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:

https://a816-dohbesp.nyc.gov/IndicatorPublic/Rats/?emci=18e80a22-c737-ee11-a3f1-00224832eb73&emdi=6ff316ad-c737-ee11-a3f1-00224832eb73&ceid=14144044

Party on Park Is Coming

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

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

HNBA September Meeting

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

Tuesday, September 12th, 7 PM at 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.

Party-On-Park Volunteers Needed

Hello Harlem Neighbors!

Uptown Grand Central is reigniting Party on Park – a Harlem celebration on a closed-to-traffic Park Avenue between 125th and 116th Street – on Sunday, October 1st.  

Party on Park will be from Noon until 4 pm and we need you to help staff a Harlem Neighborhood Block Association table.  We’ll have cards and flyers for you to hand out, and otherwise all you’d have to do would be to enjoy the vibe, listen to the great music, and say Hi to your neighbors.

If you could volunteer an hour or two on October 1st, at any time between Noon and 4pm, please email us to let us know at: [email protected] 

 We really hope you can help.

An Open Letter to NYC’s Commissioner Raine (Department of Buildings)

Dear Commissioner Raine,

I’m writing to ask that you stop the planned demolition of the Landmark houses at 66-68 W 119th Street in Harlem and work with the owner to have them redevelop the properties to their original splendor. I am the immediate neighbor at 64 W 119th Street.

The buildings are part of the Mount Morris Park Historic District, which remains one of New York City’s most vibrant African-American communities.  Preserving its historic buildings and streets highlights our rich and diverse history, and the social and cultural influences of our different communities. It is very important to the community that Harlem retains its culture through its architecture and people; as the world around us changes, we should try to retain a bit of Harlem’s history by preserving its landscape.

The owner should be allowed to restore the properties under the supervision of the DOB and the Landmark Preservation Commission. If the owner can perform repairs to the satisfaction of your agency, there should be no reason for the DOB to rush through an unnecessary demolition.

I and the other immediate neighbor at 70 West 119th Street are convinced that all safety concerns can be satisfied as a standard matter of course in doing the restoration.  

Best regards

A Letter To East Harlem Politicians From SuperNice Cafe’s Owner

hello friends, neighbors, customers, and elected officials,

i appreciated the opportunity to speak at least night’s cb11 economic committee meeting with respect to the timbale terrace development plan.

we have a unique perspective on this project here at super nice as we are both around the corner from one of lantern’s current projects, prospero hall, as well as being situated just off the corner of what has become one of the worst corners in east harlem for drug dealing and drug use: 117th and lexington. we watch, day after day, graphic scenes of drug use play out in front of us. here is one particularly poignant scene from right outside our shop:

i am out on the street starting at 5am. i live on 118th st. and go to the grocery store at night. i can’t speak to what it’s like out there between midnight and 5am, but i can speak knowledgeably about what happens between 5am and midnight, and scenes like this are common. ambulances to treat those in the midst of an overdose are common. paramedics called to assist those in the grips of a mental health episode are common. police calls for quality of life crimes are common. for example, someone tried to steal our janky chalkboard sign in the middle of the day on monday. why?

what’s going on? why are things so bad right now? why would anyone want to do business in this environment? and why are we talking about these things in the context of the timbale terrace project?

well, we know what’s going on: Harlem East Block Association’s message below explains clearly what’s going on and why things are so bad. i don’t need to rehash all of that.

what i can do is speak to is the economic impact of this environment as well as the impact that timbale terrace, as proposed, will have on the neighborhood.

let me be very clear: attracting talent in this neighborhood is INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT. i’ve had many potential employees reject job offers because they’ve come to the neighborhood and refused to work here. i have staff who refuse to take afternoon shifts because they don’t feel safe here. i have staff who refuse to go into the subway at 116th st because they don’t feel safe down there. attracting and retaining talent is hard anyway, but add in the scenes that replay daily in front of the store and it’s a recipe for disaster. i’m trying to open another restaurant in the neighborhood. why? because the the neighborhood is woefully underserved, my roots here go back over 100 years, i love this neighborhood, and i want to make great things here and see it flourish. but i’m petrified of opening another business here because of how bad it’s gotten.

