The Biden Presidency!

4 very, very long years.

The nightmare of the Trump presidency has finally ended.

There is, as everyone knows, a huge amount of work still to be done to heal the scars of the hate that Trump fomented and unleashed. Still, today, we can look past the 4 years of lies, unchecked greed, and the betrayal of America’s promise and rule of law.

Let’s all pledge to work towards a more perfect union together – as citizens and as neighbors.

Uptown Grand Central and Positive Workforce–voluntario-en-east-harlem

A great article about the amazing cleaning going on at Park/Lex and 125th Street.

Biden/Harris and MLK Weekend of Service

Volunteers wanted to help distribute masks in the community:

Join volunteers across New York as we honor the legacy of Dr. King and celebrate the Biden+Harris administration with a day of service to distribute masks to those in need and educate our neighbors about Covid-19 and its vaccine.

This event has two options. Please sign up for one or both:

Daytime – In-person volunteer opportunity. 2-hour volunteer shift (10am, 12pm, 2pm). Sign up to distribute masks and materials in a socially distanced manner to your community. Masks and resources will be provided by our team and shared with you so you can distribution them to NYCHA residents, seniors, families, restaurant workers, and commuters in your local neighborhood.

Evening – Virtual educational opportunity (6:30pm – 8pm) Hear representatives from the Dept of Health present an update on Covid transmission rates by zip code and information about access to the vaccine for your community:

Meeting With Mount Sinai, Tomorrow

The Greater Harlem Coalition will have a town hall meeting tomorrow night at 7pm. You are welcome to join by registering here:

Mount Sinai will present on new security measures at their Park/125th Street methadone programs in the Lee Building. To hear more about their plans to address hanging out before and after treatment at their methadone programs next to Metro North, join the town hall.

All welcome.

Join the Manhattan District Attorney Candidate Forum – Feb 4

Greater Harlem Coalition is pleased to host the next forum where 8 candidates for the Manhattan District Attorney position will answer your questions. Come see why some are calling this race

“The D.A. Election That Could Reshape New York City’s War On Drugs”

What is the topic of discussion?

The theme of the forum is Harlem’s Fair Share. This will be your chance to join a discussion of what the DA’s office, with so much legal power, can do to correct for the entrenched inequities residents and businesses in Harlem experienced relative to other districts in New York City. The forum can discuss inequities in terms of health outcome, education outcome, public safety, and the oversaturation of drug treatment facilities and adult homeless shelters in Harem. #inequity #healthinequity #educatioinequity #oversaturation #

How is Manhattan DA relevant for Harlem?

There are 8 candidates vying to replace Cy Vance as Manhattan’s DA. To give you some context, the DA office prosecute corrupted politicians, major drug dealers, illegal distributors of pain killers, and are key players in the implementation of supervised injection sites. Traditionally, DA in districts such as Queens and Staten Island have been more adamant in rejecting such sites (see WNYC report here and Gothamist report here).

How to join?

To attend the forum, go to this link: Attend the DA Candidates’ Forum.

Happy New Year

Happy 2021! May this year be better for you, your loved-ones, Harlem, New York, America, and the world.

The Path

From the New York Times:

Goats (aka sheep) Butt Into Harlem

From the New York Times, 100 years ago:

To read the whole article, see:

Manhattan DA Candidates’ Forum

There are 8 candidates vying to replace Cy Vance as Manhattan’s DA. The Greater Harlem Coalition – – is hosting a virtual forum for residents of Harlem and East Harlem.

To attend the forum, go to this link: Attend the DA Candidates’ Forum

To submit a question to the candidates, go to this link: Submit a Question

The theme of the forum will be Harlem’s Fair Share and will be your chance to ask why Harlem and East Harlem have different services, programs, amenities, outcomes, etc. when compared to other New York City neighborhoods and what the Manhattan DA’s office can do about it.

The office of the Manhattan DA is the office that let the Trump children walk away from a criminal indictment, and how, mysteriously and subsequently, a $50,000 campaign contribution appeared in Cy Vance’s account – from one of the Trump lawyers pleading to let the Trump case. The New Yorker has a great article on how Trump got away with it all using high priced lawyers, ‘donations’, and the Manhattan DA’s office:

in 2012, Kasowitz donated twenty-five thousand dollars to the reëlection campaign of the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr., making Kasowitz one of Vance’s largest donors. Kasowitz decided to bypass the lower-level prosecutors and went directly to Vance to ask that the investigation be dropped.

