Wilfredo Lopez – Candidate for Assembly District 68

Wilfredo Lopez has come to a couple of our HNBA meetings and had mentioned that CB11 (East Harlem) does not get the same amount of funding for DSNY concerns that the community district south of 96th Street does.

Wilfedo brought this up, and subsequently sent over the document that proves his point:

The link to the budget document is below as well as a screenshot of the relevant page (p. 213).

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/omb/downloads/pdf/cbgeo6-20.pdf

Wilfredo points out that the document (above) shows that East Harlem (Sanitation District 11) receives less than half the budget for sanitation services than nearby wealthier neighborhoods like the Upper East Side (Sanitation District 8) or the Upper West Side (Sanitation District 7). 

DSNY Replies

Brooklyn, NY – June 7 2016: DSNY workers collect trash on a city street. New York Department of Sanitation is responsible for garbage and recycling collection, street cleaning, and snow removal.

After our HNBA meeting, DSNY replied to the issue that it spends more DSNY money on the Upper East Side more than it does in East Harlem:

I apologize for the delay in following up from the meeting last week.

There was a question regarding funding allocation within Community Board 11 as compared to other districts (specifically CB 8).

Correct, there is a funding difference because of the amount of service needed.

For example, CB11 has 80.8 total miles of ASP (including metered blocks) compared to CB8 that has 123.9 miles (including metered blocks).

CB11 has 70 total personnel assigned to the garbage, while CB8 has 140.

I hope this information is helpful.

Please let me know if anyone else in the group has questions.

I am always available to you all.

Thank you

  • Marissa Yanni 
  • Community Affairs Liaison
  • Bureau of Community Affairs
  • NYC Department of Sanitation
  • Office: 646-885-4575
  • Mobile: 646-841-4250
    [email protected]

HNBA’s May 2022 Meeting Zoom Recording

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/cLbu_iLOpWEwXh7o94hSeT6WikwW6EpN7zuOOwSbeRprOQ1zCoSw0hBnWrjzePz_.1OilUMAA3hAgS4vo
Passcode: @y9zb=5f

Summer of Soul Redux?

Summer Of Soul (… Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), the Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson-directed film that won the Oscar and the Grammy for documenting 1969’s now-famed Harlem Cultural Festival, has inspired a reboot of the landmark music event.

Ambassador Digital Magazine editor-in-chief Musa Jackson, who attended the 1969 event and appeared in Summer of Soul, said Tuesday that he, BNP Advisory Group strategist Nikoa Evans and event producer and Captivate Marketing Group president Yvonne McNair are teaming to launch the Harlem Festival of Culture in the summer of 2023.

The multi-day outdoor concert event will be a reimagining of the 1969 fest and take place in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park, where the original took place when it was known as Mount Morris Park. Official dates have not yet been announced.

“The original event was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one that I will never forget,” Jackson told Billboard. “With this initiative, we want to create something that evokes that same sense of pride in our community that I felt on that special day in 1969. We want to authentically encapsulate the full scope: the energy, the music, the culture. We want people to understand that this festival is being built by the people who are from, live and work in this community.”

Photography at the Schomburg

Make sure to check out Been/Seen – an exhibit of historical and contemporary photography at the Schomburg Library Gallery – on display now.

This exhibit juxtaposes classic images in the Schomburg’s collection with new work.

Compost Project Launch

May 14th at 3:00 PM

Abyssinian Tot Lot at 130 West 139th Street

MMPCIA Meeting on Tuesday

Join MMPCIA on Tuesday at 6:00 PM

Here’s the link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86847234917

NYC’s Landmarks Preservation Commission

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) regulates what can and cannot be built/altered in historic districts across the city. The Historic Districts Council (HDC) reviews every public proposal to the city’s landmarks and historic districts and provides testimony on whether or not HDC believes the architectural changes should be changed or supported.

An empty lot, formerly occupied by a neo-Grec style rowhouse designed by Cleverdon & Putzel and built in 1885, and demolished between c. 1940 and 1980 has an application is to construct a new building at 137 West 131st Street in Central Harlem – part of the West 130-132nd Street Historic District.

