2020 Census Data on Black New Yorkers

A view of Zip Code 10035 from the 2020 Census. You can see that over the last 30 years, the percentage of Black residents went down from 35% to 26% – still the second largest group in this zip code.

In this map of northern Manhattan (above) you can see the grayer areas where the percentage of Black New Yorkers went down, and the purple areas, where the percentage of Blacks increased.

(what on earth is going on with Central Park in bright purple, census people?)

For more, see:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/interactive/2021/racial-makeup-census-diversity/?geoid=36061018200

Time to Vote!

Everything you need to know about early voting, election day, etc:

Voting.nyc

Harlem Restaurants

So many New Yorkers, and out-of-town guests, for that matter, come to Harlem for the food. Eater recently put out their list of To-Try restaurants but one wonders how recent the intelligence is given that Mountain Bird (highlighted here) is listed while no longer in business.

Another quibble is that Chaiwali isn’t included, but I suppose it’s someone’s list, not mine.

https://ny.eater.com/maps/best-restaurants-harlem

$100,000 for First Time Homebuyers

NEW YORK—The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today announced that the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program will offer up to $100,000 to support qualified first-time homebuyers purchasing a home in New York City. The expansion more than doubles the amount of financial assistance available for first-time homebuyers and achieves a key goal of City’s Where We Live NYC fair housing plan to empower low-income New Yorkers with more housing opportunities in well-resourced neighborhoods.

Under the enhanced program, which takes effect today, the City aims to grow the number of homes affordable to low-income, first-time homebuyers, particularly in neighborhoods where housing prices place ownership out of the reach of low-income families.

“For too long, there’s been unequal access to homeownership, the largest wealth creator in this country,” said Vicki Been, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. “This critical expansion of “HomeFirst” will serve to make New Yorkers more economically secure, our neighborhoods more stable, and a recovery for all of us more certain.”

“This major expansion of down-payment support is a big win for equity and diversity as it tackles one of the biggest barriers to homeownership for low-income families and families of color,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “Positioning more families to own a home, build wealth for their kids, and take ownership of their communities is a key strategy for achieving our vision of a more equitable New York City.”

“In minority communities, one of the only ways to build and transfer wealth is through the accumulation of equity in properties,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy. “As Chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee, I am delighted at this new source of funding. We can come up with creative ways to support new homeowners, so HPD deserves praise for this new resource.”

HomeFirst offers financial assistance towards the down payment or closing costs of a home for first-time homebuyers of one-to-four-family homes in the five boroughs. Eligible applicants can earn up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income, or $86,000 for a family of three. HomeFirst participants must complete a homebuyer education course, contribute savings to the purchase, and live in their home for up to 15 years to receive the full benefits of loan forgiveness through the program. The Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City (NHS) administers the program on the City’s behalf, and it is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Pool Tournatment

Our Meeting with Mark Levine and The NYC Accelerator Program

We had a great meeting on October 12th with Mark Levine. If you missed it, and want to learn more about his vision for Manhattan (or learn more about the NYC Accelerator Program), please see:

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/LnBjqZRkp1nXyRTjfaF5yuyCuIoxrrbeOHl-kUbX4abvxDw6JW3zr2oLUT5zydHm.aroNP0XIaqdeL4cQ 

Passcode: 5Rn^1!L#

Sculpture in Marcus Garvey Park

On view through October 1, 2022, Thomas J Price: Witness celebrates a familiar everyday form rarely monumentalized within a public setting. In the artist’s words, “I want to interrogate [notions of] presence, movement, and freedom. Who do these spaces belong to? And what bodies are provided more or less autonomy to move with liberty through public [space]?” 

Thomas J Price: Witness is presented as part of The Studio Museum in Harlem’s series of collaborative initiatives, inHarlem, which are being undertaken while the Museum is preparing for the construction of its new building.

Stop by Marcus Garvey Park starting this October and view this monumental work. 

Open House NY Weekend: Grandscale Mural Project

More than half a mile of murals, created by more than 100 artists: The Grandscale Mural Project is now part of Open House New York Weekend!

