The First Use of the Term “The Big Apple”

The term “The Big Apple” was first used on this day – May 3rd, 1921.

John J. Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph was the first to use the term in print. Its popularity since the 1970s is due in part to the promotional campaign spearheaded by the New York tourist authority.

In February of 1924, John J. Fitz Gerald, a columnist covering horseracing for the New York Morning Telegraph, debuted a new column he called: Around the Big Apple, further popularizing the term.

In it, Fitz Gerald wrote “The Big Apple, the dream of every lad who ever threw a leg over a thoroughbred and the goal of all horsemen. There’s only one Big Apple, that’s New York.”

Journey to Better Health | AWARE for All – NYC

WHAT:                Join this free community event, hosted by The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), to learn more about clinical trials and hear personal experiences from those who are involved in them. Free health screenings provided by Harlem United and free dinner will be available at the event. The first 50 people to register and attend will receive a $20 Walgreens gift card. Pfizer, Harlem United, New York Academy of Medicine, Mount Sinai’s Tisch Cancer Institute, and other organizations will be exhibitors. 

WHEN:                Thursday, May 19, 2022

5 PM – 8 PM EST

WHERE:              The New York Academy of Medicine

                             1216 5th Ave

New York, NY 10029

WHO:                  The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP)

Movies Under the Stars: Spider-Man: No Way Home

Saturday, May 14, 2022

8:00 p.m.10:00 p.m.

Grab a blanket and come enjoy a movie in the Eugene McCabe field in East Harlem on Saturday, May 14th.

“Peter Parker is now unmasked, his identity as Spider-Man known to the world. In a way, he likes it that his girl MJ knows his true identity, the same with his best friend Ned and Aunt May. However, problems follow this reveal. Thus, Peter approaches Doctor Strange to help him resolve the situation by performing a specific time-altering ritual. But that also bears some unintended and problematic consequences.”

Movies begin at dusk. This event is FREE and open to the public. Glass bottles and alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited. In the event of heavy rain or extreme weather, the screening may be canceled. The decision to cancel the event will be made prior to the screening and will be prominently posted on our website.

For more information visit or call 311

Location –

Manhattan Directions to this location



A Postcard of Graham Court

Graham Court Apartments were built on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd between 116th and 117th Streets. One of the Astors (think Astor Row on 130th Street and Astoria and Astor Place…) built the complex in 1901 using the architectural firm Clinton and Russell,

The complex has a gracious entrance and courtyard and is 8 stories tall. the building is landmarked, and thus extensive work over the last few years has all had to be done under the eye of the landmarks commission.

Pan Fried Chicken

Eater has a great article on restauranteur Charles Gabriel who has been cooking in Harlem for decades, beginning with Copeland’s, but now is opening a number of pan fried chicken restaurants.

Gabriel worked at the Copeland’s (a neighborhood soul food spot) for 22 years — first as a dish washer, then as a cook — before setting off on his own. He sold hot dogs and barbecue from a folding table along Amsterdam Avenue, then opened a food truck and a series of storefronts of varying names: Charles’ Mobile Soul Food Truck, Charles’ Country Pan-Fried Chicken, and Charles’ Southern Style Kitchen.

Now Charles Pan-Fried Chicken gets its turn, a small takeout and delivery restaurant with enough standing room for a dozen or so people to yell for trays of barbecued ribs or smothered turkey wings.

Slobert is partially to credit for the change in direction. The hospitality veteran, who grew up going to Copeland’s while Gabriel was a chef there, is the restaurant’s chief operating officer, an odd title for a two-location, family-run business, but one that reflects his dreams of national expansion. “Originally we were supposed to do one restaurant,” Slobert says, but plans changed after takeout started to take off at Charles Pan-Fried Chicken during the pandemic. “I thought, ‘Why not take over the world?’”

Read more, here:

Stoop Sale Tomorrow at 10:00

Tomorrow, May 1st is Stoop Sale Day

Come bargain hunting for antiques, toys, clothes, furniture, household items, and wonderful things that residents in the Mount Morris Historic District Community are selling or giving away. Spread the word in your community.

Where: Mount Morris Park Historic District (116th – 125th Street from Madison to Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.)

Time: 10 am – 3 pm
Link to updated map of houses/buildings hosting a sale:

Juneteenth Celebration

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN for the 3rd Annual Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk/Roll this year in Central Park. The event will end with tours of Seneca Village.


Can’t join us in person? Sign up to participate VIRTUALLY!

This event is a joyful reclaiming of space and history. We hope you will join us!

All proceeds from the Juneteenth March go towards the building fund of the Harlem Center. The center is a 10-year effort started by a coalition of New York-centered community-based organizations (CBOs).

Let’s continue to evolve the 21st Century towards #Inclusionism.


Drive Metro North

If you’ve ever taken Metro North and wondered what the view would be like at the front of the train – driving it – there is a new video game out that allows you to drive a train from Grand Central to Harlem, and then up to White Plains

In the screenshot below you see the inside of Grand Central, before the train departs for Harlem.

The game – which can be livestreamed on Twitch – has some pretty impressive visuals – in the Park Avenue Tunnel, on the Harlem Viaduct, over the bridge to the Bronx, etc. The game was developed by Dovetail Games and is called Train Sim World 2 . Within the game you can choose to drive along the Metro-North’s Harlem line.

In the screenshot below, you are looking south, on Park Avenue towards 98th Street where the trains go into the tunnel to Grand Central.

This intro to the Harlem Line is remarkably beautiful in how it has recreated the experience of riding/observing Metro North:

To read more from Gothamist, see:

New 5G Poles Coming to Harlem

You probably recognize the LinkNYC kiosks that sprang up a few years ago – replacing payphones.