HDC writes:

HDCis generally comfortable with this proposal but we find two items to be in need of modification. First, the proposed windows should be aluminum-clad wood windows, these will provide finer detailing more appropriate to a house of this scale. Second, we question the need for the bulkhead on top of the roof top extension. We believe that the code does not require this bulkhead and that the requirement for rooftop access could be accomplished with a steel ladder on the front of the extension. We ask that the applicant verify this understanding as the bulkhead adds an awkward element to an already excessive protrusion.

Exhibit at Kente Royal Gallery

Make sure to check out the current exhibit at Kente Royal Gallery:

2373 ADAM CLAYTON POWELL JR BLVD NEW YORK NY 10030
Wednesday – Friday
2pm – 8pm
Saturday & Sunday 12pm to 8pm
[email protected]

Pelham Fritz Center Has Re-Opened

The Pelham Fritz Recreation Center has reopened In Marcus Garvey Park after a 2+ year hiatus!

During the height of the pandemic, the Center was repurposed as a food distribution hub in support of COVID-19-related services. The center remained closed while they made improvements to the building—including reconstruction of the front lobby, retaining walls, and park entrance.

The center now features a new vestibule, new signage, and front windows, and enhanced ADA accessibility.

They’re excited to welcome members back and they’re inviting the Harlem community to join.

Membership is free for New Yorkers 24 years and under and low-cost for adults and seniors.

Evictions

The impact of COVID-19 will be felt for decades to come. A look at eviction filings in New York show the plummet to near 0 in the early days of the pandemic:

To get a sense of how this graph of 2020 compares to filings in pre-pandemic 2019, see:

Removing 2020 (a highly anomalous year) and comparing pre-pandemic 2019 to the significantly anomalous year of 2021, the significant decline in eviction filings was a defining state for 2021:

As for the geographical distribution on evictions, and for a closer look at how Harlem fared, this map shows the general trend of an increase in eviction filings, the further one travels from Manhattan’s financial district.

The exception was Staten Island, which saw more eviction filings closer to downtown Manhattan.

To see the data for yourself, explore the NYU Furman Center’s amazing portal on eviction:

https://furmancenter.org/eviction-tracker

Amor

The People’s Church on East 111th Street had this wonderful example of yarn art on its wall. And truly, we all need more amor.

CB11 Meetings

Public Safety & Transportation Committee Meeting
Tuesday • May 10th • 6:30pm
In order to attend this meeting, please register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Request for parking regulation change to install “No Standing Anytime” sign at 2290 First Avenue (118th St). The new regulation would facilitate the deliveries for the food distribution operation of Fraternite Notre DameInformational presentation re: Concrete SafarisInformational presentation re: Assertive Community Engagement & Success (ACES)
Land Use, Landmarks & Planning Committee Meeting
Wednesday • May 11th • 6:30pm
In order to attend this meeting, please register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Update on planned 126th Street Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial and Mixed-Use ProjectUpdate on planned ECF Project at the School of Cooperative Technical Education (Coop Tech) on East 96th Street Committee discussion on the 421a Property Tax Exemption

Brother Sister Sol

The Brotherhood Sister Sol is poised to open on 143rd Street after a journey to get a new building to house this youth-focused community center. Bro-Sis’s new building is shaped like a torch and its fragmented facade contrasts strongly with the surrounding buildings – intending to speak to the enlightenment of young people

CBS has a piece on the project and why the new center means so much to youth in Harlem.

Bro Sis was very active during the pandemic and provided an astounding 1,000,000 to New Yorkers in need.

For neighborhood youth, Brotherhood Sister Sol has been a beacon, a refuge, and the foundation of community.

Mosaic

On Lexington, just below 128th Street, a small mosaic celebrates Harlem and its musical heritage.

Speeding and Red Light Cameras

Streetsblog has a fascinating article on how speeding and red light cameras function in light of conversations about bias in policing and traffic enforcement. The map of traffic cameras shows that relative to the rest of the city, few tickets are given in Harlem and East Harlem by these automated systems.

