This year the Filmed by Bike festival had an amazing virtual festival featuring (exclusively) Black, Indigneous, and People of Color, and bicycles. The festival is available to stream and runs on a PWYW basis so everyone can afford to watch.
From an all-Black, female crew bikepacking the Pacific Northwest, to an international DJ cycling across ice rivers in Canada (in winter!), this stunning selection of stories has something for everyone.
The only female rickshaw puller in the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh
A young man creating Chiang-Mai’s first bicycle scene
An architect who left his job to open a bicycle shop in Denver
A young woman determined to become the first Black female pro road cyclist
Hello Harlem Neighbors, we are canceling our October HNBA meeting but encourage you to consider joining CIVITAS in a fundraising evening, celebrating an unbelievable force in East Harlem: Uptown Grand Central and Carey King.
Join CIVITAS Tuesday, October 13th, 2020 Virtual Annual Benefit 6:30pm to 7:15pm
The CIVITAS Benefit Committee and the CIVITAS Board of Directors request the pleasure of your company for our Virtual Benefit celebrating 39 years of achievements by CIVITAS by honoring this year’s recipients of The August Heckscher Founder Award for Community Service and supporting our longtime neighborhood businesses. RSVP Tickets
Here is the UGC story on their beginnings: The New Harlem East Merchants Association (NHEMA) got its start in 2013 when mom-and-pop stores along East 125th Street were struggling to keep their doors open and repeatedly hearing: “We don’t shop on East 125th Street because it’s too dirty and we are accosted by people panhandling, and …”
Recognizing this problem, merchants on one block between Fifth and Madison avenues began to organize informally to improve the area. A mural was painted announcing themselves as “The New Harlem East.” Then, with brooms in hand, joined by 40 volunteers from the neighborhood, NHEMA members held their first street clean-up.
As more merchants and community members learned of the efforts, NHEMA grew and was able to receive grant funding and take on more ambitious projects. This included hiring ACE (the Association of Community Employment) to do street cleaning — an innovative strategy that brightens up the area and provides homeless individuals with a clear path off the streets. We also began to take on other projects such as connecting merchants and residents with discounts to area stores, beautifying the area with flowers and tree pits, organizing street festivals for East Harlem residents, launching a farm-fresh produce market, sponsoring holiday lights along the East 125th Street corridor, and in 2015, launching our Uptown Grand Central plaza program underneath the Metro-North viaduct at 125th Street & Park Avenue.
In 2016, we expanded to create Uptown Grand Central, a 501c3 nonprofit that works to support, strengthen and showcase all that is “grand” about our neighborhood, from small businesses to culture to greening to art. Our goal is to transform the East 125th Street corridor by putting advocacy into action.
If you are interested in applying for this grant (detailed below) by October 20th, please let us know:
From: Sam Lawson <[email protected]> Date: Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 12:16 PM Subject: Grant Opportunity: Strengthening Communities through Recovery
I am reaching out to let you know about a new grant that we have released. Please feel free to send to any organizations in Harlem that might be interested.
NYC Emergency Management is encouraging you to apply to the newly released Strengthening Communities through Recovery COVID-19 grant opportunity.
Any interested community leader or community emergency networks that serves one of the below communities should apply. A community emergency network is a group or coalition that consists of nonprofit, community, and faith-based organizations that are organized around an issue important to their community such as climate change, gun violence, housing, disability rights, among others.
The below communities have been identified by NYC Department of Health as disproportionally impacted by COVID-19. Community leaders and community emergency networks that are selected will be supported to develop and maintain local emergency plans and implement recovery strategies that will help your community recover from COVID-19.
Proposals and questions about the RFP process should be emailed to Abdul Washington at [email protected]
This Small Purchase RFP is specifically seeking proposers serving in one of the following communities:
Manhattan: East Harlem and Central Harlem; Lower East Side and Chinatown; Inwood and Washington Heights Due: 10/20/20 at 5 PM
(Basically the grant is for 40,000 dollars for an organization to create an emergency plan. 20,000 is for the organization and 20,000 is for a “consultant” to carry out the work. More information is in the attached document, and for further questions please reach out to our procurement staff: [email protected].)
The City reports that despite a budget crisis, the MTA continues to plan for extending the Second Avenue Subway into East Harlem. Even though the pandemic-spurred economic crisis has put the project back, the MTA continues to work with building and property owners to try to purchase sites needed for air shafts, emergency exits, subway entrances, etc.
The map below illustrates in orange, properties that might be acquired, and in yellow, the proposed 2nd Avenue subway line:
The agency has started taking steps to prepare for using eminent domain a last resort.
