NYC is Greener Than Its Suburbs

(but you knew that)

Borough President Mark Levine highlighted an article in the NY Times that mapped energy usage (carbon footprint) on a district-by-district basis and showed the stark contrast between dense urban areas with many public transit options and car-centric suburbs:

East Harlem Featured in War Era Propaganda Film

An amazing film from 1945 promoting the democratic nature of mid-century public education. Students are seen addressing their ‘comrades’, and protest and activism is promoted. The result of the students’ work is shown to be the gleaming new projects in East Harlem.

The film is short, but you can jump to 18:26 to begin to see East Harlem students and street scenes. There are views of East Harlem from the FDR Drive, from above the Park Avenue MTA viaduct, and much more. Note the virtual absence of women, and the focus on the Italian East Harlem community.

The film was produced by the U.S. Office of War information, overseas branch. It is no. 8 in the American scene series. An Italian-language version accompanies the English.

https://digitallibrary.hsp.org/index.php/Detail/objects/13235

What’s That Tree

Ever wondered what that tree is in front of your apartment? NYC’s Department of Parks has a new, interactive map of NYC’s trees, and you can explore the arboreal side of your neighborhood.

The color coding of dots (trees) above, show different varieties. You can, of course, zoom in more and even select on the basis of tree variety or size (as denoted by trunk diameter):

Looking at a random tree on West 124th Street (across from Marcus Garvey Park), the map brings up that it’s a Thornless honeylocust and has a trunk diameter of 15″:

To explore on your own, try this link:

https://tree-map.nycgovparks.org/tree-map/tree/2151366

As Seen In Harlem

On East 116th Street. Sadly, closed.

New City Council Boundaries

Community Council Districts 7, 8, and 9 have slightly altered boundaries. Here are the new lines for Community Council Districts 7 and 9:

And (below) are the new boundaries of Community Council District 8:

For the full map of Manhattan, see:

https://www.nyc.gov/assets/districting/downloads/pdf/20221006-Final-Plan-Manhattan-Districts-c.pdf

As Seen In Harlem

As seen in Harlem, on West 117th Street.

How To Get Rid Of Stuff?

Not Sure How To Get Rid Of Your Stuff? 
Paint, batteries, electronics—even clothing—there’s always something we don’t need taking up valuable space. Some items can live a second life with someone else, or may need to be safely disposed. We can help!

Visit nyc.gov/HowToGetRidOf and use our search tool to find your disposal options.

If you didn’t receive our June mailer highlighting all our disposal programs, you can download a PDF.

It’s available in English, Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and Yiddish.

Park Avenue Metro-North Viaduct Replacement Contract Awarded

The MTA will be awarding the Design-Build contract for the Park Avenue Viaduct Phase 1 Project to Halmar International, following yesterday’s MTA Board Meeting. The Phase 1 Project will replace the existing viaduct in its entirety from the north side of E. 115th Street to the south side of E. 123rd Street along Park Avenue in East Harlem.

Halmar International was selected by the MTA for providing the overall best value solution that also minimized impacts to the surrounding community. Proposals were evaluated against several criteria such as their plan and ability to minimize impacts to the public, including the surrounding businesses, residences, and community gathering facilities, as well as the pedestrian and vehicular traffic through and adjacent to the project, while also minimizing impact to Metro-North Customers, and the Harlem–125th Street station. The project is expected to reduce local noise and vibration levels compared to those from the existing viaduct by utilizing modern design and materials. 

Additionally, as part of the Project Labor Agreement, the MTA and Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) are working together to provide meaningful training and job opportunities for the local residents of Harlem. With partners in the Apprenticeship Readiness Collective (ARC), the MTA and BCTC commit to providing pre-apprenticeship training for Harlem residents that have real pathways into union jobs created by the construction of the project. 

MTA and Halmar International will work together to uphold MTA’s commitment to minimize disruption to the surrounding community and deliver the project as safely and quickly as possible. 

We currently anticipate construction to begin in the second quarter of 2023, and expect it to be complete in 2026. The community can also expect regular communication, during construction, including regular updates and at key milestones on the project’s webpage https://new.mta.info/project/park-avenue-viaduct and dedicated email address ([email protected]) to field concerns.

We appreciate your continued partnership on this as we deliver this vital infrastructure project as safely and efficiently as possible.

Thank you,

Park Avenue Viaduct Project Team

  • The Park Avenue Viaduct is an elevated steel structure built in 1893 (128 years ago) which carries four Metro-North Railroad tracks above Park Avenue in East Harlem.
  • 98% of all Metro-North trains use the viaduct
  • 750 trains and 220,000 customers use the viaduct on a typical (Pre-Covid) weekday
  • The viaduct served 5.3 million customers at Harlem-125 Street Station in 2019
  • Harlem-125th Street Station is 3rd busiest in Metro-North system (PreCovid)

Fats Waller in Harlem

Fats Waller composed a series of hit songs and was also widelyu known for his comic performances on stage and in film.

His innovations in his piano work led to the Harlem stride-style – a precursor to modern jazz piano. His best-known compositions, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Honeysuckle Rose”, were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1984 and 1999. Waller copyrighted over 400 songs, many of them co-written with his closest collaborator, Andy Razaf. Razaf described his partner as:

“the soul of melody… a man who made the piano sing… both big in body and in mind… known for his generosity… a bubbling bundle of joy”.

In the photo below he is seen in Harlem with fellow stride-style pianist Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith:

Worst Landlords

The Public Advocate has a list of the worst landlords in NYC out for 2022. The map shows definitively that the worst landlords have the most violations in low-income communities, and are congregated in northern Manhattan, The Bronx, and Brooklyn.

https://www.landlordwatchlist.com/

Note that housing law protects your right as a tenant to meet with other tenants in a public space in the building. You should speak with other tenants who are facing similar problems and organize a meeting time in the building. The meeting can be advertised through fliers or posters placed in the building. At the first meeting, the representative of the association should be appointed by the group and a set of action items should be decided.

NYC’s Neighborhoods

In November, NYC released an updated map of neighborhoods, and while there is not likely anything too controversial in the designations, the generational shift from “West Harlem” to Morningside Heights, Manhattanville, Hamilton Heights, and Sugar Hill, is evident.

To see the full map, click HERE.

Roadtrip!

Amazon’s Prime Video has announced season 2 of Harlem is set to drop on February 3rd. There’s a lot to catch up on—including a newfound love triangle between Camille; her ex-fiancé, Ian; and her current boyfriend, Jameson; as well as Quinn exploring her sexuality; Tye confronting her physical health; and Angie working toward financial stability.

“Thematically, this season is overwhelmingly about Black joy and finding our happiness in the little things in life and learning to accept our version of womanhood, whatever that may be, instead of what society dictates,” Oliver tells BAZAAR.com. “There’s lots of fun adventures in Season 2, but the one I’m most excited about is our girls go to Puerto Rico for a girls trip.”

Young People On The Move

The census has a great site, Migration Patterns – https://migrationpatterns.org/ – that looks at where young people moving to New York and moving out of New York, are coming/going from/to.

First of all, where are young people who leave NYC going?

While 79% of young people stayed in NYC, the rest headed to the counties shown on the map above.

As for the young people who came to NYC, the map below shows where they came from, and the map is strikingly similar, with young people moving to/from a limited set of places – typically ones with large urban centers. Note (below) how young people from the Washington to Boston corridor (plus Detroit, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles in particular) moved to NYC:

There are also interesting racial differences in the data. While young Black and Hispanic New Yorkers are overwhelmingly from New York City (born and raised):

White and Asian young people in NYC are more likely to have grown up elsewhere, and moved here:

In the end, young New Yorkers have come here from more than 200 miles on average:

Artimus’s Project on E. 127/Park Rises

If you’ve been by Park/127, you will likely notice that this project is now a number of floors taller than when this photo was taken!

Free Music on Monday

Music Monday featuring the Sing Harlem! Choir
Usher in the holiday season to the sounds of the Sing Harlem! choir. The choral ensemble—which is affiliated with the Mama Foundation for the Arts—will host a concert as part of The Forum’s Music Monday series. The event is free and open to the public. Monday, Nov. 21, 6:00 pm

Harlem Hellfighters Photo

A rare photo – turned into a postcard by a Newark photo studio – was put up for auction on Ebay for almost $1,000.

The photo shows WW1-era Black soldiers proudly displaying their insignia and medals.

The ALL CAPS description from the Ebay seller is as follows:

THIS IS AN EXTREMELY RARE WW1 REAL PHOTO POSTCARD OF 2 AFRICAN AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN THE 369TH US INFANTRY KNOWN AS THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS,THEIR RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.THEY APPEAR TO BE BROTHERS BOTH ARE WEARING CROIX DE GUERRE MEDALS.IF YOU COLLECT WW1 IMAGES YOU KNOW HOW RARE THIS PHOTO IS.IT WAS FOUND WITH THE OTHER AFRICAN AMERICAN SOLDIERS PHOTO I HAVE LISTED,THAT ONE HAS A FAMILY NAME BARTOW.THIS HAS A NEWARK N.J PHOTOGRAPHER STAMP ON THE BACK.BOTH ARE WEARING COILED RATTLESNAKE PATCHES AND THEIR OVERCOATS IN FRONT OF THEM HAVE THE COILED RATTLESNAKE PATCHES.YOU WILL NEVER FIND ANOTHER ONE OF THESE POSTCARDS.THIS HAS BEEN IN MY COLLECTION FOR MANY YEARS

As Seen In East Harlem

NYC Election: Who Won and Voter Turnout

How ‘Chainy’ is Harlem?

An interesting map that looks at how much of a chain a given restaurant is. The national dataset shows which communities have independent restaurants and which ones are saturated by chains.

In Manhattan, the ‘chainiest’ neighborhood I noticed was around 34th Street:

By comparison, Harlem has chains but they aren’t the dominant kind of restaurant:

Here’s a zoom into 125th street:

You can explore the map and see where chains dominate and where mom-and-pop restaurants flourish here: https://friendlycities-gatech.github.io/chainness/

Don’t Trash Your Batteries

IMPORTANT: Batteries cause fires in recycling facilities.Do not place any batteries* or items that contain batteries in the trash or recycling – it is illegal!Batteries must be removed and disposed of properly. Bring to a SAFE EventSpecial Waste Site or Call2Recycle. Staten Island residents can find additional options here.

Harlem Brew Fest

HARLEM . BREW. CULTURE.

Where It All Started • Harlem, NYC  November 2017.  Harlem Brew Fest was the first festival in the world to connect all brewers, artists, chefs and DJs in celebration of Black Brewing culture and featured: Sankofa Beer, Black Frog Brewery, Island to Island Beer, 1947 Beer, Harlem Brewing and Rams & Parrot Distillery.

On November 12th, Harlem Brew Fest returns.

Tickets here:

https://harlembrewfest.com/

Redistricting Harlem

HarlemWorld has a great article on how City Council District 9 could be impacted by redistricting.