Zoe Anderson Norris

Recently a New York historian – Eve Kahn – reached out to residents on East 126th Street regarding a former resident from the block – the reformer/publisher/writer Zoe Anderson Norris (1860-1914).



Zoe Anderson Norris lived at 57 East 126th Street around the turn of the 20th century.  In addition, as an author, Zoe would write about and describe her life on East 126th Street, including her view of rose gardens out the back window and the sound of nearby church bells (most likely St. James).

On either side were other back yards of the same shape and pattern, better tended, being private back yards, the roses held primly against the wall by strings. Further on yet rose the rear of a church, covered with vines, the tinkle of whose chimes told the half hours and the quarters


Eve Kahn is putting together an exhibition on Zoe Anderson Norris, which coincides with Women’s History Month.


The exhibition is open 10-7 weekdays and 10-5 on Saturdays, March 1-May 13.  All are welcome to attend the March 1st opening

These links are about a few of Zoe’s many interesting friends!



She said Zoe was a strong willed woman, believed in God in her own way.  Eve Kahn said she’s thrilled to learn that Zoe’s former house is still full of empowerment and rejoicing!

Black Minds. Black Creativity.

Alice H. Walker was working as a cook in New Jersey in 1919 when she patented a central heating system that led to the creation of modern home heating systems used across the globe.

Garrett Morgan, the son of formerly enslaved parents, had only an elementary school education when he created the stoplight that is still used at intersections today.

Mark Dean led the team of computer scientists at IBM who invented color computer monitors—the technology that allowed for modern computers and smartphones.

Valerie Thomas is the NASA physicist who invented a transmitter in 1980 that could project 3D images onto a screen, thus paving the way for the 3D movies playing in theaters today.

And in 2020, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett became the lead scientist at the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center. Her work led to the creation of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

Lost Church

The Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital, just east of Marcus Garvey Park (between 122nd and 121st Streets and Madison and Park Avenues) replaced a Harlem church (outlined in green below)

The photo (below) shows the rock rubble in Marcus Garvey park before the depression era work to revitalize the park, with the church in the distance.

Zooming in, you can see the church, and the brownstones that used to line Madison Avenue.

Financial Literacy Panel

Health and Donation Event

East 115th Street and Lexington Ave, in the East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center.

Under The Tracks

(from Uptown Grand Central’s newsletter)

“The overhead lights in the back of a public plaza in East Harlem, mounted on a rusty viaduct that supports the Metro-North Railroad, were not working. And Carey King was panicking.

Ms. King, who runs the plaza as the director of Uptown Grand Central, a nonprofit group formed by local merchants, was getting ready to reopen that section in the spring of 2021 after two years of construction to make it nicer. It was so dark that neighbors stayed away. Drug addicts shot up in the shadows and others found hidden corners to urinate and defecate.

When Ms. King tried to get the lights turned on, the Metro-North Railroad, which is operated by the state, said they were not its lights. She went to the city’s Department of Transportation, only to be told to check with Metro-North. After months of going back and forth with different agencies, she finally got city transportation officials to take ownership of the lights.

‘It’s a bad joke: How long does it take to change a light bulb?’ Ms. King said.”

👉🏽👉🏾👉🏼 Big thanks to The New York Times for giving our spot under the train tracks some shine! And to the NYC Department of Transportation for getting the boxy white lights on.

Also grateful to the Design Trust for Public Space and NightSeeing for the colorful string lights that are making our space even brighter and better.

Head here for the full article on the city’s new public space director and problem-solving plans.


There’s just a little while longer to enjoy the Winter Lights that are glowing here along East 125th Street.

Our trees are lighting even more blocks than ever before, from Fifth to Second avenues. We’re grateful as always to local small business Urban Garden Center for the many weeks they spend to bring you the holiday magic.

The lights will be up through the end of February — adding not only festive cheer, but extra shine and safety on the sidewalks on these dark winter nights.

Join Your Community Board

Omo Sade Skincare

Local businesswoman Sade Tyler started to sell her products on a table in front of the old Tower Records building in East Village, Manhattan. Also, back when corporate brands did not offer products for women of color, she was the first to set up a beauty kiosk in Allby Square mall in downtown Brooklyn. This later led to a store in New York and now she delivers all across the US through her online business.