At its July board meeting, the MTA said it has begun the process of acquiring over a dozen properties along Second Avenue and 125th Street through “negotiated voluntary agreements,” according to agency records.
If agreements can’t be reached “in a timely manner,” documents show, the MTA must take preliminary steps under the state’s Eminent Domain Procedure Law to lessen the potential for future delays to the project.
And to sum it all up, a great list from Astor Row:
Events at the Harlem Rose Garden
The Harlem Rose Garden (East 129th Street at 5th Avenue) is hosting a number of events in October. Garden members thought it would be a great idea to host a series of laughter filled movie nights and their annual Halloween bash!
The events are limited to 25 people. All events will be first come first served and you are required to wear a mask unless eating or drinking.
To stay COVID friendly we are encouraging members to bring their own personal snacks or dinners.
“The Harlem Quilts” series stems from the idea that quilts were displayed and used as code to mark the escape routes for the Underground Railroad.
Curated by Eileen Jeng-Lynch, Art Off-Screen is an international exhibition of artwork placed in outdoor locations so that the work can viewed by the community. Art off-screen provides access to art beyond a computer screen, inspiring creativity, amplifying voices, encouraging change, and sharing messages of hope and healing.
Artist Vladimir Cybil Charlier created “The Harlem Quilts” which are displayed in the neighborhood. They are inspired by the stories that quilts used codes to mark the escape routes for the Underground Railroad. The quilts display two images: The North Star which shines every night above Marcus Garvey Park and which symbolizes hope and the path to a better life and a portrait of a member of the household (pets included) where they will be displayed.
Locations of Art: (September 26th – October 10th, 2020) 1 & 2) 124th street between 5th and Madison (2 houses, window display) 3) 5th Avenue between 124th and 125th Street (East side of street, window display) 4) 123rd Street between Mount Morris Park West and Lenox Avenue (North side of Street, display under tree in front of Apt Building) 5) Williamson Community Garden, 128th and 129th Street between 5th and Madison Avenues 6) 135th Street between 5th and Lenox Avenues (private building community display) 7) 137th Street between Lenox Avenue and Lenox Terrace (Window showing/building) 8) 94th Street between Columbus and Central Park West (Lobby of building showing) 9) 3rd Avenue between 109th & 110th Street (Private showing) 10) 94th Street between Columbus and Central Park West (Lobby of building showing)
You have likely heard (and perhaps seen) that rats have made a comeback in the COVID era. With so many restaurants closed, or open in a reduced presence, rats have had to head toward residential garbage for their food needs.
In New York City, property owners are required (PDF) to keep their properties rat-free and address conditions that can lead to rats. They may have to hire a pest management professional when appropriate. Tenants can do their part by following our prevention tips below and promptly reporting rats to property owners, building managers or co-op associations.
If property owners are not fulfilling their legal requirement to prevent and manage rats and repair conditions that can attract rats, tenants can report the issue online or by calling 311. The Health Department will send inspectors to investigate the situation.
Learn more about what you can do prevent rat infestation, or how you can drive them out if they have already settled in your home or property:
The best way to prevent rats from settling in your home and property is to carefully dispose of your garbage. Be sure to:
Provide enough garbage cans with tight fitting lids to hold all garbage between pickups.
Bring garbage to the curb as close to pick-up time as possible. Garbage left on the curb for too long attracts rats.
Follow your building’s policy for garbage disposal and recycling.
If your building has a garbage chute, bag and tie your garbage before putting it down the chute.
Destroy Potential Shelter
Make your home inhospitable to rats by attacking their favorite places to seek shelter and reproduce:
Clean up any clutter or litter in and around your building, including your basement and yard.
Remove piles of newspapers, paper bags, cardboard and bottles.
You can learn about safe and effective methods for rat prevention in your home and community at this 3 hour virtual training.
Giant Step Arts – Free Performances Celebrating John Lewis and the Civil Rights Struggle
Groundbreaking artist-focused non-profit Giant Step Arts continues Walk With The Wind, a free series of performances in Central Park honoring the legacy of U.S. Representative and civil rights leader John Lewis
Finding new ways to support musicians during the pandemicWhen the pandemic hit, Jimmy and Dena Katz, creators of Giant Step Arts, the groundbreaking, artist-focused non-profit dedicated to supporting visionary jazz musicians as they create adventurous new music, realized that it would be a while before they could continue their work commissioning, showcasing and recording music by some of modern jazz’s most innovative artists.
They’ve created Walk with the Wind, a series of free performances in Central Park honoring the memory of John Lewis. Performances, which are acoustic and feature small groups, take place at 1 p.m. on The Mall in Central Park. In the event of bad weather, they will be rescheduled. They will continue as long as the weather allows. Upcoming performances include:• Saturday, October 10 – The Nicole Glover Trio: saxophonist Nicole Glover, bassist Daniel Duke, drummer Nic Cacioppo
• Sunday, October 11 – The Chris Potter Trio: saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Joe Martin, drummer Nasheet Waits
“The pandemic has been disastrous for musicians, many of whom normally earn a living through live performances and tours,” says Katz. “We’ve presented and recorded music in various venues, including partnering with the non-profit Jazz Gallery, but the current circumstances have forced us to improvise. We wanted to find a way to continue supporting musicians, bring them together with audiences, safely, and enable them to have a payday! Walk with the Wind, honoring the legacy of the great American John Lewis, is one way we are accomplishing this, and the response has been tremendous. Our goal is to raise enough money from foundations and donors so that we can have performances each spring and fall.”
The series began with the Wayne Escoffery Trio on August 28th and has included the Eric Mcpherson Trio, Marquis Hill Quartet, Michael Thomas Trio, Marcus/E.J Strickland Trio, Leap Of Faith Trio, Joel Ross Quartet, Immanuel Wilkins Trio, Nasheet Waits Trio, Melissa Aldana Trio and the Darius Jones Trio. From 11-1 p.m. the pre-show festivities have included Arco Yoga specialist Josie Say and the Robert Lotreck Trio.
Giant Step Arts
Founded by renowned photographers Jimmy and Dena Katz in January 2018, Giant Step Arts is an innovative, artist-focused non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning and showcasing the work of some of modern jazz’s most innovative artists. In an era where it is increasingly difficult for musicians to earn a living, Giant Step Arts offers the artistic and financial resources to create bold, adventurous new music free of commercial pressure. Musicians have total control of their artistic projects and Giant Step Arts is committed to fostering their careers by providing promotional material and publicity services.
For the musicians it chooses to work with, by invitation only, Giant Step Arts:
• presents premiere performances and compensates the artists well • records these performances for independent release • provides the artists with 700 CDs and digital downloads to sell directly; artists retain complete ownership of their masters • provides the artists with photos and videos for promotional use • provides PR support for the recordings
“Giant Step Arts does not sell any music,” Katz says. “Our goals are to help musicians make bold artistic statements and to advance their careers. We are also trying to increase our funding so we can help more musicians.”
Through his award-winning photography with wife Dena Katz, and his esteemed work as a recording engineer, Katz has spent nearly 30 years helping to shape the way that audiences see and hear jazz musicians. Katz has photographed more than 550 recording sessions, many historic, and 200 magazine covers. Whether taken in the studio, in the clubs, on the streets or in the musicians’ homes, his photographs offer intimate portraits of the artists at work and in repose and capture the collaborative and improvisatory process of jazz itself. Recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association award for jazz photography in both 2006 and 2011, Katz’s work has been exhibited in Germany, Italy and Japan. Among the world-renowned artists he’s photographed are Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett, Ornette Coleman, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Haynes, Cassandra Wilson, Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, John Zorn, Pat Metheny, and Dizzy Gillespie. In addition to his well-known visual art, Katz is an esteemed recording engineer who has worked with artists including David S. Ware, Joe Lovano, Harold Mabern, William Parker, Benny Golson, and Chris Potter, among others.
A great video with amazing production values and choreography is out from HarlemParade.org
Harlem Parade notes that:
The Harlem Parade initiative launched via HARLEMPARADE.ORG on September 17, 2020 with an innovative protest art video – Black Parade Harlem.
Led by Harlem native and principal dancer for Beyoncé, Dnay Baptiste, and Founder and Creative Directorthat produce unique content and event activations to celebrate Harlem’s rich arts community, amplifyHarlem’s Black-owned businesses, and promote civic engagement.
Driven by three pillars of purpose- culture, commerce and community, we are committed to preserving Harlem’s cultural legacy, protecting Harlem’s Black commerce, and empowering Harlem’s thriving community.
I love this distinctive font used on an 1887 church (now a private residence – the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinon bought it almost 10 years ago for 2.75 million – 2050 5th Avenue).
What I am less enthralled about is the fact that at the time of the sale, the deal makers touted that the church would be used for a community space:
According to the brokers who sold 2050 Fifth Avenue, Mr. Rondinone plans to transform the church into some sort of community cultural space. “It was a very busy listing, Louis probably showed it to 80 different groups,” Alan Miller of Eastern Consolidated told The Observer. Louis would be Louis Ricci, the Eastern director in charge of the deal. “When it finally sold,” Mr. Miller continued, “the neighbors were very happy to know it would be something for the community.” (Mr. Rondinone was traveling this afternoon and could not immediately be reached for comment.)https://observer.com/2011/11/heaven-yes-ugo-rondinone-buys-harlem-church/
Harlem has, since the Dutch settlement of Manhattan, been known by 3 names. Nieuwe Haarlem, Lancaster, and Harlem. The name Lancaster was imposed (unsuccessfully) by Richard Nicholls, the governor of New York, in 1666, during the brief period between May 1688 and April 1689, during which New York was part of the Dominion of New England, the territory was known in this period as the Province of New York.
