The deadline to register to vote is Friday, May 28 and early voting begins on Saturday, June 12. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is June 15.
Free Concerts in Marcus Garvey Park this Weekend
National Black Theatre is partnering with the New York Philharmonic to bring NY Phil Bandwagon 2 to Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem!
NY Phil Bandwagon 2 is a series of four weekend-long festivals across New York City, May 7–30, 2021. Performances will feature Philharmonic musicians and more than 100 New York artists, which span artistic disciplines from reggae, jazz, and opera, to dance, poetry, theatre, film, and visual art. All performances will take place on a customized, mobile, 20-foot shipping container featuring a foldout stage and LED video wall.
The final list of NYC Comptroller Candidates is in:
The Harlem Rose Garden is delighted to offer you another performance in the garden this Saturday at 2PM.
6 E 129th St, New York, NY 10035
Judith Insell / Joe Fonda Duo – Dark Wood Explorations Project
Chamber jazz dominated by the dark, rich tones of the viola and bass as played by the Judith Insell / Joe Fonda Duo, focuses on the hidden subtleties of jazz and improvisation: harmonic possibilities and the variety of timbres of their instruments. The intimate, interwoven, and often fragile “Dark Wood Explorations” Project is comprised of compositions by John Coltrane, Richie Beirach and Bill Evans, as well as original compositions.
These NYC Parks job opportunities (below) made possible by the recent federal reinvestment bill are open to people of all ages and require no experience.
CAN YOU & YOUR ____BE LITTER AMBASSADORS FOR OUR HISTORIC HARLEM PARKS? (Jackie Robinson/Marcus Garvey/Morningside/St Nicholas) NYC Parks is looking for weekend volunteers we call * Litter Ambassadors * who can greet park visitors having special events & BBQs and offer them orange (!) garbage bags to “love your park!”. Litter ambassadors will share where park visitors can drop their full orange trash bag after their event in a “Love Your Park” trash corral nearby. A NYC Parks staffer will provide you with bags and answer any questions. Ambassadors can volunteer as often as you want through Labor Day (and beyond)! Parents with children / friends / couples / co-workers / group members are all welcome to volunteer (dogs welcome too)! Just a couple of hours this summer give invaluable help to our parks to help us ensure our parks are clean, safe and green for our visitors, children, families, friends & neighbors. To learn more & volunteer – contact Historic Harlem Parks Administrator Jana La Sorte at [email protected]
NYC PARKS JOB OPENINGS FOR 18-80+ Mayor De Blasio has announced the creation of the City Cleanup Corps, an economic recovery program modeled on The New Deal that will generate 10,00 jobs in NYC and focus on cleaning our public spaces. Initial hiring began this month and more positions will be added through July. Details include: – Up to 8 months long with potential for full-time placement – no experience or drivers license required for the “seasonal” job
Check link below for information on how to apply for “City Park Worker Clean Up Corp – Manhattan” and/or “City Seasonal Aide Cleanup Corp – Manhattan” & note other job listings for all boroughs too. Please forward this far & wide to young & old alike who may be looking for good work!
ITS MY PARK DAY IS MAY 22 — A DAY OF FUN VOLUNTEERING TO LOVE YOUR PARK ! Join thousands of New Yorkers who come together each year to volunteer and celebrate their neighborhood parks and public spaces through It’s My Park Day. What might your group – neighborhood association / sorority / fraternity / school / arts group / temple / mosque / church / family / friends, etc! – want to do to help love our parks? Cleanups / painting / weeding & more pitch in help is welcome at ANY time of the year but May 22 has been set as the spring It’s My Park Day for our historic Harlem parks. Contact[email protected] at Partnership for Parks to arrange for your special volunteer day and ask questions, particularly for groups of 10+. NYC PARKS www.nyc.gov/parks
Do We Live in a Democratic Bubble?
Apparently, yes, we do…
You can see the blueness of upper Manhattan, below, and note the outcrops of red republican voters across the Hudson, and a few in the UES/Midtown as well as Queens:
The bubble visualization (below) shows how our neighborhood looks if you group all the Democrats and Republicans together:
This is in contrast with Fort Lee, across the Hudson, which is almost 50/50 split.
What researchers in the NYT article propose is that lifestyle choices drive many location decisions, and thus segregate us into political clusters, even if this clustering is driven by individual decision making:
To test this out yourself, enter some Zip Codes here:
Here’s something you can do beyond flowers for mom on mother’s day. The tech nonprofit Urban Archive this week launched “NY <3 Moms,” a new crowdsourced campaign in celebration of Mother’s Day.
Urban Archive wants you to submit photos of your mom or caregiver. The caveat is that the photo has to be taken across the five boroughs. Urban Archive will then take all of the crowdsourced images and add them to their extensive digital map of historic images.
For those interested in participating, send the photo of your mom in New York to Urban Archive, along with a few sentences about when and where the photograph was taken, at [email protected] or by direct messaging them on social media.