Mayor De Blasio touted them as a way to bridge the digital divide and provide information (advertising) to New Yorkers, even if the map of locations was heavily skewed to the wealthier and more commercial sections of Manhattan:

Now the company that runs LinkNYC – CityBridge – is going to add more kiosks that are outfitted with a 35′ tall 5G tower, so they can bolster flagging advertising revenue with renting 5G broadcasting capability to the major providers. The proposed ‘look’ of this new tower is shown below:

In order to address the digital (access) divide, CityBridge is required to install 90% of the new poles above 96th Street in Manhattan and in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, per the new deal with the city. Among the total of 4,000 structures required to be built, CityBridge is also required to install 739 in 13 so-called “equity” areas.

City officials picked the locations based on their substantial foot traffic, low median incomes and lack of broadband options for local households.

Some have argued that libraries (by comparison) have been more effective than LinkNYC at addressing digital inequity. Libraries provide “the hardware, the software, that connectivity free of charge to anybody who wants to come in their doors or sit on the stoop outside for the Wi-Fi that leaks outside the building.”

The city’s three library systems make 8,500 computer workstations available to the public and offer free Wi-Fi at every branch. Since 2015, they have also lent Wi-Fi hotspots to patrons.

Stoop Sale on Sunday

The weekend weather looks amazing. Hope you can come out to the neighborhood-wide stoop sale:

Demolished Church Lot and Trash

Before the pandemic, the brownstone Metropolitan Church at the corner of 126 and Madison was demolished and a fenced-off rubble lot was left. A number of neighbors have complained about dumping and trash build-up on East 126th Street.

If you see trash building up, please contact 311 immediately:

You can also contact the company who should be regularly cleaning the sidewalk:

1975 Management: Matt Frank – 516-369-3095

East Harlem’s First Historic District

Landmarks East Harlem has been working for 8 years on designating an area around the East River Plaza to be designated a Historic District.

With the support of the Municipal Art Society’s (MAS) Livable Neighborhoods program and SHPO, LEH organized public information meetings for property owners to explain the implications of State and National Register listing and to highlight that listing does not place burdens on property owners. In fact, listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places can make property owners eligible for federal and state Historic Tax Credits for improvements in their properties. The vast majority of property owners in the proposed district supported its listing, allowing SHPO to bring the nomination to the New York State Board for Historic Preservation for approval.

To be listed on the State and National Register, a district must possess a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by a plan or physical development. The National Park Service (NPS) works in conjunction with the NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to determine eligibility. These criteria are similar to those for historic districts designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The difference is that listing on the State and National Registers is honorary and does not impose any burdens on property owners. LPC designation, on the other hand, does require property owners to meet LPC standards when making additions or renovations and does not allow property owners to demolish their buildings except under rare circumstances.

Landmarks East Harlem is currently looking at two more areas in East Harlem.

The East-Central Harlem Historic District is fairly defined and ready for nomination this year.

The East Harlem South district is much more amorphous and subject to a closer survey to further define what should be designated.

To learn more, see the Landmarks East Harlem website.

The Curve

This is a great photo from 1895 showing 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd. You can see that the train has come down from Morningside Heights on 110th Street and is about to turn up FDB.

Note the early scaffolding of the cathedral of St. John The Devine, under the tracks (an arched, inverted “u” shape). To the right is St. Lukes Hospital and Columbia University.

Viaduct, 155th Street, Harlem Bridge

The view of this photo (looking back and up to Harlem – if you were headed to the Bronx you’d be traveling to the right and down) shows a recently competed 155th Street Bridge that now goes from Harlem over to the Bronx near Yankee Stadium.

Note how isolated many of the buildings on the horizon seem to be. They’re built with no neighbors, just fields. The close-up (below shows the horizon in more detail):

The city developed by leap-frogging, not by a continuous wave of building.

You might be able to recognize this building, also in the distance:

The flag is in front of the Morris-Jumel Mansion – sitting proudly by itself on a hill overlooking the Bronx.

Dog Run Volunteers Needed

SUNDAY, MAY 1 @ 9 AM – 1 PM

for our Spring Cleaning event.  Tasks will include spreading mulch, raking, weeding, and painting.  These cleanup events are not just an opportunity to tidy up and beautify our park, it’s an opportunity to get to know your neighbors.  As usual, we will provide hand, sanitizer, face masks and gloves, and there will be coffee and breakfast treats.

The dog park is maintained solely by volunteers, and is funded by charitable donations.  If you are unable to participate in this event, please consider supporting our efforts by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.  When donating, please make sure to indicate that your donation is to support the Dog Park.  

  For more information, or to get more involved, 
email [email protected]

See you there!

MMPCIA Stoop Sale

May 1st is MMPCIA’s Stoop Sale Day!

1880 Birthplace

When Harlem’s identity shifted from village-outside-New-York, to suburb of New York in the late 1800’s, the ethnic makeup of its residents displayed striking patterns.

Looking at the map below you immediately notice the blue lines following avenues (more likely to have commercial space below with business owners or employees living above). These blue dots represent people who told the US Census that their birthplace was Germany. We don’t know if they were ethnically Jewish, Polish, or other minority groups living in the German lands, however.

Lastly it’s important to note that the buildings built along Avenues tended to be larger, and more likely to hold more people. We see this today walking around Harlem. While 3 story brownstones are typically found on streets. Brownstones on Avenues can reach 4 or even 5 stories tall.

There is some green scattered about (indicating a birthplace in England), but the pink dots (birthplace in Ireland) really stand out on the streets.

Zooming in a bit, you can see the pattern/s for 1880 birthplaces more clearly:

People Power

A great mural found on Park Avenue, just south of 116th Street.