HNBA October Meeting – Tuesday, October 11th

(and yes, you’re invited!)

HNBA’s October meeting will be on Zoom, tomorrow, Tuesday, October 11th, at 7:00 PM.  

We’re going to have representatives from the MTA presenting on, and answering questions about the project to replace the MetroNorth viaduct from East 115th Street up to East 123rd Street – while the trains continue to roll on!  This major project will secure this aging and increasingly fragile public transit lifeline for New York.

In addition, the MTA presenters will talk about progress on the 2nd Avenue subway and where that project is headed at the moment.

Lastly, we’ll have Joshua Clennon, a Community Board 10 member who works with HDFCs and will talk to us about the state of affairs of HDFCs in Harlem today, as well as what the future looks like for this important form of affordable housing.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Topic: HNBA Meeting
Time: Oct 11, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Ballot Initiatives Coming in November’s Election

Next month, New York City voters will have four proposals to decide on:

  • a statewide proposal that would boost spending in Albany on future environment-related projects
  • creating a “statement of values” for NYC’s government
  • creating a NYC racial equity office
  • defining how the cost of living is calculated in NYC

If approved, the four ballot questions — one that pertains to the state and three to the city — would each take effect right away. 

The four ballot proposals as they will appear on the ballot are listed here. The full proposal language for Proposal 1 can be read here; Proposals 2, 3 and 4 can be read here.

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Proposal 1: Environmental Bond Act of 2022

This proposal would allow New York State to borrow $4.2 billion through a bond issuance for specific environment-related projects and policy efforts.

That includes $250 million for improving stormwater systems, $200 million for wastewater infrastructure, $500 million for zero-emissions school buses and $1.5 billion for climate mitigation such as wetland protection and renewable energy projects.

This would be the first environmental bond act enacted for 26 years in New York, according to the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Proposal 2: Statement of Values for City Government

This measure would create a mission statement of sorts for New York’s government by adding a preamble to the city charter that includes a statement of “values and vision,” the ballot proposal says, that aims to create a “just and equitable city for all.”

The proposal, will be a preamble to the NYC charter that “acknowledges and speaks to historical wrongs” in order to “reconstruct, revise and reimagine our city’s foundations, structures, institutions, and laws to promote justice and equity for all New Yorkers.”

Proposal 3: Racial Equity Plans and Office

This measure would bring three new requirements to the city charter: mandating that all city agencies create “racial equity plans” every two years, establishing a new Office of Racial Equity to coordinate racial equity planning across city government and creating a Commission on Racial Equity. That commission would identify and propose priorities for racial equity planning, and review the racial equity plans for each city agency.

Proposal 4: True Cost of Living

This measure would mandate that the city government use a new method to calculate the “true cost of living” in the city without taking into account public, private or informal assistance a person or household may receive. Instead, the proposed “true cost” measure would be based on “actual household income required to meet the essential needs of people living in New York City,” the commission said. It would include costs related to housing, childcare, food, transportation, healthcare, clothing and shoes, hygiene products, household items, and telephone and internet services, among other things.

Party on Park, Tomorrow!


Uptown Vinyl Supreme will be bringing vinyl to the people from 12-4 p.m., followed from 4-6 p.m. by the Ted Smooth afterparty.

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Lace up your rollerskates for our street skate rink with the African American Roller-Skate Museum and UME Rollerskate. Rollerskates will be provided for the sessions, while supplies last.

You can also check out a Citi Bike for free, or join in on a bike ride led by Urban Upbound!

There’s also be live street art by BC1, plus the street art sanitation truck from the NYC Department of Sanitation.

And get the latest on the Second Avenue Subway coming to East Harlem.

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Health screenings for nearly every body part: Flu shots from Walgreens; COVID vaccines and boosters from NYHRE; blood pressure, depression and glucose screenings from Boriken Neighborhood Health Center; foot exams from the NY College of Podiatric Medicine; HIV screenings for the Center for Comprehensive Health Practice; and overdose prevention kits from Mt. Sinai & Odyssey House.

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Pad up and try out a skateboard, with beginner clinics and obstacle courses from our friends from Bronx Girls Skate and Go Sports. Skateboards and safety gear will be provided for the sessions, while supplies last.

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Under the tracks: Facepainting and art-making all afternoon with Union Settlement, Art In the Park and Hi-ARTS, snacks from NYC School Food, plus storytime at 3 p.m. by Drag Queen Story Hour!

West of the tracks: Rock wall, bouncy house, and big street games.

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Neighborhood resources, plus explore a fire truck with FDNY Engine 35, Ladder 14, Battalion 12.

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Exercise classes and obstacle courses to get you moving for fall from Harlem Kettlebell Club and Leo Zumba.

Plus an obstacle course all day with Fun Fit Kids!

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Under the tracks: Bike fix-its thanks to Get Women Cycling, and adult Learn to Ride classes with Bike New York.