His proclamation read:
That from and after the date of these Presents the said Town shall no longer be called New Harlem, but shall be known and called by the name of Lancaster; and in all deeds, bargains and sales, records or writings, shall be so deemed, observed and written.
A Tourist Guide’s Guide to 6 Must-See’s in Harlem
I confess I”m suspicious of any guide to our community that uses an image of Brooklyn in the chapter on Marcus Garvey Park, but nevertheless, this article did make me ask myself, ‘What are my top 6 Must-See’s in Harlem?’
From the very beginning of Harlem, beer was an essential drink among the European colonists. James Riker notes in “History of Harlem” that:
In 1667 beer was the common beverage in the Dutch Colony. “At vendues, or in making contracts or settlements, its presence was deemed indispensable to the proper transaction of the business. The magistrates when occupying the bench always had beer brought in, running up a score with the tapster at the public charge. Nor did the ordination of elders and deacons, or funeral solemnities, form an exception. At such times wine and other liquors, with pipes and tobacco, were also freely distributed. Families commonly laid in their beer by the quarter and half vat, or barrel. — Much of the beer consumed here (in New Harlem) was brewed by Johannes Vermilye, while the breweries of Daniel Verveelen, Isaac de Forest, and Jacob Kip, at New York, were also patronized.”
There were, however, also laws that attempted to restrict the sale of alcohol to the Lenape people in and around Harlem. This prohibition was signed by Nichols, the English ruler of New York, in 1664
A Warrant to the Magistrates of Harlem for the Prohibition of the sale of strong liquors to Indians. Whereas, I am informed of several abuses that are done and committed by the Indians, occasioned much through the liberty some persons take of selling Strong Liquors unto them; These are to require you that you take special care that none of your Town presume to sell any sort of Strong Liquors or Strong Beer unto any Indian, and if you shall find any person offending therein, that you seize upon such Liquor and bring such person before me, to make answers for the offense. Given under my hand, at Fort James, in New York, this 18th of March, 1664 [1665 N. S.]. RICHARD NICOLLS.
The presence, of course, of this “Prohibition” indicates that “the sale” was in fact, a common practice – common enough to warrant special mention.
Beer was not only regulated, but was also taxed – not only in terms of volume but also in terms of quality. This accusation (against Johannes Verveelen) was for his failure to pay tax on beer:
Most Honorable Heeren, Overseers of this Town: Whereas Johannes Verveelen, ordinary-keeper in this town, did on the 6th February wickedly smuggle one-half vat of good beer; on the i8th April, one vat of good beer and one anker of rum; on the 27th of April, one-half vat of good beer; on the 8th May, one-half vat of good beer; on the 27th May, one-half vat of good beer and one anker of rum; all which is contrary to the existing placards on the subject of smuggling, and by the high magistracy approved. Therefore the plaintiff, ex-officio the preserver of the peace, demands that the defendant be condemned in the penalty of twenty-one hundred guilders, according to the placards, together with the costs of prosecution. The I4th June, 1667, in N. Harlem. Yours, Honorable Heeren, DANIEL, TOURNEUR, Deputy Sheriff.
The tavern of the day was Verveelen’s:
At the comer of the lower street and third crossway, Verveelen’s tavern hung out its sign-board, its site now on the north line of 123d street, 300 feet west of 1st avenue. Well patronized, too, by the lovers of good-cheer and goed bier, this is shown by the frequency with which he supplied his vault with goed bier and klegn bier, Spanish wine and rum
The tavern’s site is where (today) the Wagner Projects are located:
And, I can’t end a piece on beer without mentioning Harlem Hops, Harlem’s amazing 21st century pub at 2268 ADAM CLAYTON POWELL JUNIOR BOULEVARD.
Harlem Hops notes that takeout is now available. They write:
Please check out our menu below and call us at 646-998-3444 We are delivering within a 20 block radius of the bar.
If you’re not in the NYC area but would still like to support us, click on the link to our Swag shop where you will fine some cool Harlem Hops Merchandise and Merchandise Gift cards for purchase. If you want to purchase an in-store gift cards, please click on the In-Store Gift Card link. You can also support by donating to our non-profit organization Harlem Hopes.
Thank you for your time and consideration, and your continued patronage