Open Streets this weekend!

Hi neighbors,

We’ve now got not just one but TWO Open Streets here in East Harlem! This weekend’s schedule:

PLEASANT AVENUE AT 118TH:

Saturday, October 17:

  • COVID testing (rapid & antibody), plus flu shots (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • HIV and Hep-C screenings (10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
  • “Pick your own” produce sales at Pleasant Village Community Garden‬ (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
  • Free smoothies by Get Healthy East Harlem Cafe (Noon-5 p.m.)
  • ‬Zumba with Leo Zumba‬ (2-3 p.m.)

Sunday, October 18:

  • Adventure playground with playground:NYC, powered by Patsy’s Pizza (12-3 p.m.)
  • Obstacle course with Street Lab, plus chalk art with Jess Rolls (12-3 p.m.)
  • Free smoothies by Get Healthy East Harlem Cafe (Noon-5 p.m.)

The street will always be open for scooting and biking, plus our (as Patch put it, “staggeringly long”) community table is open for socially distanced dining from Bistro Casa Azul or any picnic you bring from home.

101ST STREET AT LEXINGTON:

101st Street has tables and chairs for open-air dining from local small businesses including Lexington Pizza Parlour, Chu Ros Thai, Au Jus Oklahoma BBQ, Burritos y Mas, Mojo Mousse Bar, Joy Burger Bar, Pro Thai, El Tepeyac, MY NY Cafe, Lloyd’s Carrot Cake & more. Plus games and sidewalk chalk for adults and kids!

Also, Saturday nights at 7 p.m., we’re screening film shorts curated by the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival. Grab dinner and a drink from one of the nearby eateries, and join us!

Signs Seen Around The Neighborhood

These signs speak for themselves.

And to sum it all up, a great list from Astor Row:

Events at the Harlem Rose Garden

The Harlem Rose Garden (East 129th Street at 5th Avenue) is hosting a number of events in October. Garden members thought it would be a great idea to host a series of laughter filled movie nights and their annual Halloween bash! 

The events are limited to 25 people. All events will be first come first served and you are required to wear a mask unless eating or drinking. 

To stay COVID friendly we are encouraging members to bring their own personal snacks or dinners. 

Here is the schedule of upcoming events:

Friday 10/16 – Crazy Rich Asians

Seating 6:30 PM.  Start 7:00 PM

Saturday 10/17 – Garden Halloween Decoration  (Help decorate for our upcoming Halloween Bash) 12 PM-2 PM.

Thursday – 10/22  – Movie: We will do a pick of the week, more than likely something scary in the spirit of Halloween!Wednesday

Seating 6:30PM Start 7PM

10/28 *Kids Movie Night *Seating 6:30PM Start 7PM 1HR Movie – Addam’s Family 
Saturday10/31

Halloween NIghtmare on 129th Street *Candy handout for trick or treaters * Covid friendly games * Custom contests 

Please let the garden know if you are free to volunteer for Halloween, we will also need candy donations!  

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army wanted to let everyone know that it continues to offer its regular feeding program to anyone in need at their 125th Street location. Additionally, they reported to HNBA that their music school for children is running in a virtual format and currently have 35 children registered this semester.

Their East View residence has availability: https://www.eastviewnyc.com/ and their Social Service Office is open every Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Boarding

Victorian men and women boarding a steamship in Westchester (this part of The Bronx – under the High Bridge – was not yet a part of The Bronx or New York City), to head south to Harlem at 120th Street:

The larger night view of the precarious wooden pier and the High Bridge water tower looming above, can be seen below in the Harpers Magazine’s illustration:

see:

https://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Harlem-Boarding-Steamship-display/dp/B01BJ4F9I8

WTF Should I Do?

Living in a blue corner of a reliably blue state can be frustrating when looking at the electoral college system which rewards states that seem to have more cows than people.

DemCast is a great outlet for the “WTF can I do?” question that bedevils many of us who would like to engage in this crucial election.

To search for opportunities by state, click here, and choose a (tossup) state you want to have an impact on.

Beer in Dutch (New) Harlem

From the very beginning of Harlem, beer was an essential drink among the European colonists. James Riker notes in “History of Harlem” that:

In 1667 beer was the common beverage in the Dutch Colony. “At vendues, or in making contracts or settlements, its presence was deemed indispensable to the proper transaction of the business. The magistrates when occupying the bench always had beer brought in, running up a score with the tapster at the public charge. Nor did the ordination of elders and deacons, or funeral solemnities, form an exception. At such times wine and other liquors, with pipes and tobacco, were also freely distributed. Families commonly laid in their beer by the quarter and half vat, or barrel. — Much of the beer consumed here (in New Harlem) was brewed by Johannes Vermilye, while the breweries of Daniel Verveelen, Isaac de Forest, and Jacob Kip, at New York, were also patronized.”[4]

There were, however, also laws that attempted to restrict the sale of alcohol to the Lenape people in and around Harlem. This prohibition was signed by Nichols, the English ruler of New York, in 1664

A Warrant to the Magistrates of Harlem for the Prohibition of the sale of strong liquors to Indians. Whereas, I am informed of several abuses that are done and committed by the Indians, occasioned much through the liberty some persons take of selling Strong Liquors unto them; These are to require you that you take special care that none of your Town presume to sell any sort of Strong Liquors or Strong Beer unto any Indian, and if you shall find any person offending therein, that you seize upon such Liquor and bring such person before me, to make answers for the offense. Given under my hand, at Fort James, in New York, this 18th of March, 1664 [1665 N. S.]. RICHARD NICOLLS.

The presence, of course, of this “Prohibition” indicates that “the sale” was in fact, a common practice – common enough to warrant special mention.

Beer was not only regulated, but was also taxed – not only in terms of volume but also in terms of quality. This accusation (against Johannes Verveelen) was for his failure to pay tax on beer:

Most Honorable Heeren, Overseers of this Town: Whereas Johannes Verveelen, ordinary-keeper in this town, did on the 6th February wickedly smuggle one-half vat of good beer; on the i8th April, one vat of good beer and one anker of rum; on the 27th of April, one-half vat of good beer; on the 8th May, one-half vat of good beer; on the 27th May, one-half vat of good beer and one anker of rum; all which is contrary to the existing placards on the subject of smuggling, and by the high magistracy approved. Therefore the plaintiff, ex-officio the preserver of the peace, demands that the defendant be condemned in the penalty of twenty-one hundred guilders, according to the placards, together with the costs of prosecution. The I4th June, 1667, in N. Harlem. Yours, Honorable Heeren, DANIEL, TOURNEUR, Deputy Sheriff.

The tavern of the day was Verveelen’s:

At the comer of the lower street and third crossway, Verveelen’s tavern hung out its sign-board, its site now on the north line of 123d street, 300 feet west of 1st avenue. Well patronized, too, by the lovers of good-cheer and goed bier, this is shown by the frequency with which he supplied his vault with goed bier and klegn bier, Spanish wine and rum

The tavern’s site is where (today) the Wagner Projects are located:

And, I can’t end a piece on beer without mentioning Harlem Hops, Harlem’s amazing 21st century pub at 2268 ADAM CLAYTON POWELL JUNIOR BOULEVARD.

Harlem Hops notes that takeout is now available. They write:

Please check out our menu below and call us at 646-998-3444 We are delivering within a 20 block radius of the bar.

If you’re not in the NYC area but would still like to support us, click on the link to our Swag shop where you will fine some cool Harlem Hops Merchandise and Merchandise Gift cards for purchase. If you want to purchase an in-store gift cards, please click on the In-Store Gift Card link. You can also support by donating to our non-profit organization Harlem Hopes.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and your continued patronage

Team Harlem Hops

Volunteers Needed to Prep/Deliver Meals to Seniors

During the pandemic, senior citizens in East Harlem are particularly hard hit; they are often economically struggling and living alone. Currently, Union Settlement’s Meals on Wheel program serves approximately 550 homebound seniors each day.

This program is in need of more volunteers to help prep meals from 8:30am – 10:30am and deliver meals from 10am-12:30pm. The program particularly needs more volunteers on Monday and Tuesday.  Ideally, it would like to recruit 10 more volunteers on each day. The volunteer work takes place at Corsi Senior Center on 307 E 116th Street, New York, NY 10029.  Interested volunteers please contact Andrew Hall at ahall@unionsettlement.org.

Menus

Hello Harlem Neighbors,

With COVID, many of us have thought about the plight of our neighborhood’s restaurant owners, workers, and delivery people. This is an interesting time to look back into Harlem’s historic places to eat, and The Schomburg is a great place to explore historic menus and other ephemera.

Here is the Savoy’s floorplan:

And two restaurant menus from 125th street:

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/2c1e3380-6215-0132-0460-58d385a7bbd0

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/517b6c00-6214-0132-2895-58d385a7bbd0

To browse historic menus in Harlem, see:

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/search/index?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=harlem+menu#

HARLEM WEEK 2020

FROM SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 TO SUNDAY, AUGUST 23

What originally started as a one-day tribute to one of the most culturally rich neighborhoods in the world has now become a month-long celebration enjoying its 46th year. Recognizing this year, 2020 is unlike we have ever seen HARLEM WEEK this year will take place from August 16 – 23 and it will take place virtually. For many years people have planned their vacations around the dates HARLEM WEEK to travel to Harlem to participate in our festival. This year HARLEM WEEK goes to the world as a virtual event sharing the culture, history, resilience and strength of Harlem.

Upcoming Events

AUG165:00 AM – 11:59 PMSupport Harlem Now Virtual Harlem 5K Run Honoring Percy 100 and Charles Rangel 90

The traditional Harlem 5k Run will this year be a virtual event taking place throughout HARLEM WEEK 2020!AUG165:01 AM – 11:59 PMVirtual Exhibitor Vendor Village

Shop, get information, win prizes, get free gifts when you visit the HARLEM WEEK Virtual Exhibitor Vendor village. Shop with local businesses from around the world and visit with reps from Fortune 500 corporations. The HARLEM WEEK Virtual Exhibitor Vendor village has something for everyoneAUG166:00 AM – 11:59 AMHARLEM WEEK/Imagenation Film Festival

Enjoy Films that speak to our HARLEM WEEK Theme of “Movement of The People”, celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Negro Baseball League and the 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance.AUG1610:00 AM – 11:00 AMChildren’s Corner

Parents, have your kids join us each morning of HARLEM WEEK in the Children’s Corner. Our daily space just for kids up to age 12. Youngsters can enjoy book reading, performances, cooking classes (done with adult supervision) and more.AUG1611:00 AM – 12:00 PMDance Workshop Presented by NJPAC

Every day during HARLEM WEEK take time to dance, move and groove with us and our partners at New Jersey Performing Arts Center with special guest instructors .AUG163:00 PM – 7:00 PMA Great Day In Harlem

Join us online and celebrate A Great Day In Harlem, featuring performances and appearances from local, national and international performing artists including Hezekiah Walker, Erica Campbell, Dance Theater of Harlem, The Harlem Music Festival All Star Band led by Ray Chew and much more!AUG167:00 PM – 7:10 PMA Taste Of Harlem

Harlem has some of the worlds most iconic restaurants and we invite you to experience them virtually throughout HARLEM WEEK 2020. See how some of the mouth watering dishes and delicious beverages are made, join us and enjoy “A Taste of Harlem.”AUG175:00 AM – 11:59 PMSupport Harlem Now Virtual Harlem 5K Run Honoring Percy100 and Charles Rangel 90

The traditional Harlem 5k Run will this year be a virtual event taking place throughout HARLEM WEEK 2020!AUG175:01 AM – 11:59 PMVirtual Exhibitor Vendor Village

Shop, get information, win prizes, get free gifts when you visit the HARLEM WEEK Virtual Exhibitor Vendor village. Shop with local businesses from around the world and visit with reps from Fortune 500 corporations. The HARLEM WEEK Virtual Exhibitor Vendor village has something for everyoneAUG176:00 AM – 11:59 AMHARLEM WEEK/Imagenation Film Festival

Enjoy Films that speak to our HARLEM WEEK Theme of “Movement of The People”, celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Negro Baseball League and the 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance.SEE FULL CALENDAR

Kamala Harris in Harlem

Marcus Samuelsson recently Tweeted this about meeting Kamala and added in a photo of her in Harlem in 1966:

Marcus Samuelsson@MarcusCooksI recently met @kamalaharris at @RoosterHarlem and am proud and hopeful for her leadership. When I look at this photo of her as a young child visiting Harlem in ‘66 I hope all the boys and girls in our community see themselves in her and realize the heights they can achieve.

Image

A New Pitch to Lease The Corn Exchange Building

For years now the gorgeously renovated Corn Exchange Building at Park/125 has been sitting empty (except, of course, for the amazing Ginjan Cafe! which occupies part of the street-level corner). Recently, a new pitch is being made (presumably to commuters on Metro-North trains coming into the city) as seen in the new ad – high up on the back of the building: