First Known Record of Baseball in Harlem

The November 1. 1856 edition of Porter’s Spirit of the Times, has the first known evidence of a Harlem baseball team.

The paper records a competition between Harlem and The Continental Club, that Harlem won, 18 to 17. Details on the score, below:

The item is for sale on Ebay.

Landmarking in Harlem

Minton’s Playhouse and an apartment building in Hamilton Heights where jazz pioneers Duke Ellington and Noble Lee Sissle once lived may soon be listed and landmarked.

Thelonius Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, and Teddy Hill outside Minton’s Playhouse in 1947. Photo via WikiCommons

Minton’s Playhouse on West 118th Street was the birthplace of bebop, an improvisational style of jazz, came to prominence during the 1940s. Over three decades, the club hosted famous house bands, star headliners, and informal jam sessions, according to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The five-story Renaissance Revival hotel where Mintons was located was listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book. Minton’s remained a center of jazz music throughout the 1950s and 60s and was the location where several important live albums were recorded by artists including Tony Scott, Stanley Turrentine, and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. The club stayed open until 1974 after a fire damaged the building.

The other Harlem building is maybe over the border into Hamilton Heights, but is deeply linked to Harlem is a limestone and terracotta apartment building at 935 St. Nicholas Avenue where for more than 20 years, legendary jazz musicians Edward “Duke” Ellington and Noble Lee Sissle lived.

Ellington lived in the building from 1939 to 1961, at the height of his career. Sissle resided in the building from 1950 to 1972, in the later part of his career.

When he lived in the building, Ellington wrote many songs that have become American jazz standards like “Sophisticated Lady” and “Satin Doll.” Sissle, who was a member of the Harlem Hellfighters during World War II, became known as the unofficial “Mayor of Harlem” during his time on St. Nicholas Avenue, writing for both the “New York Age” and “New York Amsterdam News” and hosting a local radio show.

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad Way‘ Approved and Scheduled to Receive Sign

Gothamist reported on the recent controversial co-naming of 127th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem as “The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad Way” supported by Councilmember Kristin Jordan. Opponents of co-naming this street after Elijah Muhammad referenced that Muhammad and others in the Nation of Islam had frequently espoused and encouraged anti-Semitic and anti-white sentiment.

Harlem’s councilmember stated:

“It is actually not OK to erase Black leaders who are not pleasing to white people,” Jordan told her colleagues during the full Council vote. “I profoundly vote aye on Elijah Muhammad Way.”

Harlem Neighbors, Organizers, and Activists Celebrated

Our neighbors, Eva Chan and Lilian Chow were recently celebrated and highlighted by Columbia University for their work and activism to support Harlem’s growing Asian community.

In the summer of 2021, we started distributing meals to Asian seniors with the help of Heart of Dinner. We’re looking for ways to expand that service because there’s a lot of interest. There is a real lack of groceries for these Asian seniors. They are forced to travel long distances to Chinatown to do their grocery shopping because they don’t know how to use the vegetables and produce that are in the markets near them. 
We’ve been in conversation with grocery store owners in the area–some of which are actually Korean–and they cannot justify selling Asian groceries because there’s not enough demand to cover the cost. So it’s not an easy thing to solve. That’s why we continue our work with Heart of Dinner which gives out Asian vegetables—and the seniors love it.

Eva and Lilian have worked to empower the many elderly Asians and Asian Americans who call Harlem home through political activism, cultural events, and more.

Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics

As seen, upsidedown, reflected in the Harlem River.

HNBA Meeting Recording

If you missed HNBA’s meeting on Tuesday night, here’s the recording:

Topic: HNBA Meeting
Date: May 9, 2023 06:48 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
 View Detail   Share 
You can copy the recording information below and share with others
Passcode: =UEbdm=0

Spring Cleanup on Malcolm X

Saturday, May 20th. Malcolm X Blvd. and 140th Street.

Participatory Budgeting Slideshow (from the HNBA meeting on Tuesday)

Free Concert in the Harlem Rose Garden

Harlem Rose Garden Opening of the Season Concert

Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 3PM

Please join us at the Harlem Rose Garden for a very special performance by the members of the Harlem Chamber Players.  

Violinists Ashley Horne and Claire Chan, violist William Frampton, and cellist Wayne Smith will perform selections from Haydn’s String Quartet No. 1 in G Major, Tania León’s Esencia, Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 12, Op. 127, and Frederick Tillis’s Spiritual Fantasy No. 12.

