HNBA Meeting On Tuesday, May 10th, 7:00 PM

All are welcome to come out on Tuesday at 7:00 PM to hear from (and ask questions of) Delsenia Glover and Inez Dickens – two candidates for New York State Assembly District 70.  

In addition, we will have our neighbors from the HDFC Coop at the corner of 5th Avenue and 126th Street stop by to talk about their plans for block parties this summer on East 126th Street.  The focus of these events will be on youth in the community.

Topic: HNBA Meeting
Time: May 10, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Passcode: 027073

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See you on Tuesday!

Art In The Park

Join Art in the Park, East Harlem’s amazing resource for families at Lex/128 for free activities, fun, and creative expression for children.

Go to to see more about the incredible work they do.

It’s amazing. It’s free. And it’s a jewel in Harlem.

HNBA Monthly Meeting Tonight at 7 PM

Join the Commanding Officer Chris Henning of the 25th Precinct next Tuesday at 7, to hear more about (and ask questions concerning), public safety issues in our community.  

In addition to CO Henning, we will be joined by Marissa Yanni from DSNY.  She’ll be answering questions about composting, pickup of corner trash bins, street cleaning, and much more.

Lastly, our State Assembly Member Gibbs will drop in to introduce himself and answer your questions about what he’s done, and what he intends to do, to improve the quality of life in our community.

Bring your questions, forward this to your neighbors, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

(To request the Zoom link, go to:

Zero Waste Academy

it’s back! 
We’re excited to announce the return of the Zero Waste Academy (ZWA), our free educational programming introducing participants to waste management and its importance to our city and our world. 

This year, ZWA will kick off on April 30 and culminate with an in-person networking event (Module 9) on May 19. Participation is free but space is limited—applications are open from April 4-15—be sure to apply early! (And tell your friends!) Apply to the Academy!  The 9-session virtual series brings together subject matter experts from both the NYC Department of Sanitation and the private sector, including organizations like Closed Loop Partners, the Center for Zero Waste Design, and Foodprint Group. Sessions will explore topics like:
the current landscape of waste in NYC, both public and private the current landscape of waste in NYC, both public and private the origins of American “throwaway culture” and an introduction to circular economies how architecture and the built environment influence recycling and diversion habits and a focused look at food waste, the largest diversion opportunity in our waste stream Plus an exciting lineup of field tripswhich you can read about in our latest blog post!  

Preview the Full Curriculum   The NYC ZWA is for anyone with the desire to gain a more thorough understanding of the environmental and sustainability issues affecting our city and our lives. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from highly knowledgeable instructors and equip themselves with the tools and resources to work more effectively towards a zero waste future. Graduates of the program will receive a certificate of completion and an invitation to join our active LinkedIn ZWA Alumni community. 
  Apply We’re thankful for the support of our partners at Con Edison & The Verizon Foundation, who help make this educational series possible.

HNBA Meeting Next Tuesday (April 12, at 7 PM)

Join the Commanding Officer Chris Henning of the 25th Precinct next Tuesday at 7, to hear more about (and ask questions concerning), public safety issues in our community.  

In addition to CO Henning, we will be joined by Marissa Yanni from DSNY.  She’ll be answering questions about composting, pickup of corner trash bins, street cleaning, and much more.

Lastly, our State Assembly Member Gibbs will drop in to introduce himself and answer your questions about what he’s done, and what he intends to do, to improve the quality of life in our community.

Bring your questions, forward this to your neighbors, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

(To request the Zoom link, go to:

Mr. or Miss Harlem Shake

It’s that time of year again. Harlem residents are urged to apply to be the 2022 Mr. or Miss Harlem Shake.

Prized include a year of free burgers, $1000, money for a charity of your choice, and fame beyond your wildest dreams.

Details at:

And The Fabulous Children of Harlem

As seen at 135th/5th.