Since its start nearly two decades ago, OHNY shines a spotlight on the places, people, projects and ideas that define New York and its future. This year’s event includes some 200 different in-person and
virtual tours, talks and self-guided walks at select locations citywide.

Join Uptown Grand Central this Sunday, October 17, from 1-5 p.m. to walk the walls of the Grandscale Mural Project that stretch along East 125th and East 124th streets, and Park, Lexington and Third Avenues:
https://ohny.org/place/grandscale-mural-project.

The murals feature a wide range of street art styles, and many of our participating artists will be on hand to tell their stories and answer your questions. In-person artists include: Mark Musters, BC1 NBA,
Blanka Amezkua, Laura Alvarez, Erica Purnell, Ysabel Abreu, Yeksoe, Carla Torres, One Rad Latina, Social Icon, Gia Gutierrez, Alexis Vanity, Danny Peguero, EunHea Kim, the CCC Art Collective and SJK 171.

Blazay (from the DMX mural fame) will also be live-painting portraits next to the fire station at Third Avenue & 124th Street.

To start, come find us under the yellow tent just outside the Harlem-125th Street Metro-North Station.

The Victoria Tower Residences

The Victoria Tower Residences on 125th street is starting to show apartments. The building is behind, yet incorporates the facade of the old Victoria Theater.

The 27-story high rise shares its space with the Renaissance Marriot Hotel and is being marketed as a luxury building with a two-story lounge, multiple meeting rooms, a fitness center, and adjacent restaurants that will offer residential tenants hotel services.

To schedule a tour, see:

http://www.victoriatowerresidences.com/index.cfm?e=inner4&itemcategory=93076

35 West 110th Street

This may be the only externally mounted clock in Harlem. 35 West 110th Street.

Note the address is on the clock itself and yes, the time is correct.

November 2, looms

Nov. 2 is when we’ll lock in our choices for a ton of open seats in city government. Not only are we choosing a new mayor, comptroller and five new borough presidents, term limits mean the bulk of the City Council is turning over, too. 

New York’s crowded primary this past June had relatively high turnout, as nearly three in 10 registered voters cast ballots. (It’s a low bar.) 

Now, the city returns to the polls to finalize our picks in the General Election on Nov. 2.

But Election Day is merely the last day you can cast your ballot: Keep these key earlier dates in mind:

  • Oct. 18 — Last day you can request an absentee ballot online or by mail to vote at home or outside of the city. Request your absentee ballot from the city Board of Elections (BOE) here. You can mail your ballot in any time before Election Day.
  • Oct. — The early voting period begins, running through Halloween. 
  • Nov. 1 — Last day to request an absentee ballot in person.
  • Nov. 2 — Election Day and the last day to postmark your absentee ballot.

Halloween Events from MMPCIA

Children Tested With Elevated Lead

How Calculated: Number of children less than 6 years old tested in a given year with blood lead levels of 15 mcg/dL or greater, divided by the number of children less than 6 years old who were tested for lead poisoning in a given year; expressed as cases per 1,000 tested. The numbers in this table include all children tested within a given calendar year, regardless of whether they were tested in previous years with the same or different blood lead levels. While children can receive more than one test during the calendar year, children are only counted once using the highest confirmed blood lead level during the calendar year. If the child does not have a confirmed test in a given year, the child’s blood lead level is based on the highest capillary or unknown test type. This measure differs from the rate of children newly identified with blood lead levels of 15 mcg/dL or greater reported by the Health Department in other publications. 

Read more about different measures used by the Health Department for surveillance of childhood lead poisoning.

Source: New York City Healthy Homes Program

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is Open

After a long pause during COVID, the National Jazz Museum is open. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Head to their website to grab a timed ticket:

Harlem Rose Garden Concert

A People’s History of Strings

Created by Puerto Rican-American violinist and educator Skye Steele, A People’s History of Strings is an interactive musical and multi-media journey that traces the evolution of fiddles around the world. Starting from the first bowed instruments in Central Asia two thousand years ago, audiences travel through the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and back to the USA.

Woven into the narrative is Skye’s own family history of immigration, acculturation, and re-discovery, as reflected in the musical lineage of his grandfather, his mother, and himself.   