Founded in 2008, The Harlem Chamber Players is dedicated to bringing accessible and affordable live classical music to Harlem and beyond while promoting diversity in classical music, providing opportunities for professional musicians of color, and featuring works by composers of color and women composers.  We are thrilled to invite the ensemble for the first time to our garden and look forward to seeing you there!

* rain date Sunday, June 11th

They’re Back!

Councilmember Jordan Is A No-Show, Again

May Membership Meeting: City Council District 9 Candidates Forum

The New York Primary Election is June 27 and one of the most hotly contested seats this year is in Harlem. The District 9 race for New York City Council is heating up, and for our May Membership Meeting, we are hosting a forum to hear from three of the candidates in this race (Inez Dickens, Yusef Salaam, and Al Taylor) on what they plan to do for Harlem and for environmental justice. Join us at Twenty-first Century Academy for Community Leadership at 501 West 152nd Street on Saturday, May 13 from 10 am – 1 pm. 

$10,000,000 for East Harlem

Pix11 has a report on a check for East Harlem from New York State to improve conditions.

Hope in Harlem

The inaugural HOPE in Harlem Conference is taking place on Saturday May 13th.  The purpose of the conference is to celebrate the heroic efforts of mental health professionals and community members during the pandemic and shed light on mental health equity.

The conference will be followed by a Wellness Fair with resources, face painting for children, and other wellness initiatives.

Tricia Hersey, founder of the Nap Ministry and NY Times Best-selling author is our keynote speaker.

OMH Commissioner Ann Sullivan is a featured speaker. 

U.S. Congressman Ritchie Torres is just confirmed to speak and share his wellness journey.

People can register for free at the conference website

HNBA Reaches Out to EastView Residences

HNBA gave a presentation on litter baskets in and the DSNY budget to residents of the Salvation Army’s East View Apartments, earlier this month.

Are You Ready To Vote?

Check your registration here:

or register if you’re not yet.

Environmental Justice Conference

On May 25, Cristina Contreras, CEO of Metropolitan Hospital and District Leader Will Smith will open an exciting Environmental Justice Conference at Metropolitan Hospital

Morning Session: 10 am – noon

The order of presenters:

  1.  Steve Chiu, Representative to the UN
  2. Ameesha Mehta-Sampath, EPA
  3. Tyisha Smalls, We Act
  4. Kyle Jeremiah, Energy Vision
  5. Dr. Pellicone, Chief Medical Officer, NYC Health + Hospital

Lunch Break: Noon until 1 pm

[Congressman Adriano Espaillat. Representative Jose Serrano and Councilman Diana Ayala will be in attendance – they may give a talk in the auditorium between 12:30 and 1] 

Afternoon Session: 1 pm – 4 pm

  1. Tomi Vest, General Counsel to Manhattan Borough President
  2. James C. Lendemer, Lichenologist at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
  3. Narendra Paramanand, Analyst, NYC Parks
  4. Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, First Deputy Commissioner at NYC Parks and Rec.
  5. Jean Kim, Executive Director of the East River Esplanade

HNBA Meeting Tonight!

Hello Harlem Neighbors,

TONIGHT at 7:00 PM HNBA will meet on Zoom with an exciting and packed agenda.

The meeting will start off with a presentation from neighbors in the 2041/5th HDFC Co-Op (5th Avenue at 126th Street) who are planning a second annual family and community block party to celebrate the children in East Harlem on 8/12/23.  Lionel will answer any questions you have about the block party and hopefully encourage you to get involved. 

Shawn Hill will then present on new data regarding NYC’s Shelter Distribution 

To be followed by Travon Butler, who’ll tell us more about the upcoming Participatory Budgeting project that his office – Civic Engagement.NYC – is promoting.

Our District Leader for the 68th Assembly District – Sharase DeBouse – will provide a community update.

And we’ll conclude with a brief presentation from NYC’s Rat Academy representative, Martha Vernazza, Community Coordinator for Rats (what a job title…) on upcoming Rat Academies for Manhattan Community Boards 9, 10, and 11 residents.  

See you on Zoom TODAY at 7:00 PM:

Meeting ID: 858 0978 4042
Passcode: 840216

The Other Harlems

No, not the Haarlem in the Netherlands, the Harlems in Georgia, Montana, Florida, and Illinois.