West of the tracks: Free bike helmets for all ages from the NYC Department of Transportation. Note that the line for helmets closes at 3:30 p.m.

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Drop by the East Harlem Community Board 11 office to check out this location for year-round resources. The office of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine will also be in the house!

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Explore local small business Urban Garden Center, then get environmental in artmaking with the Blue Bus Project and NYC Fair Trade Coalition.

GrowNYC will be on hand with affordable vegetable options, and Edible Schoolyard’s bringing worms!

Plus talk cultural and historic preservation with East Harlem Preservation and Landmark East Harlem.

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The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance presents Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Los Pleneros de la 21, Rebolu & Yasser Tejeda (at La Placita, 1-7 p.m.).



Enjoy samples from the vendors from La Marqueta (while supplies last!).

Then gather around One Big Table provided by Street Lab, and share your stories with WNYC!

Then finish the day off by learning about the Park Avenue Viaduct Replacement Project — which will rehabilitate this 130-year-old structure that we’ve been partying along.

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West of the tracks: Water station from Carter Hospital at 122nd Street.

East of the tracks: Water station at Lydia’s Magic Garden at 118th Street.

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A Librarian From Puerto Rico

Chalkbeat is reporting on the Puerto Rican Librarian who broke the NYPL color barrier in 1921 to be the first Latina librarian in the country’s largest library system.

Pura Belpré was born and raised in Puerto Rico. In 1920, she came to New York City for her sister’s wedding and never went back. In 1921, Belpré was hired by the 135th Street branch of the New York Public Library as an “Hispanic Assistant,” a position created to serve the increasing Spanish-speaking population of Harlem. In 1929, she was assigned as a librarian to the 115th Street branch. Later, Belpré was transferred out to the 110th Street Aguilar branch in 1939. 

In 1982, the year she died, Belpré received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Public Library. And every year since 1996, the American Librarian Association has given out the Pura Belpré Award to outstanding works of literature by Latino authors.

Literacy Across Harlem March (10th Annual)

Book Drive & Community Celebration 

Saturday, October 1, 2022

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.



Capping a decade of reading-related activism, service, and community building, this year’s Literacy Across Harlem March is a fun and meaningful opportunity for Harlemites of all ages to lead for literacy, deepen your knowledge of our community’s rich literary history and landscape, and celebrate Harlem’s identity as a world-renowned hub of literature by and about Black and Brown people.


12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. RALLY FOR READING! Join your neighbors at 12:00 p.m. sharp at your choice of these legendary institutions: El Museo del Barrio (1230 5th Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets) or Sister’s Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center (1942 Amsterdam Avenue at 156th Street). Then get to know your community from a new perspective on an inspiring tour of Harlem’s reading-related landmarks en route to Marcus Garvey Park. Bring two books to march with: a personal favorite (or current “read”) and a gift-quality children’s book (perhaps one of these) to donate to a local homeless shelter.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – CELEBRATE with your neighbors at the Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater, in the heart of Harlem, with hands-on activities for all ages, raffle prizes, and more!

WNYC Reports on The Amazing Work Of Uptown Grand Central

This morning WNYC and Gothamist reported on the amazing work that Uptown Grand Central and the clean-up crew do to keep the East 125th Street corridor clean and vibrant. Carey King is quoted at length, as is Jason McDavid who cleans and supervises much of the cleaning activity that works under and around the 125th Street Metro North station

Jason McDavid cleans the city streets near the Metro North station on 125th Street in East Harlem.SAMANTHA MAX / GOTHAMIST

Whenever you see the men and women working to keep our community clean and safe, make sure to thank them for their work.

To read the full article, and learn how threatened this clean-up program is (from funds running out):

Note that the article has this factual error:

a team of street cleaners works 40 hours a week filling yellow garbage bags with discarded coffee cups, cigarette butts, and dirty needles.

The clean-up crew use proper sharps disposal protocols and never place needles/sharps/syringes in common plastic bags. Remember, if you see a sharp on the ground, use your phone and call or text 311.

As Seen In East Harlem

Harlem Celebrates Joe Louis’ Victory

A silent film with Harlem joy at Joe Louis’ victory over Max Baer on this day in 1935.

Hilarious is not the word we’d likely use today, but the enthusiasm of the community is palatable even without sound to accompany the short clips.

Harlem Teacher Rises From Homelessness to New York’s Teacher of the Year

Nick Garber at has an amazing story of a Harlem teacher who just won the 2023 teacher of the year for New York State.

Billy Green, who is now a chemistry teacher at Harlem’s A. Philip Randolph Campus High School, focuses on engagement, creativity, and student success.

