Participate in a climate vision for Harlem

Are you concerned about climate change? How it affects Harlem? You can participate in a local project called Pathways to Earthseed. A local climate organizer, Dominique Thomas is currently collecting responses for a survey around the experiences of Black Harlem residents. You can find the survey here. Her project is supported by the Climate Justice Design Fellowship through Harvard’s Institute of Qualitative Social Science (to learn more about this fellowship check out this link:

Her interests are in understanding the intersection of climate, abolition and Afrofuturism with Black Harlem residents and how our natural environment and physical space through a climate justice, racial justice and abolitionist lens. 

If you are interested, you can fill out the survey here. She will be offering a $25 giftcard to those that complete the survey. If you have any questions, you can reach out to her at [email protected]

Harlem Needs Bike Lanes

“Central Harlem has the least amount of bike infrastructure in all of Manhattan,”

Castro Visits Harlem (Again)

This photograph was taken on this date in 1995 when Fidel Castro returned to Harlem and spoke at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.

The photo shows Castro in his characteristic green military uniform, gesturing at the podium. This Reuters photo has additional information/context on the back:

The photograph was up for sale on Ebay.

Trunk or Treat

For the first time, the 25th Precinct will be hosting a Trunk or Treat Halloween Event. We are inviting the kids of our community to visit us at East 118 Street and Park Avenue with their best costumes and get some candy. We will have best costume awards, snacks and of course, candy.

This event will be on Friday, October 28th beginning at 3pm, until supplies last. 

For more information, or to get involved, please contact:

Police Officer Jaylise C​osme

25th Precinct Community Affairs

New York City Police Department

Cell: 917-941-7672

Office: 212-860-6526

Email: [email protected]

​Follow us on Twitter: @nypd25pct

Meet and Engage With Your Elected Officials on Oct. 26th

Join in a community forum at 6pm on October 26th.

View of Harlem Plains, 1814

For sale on Ebay.

Pups on Parade! (October 29)

If your pup has a costume, head on over to Jackie Robinson Park for a pup Halloween costume party:

(Hopefully, your best friend won’t be as beleaguered as the pup in the photo, above.)

Drag has a great piece on a collection of photos from Halrem’s 1980’s drag scene.

The photographs were taken in 1984 by Mariette Pathy Allen who traveled to Harlem to photograph one night at a house ball.

By 1984, Mariette was married with two children, doing small photography jobs for publications while also documenting the transgender community that would later become the center of her groundbreaking first book, Transformations: Crossdressers and Those Who Love Them, published in 1989. While studying at Columbia University, her husband became friends with a man named Ivan, who was connected with people in the Harlem House Ballroom scene. Mariette received an invitation and decided to go, creating a collection of magical portraits from one night at the ball.

“The ball officially began at midnight and ran until eight in the morning,” Mariette says. “I arrived around 10 to photograph people getting ready. It began around 12:30, and there was an announcer introducing the categories like Face, Body, and Femme Queen Realness. Everyone looked amazing, so beautiful and young. They worked to put their costumes together, and everything was so precise. Even though it was a competition, there wasn’t any kind of meanness or fighting. It was a supportive environment. This was a happy occasion, where people were proud and presenting themselves at their best.”

The sense of community can be seen in Mariette’s photos, which capture both competitors and audience members at a time when few were documenting the scene.

“I have always been respectful to the people I photograph whether I speak to them or not,” Mariette says. “I’ve always been careful that people were aware that I was taking their picture and that they were comfortable with the idea. I was an outsider because I’m not trans, but I understand from a deeply personal level what it means to wonder who you are and to feel that you have to adopt certain roles as a man or a woman. Who made that up?”

See the full article, here.

Above the Rim

Note the twin towers, signifying NYC.

Above the Rim is a 1994 film co-written and directed by Jeff Pollack in his directorial debut. The Harlem/basketball movie featured Duane Martin, Tupac Shakur, Leon Robinson, and Marlon Wayans. The screenplay was based on a story by Benny Medina and focuses on city basketball and the fraught life choices presented to a young Harlem man.

While a number of (pivotal) scenes were shot at Rucker’s, other locations in Harlem featured prominently. In the image (above) note the “Drugs” sign to the left of Tupac:

This is now Lenox Terrace Drugs, with the same neon sign:

The film’s plot focuses on Kyle Watson (played by Duane Martin) and his opportunity to get a college basketball scholarship and earn a possible future in the NBA. In one pivotal scene, Kyle is shown in Howard Bennett Playground, on 135th Street.

Riverton apartments and the John Russworm school is are the background.

Below is a similar view, today, 28 years later.

The soundtrack to “Above the Rim” included a number of hits and unsurprisingly featured Tupac Shakur.

For more on the film, see the 10 facts link, below:

Pastoral Corruption’s Nick Garber has another great piece of reporting on the $2,000,000 in handouts that were given and accepted by Harlem clergy who sold out their parishioners and community for personal gain.

The clergy members worked with an unscrupulous (and likely criminal) developer to buy vulnerable church properties. A number of Harem houses of worship were (and are) profoundly impacted by the grift and sleaze documented in Nick Garber’s amazing piece.

25th Precinct Community Council Meeting – Wednesday

Kioka Jackson writes:

Good Day Everyone,

Happy October!  In October we are observing so many things:  Domestic Violence, Breast Cancer, Pregnancy and Infant loss, Hispanic and African Heritage.  We honor each entity and ask that in your way that you honor as well.  

Please see the flyers attached for all the upcoming events.  We would really love for you all to come out and join us on Saturday evening for the Wave of Light event which will be held in front of the Precinct.  Also, the 25th Precinct is hosting our first Trunk or Treat


Our October meeting is scheduled for Wednesday the 19th at 6PM.  Please be advised that there is a location change.  We will be meeting at the Rehoboth Christian Church located on 118th Street between 3rd and Lexington Avenues.  This meeting may go over a little bit so please prepare a 6PM – 7:30PM meeting.  Please see the flyer below.  We have several speakers and presentations.  There are several big topics that need to be covered so we ask that CBOs and Elected Officials with announcements bring flyers to hand out.  

I hope to see you all, matter of fact I look forward to seeing you all.  Together we can do great things!

Have an amazing weekend and we will see you soon! 

Inside All Saints

As the Catholic church and school, All Saints is transformed into the home of Capital Prep, we took a peek in and got a few photos of the work in progress.

The original wood doors and vestibule remains – if coated in plaster dust.

Further inside the vastness of the nave is emphasized by the relative size of the scaffolding in the background.

24 Hours in Harlem

Travel Noire has recommendations for spending 24 hours sampling the food, drink, culture, and vibes of Harlem:

Is anything here on your shortlist for a staycation?

Little Pumpkin Today!

Natu Camara at MGP

Natu Camara brings her energetic and very unique blend of West African rock and soul to Marcus Garvey Park on October 16, 3-7pm.

Her blend of rock, soul, and singer-songwriter tunes are infused with rhythms from Guinea, Mali and West Africa more generally. The stories she tells are personal ones that invite listeners into her experiences. The result is Natu builds a unique bond with her audience and transports them into her world. Commentary includes the struggles of personal loss, and the challenge of finding herself alone in a strange city.

Natu Camara will perform several songs from her upcoming album, the most notable transporting listeners back to her youth while spending time with her grandmother in her village. Palatable in the new songs is the sense of longing, distance, and time from this world traveler.

As Seen In Harlem

Langston Hughes on E. 117th Street.

Join The HNBA October Meeting, Tonight at 7pm

We’ll be discussing the future of HDFCs with Joshua Clennon, the Metro North viaduct replacement, and the 2nd Avenue Subway with MTA. All welcome.

Topic: HNBA Meeting
Time: Oct 11, 2022, 7:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Lenox Ave. Prepares for Halloween

Join MMPCIA on Saturday, October 22nd in beautifying and decorating the central median on Lenox Ave. from West 118th Street up to West 124th Street.

Everyone is welcome to help prepare for Halloween.

The Uptowner Looks At The E. 126th Street Injection Site

Columbia University’s newspaper The Uptowner has a good article on the nearly 1 year-old injection site run by OnPoint on East 126th Street:

Harlem’s Museum of Civil Rights

The National Urban League has chosen Jennifer Scott to be the founding executive director and lead curator of The Urban Civil Rights Museum being built on West 125th Street between ACP and Lenox.

The new museum will center the Urban League’s Empowerment Center in Harlem and house the NUL’s headquarters along with 170 units of affordable housing, retailers like Target and Trader Joe’s, and office space with below-market rent for community groups and nonprofits including One Hundred Black Men of New York and Harlem’s Jazzmobile.

The $242 million complex is scheduled to open in early 2025.

The museum will showcase the “long fight for justice in the North” – like the Great Migration and Harlem Renaissance – “from early African American communities to the current Black Lives Matter era,” Scott said.

Scott also has longstanding ties to New York City. An anthropologist and public historian, she has taught for more than 20 years at The New School on subjects including race and ethnic studies, cultural anthropology, and civic engagement. She also worked for nearly a decade at Brooklyn’s Weeksville Heritage Center, a memorial to a free Black community living there before the Civil War, where she helped redevelop the center’s programming and restore the historic site.

For more, see this Gothamist article.

Horses on Harlem River Drive

Two stereoscopic views looking northward on Harlem Speedway (Harlem River Drive) from around 181st Street.

The bottom image captures the finale to a race (note the man lying on the rockface to the left).

The top image shows just how wide the Speadway was.

In both images, note the domed building on a bluff, in the Bronx. This is now part of Bronx Community College, but at the time was part of NYU when NYU was thinking about moving out of the crowded Washington Square area, for more space and wealthier environs in The Bronx (just as Columbia moved uptown to the Upper West Side). The Bronx Community College building features a rotunda with sculptures of “Great Americans” and is open to the public

Halloween Is Coming!

Join Harlem Mothers and Fathers SAVE (Stop Another Violent End) celebrate Halloween: