Ephemera

A true piece of Harlem ephemera, a matchbook for a Harlem locksmith for sale on Ebay.

The copy promotes a great deal.

Today, a ‘Gourmet’ smoke shop and deli occupy this location:

Affordable Housing vs Truck Depot

Streetsblog has an examination on the fallout of Council Member Kristin Jordan’s axing of a 50% affordable housing project at Lenox/145th Street.

“This is a particularly clear example of what happens when politicians prioritize opposing every zoning change over their constituents’ needs,” said Logan Phares, the political director of Open New York. “New York’s people, not its vehicles, urgently need a roof over their heads. Amid climate change’s recent effect on the five boroughs, as well as a rise in homelessness and traffic deaths, it’s disappointing to see that the Council member took the route that will lead to more trucks on the road rather than more residents with a place to sleep at night.”

The article looks at the history, hijinks, and potential health fall-out from the On45 development project:

Basketball Clinics

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):

https://gothamist.com/news/the-manhattan-da-had-250-million-for-community-investment-to-prevent-violence-now-its-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

Sidewalk Detail

Upon first viewing, this entry into a Harlem brownstone courtyard look fairly typical. A gate. Steps down to the lower level. Steps going up to the top of the stoop.

Looking down, you can see the nice detail that the sidewalk installers added the street address into the cement.

Michelin Ranked Harlem Restaurants Increases

Harlem has a number of restaurants mentioned by Michelin:

  • Abyssinia
  • Barawine
  • Fumo
  • Jin Ramen
  • Melba’s
  • Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too
  • Oso
  • Red Rooster

Earlier this month, 3 more were added to the list:

  • Clay (553 Manhattan Ave.)
  • Contento (88 East 111th St.)
  • Reverence (2592 Frederick Douglass Blvd.)

To learn more, see:

https://guide.michelin.com/us/en/new-york-state/new-york/restaurants

Housing Policy Briefing

Join @IssueVoter this Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 5:00pm EST for a look a Congressional Housing Policy

Register here: 

https://tinyurl.com/housingpolicy2022

Rowing on The Harlem River

The Harlem River was (in the 18th and 19th Century) a popular destination for rowing or sculling. Remnants of this pastime were visible into mid 20th century.

In the photo below, you can see 4 large boat houses on the Bronx side of the Harlem River (note the Highbridge water tower in the back-left corner):

The bridge visible on the river would be the 155th Street Bridge, so the apartment buildings in the Bronx are the ones that overlook Yankee Stadium, today.

East River Crew reports that in 1937, Robert Moses The Power Broker” of New York City started evicting rowing boathouses “to build tennis courts for the people living in Harlem.”

By the 1950s all of the Row, boathouses were gone.

Can Collecting Property Hoarder

The Post has an interesting article on a woman who owns dilapidated property in Harlem, collects cans in a beat-up car, while living and hoarding in Brooklyn.

https://nypost.com/2022/08/21/nyc-to-demolish-landmark-building-owned-by-secret-millionaire-bag-lady/

Silicon Harlem Events

Silicon Harlem Meetup – Wed, September 21, 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Register for the Meetup (virtual)

Please join us on September 21, 2022 to talk about the upcoming “Future Ready Communities” conference and our new impact token for uptown. Your voice matters!

Silicon Harlem 9th Annual Next Gen Tech Conference – Fri, October 21, 2022

Agenda and registration below:

futureready2022.cventevents.com (in person)

Please join us at the 9th Annual Next Gen Tech Conference at the iconic Schomburg Center Library in Harlem. Our theme this year is “Future Ready Communities”. The Conference will help prepare future ready communities through innovation and technology. Your participation will help solidify that!

Good to Have

As seen on the windshield of a car in Harlem.

Note the old-school coiled cord, bulky handset.

