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:
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.
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
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)
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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