Housing Inequality

Harlem’s rate of homeownership is strikingly low. A new choose your adventure video game attempts to explore why housing in the U.S. has not fairly delivered housing-derived middle-class lives to many Americans, particularly people of color. This game explodes the larger American myth that homeownership can be achieved by anyone through hard work and smart decision-making. 

The game – Dot’s Home – was created by housing and community advocates and wants to reveal the illusion of choice and opportunity in the housing system. 

In “Dot’s Home,” players step into the shoes of Dorothea “Dot” Hawkins, a young Black woman living in her grandma’s house. The home, in a disinvested Black neighborhood in Detroit, is in desperate need of repairs. “Dot” travels back in time, via a magic key, to help her family make crucial housing decisions that will ultimately affect her own future. These decisions include whether her grandparents should invest in a shoddy house as their first home, and whether her parents should move away from their community  to the suburbs after their home in a public housing development is set for demolition.

But here’s the rub: In the game that is the American housing system, there are no great outcomes for a Black woman — just ones that are more or less bittersweet.

As Dot, players pass through different decades, each one highlighting a defining moment in history for Black homeownership: the Great Migration of the 20th century, urban renewal efforts in the 1990s, and finally, the 2010 foreclosure crisis that helped spur gentrification. Along the way, players navigate racist housing policies and predatory lending practices whose impacts reverberate across generations in real life.

“We wanted players to play the game and not necessarily empathize with Dot’s family but just to bear witness to, and accompany them through, these very intimate but consequential moments,” says Christina Rosales, housing and land director at the community organizing nonprofit PowerSwitch Action and a co-producer of the game.

By offering an intimate look at how housing discrimination affects one family, “Dot’s Home” aims to be relatable to its target audience — someone who knows these challenges first-hand, and whose experience is not unlike that of the team behind the game.

“This game is essentially made by people of color, for people of color,” says Rosales. “So it contains all of these intimate moments that are a reflection of the team’s own family histories and interactions with neighbors.”

The game, free to download through Steam, was recently featured at the Game Developers of Color Expo and was a 2021 Impact Award Nominee at IndieCade. 

We are often told, when it comes to housing, that we have a choice. We can choose where we want to live, we can make all these sacrifices and build our wealth. We are told that, if we just do the right things, we can have a prosperous life.  The developers wanted to have players explore that feeling of false agency and false choices.

Racial Bias in Home Valuation

Examining housing appraisals from Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2021, researchers found: 

  • 12.5% of appraisals in majority-Black census tracts came in below the contract price of the houses they assessed compared to 7.4% of appraisals in white tracts. For appraisals in majority-Latino tracts, 15.4% were valued lower than the contract price. For both Black and Latino areas, the percentage of undervalued appraisals increased as the white population percentage decreased. 
  • The undervalued appraisals occurred more frequently in Black and Latino tracts even when taking structural and neighborhood characteristics into account.
  • Racial gaps were found even when just looking at the race of the mortgage applicant as opposed to the neighborhoods the homes were in: 8.6% of Black applicants received appraisals lower than the contract price of the house, as did 9.5% of Latino applicants, compared to 6.5% of white applicants and 7.1% of applicants overall.

To read the full story:

Oh, and Co-Ops…

HNBA’s March Meeting with Wilfredo Lopez

Topic: HNBA Meeting
Date: Mar 8, 2022 10:03 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

You can copy the recording information below and share with others 

Passcode: .A19uC7n

HNBA Meeting Tonight at 7:00

Tonight HNBA will have our new Community Affairs Officer [Troycarra Powers] from the 25th Precinct attend our HNBA meeting to answer any concerns you have about public safety and the rise in crime in our community.

In addition, Tatiana from will be joining to talk about their effort to convert Lincoln Jail (on Central Park North) into a women’s jail.

We will also have Wil Lopez (a candidate for State Assembly) and Tony Shaw (a Harlem-based financial advisor) introduce themselves.

To get the Zoom link, join HNBA HERE.

OutGoingNYC: NYC’s Historic Gay Nightlife is a fascinating time machine that you can use to explore gay nightlife from any time post 1859!

