Author: Harlem Shill

  • The Artifice of Hollywood

    The Artifice of Hollywood

    Hollywood’s stage sets (wherever they are built) are amazing. The brownstones of New York, for example, are simple facades, surrounded by green screen paint, and ready to be incorporated into a film or TV show. The woman below, on the stoop of a far too perfect brownstone (and where have you seen a doorway that…

  • Roof Out

    Roof Out

    If you ever see an abandoned building with a spraypainted square (with a slash through it, as you can see below), this building has been identified by the FDNY as dangerous for its firefighters because of a missing or weakened roof: The FDNY has developed a unique communication system for colleagues – a secret language…

  • CitiBikes


    Even if Citi Bikes seem to be everywhere in our neighborhood, they clearly aren’t in every nook and cranny of the city. The map below shows huge areas of Citi Bike deserts: Click here to learn more: Esplanade Gardens Fire While the official cause of the fire at Esplanade Gardens (earlier in January) has…

  • 108th and Madison

    108th and Madison

    The painting 108th and Madison by Alice Neel (1945) is a portrait of East Harlem, mid-century. A coal delivery is taking place, and people are getting on with their day as a bus heads northbound, up Madison Note, the lack of traffic and street trees. The painting is currently on loan to The Museum of…

  • 54 E 126

    54 E 126

    Construction work has restarted on 54 East 126th Street. This pair of lots had, for over 100 years, a pair of troubled townhouses that were frequently occupied by the homeless and addicts looking for a place to use. A couple of years ago, Odyssey House gained possession of the land and knocked down the…

  • Community Clean-Up

    Community Clean-Up

    If you’d like to stretch your legs and give a little back to your community, join William Smith, and others on a Community Clean-Up Day on Saturday. As Seen In Harlem – Astor Row

  • Inez Dickens Intends to Retire

    Inez Dickens Intends to Retire

    One of the lions of Harlem’s political establishment has announced she will retire. New York State Assembly Member Inez Dickens will retire at the end of her term. Inez Dickens is a lifelong resident of Harlem, and spent much of her adult life in politics. Born in 1949, she entered politics in 1990, starting as…

  • Catching a Train

    Catching a Train

    No huge surprise here, but look at how the Financial District dominates with countless subway lines funneling through that neighborhood: See more, here:   Randall’s Island Immigrant Shelter A letter from the Randall’s Island Park Alliance’s Board of Trustees: Dear Friends,As you know, Randall’s Island Park has faced ongoing challenges since the arrival of…

  • Drilling to Drink

    Drilling to Drink

    An image from the Board of Water Supply showing drilling done in 1910 to bring water to the city. In the photo, a portable drill rig collects core samples of the rock deep below upper Manhattan. These borings helped geologists and engineers to determine the best route for the 18-mile City Water Tunnel No. 1.…

  • Neo-Gothic Architecture

    Neo-Gothic Architecture

    Beautiful neo-Gothic architecture and cornerstone on a former NYC school building on West 127th Street, built during the Depression. As Seen In Harlem A reflection and manikin in a storefront window.

  • The New, Trashy Look

    The New, Trashy Look

    The newly designed DSNY garbage bin is slowly appearing on the streets of Harlem. The old design – a heavy, wire mesh bin, with reinforcing struts – has been on our streets for generations. In fact, DSNY out of the 23,000 litter baskets citywide DSNY has on the streets of NYC, 13,000 are theseold wire…

  • The NYS Assembly Race Heats Up

    The NYS Assembly Race Heats Up

    The New York State Assembly races in District 70: (Click HERE for the map.) And District 68: (Click HERE for the map.) Are really heating up. Earlier this week Xavier Santiago – Chair of Community Board 11 and NYS Assembly District 68 candidate held a constituent conversation on Madison Avenue and other candidates are stepping…