Gibbs vs. Mark-Viverito

City and State is reporting on a lawsuit filed by Assembly Member Eddie Gibbs after he lost an election – 7 votes to 6 votes.

Assembly Member Eddie Gibbs – a close ally of Manhattan Democratic Party leader Keith Wright claims that his loss violated the party’s internal rules. His opponents within the party say he’s just a sore loser. The party leadership, meanwhile, is staying out of the conflict until the courts weigh in.

Former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (left) argues with Assembly Member Eddie Gibbs (second from left) during a Manhattan Democratic Party divisional committee meeting on July 27, 2023.

Gibb’s recent attempt to run for re-election triggered the New York City Board of Election to note various election law violations, including “failing to correct a cover sheet defect,” according to the BOE. As a response, the Manhattan Democratic Party convened a divisional committee meeting on July 27 to elect individuals to fill the seats. But tension broke out during the meeting, as Gibbs and others attempted to influence the 13 committee members eligible to vote to fill the district leader position.

Video footage of the meeting obtained by City & State captured a chaotic scene, with former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito – who had been elected the chair of the meeting – repeatedly attempting to stop Gibbs from speaking to committee members. “No more talking to any of the members!” she told Gibbs. “No more talking to the members. Assemblyman, you’ve got to stand to the side.” On several occasions, security stepped in to push Gibbs away from the seated members of the meeting.

Read more, here:

Jazz in Marcus Garvey Park – Today!

The 2nd Annual John Coltrane | Miles Ahead Jazz Festival, presented by Senator Cordell Cleare on Saturday, September 23rd will feature:

Reggie Workman, Kim Clarke, Ron Blake, Patience Higgins, Norman Connors, Bertha Hope, Yayoi Ikawa, John Lander, Frank Lacy, John Satchmo Mannan, Alvin Flythe, Ray Blue, Tomoki Sanders, Sista Zock, Bill Saxton, Claire Delisser, Sean Hong, Tarik Shah, Benito Gonzalez, Billy Hart, T.K. Blue, Lady Leah, Denton Darien, and Wallace Roney Jr., plus Najee and other surprise guests! 
More Information

Black Belts and Blessings

A classic 1994 New York Times article on nuns in East Harlem learning martial arts as they perform charity in the community:

Sister Marie Chantal could be the scariest dream imaginable for legions of smirking, snickering Catholic schoolboys: a nun adept in judo and tae kwon do.

They can relax.

The martial arts are just a diversion for the smiling, shy 33-year-old member of the Fraternite Notre Dame, a French religious order dedicated to serving the poor. She and five other sisters run a cramped soup kitchen in East Harlem that feeds 300 people daily as part of their ministry to the hungry, the homeless and the sick.

Dressed in traditional habits of black and gray, they live and walk among some of the toughest, most drug-filled blocks of the city, so perhaps it is just as well that Sister Marie Chantal and the others know a bit about self-defense. But they don’t see themselves in any special danger. ‘It’s Just a Sport’

“The fact we know tae kwon do does not change anything,” said Mother Marie Martha, the group’s mother superior. “It’s just a sport.”

The order was founded 20 years ago in France by Bishop Jean-Marie Roget Kozik, and considers itself Roman Catholic but independent of the Vatican. There are many young members among the 60 nuns and 30 priests and brothers assigned to missions in France, Cameroon, Haiti and New York. Members of the order said they were encouraged to keep up with outside pursuits like music, art or even martial arts, to be happy in their vocation.

The sisters arrived in New York three years ago with little more than plans for a soup kitchen that would serve the poorest of the poor. Mother Marie Martha said they were rebuffed by countless landlords who did not want dozens of the down and out cluttering their doorways.

One landlord eventually leased them a storefront for $1,000 a month in what had been a beauty parlor on First Avenue near East 117th Street. They opened the House of Mary Nazareth with a two-burner hot plate and a meager pantry stocked with food donated by hotels, groceries and restaurants. Sister Marie’s Black BeltXxx

Their martial arts training began soon after they arrived in the city, when they lived for a while on the West Side. Sister Marie Chantal, who had earned a black belt in judo before she entered the convent, said she had been eager to resume the sport and she found a tae kwon do master in, of all places, Hell’s Kitchen.

While Sister Marie Chantal is the most avid athlete of the group, Mother Marie Martha said the other nuns also learned basic self-defense moves because they had heard the neighborhood was dangerous. Yet they say they have had no problems in East Harlem, even considering that they now live near the soup kitchen, in a building steps away from a chaotic street-corner drug trade.

One recent morning, three nuns squeezed into the tiny kitchen to prepare the day’s meal of soup, pasta and salad while the hungry lined up.

“I’ve got good stuff!” Sister Marie Valerie declared to the group, some of whom had no doubt heard that line many times before when they wanted something a little stronger.

A grimy man wearing a button that read “I Love Everybody and You’re Next!” woozily took a cup of tea from a nun. He stirred it slowly before making the sign of the cross as he muttered fragments of long-forgotten prayers. No Value JudgmentsXxx

Gregory Robbs, a 51-year-old homeless man, squeezed past him, his stomach as full as his plastic bag holding bread for his afternoon snack.