On May 16, 2012, Kasowitz visited Vance’s office at One Hogan Place, in downtown Manhattan—a faded edifice made famous by the television show “Law & Order.” Dan Alonso, the Chief Assistant District Attorney, and Adam Kaufmann, the chief of the investigative division, were also at the meeting, but no one from the Major Economic Crimes Bureau attended. Kasowitz did not introduce any new arguments or facts during his session. He simply repeated the arguments that the other defense lawyers had been making for months.

Ultimately, Vance overruled his own prosecutors. Three months after the meeting, he told them to drop the case. Kasowitz subsequently boasted to colleagues about representing the Trump children, according to two people. He said that the case was “really dangerous,” one person said, and that it was “amazing I got them off.” (Kasowitz denied making such a statement.)

Vance defended his decision. “I did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed,” he told us. “I had to make a call and I made the call, and I think I made the right call.”

Just before the 2012 meeting, Vance’s campaign had returned Kasowitz’s twenty-five-thousand-dollar contribution, in keeping with what Vance describes as standard practice when a donor has a case before his office. Kasowitz “had no influence, and his contributions had no influence whatsoever on my decision-making in the case,” Vance said.

But, less than six months after the D.A.’s office dropped the case, Kasowitz made an even larger donation to Vance’s campaign, and helped raise more from others—eventually, a total of more than fifty thousand dollars. After being asked about these donations as part of the reporting for this article—more than four years after the fact—Vance said he now plans to give back Kasowitz’s second contribution, too. “I don’t want the money to be a millstone around anybody’s neck, including the office’s,” he said.

Kasowitz told us that his donations to Vance were unrelated to the case. “I donated to Cy Vance’s campaign because I was and remain extremely impressed by him as a person of impeccable integrity, as a brilliant lawyer and as a public servant with creative ideas and tremendous ability,” Kasowitz wrote in an e-mailed statement. “I have never made a contribution to anyone’s campaign, including Cy Vance’s, as a ‘quid-pro-quo’ for anything.”

Given the stakes for the justice and accountability for the current president and his family, criminal justice reform, and many, many other issues, we hope you’ll attend.

MuchFest 2020! December 26, 2020 – January 9, 2021

Wrap up your holiday season and say goodbye to your tree at Mulchfest. Join NYC Parks and the New York City Department of Sanitation in the NYC holiday tradition of recycling your Christmas tree!

Put on your boots and haul your tree to a Mulchfest location — we’ll chip your tree into wood chips that we’ll use to nourish trees and make NYC even greener.

More than 50,000 trees were recycled last year. Help us top this number by bringing your tree to Marcus Garvey Park!

Chipping Saturdays

Saturday, Jan. 2 and Saturday, Jan. 9
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Know Before You Go

Please remember to remove all lights, ornaments, and netting before bringing the tree to a Mulchfest site. Bring your own bag if you wish to take some free mulch home. Mulch is available at the sites marked with an asterisk (*) below.

Please wear a face covering and practice social distancing by remaining at least 6 feet apart from others.

How to Volunteer

Volunteer with our Stewardship Team to help spread mulch from Mulchfest around our trees to insulate them from the cold weather. Find a site near you, and help give back to our trees! Register today

Mulchfest Locations

Drop off your tree at any Mulchfest location between December 26 and January 9 or join us at Chipping Saturdays on Saturday, January 2 and Saturday, January 9!

Join CB11!

Apply now to join Manhattan Community Board 11! The Community Board’s mission is to ensure all constituent voices are adequately heard, equally represented, and armed with the information necessary to become effective advocates in defending and shaping East Harlem’s future. Applications close Monday, 2/1. 
Prior to seeking an appointment, applicants are expected and encouraged to attend Community Board meetings, committee meetings, and/or Community Board Leadership training conducted by the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.
View our full meeting schedule here

Heart to Heart

Our HNBA board member extraordinaire, Hallia Baker puts on this incredible program – Heart to Heart – every holiday season. This year, of course, is different. However, the great thing is you can stream the event directly into your home as you gather with family, prepare your dinner, or just spend a couple of days off work.

A Holiday Gift Just For You! (Through January 4, 2021)   Labor of Love Association wishes all of our friends and family a very Joyous Holiday Season and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year! In the spirit of the season, we share with you a look back at our 2019 Christmas play The Cherubs Try Again and the Heart 2 Heart Christmas 2019 Holiday Concert

As you nestle with family over the holidays, enjoy our little show, have a few laughs, and sing along with us the good message of JOY!     How to access the broadcast:   From any device, go to our website at  On the home page, you’ll see two boxes that are linked to the shows.
Click on either “Full Show” or “Concert Only” and the show will begin. It’s that easy! 
As we close out our fundraising efforts for 2020, if you feel so inclined, a donation in any amount is always appreciated! Click HERE to make an online donation.  If you prefer to make your donation by check:     Make the donation payable to:

The Labor of Love Association, Inc.
Mail to: The Labor of Love Association, Inc.
57 East 126th Street, Suite 2
New York, NY 10035
Attention: Shkigale Baker, Treasurer

Uptown Grand Central is Lit!