Don’t forget to include your name and email, the location and date of the photo (if possible), and a brief description.
Urban Archive will accept submissions through May 9. They will wrap up the campaign on Mother’s Day with a story that spotlights all of those “city moms” on Urban Archive. See examples of what they are looking for here.
(or, to see a picture of my mom, search on 1665 Park Avenue…)
Your Stomach Loves Us Launches GoFundMe Campaign to Stop the Hate One Belly at a Time
Rising above racial hostility, a non-profit initiative hopes to heal hearts through food starting early to mid-May this year.
Designed to give an alternative to the violence that has erupted toward Asian Americans since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Your Stomach Loves Us (#YSLU) comes to the rescue. Assured that hate and hangriness needs to hit the skids, the initiative will feed the communities where hostile incidents have occurred; and they’ll do it free of charge. With a full-stop win/win, dishes like Filipino lumpia, Chinese baozi, Korean dukbokki, and Japanese takoyaki will help chefs fight anti-Asian racist hate with the great equalizer – food. It’s the high road where it’s more than okay to stand armed in the streets with bento boxes. Welcome to practicality. Welcome to humanity on its best day. Can someone say, #dumplingpower?
Greg Taniguchi, the founder of Your Stomach Loves Us, said of the campaign, “I’ve seen too many posts and videos recently of anti-Asian violent incidents. This time, I’m not simply closing my browser. I’m doing something about it. I want us on the ground in these walking communities where the incidents took place because that’s how you connect. The person you share food with could, one day, need you to watch their back. It’s bigger than color. It’s a practice of love.”
With GoFundMe contributions, pop-ups from New York to San Francisco will serve curated cultural dishes to people who need to remember that love matters. Served at no cost to the communities where anti-Asian violence has recently occurred, YSLU organizers need financial support to “help fill people’s bellies with some luv’n.” They call for support to turn the 3,800 racist incidents into an opportunity for local restaurants and the people they feed. With a pay it forward approach, YSLU will target residents and restaurateurs in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver. The first event will happen in New York City early to mid-May, and recurring events will follow throughout the state. Tips, donations, and the profits from promotional products will fund all future events. But, right now, Your Stomach Loves Us needs contributors’ monetary help as well as expertise and knowledge about how to support and rebuild communities.
Co-founder and owner-operator of KarlsBalls Takoyaki in NYC said, “If we get cut, we bleed the same color. If only the people attacking our elders and community realized there’s a little bit of themselves in every person. And by creating harm, in reality, they’re hurting themselves.”
I thought it might be interesting to look at Harlem Libraries from a data perspective.
Here is the data on which of the Harlem branches have the most holdings:
Keen readers will, however, wonder if the size of holdings is somehow related to the nearby population. To do this, the population within 3/4 of a mile of each library has been used in the calculation. The results are fascinating.
The Countee Cullen Branch on West 136 (behind the Schomburg, has almost one book for every person in the neighborhood.
By contrast, the Harlem Branch (West 124th Street, on Marcus Garvey Park) and the 115th Street Branch have only one book for 3 people.
The other 3 branches have roughly 1 book for every two residents.
Walking along 5th Avenue a while ago (notice the bare branches) I wanted to photograph the plywood shroud over the Dr. Sims sculpture location.
You may recall that the sculpture celebrated a doctor who experimented on unanesthetized enslaved women, and after years of activism from many East Harlem women, the sculpture was removed and a plan developed to replace it.
Here is the new work – Victory Over Sims – that has been commissioned:
Vinnie Bagwell’s new work will replace the Sims sculpture.
Why I Took the Covid-19 Vaccine
By Geoffrey Canada
Six weeks ago, I received my second shot of the Covid-19 vaccine and I am now fully vaccinated. I cannot articulate the relief I feel knowing that I pose less of a threat to my wife, our children and grandchildren, and the community around me. I still wear my mask in public, but the fear that I might get sick and pass it on to my 91-year-old mother, who lives with me, is gone. I got vaccinated because I missed holidays with my family. There were funerals and graduations I couldn’t attend.
I did not decide to get vaccinated without reflecting deeply on the relationship between Black and Brown communities and the health-care system in the United States. However, I’m confident I made the right decision for myself and my family, and I’m sharing my thoughts with you with the hope that you will do the same.
The federal government has a history of exploiting Black and Brown people, and health care is no exception. In the 1930s, Black bodies were used as the equivalent of lab rats when the federal government decided to study Black people with syphilis in the Tuskegee Experiment, instead of treating them, and tracked them for 40 years without their consent. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman, unknowingly became the source of what is now known as the HeLa line. Her cells were, for many years, the only cell line that could reproduce indefinitely. They were used without her consent in a myriad of medical research projects worldwide, which still go on today.
But the Black community doesn’t have to look to the past to find reasons to view the medical profession with skepticism. Dismal mortality rates among birthing mothers still create a daunting childbearing experience for Black women and women of color. Breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer rates remain highest in our communities. You would be hard-pressed to find a person of color of a certain age who does not have a story of a medical encounter filled with micro-aggressions and substandard service and attentiveness.
Now we are being called to willingly inject a foreign substance into our arms — seemingly developed at lightning speed under an administration with a record of being dishonest and which was distrusted, with reason, by Black and Brown communities.
While acknowledging these reasons to feel cautious, I strongly encourage you to join me in receiving the vaccine and asking the community around you to do so as well.
We must look, just as critically, at what we have lost in the past year to the pandemic. Our community is under assault; we face the equivalent of war. I have lived through the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the war in Afghanistan. The number of Covid deaths in the United States is higher than the casualties of all these wars combined. As of March 2, 2021 the Latino community has suffered over 89,000 deaths. As of March 7, 2021 the Black community has lost 73,462 lives.
We know the heavy impact of Covid is attributed to several factors that cannot easily be changed. Our communities have high rates of chronic illnesses that make them susceptible to Covid’s worst complications. Many are employed as frontline workers and dwell in cramped living spaces, to name a few variables.
The post-traumatic stress we now have to combat from living through the pandemic will impact our communities for years to come. There is no way to normalize this amount of sickness, death, and loss. For too many of us, the suffering caused by Covid-19 is just beginning. Our children missed a crucial year of education, heads of households lost their jobs, and evictions still loom.
I think about how wealthy people, who had the lowest risk of illness and death because of their access to resources, have jumped at the chance to take the Covid vaccine. More than 109 million doses of vaccines have been administered nationwide as of March 15, and there is no evidence of vaccine-related deaths or serious injuries. People often report mild discomfort for a day or two after being inoculated, but I had no side effects. As more people get vaccinated, hospitalizations and the death toll are decreasing.
The government must make a concerted effort to make vaccines more accessible for communities of color. But it is also the responsibility of the people within our communities to advocate for the vaccine.
It would be a tragedy to see the virus recede among the wealthy and well-off yet still ravage our communities. To watch others going back to work, to school, and to family celebrations while Covid continues to devastate Black and Brown communities is my worst nightmare.
We will have to work hard to recover from the past year. First, we must stop this virus in its tracks. The safest, quickest, most effective way to do this is to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible to do so, and encourage the people around you to join you.
Geoffrey Canada is the President and Founder of Harlem Children’s Zone.
HERE PRESENTS WORLD PREMIERE OF THE VISITATION FROM STEPHANIE FLEISCHMANN, CHRISTINA CAMPANELLA, AND MALLORY CATLETT
The Visitation, a sound walk, a haunting site-specific experience created by Stephanie Fleischmann, Christina Campanella, and Mallory Catlett. Inspired by the appearance of a one-antlered deer in Harlem in 2016, The Visitation takes the listener on an urban odyssey in search of the collective memory of the deer’s sojourn in Jackie Robinson Park via geo-located avant-pop songs that conjure a series of encounters with the buck. Launching on April 23, The Visitation is a meditation on the presence of the mythic in the everyday and the uneasy relationship between the built environment and the natural world.
Conceived and developed with director Catlett and featuring original music and sound design by Campanella and text by Fleischmann, the soundscape of The Visitation is threaded through with the ethereal sounds of the deer, voiced by Obie-winning legend Black-Eyed Susan, a founding member of Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Listeners simultaneously traverse interior landscapes and exterior terrain ranging from far-reaching urban vistas to a dense canopy of trees, from the former wilderness of the park to the blacktop of basketball courts and playgrounds. Geo-located songs conjure moments experienced by a handful of characters—including a park gardener,a weeping pharmacist, a neighborhood teenager, and more—whose lives were changed by their encounter with the deer.
Along the way, participants will also encounter Mesingw, a Lenape spirit associated with the deer, who could, it was believed, reinstate balance to a disease-inflicted earth. Listeners may ask themselves, “Where is Mesingw now? How do we navigate his absence, and that of Artemis, Greek goddess of nature, from our contemporary lives? What are the repercussions of the ways we continue to colonize the land on which we live?”
The team for The Visitation also includes Lenape historical consultant Oleana Whispering Dove. Participants must download the Gesso app onto their mobile device to experience The Visitation, which begins a few blocks from Jackie Robinson Park, at West 148th Street and St Nicholas Avenue. The geography of the park includes stairs and some uneven terrain. A map with alternate start and end points is available for individuals with limited mobility. Participants should bring their own headphones. The Visitation can also be experienced remotely via the Gesso app as a 60-minute soundscape.
The Visitation launches on April 23, 202, and is free to download, however, donations at www.here.org are encouraged.
On Saturday, May 1, the creators from The Visitation and the founders of Gesso will host an in-person gathering in Jackie Robinson Park to discuss the inspiration, artistry, and technology behind the sound walk.