as i mentioned in the meeting, i try as hard as i can to hire staff that live within walking distance of the shop. this is really important for a couple of reasons, but chiefly among them i think this is how you help strengthen neighborhoods. the more money that stays in the neighborhood, the stronger and more vibrant the neighborhood will be. it’s one thing to employ people who get paid and take that money back to brooklyn, queens, or the bronx, but it’s a very different thing to employ people who turn around and spend that money in the same neighborhood. 

neighborhoods like ours are filled with small businesses, run by neighbors, to serve our neighbors. so when we buy our ham for the hot honey ham sandwich from the meat market on the corner, it’s not because baldor doesn’t sell it, it’s because we’re intentionally spending money here in the neighborhood. when our staff goes to the supermarket, or to have a drink at la chula, or have dinner at dona maty’s, or a cemita at il gnocchi, or a salad from healthy choice, or to the laundromat, or the hardware store, they keep the money they earned in the neighborhood and help to prop it up. all of these local businesses can be better supported when dollars from neighbors go directly to other neighbors who in turn spend that money with even more neighbors. but now we have a situation where staff don’t even feel comfortable coming to work, let alone walking around and supporting other businesses in the neighborhood. 

and that’s saying nothing of trying to get people to come here from outside the neighborhood. do you know how hard it is to get coverage from eater or the infatuation?!? this is a complete wasteland to them. but we ought to ask ourselves: what are we representing to people outside the neighborhood?

that we don’t mind bearing the disproportionate burden of treating the mentally ill and drug addicted populations that other neighborhoods refuse to treat? 

that we tolerate the proliferation of open air drug use and drug dealing? 

that we tolerate people treating the streets and building doorways as public toilets? (sure, we don’t have enough public toilets, but you know what we also have a lot of: drunk people that hang out all day and need to use the bathroom.) 

that we are creating amazing things despite the failure of our elected officials to stem the influx of vulnerable populations? 

what is going on here?!

and now we’re presented with timbale terrace. we would LOVE to have ALJA in the neighborhood – what a wonderful addition they would be. we would LOVE to have more affordable housing in the neighborhood, what a blessing that would be.

but we absolutely cannot handle another 99 vulnerable people – those already receiving services for drug addiction and mental illness – added to the neighborhood. no chance. make it housing for seniors. do something else. as presented, this timbale terrace proposal is an outright disaster for the neighborhood. our addiction and mental health service providers are already overwhelmed, the neighborhood already bears far more than its fair share of the city’s (and region’s) drug addicted and mentally ill populations. another 99 people will be a disaster.

this neighborhood is already buckling under the weight of the burden it bears for the rest of this city. we all want to help those who struggle – but we’ve got to put our oxygen mask on first, before we can safely offer more help. we cannot put ourselves in more danger in order to help more people. this neighborhood is hurting. we see it everyday. we talk to our neighbors about it every day. we can make it better. but bringing in another 99 vulnerable people is not the way.

i fully support the message from the block association and am hopeful that cb11 will reject the current proposal for timbale terrace and work towards another solution.

regards,

dan–

Super Nice Coffee and Bakery

156 E 117th St., NY NY 10035 || shop phone: 917 261 5069

196 W 108th St, NY NY 10025 || shop phone: 332 257 8886

They Can’t Read Your Mind

Residents on East 126th Street have been complaining about rats to 311 and the DoHMH that manages rat control. A week ago, they got action as a result of their complaints.

Traps and bait have been set out on the block between Park and Madison.  In particular they were focusing on two abandoned buildings at 53 and 51 on 126th Street.

One result is illustrated, below:

Voicing the issues to 311 and complaining to the Department of Health and Mental Hygene will get action.  It’s a step by step process but if you don’t complain, they can’t hear you.

Tomorrow: Harlem Talks Trash!

Tomorrow we hope to see you tomorrow at 7:00 PM at HNBA’s June meeting – yes, you’re welcome! We’ll gather to talk trash!

Come hear from local elected officials, Community Board 11, DSNY, and others on inequity in the Department of Sanitation’s services provided to our community.

We’ll meet in the ground floor community room at the Henry J. Carter Hospital (entrance at Park Ave. and 122nd Street) and look at new research on DSNY’s litter basket distribution and budget allocation. You are welcome to share your thoughts on improving community cleanliness and the look of your block.

All welcome.

Sponsoring Organizations:

A Sanitation and Data Equity Project

Dawoud Bey And Marcus Garvey Park

The photographer Dawoud Bey photographed this lush view of the greenery in Marcus Garvey Park back in 2016.

Next Tuesday: Harlem Talks Trash!

On Tuesday, June 13th at 7:00 PM you are invited to the June HNBA meeting where we’ll talk trash!

Come out to hear from local elected officials, Community Board 11, DSNY, and others on inequity in the Department of Sanitation’s services provided to our community.

We’ll meet in the ground floor community room at the Henry J. Carter Hospital (entrance at Park Ave. and 122nd Street) and look at new research on DSNY’s litter basket distribution and budget allocation. You are welcome to share your thoughts on how we can improve community cleanliness and the look of your block.

All welcome.

Sponsoring Organizations:

A Sanitation and Data Equity Project

Friday’s: National Action Network NYC City Council Candidates’ Forum

Save the Date! Harlem Talks Trash!

On Tuesday, June 13th at 7:00 PM you are invited to the June HNBA meeting where we’ll talk trash!

Come out to hear from local elected officials, Community Board 11, DSNY, and others on inequity in the Department of Sanitation’s services provided to our community.

We’ll meet in the ground floor community room at the Henry J. Carter Hospital (entrance at Park Ave. and 122nd Street) and look at new research on DSNY’s litter basket distribution and budget allocation. You are welcome to share your thoughts on how we can improve community cleanliness and the look of your block.

All welcome.

Sponsoring Organizations:

A Sanitation and Data Equity Project

Harlem City Council Candidates’ Forum

Please join NAN at their 2023 Harlem City Council Candidates’ Forum on Friday, June 9th:

Save The Date: HNBA Talks Trash!

On Tuesday, June 13th, at 7:00 PM, HNBA will hold our final in-person monthly meeting before our summer break. On June 13th we’ll be meeting at the Henry J. Carter Hospital – enter at the corner of 122/Park. We’re working on getting local elected officials and DSNY on hand to talk about what can be done about the multiple and complex issues of trash in our community.

If you’ve got an idea, a solution, an offer, or anything else to do with trash, litter baskets, and more, you are welcome to join and help us collaborate on this issue.

This meeting is co-sponsored by CIVITAS , 1775 Houses, and the Harlem East Block Association.

In addition to looking at the trash issues in our community, we’ll also have virtual tour of the amazing Carter Hospital, and discuss voting in the June 27th primaries (that will determine who is Harlem’s new city council member).

(Below is a map of litter baskets in upper Manhattan)

See: https://fordham.carto.com/u/shill18/builder/c9a7f29d-3971-41be-92b2-13a6967bc3f4/embed

New York, Supreme Court, Judicial Candidacy

HNBA Meeting Recording

If you missed HNBA’s meeting on Tuesday night, here’s the recording:

Topic: HNBA Meeting
Date: May 9, 2023 06:48 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Spring Cleanup on Malcolm X

Saturday, May 20th. Malcolm X Blvd. and 140th Street.

Participatory Budgeting Slideshow (from the HNBA meeting on Tuesday)