Looking at the map from Harlem’s perspective shows a fairly limited range of sites, but is fascinating nevertheless:

I had no idea a building at 5th Avenue and 128th Street was a sex club named Afrodeezziac, for example.

To learn more about the genesis of this project, see this talk by Jeff Ferzoco:

125th Street at FDB, Looking East

A great photo showing how 125th Street had street car tracks running down the center.

This photo is taken from 125/FDB, looking east towards 5th Avenue. Note how the huge rigid awning sticks out over the entire sidewalk in front of the Manhattan Market.

The vantage – the spot where the photo is taken – is the elevated platform of the 8th Avenue El, that ran up Frederick Douglass Blvd and was then replaced by the ABCD subways.

CB11 Meeting Tomorrow at 6 PM

Please register for CB11’s Health and Human Services meeting on Monday, March 7th here:

The committee will be discussing Community Board 11’s resolution requesting a moratorium on the siting of any new drug rehabilitation, chemical dependency, or treatment centers within Community District 11 that they crafted last year, and proposing an extension before this moratorium expires.

This is a very important meeting and you are urged to join and note how the oversaturation in our community leads to poor outcomes for the existing programs when patients need to run gauntlets of dealers who tempt patients to reengage with street drugs.  

Oversaturating is directly responsible for the surge in overdose deaths we’ve seen over the last few years in our community.  We need this.

Thank Black Women


The oldest minority/women-owned professional design and construction firm in the United States – McKissack – has just completed the amazing renovations to LaGuardia and is moving on to work on JFK.

This family-owned business for more than 115 years, has worked in planning, design, and construction of more than 6,000 projects nationwide, but locally may be best known for their work on Harlem Hospital and the preservation of the amazing Harlem Renaissance murals.

McKissack provided construction management services in support of the Patient Pavilion project, which was part of Harlem Hospital’s Major Modernization Program that added 150,000 sq. ft. and the new Emergency Department, state-of-the-art critical care and diagnostic units, and operating rooms.

The historic murals created during the Harlem Renaissance in the WPA-era 1930s at Harlem Hospital were preserved and permanently reinstalled into the patient pavilion.

Now moving on to work on JFK, McKissack has a major role in the 7 billion dollar project.

Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District Gets New Signage

Nick Garber at is reporting that the Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District is getting new street signs to inform passersby that they are walking through a historic district.

The six markers have been installed on street poles around the district, which runs along both sides of Frederick Douglass Boulevard between West 135th and 140th streets, bounded by St. Nicholas Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard.

Curbside Composting

Curbside Composting is coming back — in a new way! DSNY will collect food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste and turn it into compost or renewable energy. This free service is voluntary, and residents must sign up.


The program is open to residential buildings of all sizes in all parts of Harlem.

Sign Up and Stay Informed

Sign-up is now open! We will notify you when service will start in your area. If you do not live in an area where the service is yet offered, we will let you know about opportunities to bring your food scraps to a drop-off location or how to compost at home (and will let you know if service is expanding to your area!).

We want to hear from everyone interested in Curbside Composting as it helps us make the case to expand this service to more neighborhoods.

Apartment Buildings

Multi-unit apartment buildings must have management approval. Ask your building management or board members to sign up. If you are in an eligible neighborhood, we will notify the building representative when service will start in your area.


Curbside Composting service will resume this fall on a rolling basis based on the number of sign ups in each neighborhood. This way we can ensure there will be enough material set out for our trucks to pick up.

The more sign-ups in your area, the quicker service will start!

Brown Bins

If you do not have a DSNY-issued brown bin, you can request one when you sign up and we will deliver it before your service begins.

Why Compost?

Composting keeps our neighborhoods clean and healthy! Food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard waste make up a third of the trash New Yorkers throw away. Our brown bins have latching lids that make it harder for rodents and pests to get to your food waste. It’s much easier for them to rip open a bag at the curb.
The finished compost made from your food and yard waste nourishes our soil for healthier parks and gardens.
Composting makes our city more sustainable—we can reduce waste sent to landfills and create clean, renewable energy to heat or power homes.
What Goes in the Brown Bin

ALL FOOD WASTE including:

coffee grounds and tea bags
shells (seafood, nut, and egg)
spoiled and expired food
food soiled paper (napkins, towels, uncoated plates, bags, trays, boxes)
Yard and Plant Waste including:

spent flowers and trimmings
small twigs
grass clippings
BPI approved compostable items.

DO NOT put in:

Trash of any kind including:
diapers and hygienic products
animal waste
wrappers and packaging
foam products
Recyclables including:
rigid plastic
beverage cartons
clean recyclable paper

Spread the word!

Help us inform New Yorkers about curbside composting by sharing digital content (social media posts, sample text for newsletters, and graphics) from our Make Compost, Not Trash website.

HNBA Meeting Video

(Passcode: Oby1D#7f)

NYC Speaks: Tell the Mayor What You Think

Concerned about what’s been going down in our neighborhood?

NYC Speaks is an epic effort to amplify the voices of New Yorkers as the new administration of Mayor Eric Adams begins:

Speak your mind on issues including:
— Public Safety
— Housing & Neighborhoods
— Youth Development & Education
— Economy & Workforce
— Health & Wellbeing
— Arts & Culture
— Racial Equity
— Gender Justice
— Climate & Infrastructure
— Civic Engagement.

Responses from the survey will guide the new Adams administration, as well as set priorities for the upcoming city budget. The window to respond closes this Friday, January 28.

The survey’s available in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Bengali, Urdu, Polish & Korean. It’s online at, or text the words NYC SPEAKS to 212-457-1254 and a member of the outreach team from Uptown Grand Central will give you a call to complete the survey by phone.

HNBA January Meeting Recording

If you were unable to make it to HNBA’s January meeting with State Senator Cordell Cleare (and others and would like to view it, here’s the link: 

Passcode: *@4qwTyR

Van Der Zee

A while ago I came across a great black and white image from James Van Der Zee, the celebrated photographer of the Harlem Renaissance. The image, of The Church of God’s nursery school is arresting with the starched elegance of the children’s outfits and the stern flanking adults who bracket the scene.

The morticians and funeral directors sign in the window below the church sign highlighted the roles that Veal and Veal, Licensed Undertakers were willing to perform. On that glass window, the number 257 had me curious as to where this might be in Harlem.

There are, as you can imagine, many streets or avenues with the address 257, but what helped me a lot was the distinctive architecture on the left of the scene:

The monumental structure is odd – neither residential looking nor commercial. It was, however a building I’d puzzled over for years, and this image (below) shows the building as it exists today, with the distinctive window, now bricked up:

And the building to the east, the one that had held the church and funeral directors, retains the distinctive cast-iron detail to the left of the door and around the transom window:

Below is the full view of what is now the Presbyterian Church of Ghana in New York and the somewhat forlorn facade of 257, shorn of its commercial bay.

And below, an image of 257 West 123rd Street, in its 1940’s tax photo.

Harlem Neighborhood Block Association Meeting Tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:00 PM

The January HNBA meeting will be virtual, and you are invited. 

We’ll gather tomorrow: Thursday, January 20th at 7:00 PM to hear from, and ask questions of, NY State Senator Cordell Cleare.  If there is something you want Albany to do for you, or Harlem, here’s your chance to speak directly to our state senator.

In addition, we’ll have a brief presentation from the West Harlem Art Fund on Florence Mills, and the Art Fund’s effort to name the plaza in Historic St. Nicholas Park after her.

Make sure to invite a neighbor.

Click COMMENT (below) to request the Zoom link.

The House of God Church

Keith Dominion

Free At Home COVID Tests

The Postal Service is delivering one shipment of 4 COVID tests per residential address. Enter your name, address and email at