Originally from Nigeria, belonging to the Yoruba tribe, Sade is passionate about keeping old Yoruba traditions around beauty and skincare alive which she does through her African collection. The Yoruba traditional Goddess representing earthly beauty is Oshun who is the goddess of water, sensuality, fertility, beauty and love which is all reflected in all of Sades skincare products.

In line with Oshun values, Sade wants women of all colors to embrace and love their skin the way it is. She believes by giving our skin the care it needs with natural, nurturing products everyone’s inner beauty and sensuality will shine through.

Apart from running her own business Sade has also taught countless women of color to start and run their own small businesses, especially in the field of skincare and cosmetics.


Street Intersection Named for Elijah Muhammad

The New York City Council approved a plan to name 127th Street and Malcolm X Blvd. in honor of Elijah Muhammad, the controversial late leader of the Nation of Islam. The exact phrase agreed upon was: “The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad Way”.

City Council Member Jordan was not deterred in her support for this co-naming by Elijah Muhammad’s anti-white and anti-semetic statements/rhetoric. Jordan who proposed the street naming for Muhammad, said the honor is “way overdue” and stated:

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

New Majority NYC Endorses Inez Dickens to Represent Harlem in City Council

City and State has an article on New Majority NYC formerly known as 21 in ‘21, a women-in-elected office advocacy group that played a key role in bolstering the number of women represented in the City Council. Since its founding in 2017 the group has surpassed its initial goal two years ago when voters elected 31 women to the body – the majority of whom were women of color. Members’ work has since shifted into a new stage of sustaining the majority of women in the city’s political leadership for years to come. The group’s endorsements for the 2023 City Council elections were staked around that premise.

“We’re thrilled to see so many women who are stepping up and saying that they want to represent their communities,” said Yvette Buckner, executive board chair for the New Majority NYC. “It’s so critical and important because they are seeing what’s happening on the ground from very different perspectives.” 

That’s not the case in District 9 in Harlem, where the New Majority NYC endorsed Assembly Member Inez Dickens over Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan. Richardson Jordan got the group’s second-ranked endorsement two years ago, but the socialist has courted controversy in her first year, voting against Adrienne Adams as speaker, tweeting apparent justifications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and opposing a controversial rezoning that would have created some affordable housing units. The Democratic primary has already taken on a fairly competitive tone, and Richardson Jordan is likely to lose other mainstream endorsements that some incumbents take for granted. 

Richard Jordan’s racially divisive and nationalist rhetoric has also alienated many Harlem residents who have noted (for example) that she did not attend a vigil for Yao Pan Ma, a 61-year-old from China, was murdered in 2021 while collecting cans on busy 125th Street, and has failed to attend any of the Upper Manhattan Asian American Alliance cultural events.

The Studio Museum Grows

Facade work continues to climb on the new Studio Museum of Harlem building.

Columbia Journalism Student Wants to Hear From You

My name is Morgan Desfosses, I am a staff writer at Columbia Daily Spectator’s long-form magazine The Eye. In case you are unfamiliar with us, we are the branch of Spectator that focuses on nuanced, in-depth, human-centered reporting.

I am currently working on an article about Columbia University and New York City’s overdose prevention efforts including the new overdose prevention centers provided by OnPoint.

I have met with several leading researchers in this field and will be meeting with a NYC DOH commissioner and OnPoint themselves. As residents and community stakeholders in these neighborhoods, your voice is necessary to understanding the complexity and nuance of these issues, and as such I am eager to hear your perspective.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you!
Morgan DesfossesStaff Writer | 

Columbia Daily SpectatorB.A. Candidate, Sociology & Creative Writing, Columbia University ’25

[email protected]

Ph: +1 (917) 868-6343

Tomorrow! Meet/Walk with Al Taylor

Al Taylor is vieing to be Harlem’s next City Council member and here is your chance to meet him, and walk with him in the neighborhood. Meet him at La Marqueta – 115/Park – tomorrow at 2:30pm and walk up to 126th Street.