In the map below, darker colors indicate more tickets for speeding and running red lights:

In a more detailed view, the Upper West Side, and the South Bronx both have more tickets:

On the map, you can zoom i n to see the location fo the cameras – their size indicating the number of tickets served from that camera:

“There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done around infrastructure in communities and communities of color. And I would be lying to you if I told you that tickets don’t impact communities in different ways,” he said. “I believe you should follow the law, but those tickets are going to impact a single mom living in public housing differently than somebody who may be making six figures or more a year.”

Just. No.

As seen at Madison/118…

Mount Sinai Morningside to open $78.5M facility in Harlem

A new facility combining and expanding services for Mount Sinai Morningside and the Mount Sinai Hospital will open during the fall, the hospital system announced Thursday.

After years of protesting, organizing and collaborating, The Greater Harlem Coalition got Mount Sinai to not place even more drug treatment programs in this new facility, nor to send children with histories of drug use to attend school on the block behind Whole Foods.

The 89,400-square-foot Mount Sinai-Harlem Health Center will cost $78.5 million. Of the total amount, $50 million will go toward the lease and $28.5 million will go toward equipment, technology and furniture, Crain’s reported in October. Gary Spindler of Park-It Management is the landlord of the property on West 124th Street. Mount Sinai declined to disclose the lease rate per month.

The new facility will offer outpatient health care and provide services, such as cardiology and orthopedics, outpatient mental health care, HIV/AIDS care and dentistry, in addition to on-site radiology, laboratory and pharmacy services. The center will also serve as a hub for Mount Sinai’s outpatient services in Harlem and Washington Heights-Inwood.

“This is part of a bigger commitment to bringing services to a community that has lacked basic and specialty services,” said Dr. Kelly Cassano, chief executive officer of Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice and dean of clinical affairs at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “We want to bring this multispecialty center really based in primary care into the community where patients are living and working.”

The property will have two and a half floors of about 30 exam rooms and a radiology floor, Cassasno said. The location will start with typical hours, she said, but the hospital is prepared to expand them if there is an overwhelming demand for services.

“We’ll start with a modest footprint of primary care. There will be HIV and behavioral health services. Then we’ll scale based on demand,” Cassasno said, noting that cardiology may be another area ripe for expansion at the location.

Mount Sinai operates eight hospital campuses, a medical school and a network of outpatient practices.

Code Yellow

Protecting Yourself
One of the most important things you can do right now is getting your vaccine or booster. People who are unvaccinated are 38-times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid. But only 87% of New Yorkers are vaccinated, and a frighteningly low 38% are boosted. Don’t delay any longer – get vaxed/boosted NOW. People who are 50 or older are eligible for a second booster at least four months after their first, and the second booster is highly recommended for people who are 65+. Schedule your initial vaccine series or booster here. At the yellow level, it’s also recommended to wear high-quality masks when indoors. Masks are still required on subways and buses; on MetroNorth, LIRR, and PATH trains; in Ubers, Lyfts and yellow taxis; and at JFK and LaGuardia airports.
Where To Get TestedTesting is much easier now than it was during December’s omicron wave. The City continues to provide free testing sites across every borough, and free home tests are easy to come by. Get tested before and after gatherings, if you were exposed, or if you begin to feel sick.Free City-run testing sites
Pick up free at-home test kits at these libraries and cultural institutions (scroll to the bottom of the page)If you haven’t ordered your household’s eight free test kits from the federal government yet (mailed directly to you!), order them here.
Your health insurance provides eight home test kits each month. Every person covered by your plan gets eight monthly tests each. (Note that a two-pack, like the popular BinaxNow tests, counts as two tests, so you could get four two-packs per month.)
You can contact your insurance company to find out if they have an agreement with certain pharmacies to pay for the tests directly; if not, save your receipts to submit to your health insurer for reimbursement.
If you have Medicare Part B, including Medicare Advantage, you can pick up your tests for free when you show your Medicare card – no receipt-submitting necessary. Participating pharmacies include CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens, and Costco; see more here.
Medicaid and CHIP also cover the eight monthly tests with no out-of-pocket costs to patients at in-network pharmacies. Contact your plan to find out which pharmacies can provide your tests.
What to Do if You Test PositiveIf you have a severe case of Covid or are high risk, you can now take a free oral antiviral medication called Paxlovid. It’s important that you act fast – if started within five days of symptom onset, Paxlovid reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by 88%. Call your doctor or the City’s Covid hotline at 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) to have the medication prescribed and delivered to you.
You can also contact the NYC Covid hotline to get a free “Take Care” package with high-quality masks, sanitizer, a thermometer, and two at-home tests for household members. Call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319).The flyer below answers FAQs about testing positive.