“Some soup kitchens you don’t go to because they look down on you,” he said. “Here, they don’t make value judgments. You’re just a person in need. People down on the streets are appreciative of that.”

The sisters eat after they have fed those in line. Later in the day they prepare meals to hand out at night by the Port Authority bus station, while others bring food and company to people in the neighborhood who are suffering from AIDS.

“We give them the friendship they need,” said Mother Marie Martha. “We’re not afraid of their illness. We have lots of respect.”

But little money. That is why people like Dolores Baca, a Manhattan hotel manager, have been donating food and time.

“I have never seen something so sincere and real,” Ms. Baca said. “They do their work from the heart. Unfortunately, you cannot feed and clothe people from the heart.” Expanding the Mission

The nuns want to expand their mission here by acquiring a building to house a program for unwed mothers and their children. The ambitious order also has plans for an orphanage in Mongolia and a program for street children in Brazil. The nuns hope to raise money through a concert in May, when 40 members of the order will travel to New York for a performance of religious music.

Wherever they do their work, the sisters said, they do not proselytize, preferring their actions to speak for themselves. For them, their work in East Harlem is their biggest concern.

“We know the neighborhood is dangerous, but we don’t have any problems,” said Sister Marie Francesca.

Sister Marie Valerie agreed, echoing a sentiment familiar to many Americans in Paris. “The people are nicer than in France,” she said.


Join Sinergia and Public Health Solutions on our upcoming free webinar via Zoom on 10/12 from 12 PM-1:30 p.m. 

Event Name: Your Home & the Smoke-Free NYC Program

Presenting Organization: Public Health Solutions

Date: Thursday, 10/12

Time: 12-1:30 PM EST

RSVP via Zoom:

Questions/Accommodations: Contact Mariam Chardiwall via email at [email protected].

The Rat Portal, Redux

NYC’s new Rat Czar and the mayor have created a new look for the city’s rat portal – a map of property in the city, color coded according to rat activity inspections:

Pink and purple are not good (notice how all our parks fail…) and green means all good.

Check it out yourself to see how your building fared:

Party on Park Is Coming

October 1st (Sunday) from noon to 4 PM. Get Ready!

9th District Civil Court

A gorgeous neo-Romanesque Courthouse in East Harlem has a brownstone scroll with embossed text (seen just above the scaffolding in this photo):

The text on the scroll reads “9th District Civil Court”:

Joshua Clennon’s Fundraiser – One Week From Today

The candidate writes:

“I’m a 4th generation Harlem resident, husband, and father, deeply committed to fighting the widening economic disparities that threaten to displace families like mine from the community we love. With 8 years of hands-on experience in affordable housing, I’ve been on the front lines of this battle. Now, I’m ready to take this fight to Albany to enact real, lasting change.”

Neighborhood Streets

Join CIVITAS in a fun workshop on understanding our streets. To register, click here:

Fenimore Cooper

The old Fenimore Cooper School (East 119 to East 120, between Madison and 5th, is now Bethel Gospel Assembly. In the porticoes above entrances, you can still see remnants of cast concrete basreliefs of a number of school disciplines.



Self-Defense For Children at the 28th Precinct

EGN Youth Sports & Development is a non-profit organization missioned to improve youth and their communities through the art of Karate. Our goal is to strengthen the minds, bodies and hearts of the youth in our communities through Karate training.

(Note that the transcription incorrectly misidentifies the Harlem Precinct. It should be the 28th Precinct, not the 20th.

We are a firm believer that physical training leads to increased spiritual connection and strength through patience, which in turn leads to better decision- making from our children. We aim to deepen relationships between children of diverse backgrounds to create community-minded and open–minded individuals who value friendships, and authentic relationships with themselves and the communities they exist in.

Celebrate 50 Years

The 125th Street BID is 30

Signed into law in September 1993 by Mayor David N. Dinkins, Harlem’s BID is 30 years old.

East Harlem Church for Sale

A church and parish house on 119th Street near Pleasant Avenue are for sale:

As Catholic attendance numbers shrink and costs associated with lawsuits continue to rise, the New York Diocese has been shedding property to save on maintenance costs and to get capital.

Asking Price: Not disclosed.

Deal terms are not currently defined. You can request your own specific terms when submitting a non-binding offer.

Cabaret, in German+English, in Harlem

The German Cabaret artist Sylvia Brecko will entertain you in the Harlem Rose Garden this Sunday from noon to 1 PM in both English (if the majority doesn’t understand German) and German.

All welcome.

Sign The Petition!

Reject Timbale Terrace and HPD’s plan to move even more people with severe mental illness and addiction into our community.

Just look at 125th Street. Does Harlem need New York City to bring more people with severe issues into our community? We asked for supportive housing for our seniors during the East Harlem visioning process. HPD has done a bait-and-switch, rejecting the community’s strong voice to allocate space in Timbale Terrace for our seniors.

