual Next Gen Tech Conference at the iconic Schomburg Center Library in Harlem. Our theme this year is “Future Ready Communities”. The Conference will help prepare future ready communities through innovation and technology. Your participation will help solidify that!

Good to Have

As seen on the windshield of a car in Harlem.

Note the old-school coiled cord, bulky handset.

Black Flight

The Atlantic has a great article on Black Flight – the movement of the mostly middle and upper-class Black urban residents to the suburbs after the Fair Housing Act of 1968 began to erode some of the barriers that kept Black Americans out of suburbia.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/09/black-families-leaving-cities-suburbs/671331/

The article provides a context for Black Flight and investigates how the loss of inner city-educated Black families profoundly impacted those left behind since the 1970’s.

Community Board Want Your Input

Heart to Heart Tonight

HEART TO HEART CONCERT – The Sounds of Gospel!
Time: The concert begins at 6:00pm EST 
Location: Peter Norton Symphony Space
Address: 2537 Broadway, NY, NY
(Located on the southwest corner of 95th St and Broadway) 
 
We’re back and ready to “Raise the Praise!” 
Labor of Love Association hosts Heart to Heart Concert – New York’s Premiere Event for Authentic Traditional/Contemporary Gospel Music!
 
What A Thrilling Line-Up! Our Featured Performers for the 2022 Concert
The Labor of Love Ensemble, Reverend Vandell Atkins, Brother Jospeh Ellis, Brother Alson Farley, Jr, Elder George Heyward, The Richard Curtis Singers, and Brother Henry Mitchell

This year Heart to Heart presents, “The Sounds of Gospel!” Join us as we celebrate the origins of Gospel, one of the most prolific genres of American music!
Don’t miss this evening that will take you on a journey through the phases of Gospel from the early days of “call and response” to the energizing sounds of contemporary Gospel music!
 
 Tickets are available now.

The Labor of Love Ensemble
Visit our website

Could the Q Reach Broadway?

Patch had an interesting article about thinking at the MTA about extending the Q train up from 96th Street, along 2nd Avenue to Lex/125, and then continuing westward to connect with the 2/3, the A/B/C/D, and maybe even the 1.

For anyone who’d like east/west access, this would be a dream.

On the other hand, this is just a conversation, and the dates floated would be dependent on Phase 2 (getting the Q to Lex/125) and then, well, money.

We can only hope!

Congolese Music Concert, Today

Water Towers

Harlem’s wooden water towers – typically on buildings more than 6 stories – seem like a hold-over from another era. And, while it’s true that they’ve been in existence for over 100 years, they still provide 21st century apartment dwellers with reliable, and fully pressured water – even in the building’s upper stories.

The industry (building and maintaining water towers) has just three family-run companies – two of which have been operating for nearly this entire century-long history. While the number of water towers in Harlem is unknown, the city is estimated to have around 17,000 water tanks in total.

When indoor plumbing began replacing well-drawn water in the 1880s, tanks were placed on rooftops because the local water pressure was too weak to raise water to upper levels. This was especially the case when steel framing and elevators permitted the upward growth of commercial and residential buildings. The city enacted a law in the early 20th century that required that buildings with six or more stories be equipped with a rooftop tank and a pump to feed it.

About 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of water can be stored in the tanks. The upper layer of water is used for everyday use, with water at the bottom reserved for emergencies. When the water drops below a certain level, an electric pump is triggered and the tank refills. Gravity sends water to pipes throughout the building from the roof.

Without this passive pressure, a building would need to install pumps to maintain water pressure for residents that would run 24/7 (costly, and prone to maintenance issues). On the other hand, a water tank usually lasts roughly 30-35 years, can be built within 24 hours, and takes just two or three hours to fill with water.

The three companies that construct NYC’s wooden water tanks are: Rosenwach Tank Company, Isseks Brothers, and American Pipe and Tank. The wooden aspect of the tank routinely draws questions about whether or not wood is the right material for the job. Wood, turns out to be the most effective for the water tank’s job. Wood, for example, is better at moderating temperature than steel tanks. Steel tanks, while sometimes used, are more expensive, require more maintenance, and take more time to build. A wooden tank that can hold 10,000 gallons of water costs roughly $30,000. A steel tank of the same size can cost up to $120,000. And water stored in the wood will not freeze in the winter and stays cool during the hot summer months.

Eventually, the wood will (however) rot and will need to be replaced after 30-35 years. When wood tanks are built, they leak, but when they fill with water, the wood expands and forms a watertight seal. When people use the water, the level in the tank goes down. At a certain point, the pump is triggered, and this pump fills the tank again.

Truck Depot vs. 457 Units of Affordable Housing

City Council Member Kristin Jordan’s campaign that stopped the development of 457 units of affordable housing at 145th Street and Lenox Avenue, has resulted in the developer floating the idea of a truck stop instead.

Patch.com is reporting that after Jordan stopped the building of a mix of affordable and market-rate housing, the site may be used as a “rental depot for big rigs and trucks”.

“Given the proximity to several nearby highways and roads, we think it’s the perfect spot for them and we have received a lot of interest in this regard.”

If this comes to pass, Council Member Jordan may have not only stopped 457 units of affordable housing but may have inadvertently brought increased pollution levels and asthma rates to this corner of her district.

Health Fair on Saturday – 123rd and 3rd Ave.

Harlem Bazaar

This afternoon, take a moment to wander over to the Harlem Bazaar, the market held on the third Friday of the month from June to October, outside the State Office Building from 3 to 9 p.m.

Ann Petry Place

Some photos from a wonderful evening celebrating the cultural richness of our community, and the activist author Ann Petry in particular.

Many thanks to Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, State Senator Cordell Cleare, Uptown Grand Central’s Chair Diane Collier, Community Board 11’s Chair Xavier Santiago, Professor Griffin from Columbia University, and Liz Petry, Ann Petry’s daughter, for sharing and celebrating.

The unveiling was attended by more than 50 people and we retired to the amazing Harlem Rose Garden for snacks, drinks, and live music, all coordinated by the ever-amazing, Ashley Washington.

Summer on the Hudson: Bingo!

Summer on the Hudson: Bingo!

Join the New York City Parks Department for a fun-filled evening of Bingo and music along the water at the next installment of the Summer on the Hudson game night series. The event is free and open to all ages. Friday, Sept. 16, 5:30 pm