Stay Up to DateNYC has a robust Covid data-tracking system. You can see if we upgrade to an orange alert level or (hopefully!) downgrade to green here. NYC’s Covid data portal shows vaccine, case, hospitalization, and death rates, including by ZIP code. Explore it here.

East Harlem Little League

The East Harlem Little League is still registering young people for the 2022 season.  Our season is starting a bit late but we are still guaranteeing a great experience.  The Little Leaguers will only play on Saturdays and Sundays so it will not interfere with any summer programs that they are enrolled in.

Our league is sponsored by The Boys’ Club and run by First Responders (NYPD and FDNY) in our community. With the help of our City Council Member, Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, we are able to hire teenagers to be a part of the team allowing them to make some extra money for the summer while we mentor them and give them work-ready skills for the future. This will not affect their summer youth employment.  Some teens do both. We also guarantee a fun-filled Opening Day that the entire community is welcome to come and enjoy.  Information, dates, location, etc… will all be available next week.

We are also looking for volunteers.  If anyone has coaching experience, wants to engage younger kids doing activities like Read Alouds, arts & crafts, or some other fun activity- while their older siblings are playing, want to help us sell t-shirts and snacks on a weekend or two, help give out water to our players and coaches, etc… We have a flyer for that too.  

HNBA Meeting On Tuesday, May 10th, 7:00 PM

All are welcome to come out on Tuesday at 7:00 PM to hear from (and ask questions of) Delsenia Glover and Inez Dickens – two candidates for New York State Assembly District 70.  

In addition, we will have our neighbors from the HDFC Coop at the corner of 5th Avenue and 126th Street stop by to talk about their plans for block parties this summer on East 126th Street.  The focus of these events will be on youth in the community.

Topic: HNBA Meeting
Time: May 10, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83251761996?pwd=M1RLcG1PN1pRcUN1ckwzS1YxWDJ5Zz09

Meeting ID: 832 5176 1996
Passcode: 027073

Dial by your location
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

See you on Tuesday!

Art In The Park

Join Art in the Park, East Harlem’s amazing resource for families at Lex/128 for free activities, fun, and creative expression for children.

Go to ArtInThePark128.org to see more about the incredible work they do.

It’s amazing. It’s free. And it’s a jewel in Harlem.

A Modest Proposal: Density

Gotham Gazette has a well thought out essay on how density should be a planning goal for our community in light of the 2nd Avenue Subway extension:

High-quality planning and significant upzoning could boost ridership on the new line and remake East Harlem into a place that more comfortably accommodates current and future residents–of all income levels. The New York City Department of City Planning, the MTA and its New York City Transit division, and NYCHA need to plan proactively and “think big” for the neighborhood’s future.

The first phase of the Second Avenue line (with stops at 72nd, 86th, and 96th Streets) serves the Upper East Side. This affluent district is characterized by large apartment buildings permitted primarily by R8 and R10 zoning. Major institutions like Hunter College and hospital complexes attract thousands of daily subway commuters. The first stops of the Q Line quickly attracted about 200,000 riders per day, and patronage is rebounding amid pandemic recovery.