Sign the petition to help East Harlem residents urge New York City government to stop placing excessive social services in East Harlem. We are victims of NIMBYs and our neighborhood should not be used as NYC’s containment zone.

The latest project is Timbale Terrace, which will build 230 units of affordable housing. To finance the affordable housing, Timbale Terrace will also bring 99 supportive housing for single adults diagnosed with serious mental health and/or addiction issues from outside of Harlem via the 1515 program.  Join lawmakers such as Robert Rodriguez and Inez Dickens to urge the government to find alternative ways to fund affordable housing as to add more to East Harlem only perpetuates structural racism.


  1. Ignored demands from East Harlem residents, who were extensively surveyed and their desire for supportive housing are for Harlem seniors, homeless households, local artists and those living with HIV. Note also that only 30% of the 330 housing units will be reserved for local residents. (read more–>)
  2. Ignored demands from Community Board 11, which issued a resolution to request the government to stop adding more social services to address addiction in East Harlem. (read more–>)
  3. Failed to hold Lantern Organization accountable. This organization that already operates two supportive housings next to this location has not been able to provide good quality housing service and social services to their tenants. Why would NYC government want to award them with an even bigger contract? (see all the complaints here–>)


The 99 units of supportive housing will not be for East Harlem residents as there are no local preference. Here is the description of the population from the government’s website: “Chronically homeless single adults with a serious mental illness (SMI), a substance use disorder (SUD) (including those who are actively using or have started their recovery process within the last 12 months), or those who may have a co-occurring SMI and SUD.”

  1. Within 5 blocks from this site are 10+ adult-only supportive housing and adult only shelters
  2. Within 10 blocks from this site are 4 out of 32 needle exchanges in NYC
  3. Zip code 10035 has 0.2% of New York State’s population, but has 5.6% of all New York State’s capacities for SRO (Single Residential Occupancy Units) managed by Department of Mental Health and has 11% of New York City’s drug treatment program capacities

If You’ve Ever Wondered Why…?

If you’ve ever wondered why there seems to be more… crazy on the streets of Harlem compared with other neighborhoods, the answer is simple: They built it to be this way:

Please sign the Timbale Terrace petition here:

to demand more supportive housing for seniors.

And, please sign up and attend the CB11 Land Use meeting TONIGHT, to tell the Land Use Committee why sending more people with severe mental illness and addiction issues from other New York neighborhoods to Harlem is simply too much.

Concert in The Harlem Rose Garden

Please join the Harlem Rose Garden in a very special event on Saturday in our garden:

Saturday, September 16, 2pm-3:30pm

Harlem Rose Garden

6 E. 129th St

NY NY 10035

Kathryn FarmerAcclaimed Jazz and R&B vocalist Kathryn Farmer is a musician’s musician with a 4 1/2 octave range and an electrifying stage presence. Also a pianist, organist, arranger and bandleader,  her gifted vocals have captivated audiences in over 16 countries headlining in venues from Tokyo, Seoul, and Taipei to Budapest, Berlin, Casablanca, and Moscow.  In addition to performing with many musical greats–among them Tito Puente, David “Fathead” Newman, Walter Bishop, Jr, Lester Bowie, and James Carter–she has been tapped for legacy roles such as Brooks Benton’s duet partner (in Dinah Washington’s former role) and the Doug Carn Black Jazz Legacy Band. Recent years have found her in 5-star hotel performances in Tokyo, Hanoi, and Seoul, as well as in NYC venues such as Swing 46. 

Presented by the Jazz Foundation of America, supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the Howard Gilman Foundation.

Rain Date: September 30

HNBA September Meeting Tonight at 7:00

We’ve Got Great Weather Tonight!

All welcome to attend HNBA’s September meeting. We’ll meet tonight in the Harlem Rose Garden at 7:00 PM

The Harlem Rose Garden (East 129th Street at 5th Avenue) 

  • First we’ll have a tour of the amazing Harlem Rose Garden
  • Officers Lau and Hackeling (our Neighborhood Coordination Officers) will report on public safety in our neighborhood and listen to any of your concerns.
  • The Lower East Side Ecology Center will talk about how you can get involved in composting – what it’s all about, and how easy it is to help the planet.

Come Out To Voice Any Public Safety Concerns You Have

The Race For Inez Dickens’ Seat in the NYS Assembly

Harlem’s Inez Dickens’ seat in the State Assembly is being challenged by Joshua Clennon. If you are interested in learning more about his run for change in Albany, see his website:

Or consider donating to his campaign:

HNBA’s Meeting Tomorrow Will Include Officers From the 25th Precinct

All welcome to attend tomorrow evening’s HNBA meeting at 7pm in the Harlem Rose Garden (on East 129, just east of 5th Avenue).

There will be our two NCO’s from the 25th Precinct who will talk about crime in the community like this rear-window smash and grab that happened recently:

If you’ve got an issue with crime, we hope you will come out and make your voice heard.