A People’s History of Strings explores relationships between cultures by exposing the connections between musical traditions that range from jazz and salsa to the classical music of Europe and the Middle East, all while offering a deeper and de-colonized understanding of an instrument we thought we knew so well.

Featuring:

Skye Steele – Narration; European, Turkish, Ghanaian, and Brazilian fiddles, vocals.

Gilbert Mansour – Middle Eastern and Latin percussion, drum set, vocals.

Mayteana Morales – Latin percussion, vocals.

Michael LaValle – Brazilian percussion, bass, cavaquinho, vocals.

Willerm Delisfort – piano, percussion

Refinancing Workshop from MMPCIA and Chase

Chase/MMPCIAMortgage Refinancing Workshop
Thursday, October 14th, 6:30 pm
an interactive workshop hosted by the Chase Community Branch Team to learn more about opportunities to refinance your home mortgage. 
In person (limited space) or via Zoom.

Registration link:

https://chase.surveymonkey.com/r/KHMBXCB

Subway Stress

Every day that New Yorkers and visitors ride the subway, some of them review their experience. You may have done this, or can imagine doing this – reporting on cleanliness, complaining about a late train, noticing rats, etc.

A company called FleetLogging collated Google reviews of subway stations and used a social media analysis tool called TensiStrength to rank subway lines by the number of stressors and their severity.

Below are their top 10 most stressful lines with the Lex 4/5/6 line being the 6th most stressful:

And here is the full list:

Ballot Initiatives

On November 2nd you will be able to vote for 5 proposals:

Traveling While Black

Make sure to visit the Schomburg Library before the end of the year to see the fantastic exhibit “Traveling While Black”. The Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Kevin Young notes:

Since the start of their experience in the Americas, Black people have been defined by travel, displacement, and resistance. 

Whether in the horrors of the Middle Passage or the rebellion of Maroon communities made up of escaped slaves, travel has meant much—and something much more—for Africans in the Americas. This exhibition, our first as we celebrate The New York Public Library’s 125th anniversary and the Schomburg Center’s 95th, explores over a century of travel. Moving from the Great Migration of African Americans north and west at the start of the twentieth century to the restrictions and resistances of travel in the Jim Crow South and the Jane Crow North, Traveling While Black examines a history of travel, from those who found themselves exiles within their own country down to the pilgrims and pleasure seekers of our time. 

War marks many of the peregrinations of the last century, often offering African American soldiers their first glimpse of other cultures beyond the United States. They returned with a new energy and renewed hope, whether in the offerings of jazz after the Great War, or the opportunities abroad for expatriates after World War II. The freedom that African Americans sought at home and fought for abroad they often found in travel. Returning Black officers and recruits started motorcycle clubs and organized tour groups, traditions that continue today. The somewhat open road and the mostly great outdoors provided Black sojourners with literal and emotional vistas to revel in. 

While confronting restrictions from Jim Crow laws and surveillance by would-be law enforcement agencies stateside, everyday travel meant obeying unspoken rules of the road. Domestic journeys involved ingenuity, often employing the Green Book, that guide for Black travelers developed in Harlem by Victor Green. Carry your Green Book with you…you may need it! reads one tagline for the guides. The Schomburg Center retains the largest and most complete collection of Green Books in the world; in many cases we hold the only known copy. But as any number of African American guidebooks found here indicate, from runaways to resorts, the idea of escape has had larger resonances for Black culture. Questions surrounding Black bodies in motion—whether driving, walking, or traveling while Black—still persist, asking us to consider the meaning of migration, movement, and freedom. 

—Kevin Young

It’s My Park Day

HNBA Meeting on Tuesday, October 12th, 7:00 PM

Join HNBA and learn more about the large new development that the National Black Theater has for 5th Avenue at 125/126 Street.

We’ll hear from the founder’s (Barbara Teer) son who is managing the project.

The Democratic Manhattan Borough President candidate Mark Levine will also swing by our Zoom meeting and answer any questions about what his vision for Harlem in 2022 and beyond, is.

Terrifying Admission by Mayor De Blasio