This project doesn’t account for neighborhoods but only takes into consideration counties or towns. Thus our Harlem isn’t in the running. The population numbers of America’s other Harlems is interesting:

If you’d like to test drive another location, here’s the link:

Lindy Hop

The International Lindy Hop festival and competition comes to Harlem. If you’re into dance, you don’t want to miss world-class competitions, insightful dance classes with expert instructors, incredible live music, open social dancing late into the night, and swing community events like the World Lindy Hop Day celebration, walking tours of Harlem, the Black Lindy Hoppers’ Fund Swing Dance Museum, and more.

During Memorial Day Weekend 2023 (May 25–29), an estimated 1,000 swing dance and jazz music enthusiasts will gather in New York City’s historic Harlem neighborhood to “Celebrate Lindy Hop where it all began!” with the World Finals of the 2023 International Lindy Hop Championships.

Best of all, you’ll meet hundreds of other dancers, from all over the world, who are as passionate about Lindy Hop as you!


Participatory Budgeting

Ranked Choice Voting – Get Ready for the Democratic Primary – June 27th

Voters will use ranked choice voting (RCV) once again in the June 27, 2023 primary for most of the candidates shown on their ballots. Many Harlem residents (with party affiliation), will be able to vote for candidates for City Council.

Ranked choice is used only for primaries, not general elections; come November, we’ll go back to using traditional, top-choice-only voting.

Instead of choosing only one favorite candidate, voters rank up to five candidates in each race.

If one candidate gets more than 50% of the first-place votes, that person wins. If no candidate reaches that majority, however, instead of an expensive run-off election between the top two vote-getters, the ranked-choice method sorts out the best-preferred candidate for the most people.

If your top pick has the fewest first-choice votes among all voters, that candidate is eliminated from the race, and all of those voters’ second-choice picks are counted up. That process continues, with one candidate removed each round, until one candidate has more than half of the first-place votes. 

Here’s an explanation of that in less than 90 seconds by Minnesota Public Radio.

Remember: the first choice is the candidate you love. Your second choice is the candidate that you like. Your third and fourth choice is the candidate you like slightly less. And your fifth choice is the candidate you can stand.

Heart East Harlem

Harlem International Film Festival Coming

The 2023 Harlem International Film Festival (Hi) announced it is teaming up with STARZ (2023 Luminary Partner) and unveiled films and events for its 18th edition – a hybrid event.

The in-person screenings will take place at AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9 Theaters (2309 Frederick Douglass Blvd), with the Harlem International Film Festival and Columbia University Zuckerman Institute’s free-to-the-public screenings at The Forum (601 West 125th Street), and the Maysles Documentary Center (343 Malcolm X Blvd.). With a music theme running throughout the festival, this year’s film lineup will once again celebrate and showcase relatively undiscovered international cinematic gems and local New York filmmaking talent with a special focus on Harlem artists. Hi’s lineup features 64 films, including 35 features (14 narrative, 21 documentary), 29 shorts (20 narrative, 9 documentary), 2 television episodes, and 2 VR projects. Other feature films making their world premieres are David Bell and Mecca Medina’s $ Broke Boi, Taylor Krauss’ BronX BandA: Arturo O’Farrill & The Bronx, and Patrick Heaphy’s The Sacred Place between Earth and Space.

Below, we highlight the Spotlight Feature, In The Weeds, premiering at the Harlem International Film Festival on May 19th at AMC Magic Johnson Theater in Harlem. At this premiere, Malik Yoba (New York Undercover, Empire, Cool Runnings) will host a Q&A panel with the filmmakers following the screening. Starring Doug E. Doug (Cool Runnings, Shark Tale, Cosby), with music by ESG, the seminal funk rock Bronx band, IN THE WEEDS is an ode to a city and lives rising back up.

Build the Block June 6th

25 Precinct, Sector C

June 6, 2023, 5:00 PM
85 East 125th Street
New York, NY 10035

All meeting times, dates, and locations are subject to change. Please call your local precinct and speak to a Neighborhood Coordination Officer to verify correct meeting information.

Neighborhood Coordination Officers

PO Sean Hackeling[email protected]
PO Edwin Lau[email protected]

Stoop Sale Tomorrow!