You an read the whole article, here:

New York, Ukraine

Um, I have to admit this came as a shock when reading news about the shelling of New York while reading a report on the situation in Ukraine. I did a double take on the map, and sure enough, Wikipedia has a page on it:

The settlement first appeared on maps in 1846 under its original name of New York and was then situated in the Yekaterinoslav Governorate of the Russian Empire. The wife of one of the founders was from the United States.[6][7] According to official data, in 1859, the village consisted of 13 households, 45 male residents, 40 female residents, and a factory and was formally named Oleksandrivske.[7][8] The precise origin of the settlement’s name is unclear.[9]

New York’s Crest

Before the war it had a population of 10,000.

Handmaids of Mary

You may remember the convent on the north side of Marcus Garvey Park that was the home for the (predominantly) Black Handmaids of Mary for many years. The building was knocked down and only a field of rubble seemingly remains.

Looking closely in the back right corner, however, you can see a garden raised-bed, a potted tree, and a secluded, outdoor shrine that would have been for private devotion, now forlorn and exposed.

Stop and Swap, Tomorrow

First Annual Jazz Appreciation Jam – Tomorrow

Jazz is an art that has been part of our community since the 1930’s and continues to be appreciated in Harlem to this day. We will continue this tradition Saturday afternoon with State Senator Cleare’s First Annual Jazz Appreciation Jam in honor of jazz legend John Coltrane.

Music will be performed by jazz’s finest artists including; Camille Gaynor, Sweet Lee Odem, Zockia, Yayoi, Patience Higgins and Omar Edwards, who will be playing in the Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater from 1:00pm-7:00pm

National Day of Rememberance Walk

On Sunday, September 25th you are invited to walk with us for the National Day of Remembrance. 

In Harlem/East Harlem we will begin our walk at 112th and 1st Avenue ending at City Hall.  We walk in honor of our friends, family, and community members that were lost to senseless violence and we walk together to send a message that violence is unacceptable. 

We walk together in UNITY!

New Exhibit at Claire Oliver Gallery

Make sure to check out the new exhibit at Claire Oliver Gallery (ACP between 134/135)

Drumming In Marcus Garvey Park, Saturday

Wheelie Life

If you’ve ever seen a wave of young people doing wheelies down a Harlem street on bicycles, this documentary explores the culture, the comradery, and the thrills inherent in this urban subculture.

Featuring a number of shots and interviews under the Harlem Viaduct (125th Street and the Harlem River), the documentary follows the athleticism and passion of the young men and women who find freedom on one wheel.

Philadelphia Artist Walks From Harlem to Canada

The Philadelphia Inquirer has an article on Ken Johnston, the Philadelphia “walking artist” who set out from Harlem, N.Y., in July, walked across the Rainbow Bridge into Niagara Falls, Ontario to honor and follow the route of American hero, Harriet Tubman.

Johnston reached St. Catharines, Ontario, the city where Harriet Tubman, perhaps America’s most famous Underground Railroad leader, lived between 1851 and 1861, before the start of the Civil War in early September

Johnston, 61, of Cobbs Creek in Philadelphia, ended his approximately 450-mile walk at Salem Chapel British Methodist Episcopal Church, where Tubman once worshiped.

Johnston said he was both excited to have arrived in Tubman’s former (Canadian) city — and exhausted.

Read the full article, here:

Free Concert in Harlem Rose Garden, Saturday

Heart to Heart Tonight

HEART TO HEART CONCERT – The Sounds of Gospel!
Time: The concert begins at 6:00pm EST 
Location: Peter Norton Symphony Space
Address: 2537 Broadway, NY, NY
(Located on the southwest corner of 95th St and Broadway) 
We’re back and ready to “Raise the Praise!” 
Labor of Love Association hosts Heart to Heart Concert – New York’s Premiere Event for Authentic Traditional/Contemporary Gospel Music!
What A Thrilling Line-Up! Our Featured Performers for the 2022 Concert
The Labor of Love Ensemble, Reverend Vandell Atkins, Brother Jospeh Ellis, Brother Alson Farley, Jr, Elder George Heyward, The Richard Curtis Singers, and Brother Henry Mitchell

This year Heart to Heart presents, “The Sounds of Gospel!” Join us as we celebrate the origins of Gospel, one of the most prolific genres of American music!
Don’t miss this evening that will take you on a journey through the phases of Gospel from the early days of “call and response” to the energizing sounds of contemporary Gospel music!
 Tickets are available now.

The Labor of Love Ensemble
Visit our website

Could the Q Reach Broadway?

Patch had an interesting article about thinking at the MTA about extending the Q train up from 96th Street, along 2nd Avenue to Lex/125, and then continuing westward to connect with the 2/3, the A/B/C/D, and maybe even the 1.

For anyone who’d like east/west access, this would be a dream.

On the other hand, this is just a conversation, and the dates floated would be dependent on Phase 2 (getting the Q to Lex/125) and then, well, money.

We can only hope!

Congolese Music Concert, Today