Al Taylor is an assembly sponsor of a bill to legalize supervised injection sites in New York State, yet has apparently never seen/toured the OnPoint facility. Here is your chance to show him East 126th Street.

If you can’t walk up from East 115th Street and Park, email [email protected] and ask for an ETA at Lex/126.

National Geographic Travel Guide to Harlem

National Geographic UK has a (mostly) culinary guide to Harlem which does highlight many of the places to see in our community:


[Note the prices in British pounds at the end.]

One quibble is that the definition of Harlem is given as:

Harlem, a 45-block stretch from Central Park to 155th Street — clipped by Fifth Avenue to the east and the Hudson River to the west — isn’t somewhere many first-time New York City visitors see.

And yet the opening title photo is soundly in the heart of East Harlem – below the top of Central Park, and east of 5th (it looks like it was shot from Saint Cecilia’s Parish, east of Park Avenue and on 106th Street)

Still, the article is worth checking out and comparing to your top list of places you’d recommend a visitor check-out.

Earthquakes? Seriously?

Ready New York Question of the Week
What was the magnitude of New York State’s biggest earthquake?
a) 5.8
b) 6.3
c) 7.2
d) 8.7

See the correct answer here.

Meet Yusef Saalam

You are invited to join a virtual meeting with Yusef Salaam this Thursday at 7pm. After a district walk last Monday, Yusef has a good idea of East Harlem’s quality of life issues and concerns. We are hoping that after witnessing our street experience, Yusef will tell us more about what he intends to do, if elected to City Council.

To register for Thursday’s meeting, please use this link: www.shorturl.at/AKN15.

Please help forward this email to your neighbors!  When our neighbors are more informed about the election candidates, they will turn out to vote, and then we can effectively hold our officials accountable.

You can forward our posts on social media: TwitterInstagramFacebook

Quote from Yusef “This gives us the opportunity to be able to restore Harlem to the greatness that it is and could always be.” (read more here)

Note that if you have questions for Yusef, you can post your questions on the Q&A section of the webinar, or feel free to send them to me ahead of time. 

See you all soon!  

Voting Resources

Check out voting resources at this website: https://www.harlemeastblockassociation.org/vote  and forward this email to your neighbors:

Spatial Information Design Lab

Since 2005, Columbia University’s Spatial Information Design Lab has been exploring the geography of incarceration. In their project The Pattern, the Columbia University team looks at the relationship between impoverished communities and their physical infrastructure, racial make-up, community investment, and incarceration. The Design Lab’s resulting maps are fascinating explorations of how we have not only spatially concentrated poverty, but how this oversaturation then contributes to scores of spill-over effects that cost society billions of dollars.

The project begins with a map of poverty in New York City:

A detail of the (above) map of poverty is below:

Below is a map of New York City’s communities with concentrated incarceration rates:

A detail of the (above) map of incarceration is below:

Below, the Spatial Information Design Project shows expenditures on incarceration – how much money is spent to incarcerate people from various New York Neighborhoods:

A detail of the (above) map of prison expenditures is below:

To read the report and note how similar the patterns are in city, after city, after city in America, see:

Harlem’s Ginger Beer

If you like ginger beer, Karl Franz Williams is ready to serve up his ginger beer that is currently celebrating it’s first anniversary.

Williams is a veteran in the beverage industry (having worked at Pepsi) but he’s now focused on his bar and ginger beer that was inspired by his grandfather’s love for fresh juices. This reimagined ginger beer is named after his grandfather — known to the family as Uncle Waithley.

“It makes me really proud just to see that legacy that my grandfather left and he gave me,” Williams said. “Developing this idea of taking care of yourself and living well that was important to him and that passed down from my father to me.”

He says “Uncle Waithleys” is now available in supermarkets like Whole Foods — but fast forward to a busy night at his bar he says watching people enjoy his ginger beer gives him the most pleasure.

To see the Spectrum news article, click here:


New Trees Coming To Harlem

Look down. When you see these white brackets, outlining a rectangular spot on the sidewalk, you can be pretty sure that a new tree will be coming soon.

The writing by the curb indicates to the contractor who will cut the sidewalk, and remove the rubble, what is to then be planted in this spot.

Facing the houses is a green sticker from the Department of Parks, noting what is coming: