Sundial. Not.

If you’ve ever been headed northbound on Madison Avenue and at 118th Street noticed the Subway and the curious ‘sculpture’ on the wall next to the restaurant, you may have been puzzled as to what’s going on with what looks like a sundial.

You’re right to be confused because something clearly was messed up between the designer and the installer. The sundial is upside down:

The photo (above) was taken around 8 in the morning, yet seems to be indicating that it’s 9 pm at night.

What has happened is the gnomon has been mounted upside down, and as a consequence, the numbers and their position make no sense.

Take a look at the image below, with a gnomon correctly aligned on a downward 45 degree slope:

If you’d like to try making one yourself, here’s a great place to start:

https://www.sundialzone.com/en/sundial

The Harlem Cultural Festival

The Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969’s original poster, highlighting the acts and activities

Extreme Couponing

Thomas Sankara in Harlem

The 5th President of Burkina Faso -Thomas Sankara (1949-1987) – visited Harlem in 1984 to give an impassioned speech asking for solidarity between Africans and the African diaspora.

Sankara spoke at Harriet Tubman Elementary School (P.S. 154) in Harlem, New York City, after the Reagan Administration denied President Sankara an official state visit to the White House – likely the result of Sankara’s socialist and Pan-African rhetoric. Sankara, who was in New York City to speak at the United Nations at the time, received word of the Reagan Administrations’ decision and headed uptown to Harlem.

President Sankara’s most inflammatory catchphrase was: “For the African Revolutionary, My White House is in Black Harlem!”

Note that the president also unhooked his belt and raised the belt and his pistol to emphasize his belief in direct revolution.

President Sankara was overthrown and killed in a coup three years later.

Amsterdam News Reports on the Plight of the small (Black) Landlord

Amsterdam News reports on how Black landlords are finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat in New York City.

Small homeowners — multi-generational, multi-family, often Black and brown homeowners – are increasingly leaving New York, or unable to continue as landlords in many of New York City’s residential and renter neighborhoods. 

Black and minority home and property owners have been left at the mercy of the financial crisis in the early 2000s, and the COVID-19 pandemic only furthered housing insecurity.

“We’ll never own property at the rate we owned. Never again,” said Community Activist Paul Toomer Muhammad. “This is the foolishness.” Muhammad has been a property owner in East New York in Brooklyn for almost 20 years. He had two properties. His neighborhood is 55.4% Black and 34.9% Hispanic.
Muhammad blames “aggressive” emergency pandemic policies like the city’s eviction moratorium and the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)/Landlord Rental Assistance Program (LRAP) for setting back small landlords in one- to four-unit homes because they were not distinguished enough from large commercial buildings or buildings with more than six rent-controlled units, and therefore not protected. 

Some Black landlords have joined the lawsuit five small landlords filed against State Attorney General Letitia James, claiming that the COVID Foreclosure Prevention Act hurt their interests.

“I’m in the same court system where you can stall a tenant in my house for a year and a half, but I still have to pay mortgage, water bill, tax, heat, electricity,” said Muhammad. “A foreclosure is an eviction to the landlord and the tenant.”

To read more, see:

DSNY Says No

At our January HNBA meeting, the issue of increased street trash on our streets was raised. That week, we reached out to DSNY’s Community Affairs Liason, and asked if a DSNY representative could attend our March HNBA meeting. No answer came.

Today we sent a 2nd email, and received this message back:

Good afternoon,

I apologize for the delay.

Unfortunately, DSNY will be unable to attend your meeting.

Please send me the businesses and locations to flag for enforcement and I will do so.

Thank you

Marissa Yanni 

Community Affairs Liaison

Bureau of Community Affairs

NYC Department of Sanitation

Office: 646-885-4575

Mobile: 646-841-4250
[email protected]

Supportive Housing Coming

A new 99-person supportive housing building is slated to be built on the parking lot next to the 25th Precinct. Workers were seen cleaning the asphalt and cars were banned from the parking lot:

Harlem and The Bronx

This image from the 1930’s from a high vantage point (likely from the towering 555 Edgecombe Avenue), shows Harlem in the foreground and The Bronx in the background.

What is now Jackie Robinson Park is immediately below (in the foreground) and you can see the distinctive kiosk shown in another 1930’s photo and from Google Streetview:

Note how the 1930s streetscape north of 152nd Street (up to 153rd Street) is fully intact. It also appears as if the vacant lot on the south-east corner of the block has been vacant for almost 100 years.

Harlem’s Poet Laureate

CBS has the story from Governor Hochul’s inauguration on how a 9-year-old from Harlem came to be her poet laureate:

“I was outside the Apollo Theater, it was Amateur Night,” Hochul recalled at the beginning of her speech Sunday. “And there’s a long line around the block, and I saw this young man standing there. I said, ‘You’re going in to watch somebody?’ He goes, ‘No, I’m a poet. I’m going to go recite.'”
“I was excited,” Hern remembered feeling. “Yeah, because at the Apollo, I just wanted to take a picture with her. And then she asked me, what do I do? And I said, I draw. I also write poems.”
Hern did not throw away his shot, performing his way straight to the top.
“I figured he’d whip out a piece of paper and read it to me,” Hochul continued. “He had memorized it … I stood there on the spot and I said, ‘If I win this election, you are my Poet Laureate and I want you here.'”

https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/new-york-poet-laureate-kayden-hern-harlem/

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Marcus Garvey Park Glacier

Perhaps it’s not technically a glacier, and it was spotted earlier, during that cold snap, but the sight of the park weeping water and freezing into an ice waterfall is fascinating.

CORRECTION: HNBA Meeting Tonight at 2306 3rd Avenue, at 7:00 PM

Hello Harlem Neighbors,

Tonight at 7:00 PM (Tuesday) we will meet in person at 2306 3rd Avenue in the gorgeous Salvation Army building (sorry the incorrect location was sent earlier):

We are going to talk about public safety issues around the supervised injection site, and we are going to have a special guest – Special Agent Quintero of the FBI.

Special Agent Quinterro will talk to us about her work, her team’s work, and the FBI as a whole’s work on human rights violations, hate crimes, and color of law (corrupt law enforcement).  Make sure to bring any questions you have about these issues and how the FBI handles them and how it impacts all of us and our community.

Photography or recording is not permitted.

HNBA Meeting Tonight at 7:00 PM

Hello Harlem Neighbors,

Tonight at 7:00 PM (Tuesday) we will meet in person at 175 East 125th Street in the gorgeous Salvation Army building:

We are going to talk about public safety issues around the supervised injection site, and we are going to have a special guest – Special Agent Quintero of the FBI.

Special Agent Quinterro will talk to us about her work, her team’s work, and the FBI as a whole’s work on human rights violations, hate crimes, and color of law (corrupt law enforcement).  Make sure to bring any questions you have about these issues and how the FBI handles them and how it impacts all of us and our community.

Photography or recording is not permitted.

60 Years Ago

60 years ago (admittedly in the summer) Robert Kennedy came to Harlem. He spoke at Columbia, visited a summer reading program for youth, and then walked with children in the reading program along West 125th street into the heart of Harlem.

Jet covered the visit and put this image on its cover:

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Growing Kale in a Shipping Container

CBS reports on Harlem Grown – an organization that seeks to harvest fresh food for families facing hard times. The 11 year old organization is trying an experimental farm in a shipping container, here in Harlem

https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/harlem-grown-shipping-container-grow-house/

“The average head of lettuce in the U.S. is traveling 2,500, 3,000 miles. This one’s traveling 25 feet,” said Frank Sharp, principal technical leader at the national nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute, which oversees 20 such sites across the country.

The New York Power Authority is paying for the $250,000 project.

Holiday Lights West and East of 5th Avenue