Black Flight

The Atlantic has a great article on Black Flight – the movement of the mostly middle and upper-class Black urban residents to the suburbs after the Fair Housing Act of 1968 began to erode some of the barriers that kept Black Americans out of suburbia.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/09/black-families-leaving-cities-suburbs/671331/

The article provides a context for Black Flight and investigates how the loss of inner city-educated Black families profoundly impacted those left behind since the 1970’s.

Community Board Want Your Input

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

Water Towers

Harlem’s wooden water towers – typically on buildings more than 6 stories – seem like a hold-over from another era. And, while it’s true that they’ve been in existence for over 100 years, they still provide 21st century apartment dwellers with reliable, and fully pressured water – even in the building’s upper stories.

The industry (building and maintaining water towers) has just three family-run companies – two of which have been operating for nearly this entire century-long history. While the number of water towers in Harlem is unknown, the city is estimated to have around 17,000 water tanks in total.

When indoor plumbing began replacing well-drawn water in the 1880s, tanks were placed on rooftops because the local water pressure was too weak to raise water to upper levels. This was especially the case when steel framing and elevators permitted the upward growth of commercial and residential buildings. The city enacted a law in the early 20th century that required that buildings with six or more stories be equipped with a rooftop tank and a pump to feed it.

About 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of water can be stored in the tanks. The upper layer of water is used for everyday use, with water at the bottom reserved for emergencies. When the water drops below a certain level, an electric pump is triggered and the tank refills. Gravity sends water to pipes throughout the building from the roof.

Without this passive pressure, a building would need to install pumps to maintain water pressure for residents that would run 24/7 (costly, and prone to maintenance issues). On the other hand, a water tank usually lasts roughly 30-35 years, can be built within 24 hours, and takes just two or three hours to fill with water.

The three companies that construct NYC’s wooden water tanks are: Rosenwach Tank Company, Isseks Brothers, and American Pipe and Tank. The wooden aspect of the tank routinely draws questions about whether or not wood is the right material for the job. Wood, turns out to be the most effective for the water tank’s job. Wood, for example, is better at moderating temperature than steel tanks. Steel tanks, while sometimes used, are more expensive, require more maintenance, and take more time to build. A wooden tank that can hold 10,000 gallons of water costs roughly $30,000. A steel tank of the same size can cost up to $120,000. And water stored in the wood will not freeze in the winter and stays cool during the hot summer months.

Eventually, the wood will (however) rot and will need to be replaced after 30-35 years. When wood tanks are built, they leak, but when they fill with water, the wood expands and forms a watertight seal. When people use the water, the level in the tank goes down. At a certain point, the pump is triggered, and this pump fills the tank again.

Truck Depot vs. 457 Units of Affordable Housing

City Council Member Kristin Jordan’s campaign that stopped the development of 457 units of affordable housing at 145th Street and Lenox Avenue, has resulted in the developer floating the idea of a truck stop instead.

Patch.com is reporting that after Jordan stopped the building of a mix of affordable and market-rate housing, the site may be used as a “rental depot for big rigs and trucks”.

“Given the proximity to several nearby highways and roads, we think it’s the perfect spot for them and we have received a lot of interest in this regard.”

If this comes to pass, Council Member Jordan may have not only stopped 457 units of affordable housing but may have inadvertently brought increased pollution levels and asthma rates to this corner of her district.

Health Fair on Saturday – 123rd and 3rd Ave.

Harlem Bazaar

This afternoon, take a moment to wander over to the Harlem Bazaar, the market held on the third Friday of the month from June to October, outside the State Office Building from 3 to 9 p.m.

TODAY’s September HNBA Gathering Will Be At 6 PM, At East 129th Street and 5th Avenue

Today – September 13th (Tuesday) at 6:00 – you’re invited to gather at East 129th Street and 5th Avenue (south-east corner) to celebrate the unveiling of Ann Petry Place.

The acclaimed African-American author, Ann Petry, lived at 2 East 129th Street when she engaged in much of her activist writing for African American newspapers such as The Amsterdam News and The People’s Voice, and The Crisis. 2 East 129th Street was also her home when she wrote the seminal novel: The Street.

This novel, The Street, was the first novel by an African-American woman to sell a staggering 1.5 million copies. With time, The Street has become a canonical text that continues to be widely read throughout the United States as a literary exploration of the grinding and oppressive impact that systemic racism and sexism in mid-century America had on Harlem residents, and African-American women in particular.

Ann Petry stands as a crucial bridge between activists and writers from the Harlem Renaissance with those of Harlem’s Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1950’s and beyond.

The gathering will include Manhattan Borough President, Mark Levine, the Chair of Community Board 11, and the Chair of Uptown Grand Central.

After presenting Liz Petry with a copy of the street sign that will be unveiled tomorrow, The Harlem Rose Garden (next to Ann Petry’s former apartment building) will open and present a musical selection for all to enjoy.

Come out and meet new (and vintage) HNBA members as we gather outdoors, together.

CB11 To Hold Injection Site Conversation, Tonight

The Department of Health and Mental Hygene will attend CB11’s meeting tonight at 6:00 PM. There will be a focus on the injection site in East Harlem and the impact this facility has had on open-air drug use and dealing in our community.

Click the link, below, to register and ask your questions or offer your opinion:

https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_L95XpSZ5SfOTlalOdt9zhQ

Tuesday’s September HNBA Gathering Will Be At 6 PM, At East 129th Street and 5th Avenue

Next week – September 13th (Tuesday) at 6:00 – you’re invited to gather at East 129th Street and 5th Avenue (southeast corner) to celebrate the unveiling of Ann Petry Place.

The acclaimed African-American author, Ann Petry, lived at 2 East 129th Street when she engaged in much of her activist writing for African American newspapers such as The Amsterdam News and The People’s Voice, and The Crisis. 2 East 129th Street was also her home when she wrote the seminal novel: The Street.

This novel, The Street, was the first novel by an African-American woman to sell a staggering 1.5 million copies. With time, The Street has become a canonical text that continues to be widely read throughout the United States as a literary exploration of the grinding and oppressive impact that systemic racism and sexism in mid-century America had on Harlem residents, and African-American women in particular.

Ann Petry stands as a crucial bridge between activists and writers from the Harlem Renaissance with those of Harlem’s Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1950’s and beyond.

The gathering will include Manhattan Borough President, Mark Levine, the Chair of Community Board 11, and the Chair of Uptown Grand Central.

After presenting Liz Petry (Ann’s surviving daughter) with a copy of the street sign that will be unveiled tomorrow, The Harlem Rose Garden (next to Ann Petry’s former apartment building) will open and present a musical selection for all to enjoy.

Come out and meet new (and vintage) HNBA members as we gather outdoors, together.

Tito Puente

Uptown Grand Central does it again. Another great mural on E. 124, between Madison and Park.

Allison Ruiz and BC1 created this mural of the mambo king Tito Puente.

Uptown Grand Central’s Grandscale Mural Project is located on 125th & 124th streets from Third to Madison, and along Third, Lexington and Park avenues.

Hashtag #GrandscaleMuralProject.

From Nikoa Evans

HNBA’s September Meeting (next week)

Next week – September 13th (Tuesday) at 6:00 – the Harlem Neighborhood Block Association (and yes, you are a member simply by virtue of reading this!) will gather at East 129th Street and 5th Avenue (southeast corner) to celebrate the unveiling of Ann Petry Place.

Our gathering will include Manhattan Borough President, Mark Levine, the Chair of Community Board 11, and the Chair of Uptown Grand Central.

After presenting Liz Petry (Ann’s surviving daughter) with a copy of the street sign that will be unveiled tomorrow, The Harlem Rose Garden (next to Ann Petry’s former apartment building) will open and present a musical selection for all to enjoy.

Come out and meet new (and vintage) HNBA members as we gather outdoors, together.