This strong ridership was predictable. Upscale, high-density redevelopment of the East Side tenements has been a civic priority since the 1940s. Big, bulky apartment buildings are often frowned upon in NIMBY circles, but the vitality of the Upper East Side demonstrates the value of concentrating hundreds of thousands of people together in suitable housing near transit. The apartment buildings frequently have stores at the base and wide sidewalks. Many remaining tenement buildings have been renovated for higher-income renters. Population density of this type is one of New York’s enduring assets–and a key to its rebounding fortunes in the post-covid era.

Extending the subway line in East Harlem along Second Avenue between 96th Street and 125th Streets is a different story. The neighborhood’s threadbare low-rise tenements remain a dominant feature. Developers, due to redlining, ignored the area for decades. Overcrowded apartments, rent-burdened families, and building code violations in the area are well documented. The longstanding Puerto Rican and Black communities in the area have thrived despite widespread housing exploitation and poor living conditions.

The city and NYCHA redeveloped sections of the district since the 1940s, but these efforts have lost their luster. East Harlem retains one of the nation’s largest concentrations of “tower in the park” public housing. The iconic red-brick towers, built far below the allowable zoning envelope, were once a showpiece of the city’s social vision. Today, however, growing maintenance issues, because of limited capital and operating subsidies, have undermined resident quality of life.

Despite their Manhattan location and the Lexington Subway line running nearby, planners built the NYCHA housing projects at low-density levels with acres of lawn and surface parking. The local stations through which the current Lexington Subway runs (103rd, 110th, and 116th Streets) have modest ridership compared to stations below 96th Street. Very few NYCHA developments have stores at ground level, creating empty zones along major Avenues.

Read the full article, here:

https://www.gothamgazette.com/130-opinion/11193-east-harlem-nycha-second-ave-subway-housing-transit

New Art Exhibit

Make sure to head over to 2605 Frederick Douglass Blvd (at 139th Street) to AHL’s Space Uptown, for a new exhibit featuring a number of uptown artists, including our neighbor Buhm Hong:

https://www.aaartsalliance.org/events/space-uptown

The exhibit will continue until May 21.

Watch Blurring the Color Line

Blurring the Color Line is being shown at the Harlem International Film Festival.

Following director Crystal Kwok’s personal journey of discovery, BLURRING THE COLOR LINE digs deep into how her grandmother’s family navigated life as neighborhood grocery store owners in the Black community of Augusta, Georgia during the Jim Crow era.

This documentary serves to disrupt racial narratives and bridge divides.

To watch a conversation about this film see:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16dtI5Ao4do8NYs0OMG8D4u2uDIUqImqn/view

And here is more about the film:

https://www.blurringthecolorline.com/events

Join Jane (Walking East/West Harlem)

Event Registration

Jane’s Walk 2022: A Great Day in Harlem: Crossing the 5th Avenue Divide

05/08/2022 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM ET

Admission

  • Free

Summary

Take your mother for a stroll around East and Central Harlem above 125th Street, straddling Fifth Avenue, the traditional dividing line between East and Central Harlem. Members of Landmark East Harlem (LEH) will introduce you to the treasures of the second historic district that LEH has proposed for listing on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Featured sites include 19th-century wood frame houses, Victorian-era rowhouses, landmarks associated with James Baldwin and Langston Hughes, former church buildings that have been given new purpose, and the brownstone stoop that served as the site of the iconic 1958 photograph of jazz musicians by Art Kane for Esquire magazine. A virtual live stream will be available on Landmark East Harlem’s Instagram channel: @LEH_NYC.

Free Concert in MGP

Gabriel Chakarji Group
Join us for a concert with an amazing composer and musician: Gabriel
Chakarji. As a Venezuelan immigrant in NYC, by linking together his
past and present, he combines contemporary jazz and improvised
music techniques, with elements of the rich Venezuelan music culture,
especially the African influences of rhythm and drum parts, call and
response, and the spiritual and social context of the music.


Wednesday, May 4, 2022 || 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

This event is FREE, but space is limited. To RSVP, go to jazzpf4.eventbrite.com
Pelham Fritz Recreation Center | 18 Mount Morris Park, New York, NY 10027
Located at 112th St. Phone (212) 860-1373