WINTER LIGHTSWE’RE LIT: What better way to mark the longest, darkest night of the year than by filling the street with light!

Our winter lights started shining on the Winter Solstice, just as dusk fell. From there it only got more magical, with the beat of the Marching Cobras drumline calling our local small business owners out to the sidewalk.

While we can’t celebrate this year as large as we might like, we are grateful to Councilwoman Diana Ayala, the Community Association of the East Harlem Triangle, the tree team from Urban Garden Center, and all of you who donated to our crowdfunder for helping make this winter magic happen.

Much love also to the Harlem Neighborhood Block Association for partnering to bring a little love and recognition to the heathcare workers at Northern Manhattan Rehab, with hundreds of bottles of Ginjan.

Winter is here! From this point on, the days only get brighter.

LAST CHANCE! To Catch the Holiday Market at Urban Garden Center

Dear neighbors:

It’s pretty much too late to buy anything online and have it get here on time. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered: Join us for some local gift-shopping today, Saturday, December 19, from 3-6 p.m. under the tracks at Urban Garden Center.

We’ll have a curated selection of arts, crafts and treats, all made by local business owners.

Today’s line-up:


Frenchy Coffee — s’mores hot chocolate, coffee, chocolate twists, madeleines, gluten-free and vegan muffins

Cafe Ollin — tamales, churros, salted chocolate chip cookies, Mexican hot chocolate

Mountain Bird — soup, sticky toffee fig cake, hot sake lemonade, peppermint hot chocolate

GAUDIr — mulled cider, champagne, cheesecake

Maryam’s Yum Yum — waffles, chicken & waffles 

Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe — pasteles, doughnuts, regular coquito

Flaco Coquito — non-dairy coquito

Pop Pins NYC — fashion pins

Jam + Rico — handmade Caribbean-inspired jewelry

Elo Burnz & Jorge Matarrita — art prints

Slone — graffiti canvas

Harlem Hoopz — bangles & hoops

Frida Spirit — painted gardenware

DiLena’s Dolicini & La Befana and Friends — Italian cookies and storybooks

The details:
DRIVE-BY (116TH STREET): Pull up by bike or by car at the 116th Street entrance to Urban Garden Center, and we’ll serve sweets and treats directly to your vehicle. Cash and credit accepted.

WALK-UP (117TH STREET): Urban Garden Center will be selling trees and wreaths at their 117th Street entrance. Enter there, smell that evergreen air, then exit toward 116th Street into the vendor area. Lines will be marked off at 6-foot intervals. Cash and credit accepted.

Of course: No mask, no entry. More info here:  

COME HUNGRY! Today’s Line-Up for Holidays To Go 🎁


We’ve got your tree, treats and more today, Saturday, December 12, from 3-6 p.m. under the tracks at Urban Garden Center. There’ll be flautas and flan, cake and coquito, plus great gifts for friends — with vendors to get us in the holiday spirit, while keeping us safe and socially distanced in the open air.


Mountain Bird — hot chocolate, hot sake lemonade, sticky toffee fig cake, Bird and vege soup

Janie’s Life-Changing Baked Goods — pie crust cookies, chocolate chip cookies, toffee

Harlem Baking Co. — Mason jar desserts, mulled wine, hot cider

Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe — coquito, doughnuts, churros, vegan chocolate mousse

Bistro Casa Azul  — flautas & flan

Maryam’s Yum Yum — waffles 

Slone — graffiti art prints

Harlem Hoopz — bangles & hoops

Frida Spirit — painted gardenware

The details:
DRIVE-BY (116TH STREET): Pull up by bike or by car at the 116th Street entrance to Urban Garden Center, and we’ll serve sweets and treats directly to your vehicle. Cash and credit accepted.

WALK-UP (117TH STREET): Urban Garden Center will be selling trees and wreaths at their 117th Street entrance. Enter there, smell that evergreen air, then exit toward 116th Street into the vendor area. Lines will be marked off at 6-foot intervals. Cash and credit accepted.

Of course: No mask, no entry. More info here: