Our Meeting with Mark Levine and The NYC Accelerator Program

We had a great meeting on October 12th with Mark Levine. If you missed it, and want to learn more about his vision for Manhattan (or learn more about the NYC Accelerator Program), please see:


Passcode: 5Rn^1!L#

Sculpture in Marcus Garvey Park

On view through October 1, 2022, Thomas J Price: Witness celebrates a familiar everyday form rarely monumentalized within a public setting. In the artist’s words, “I want to interrogate [notions of] presence, movement, and freedom. Who do these spaces belong to? And what bodies are provided more or less autonomy to move with liberty through public [space]?” 

Thomas J Price: Witness is presented as part of The Studio Museum in Harlem’s series of collaborative initiatives, inHarlem, which are being undertaken while the Museum is preparing for the construction of its new building.

Stop by Marcus Garvey Park starting this October and view this monumental work. 

Traveling While Black

Make sure to visit the Schomburg Library before the end of the year to see the fantastic exhibit “Traveling While Black”. The Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Kevin Young notes:

Since the start of their experience in the Americas, Black people have been defined by travel, displacement, and resistance. 

Whether in the horrors of the Middle Passage or the rebellion of Maroon communities made up of escaped slaves, travel has meant much—and something much more—for Africans in the Americas. This exhibition, our first as we celebrate The New York Public Library’s 125th anniversary and the Schomburg Center’s 95th, explores over a century of travel. Moving from the Great Migration of African Americans north and west at the start of the twentieth century to the restrictions and resistances of travel in the Jim Crow South and the Jane Crow North, Traveling While Black examines a history of travel, from those who found themselves exiles within their own country down to the pilgrims and pleasure seekers of our time. 

War marks many of the peregrinations of the last century, often offering African American soldiers their first glimpse of other cultures beyond the United States. They returned with a new energy and renewed hope, whether in the offerings of jazz after the Great War, or the opportunities abroad for expatriates after World War II. The freedom that African Americans sought at home and fought for abroad they often found in travel. Returning Black officers and recruits started motorcycle clubs and organized tour groups, traditions that continue today. The somewhat open road and the mostly great outdoors provided Black sojourners with literal and emotional vistas to revel in. 

While confronting restrictions from Jim Crow laws and surveillance by would-be law enforcement agencies stateside, everyday travel meant obeying unspoken rules of the road. Domestic journeys involved ingenuity, often employing the Green Book, that guide for Black travelers developed in Harlem by Victor Green. Carry your Green Book with you…you may need it! reads one tagline for the guides. The Schomburg Center retains the largest and most complete collection of Green Books in the world; in many cases we hold the only known copy. But as any number of African American guidebooks found here indicate, from runaways to resorts, the idea of escape has had larger resonances for Black culture. Questions surrounding Black bodies in motion—whether driving, walking, or traveling while Black—still persist, asking us to consider the meaning of migration, movement, and freedom. 

—Kevin Young

It’s My Park Day


You may have heard that the American Museum of Natural History has reopened its minerals and gems hall to universal acclaim.

On a recent visit to The Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, the exhibits tell the fascinating story of how the vast diversity of mineral species arose on our planet, how scientists classify and study them, and how we use them for personal adornment, tools, and technology. 

The galleries feature more than 5,000 specimens from 98 countries, and, of course, specimens from New York broken down by borough and location where found.

A number of the items on display are either from Harlem or were found at the edge of Harlem and speak to the fascinating geology beneath us all.


At this moment in time the Mt. Morris Park Historic District is facing a safety crisis!

Today, as we step outside our doors, walk down our streets or through our wonderful Marcus Garvey Park, we witness individuals in great distress, people who are unhoused, and others selling and using street drugs, and the overwhelming consequences of these collective crises. Under similar situations, MMPCIA was formed more than 40 years ago. So, again we take up the mantel to hold those accountable and bring back a sense of safety and well-being. With strong and active members, we will once again prevail.

Ways we are addressing this crisis include:

 1.  Working with local law enforcement, government agencies, elected officials and partnering with other local community-based organizations.  

2.  Updates to the community during our monthly meetings from relevant stakeholders and weekly updates on our new website (currently under construction).

3.  Developing a robust social media campaign.

4.  Gathering and sharing the personal stories of members of the community who are impacted by this crisis.

Madlyn Stokely

 President, MMPCIA

Meet Brad Lander and Tell Him What You Want for Harlem


Thursday, September 30

6 – 8pm EDT


This event’s address is private.


About this event

Join Brad Lander, Democratic nominee for New York City Comptroller and other community leaders for an in-person listening session, focused on the issues and priorities of Harlem.

Brad is excited to use the position of NYC Comptroller to best serve New Yorkers by making sure that city government is working for the people effectively and efficiently, and that city government is held accountable to its promises. To do this, we want to hear from you! Join us to speak directly to Brad, let us know what you want to see from city government, and what changes you would like to see in the coming years.

Event Partners and Co-hosts:

  • Representative Adriano Espaillat
  • Al Taylor, NYS Assemblyman
  • Diana Ayala, City Councilmember District 8

Brad has represented the 39th District in Brooklyn as a member of the New York City Council for over ten years, building a track record of defending workers rights, protecting tenants, and fighting to align the budget with progressive values. Brad serves as the Council’s Deputy Leader for Policy and co-founded the Council’s Progressive Caucus, helping to bring participatory budgeting to NYC.

Through his roles as Council member, community advocate, and long time New York City resident, Brad is eager to learn more about Harlem and connect with this community.

Exact location to be provided upon RSVP. Face mask required for entry.

And Up the Acropolis

If you haven’t taken the time to head to Marcus Garvey Park and see Susan Stair’s work, Ascending the Mountain, 2021, take the time.

07062021 Susan Stair artwork in Marcus Garvey Park eastside on steps going up to Watch Tower part 1&2.. part 3 in a few weeks

The public artwork is installed in three distinct sections along the staircase that leads up to the Harlem Fire Watchtower in Marcus Garvey Park. The first section is at the base of the stairs near the basketball courts which is also the best place to start and follow the story that the artwork tells. Image captions below share more information about how an urban forest that self seeded and grew up the mountain of Manhattan Schist in Harlem

07062021 Susan Stair artwork in Marcus Garvey Park eastside on steps going up to Watch Tower part 1&2.. part 3 in a few weeks

Created with mosaic tiles and clay impressions of bark, leaves and small branches from nearby trees.

Head to the staircase leading up from the basketball courts to view the work.

Also, in Marcus Garvey Park

Colleagues and Friends,

I invite you to the last presentation of Counting Tales, a video projection series where my work is featured by the collective ArtFormsUs in conjunction with Marcus Garvey Park; they will present a series of 7 original short videos whose general theme is “counting.”

Wednesday, September 29th

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Marcus Garvey Park Richard Rodgers Amphitheater
18 Mt Morris PW | Harlem NYC

The resounding theme appears in myriad forms: from the sounds of whales echoing the belching sounds of a bus, the artist’s movements reflect the sounds of the city; Ripples in street puddles are chanting numbers of family members. The middle passages losses are given new echoes in our current times; Consumption is demonstrated by the artist, hooded in plastic, roaming the city as she knits an endless train of plastic bags; Jazz, trees, and breathing underscore a sympathy for humanity; Counting leaves symbolizes the litany of counting deaths by Covid; the surreal slapstick of 3 disparate artists converges into bonding, and a ritual examines two of the foundational objects that brought Latinos and African Americans to the “New World.”

The roster of ArtFormsUs video artists include Capucine BourcartDominique de CockNoreen Dean Dresser, Undine Groeger, Salem KriegerLeah PollerViviane Rombaldi SeppeyXavier Roux and Allicette Torres. The members are multi-national, multi-disciplinary artists residing in Harlem.

For further information, visit: www.ArtFormsUs.com

ArtFormsUs thanks its sponsors Marcus Garvey Park, El Barrio Artspace, LMCC, WCA, Parlour 153, Red Seeds Art Studio, NYC Cultural Affairs, 77th Parallel Productions, Marcus Garvey Public Art and Wind Support.

Delilah of Harlem

The earliest novel that takes place in Harlem (that I know of) is from 1893, and was written by Richard Henry Savage.

It’s fairly forgettable Victorian melodrama, but offers a glimpse into posh society in and around Mount Morris Park, in the new and stately brownstones that were purchased by New York City’s upper class.

Ebay has a copy on sale – reading only.


CB11 – Your Chance To Speak!

If you’d like to tell your elected officials what you think of the state of East Harlem, here’s your chance.

On Tuesday, CB11 will be hosting a full board meeting. You must register for the Zoom event, and register to speak if you wish:

Full BoardTuesday • September 28th • 6:30pm
In order to attend this meeting, please register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
If you wish to speak during the public session at our September Full Board Meeting, please indicate your interest in speaking and fill out the form here.
View the agenda on our meeting calendar here.

Literacy Across Harlem!

TOTAL EQUITY NOW invites West, Central and East Harlem to the

9th Annual Literacy Across Harlem March, Book Drive & Community Celebration!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


UGC Eats (Urban Garden Center) Notice


The Met Opera in Marcus Garvey Park

Marcus Garvey Park’s amphitheater will host OPENING NIGHT OF MET OPERA 5PM for pre show events with Terence Blanchard, maker of the opera “Fire Shut Up In My Bones” based on the NYT columnist Charles Blow’s memoir.

Please join us 5-6PM PRE SHOW EVENTS and 6PM LIVE SATELLITE FEED with opening remarks by LT GOVERNOR BRIAN BENJAMIN.



See more HERE:

Livestream Premiere of Met Opera Opening Night’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” – City Parks Foundation


On this day I wanted to post part of a piece from John Jay College that interviews Dr. Keith Taylor, a Harlem resident, 9/11 first responder, CUNY professor, and community leader.

Twenty years ago on September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 lives were cruelly taken away from their family, friends, and colleagues. They senselessly lost fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, and even young children at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. As a New York City college focused on educating firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical professionals, the toll on our community was steep—John Jay lost 67 heroes that day. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice to save others in need. Now, after two decades, the emotional, psychological, and physical pain of that tragic day still runs deep. First responders and civilians continue to face life-threatening diseases because of the toxic air they inhaled; while many others have died because of the exposure to deadly dust and debris. As a community committed to public service, we honor the legacy of our fallen heroes, and we strive to ensure that a tragedy like 9/11 never happens again.

The morning of September 11, 2001 began like any other workday for Keith Taylor, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration, who at the time was a New York Police Department (NYPD) Missing Persons Detective Sergeant. “I remember it was a beautiful day, the sky was clear, the weather was great. I reported to work at One Police Plaza, not too far from the World Trade Center, when word got out that there was a plane crash,” recalls Taylor. “I looked out the window and saw what appeared to be plumes of smoke coming from the top of the North Tower. I thought it was a small plane that had crashed into the building, but just as we were preparing to get over there, the second plane hit. Once we saw the second plane hit, we knew it was a deliberate act of terrorism.”

To read the complete article, see:


Mount Morris Park’s Fire Watchtower

In this photo, looking north on 5th Avenue from 117th Street or so, you can see the fire watchtower in the distance.

Note that the text at the bottom is incorrect. You can clearly see that 120th Street – the southern border of Marcus Garvey Park – is at least 2 if not 3 streets further north.

The brownstones you see in the top right – just over the white fence – cannot be in the park.

See the original photo, here: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/bcdf3fbe-a5a7-88d6-e040-e00a1806445a

Car Insurance?

One of our neighbors is investigating car insurance and Harlem. If you have a story/experience about car insurance, here’s how to get involved:

Dear neighbors,
Like many people, I bought a car during the pandemic. I then discovered how expensive and difficult it is to get a car insured and keep it insured – at first I thought it was true throughout the city, but my initial research suggests that that’s not the case. I’m a journalist, so I’m considering writing a piece about this. I am interested in talking to people who have cars in Harlem. Have you seen your insurance rates rise precipitously over time? Have you been dropped by your insurance company? Have you found that some companies won’t sell you insurance at all? I want to hear from you even if none of these things have happened to you and you have been able to maintain reasonably priced insurance.
I don’t need to use your name in the final article, but please be willing to share it with me and to give me all the same information that an insurer asks: your age, gender, whether you own or rent your home, the make and model of your car and whether you are making payments on it, where you keep the car (street or garage), whether the car has anti-theft devices and which ones, how you use your car (leisure or daily commute), your zip code, whether you are married, and what accidents or violations you and your spouse (if you have one) have had in the last five years. And I will also ask how much you are paying for insurance, the name of your insurance company, and whether your policy is for 6 or 12 months. I can be contacted at [email protected].
Thank you,
Masha Gessen

Ice Cream in Harlem

Two Harlem ice cream spots won praise in Today.com for their amazing offerings:

Sugar Hill Creamery: New York, NY

Serving out of two locations in the Harlem area, Sugar Hill Creamery is a labor of love built by wife-and-husband team Petrushka Bazin Larsen and Nick Larsen. With combined backgrounds in arts, culture, fine dining and community, they opened their first location in 2017 and have been producing seasonal and classic flavors inspired by Harlem. The handmade flavors to order include a blueberry cheesecake dubbed “Chairperson of the Board,” “Fly Girl,” a honey and lavender-flavored homage to the movie “Honey” and a salted caramel flavor named after Langston Hughes’s poem “Harlem Sweeties.”

The shop is currently delivering pints everywhere in the U.S. (except Hawaii and Alaska) through Goldbelly and will be launching its Ice Cream Sandwich of the Month Club this summer.

Mikey Likes It Ice Cream: New York, NY

Mikey Cole created his brand of ice cream following the advice of his late aunt: “If you are cooking with love, someone should receive that same food with love.” Now serving from two locations in NYC, on the Lower East Side and in Harlem, he will soon sell his ice cream at MoMA’s Cafe 2 as well. Cole’s take on banana pudding with vanilla wafers a flavor called “Brady Bunch,” and “Pink Floyd” is a take on a double-strawberry cheesecake. He even serves up a flavor that encourages you to eat your greens, called “Incredible Hulk.”

Cole also continues to donate food to the community and hopes his ice cream brings people together. Plus, if you’re a kid with an A on your report card: Congrats — your scoop is free!

Former Sign/Plaque?

At the point where 5th Avenue intersects with 120th Street, Marcus Garvey Park has a curious remnant of a former sign or plaque.

You can see the former bolt holes, and someone chiseled the rock to allow the sign to lay flat.

If anyone knows what it was or said, do tell.

The Heat Vulnerability Index

The Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) shows neighborhoods whose residents are more at risk for dying during and immediately following extreme heat. It uses a statistical model to summarize the most important social and environmental factors that contribute to neighborhood heat risk. The factors included in the HVI are surface temperature, green space, access to home air conditioning, and the percentage of residents who are low-income or non-Latinx Black. Differences in these risk factors across neighborhoods are rooted in past and present racism.

Remember, all neighborhoods have residents at risk for heat illness and death. A neighborhood with low vulnerability does not mean no risk.

What factors affect heat vulnerability in your neighborhood?

 Daytime summer surface temperature is different from air temperature, and varies more by neighborhood: some neighborhoods are hotter than others. A higher surface temperature is associated with a higher risk of death from heatwaves. 

 Green space is treegrass, or shrub cover. Green space helps cool a neighborhood. Less green space in a neighborhood is associated with a greater risk of death during heat waves.

 Air conditioning is as necessary during extreme heat as heating is in winter. A neighborhood with a high percentage of households with air conditioners means that more of its residents can be protected from extreme heat.

 Poverty is a social factor that places people at risk of death during heat waves for many reasons. One reason is that people living in poverty may be less likely to afford owning or using an air conditioner during heat waves. Citywide average: 19.6%

Racial disparities in heat vulnerability

In NYC, Black people die of heat-related illness at a disproportionately high rate. Because of this, neighborhoods with more Black residents are more greatly impacted by extreme heat.

Black New Yorkers suffer these disproportionate health impacts from heat due to social and economic disparities. These disparities stem from structural racism, which includes neighborhood disinvestment, racist housing policies, fewer job opportunities and lower pay, and less access to high-quality education and health care.

Overall, these systems limit access to resources that protect health. While many factors affect a neighborhood’s heat risk, Black New Yorkers are subjected to higher rates of poverty and lower access to air conditioning, green space, and neighborhood cooling resources.


You can learn more about what the City is doing to address extreme heat and how the HVI is guiding that work at Cool Neighborhoods NYC. Communities can also use the index to advocate for services and resources.

Sendero Verde Phase II

The massive development on the block Park/Madison and 111/112 is about to double. Financing has been arranged ($225 Million) to begin Phase 2.

The project will have 709 units of affordable housing, public gardens and recreational space, a mix of community facilities and social services, a new school, and approximately 30,000 square feet of retail. Phase Two will specifically include 347 affordable housing units reserved for the formerly homeless up to households and individuals at 90 percent of the area median income (AMI).

The project will also be the largest Passive House structure for multifamily use in New York City.

“Sendero Verde’s mix of incomes, passive house design, plaza, gardens, and more than 85,000 square feet of community space serving education, youth, and senior activities and health needs provides a model for the next generation of communities of opportunity,” said Jonathan Rose Companies president Jonathan F.P. Rose. “We are so grateful for the support of our community neighbors and the local community board, our partners, and the city agencies that made this project possible.”

Charlie Parker Jazz Fest and COVID

 The NYC Parks Department wanted to let you know that this weekend’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival – with the Jazzmobile on Friday – will require proof of vaccination or negative covid test within 72 hours.

This is a SummerStage decision and more details can be found at www.summerstage.org

Friday, August 27, 2021

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Marcus Garvey Park

18 Mt. Morris Park West, New York, NY 10027

All free performances will be open to the public, first come, first served, and subject to venue capacity limits.

In response to the increasing spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, all guests of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival SummerStage events at Marcus Garvey Park on August 27, 28 and 29, will be required to show either proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (final dose by August 13) or a negative PCR test within the last 72 hours in order to enter.

Learn more about acceptable documentation, mask guidelines, and other safety protocols here.

This performance will be livestreamed on CharlieParkerJazzFestival.org.

In celebration of what would have been Charlie “Bird” Parker’s 100th birthday, alto saxophonist Vincent Herring invited two seminal fellow altoists — Gary Bartz, & Bobby Watson – to deliver Bird At 100 (Smoke Sessions) as a tribute to and in honor of Parker’s legacy. Bird at 100 sees the three saxophonists alternate between soaring solo flights and three-part harmonies, at times pushing each other, while at others, taking a backseat to Bird, their inspiration. They’re supported by David Kikoski on piano, Yasushi Nakamura on bass while Carl Allen sets the pace from behind the drum kit. A special guest for the evening is Antonio Hart and his quartet. Hart is an alto saxophonist who has sat in with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Terrence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, and Dizzy Gillespie. Rounding out the Quartet will be Miki Yamanaka on piano, Alex Ayala on bass, and Vince Ector on drums.

NoMAA Has a New Home

NOMAA makes new home at theUnited Palace of Spiritual ArtsNoMAA’s Studios

The uptown arts community now has a new place to create art as the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) has officially opened NoMAA’s Studios @4140, taking residence in the office and four arts studios on the 2nd floor of the United Palace of Spiritual Arts at 4140 Broadway.   

Led by Executive Director Niria Leyva-Gutierrez and Executive Coordinator Michelle Orsi Gordon, NoMAA moved its base of operations into space the last month, and, this spring, will begin programming the United Palace’s two professional dance studios and two multi-purpose arts spaces.   NoMAA was established in 2007 as a non-profit arts service organization that cultivates the works of local artists, strengthens the infrastructures of local arts organizations, and encourages public engagement and dialogues around issues affecting the cultural community of the area. Its programs include technical assistance workshops for artists, promotion of artist open studios (online since March 2020), and the annual Uptown Arts Stroll, now in its 18th year.  

United Palace of Cultural Arts and NoMAA have already begun working in collaboration on “Uptown Artists at United Palace”, a virtual performance featuring uptown artists on the United Palace stage as we safely usher in the return to theater. 
Please join us in giving a warm welcome to NoMAA’s Studios @4140

Eligible New Yorkers Can Get the COVID-19 Vaccine at Home

NYC Logo

Note:  Mayor de Blasio announced that the City will resume use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccine including for the home vaccination program.

New York City is vaccinating City residents at home with the COVID-19 vaccine if they are 75 years or older, have a disability, or are fully homebound. “Fully homebound” means that the individual cannot leave their home.

To schedule an in-home, personalized vaccine visit, please use this form:


Free Film on Monday the 30th



A film about white southerners and the continued obsession with the confederacy and their use of euphemisms like “states rights” to obscure their continued maintenance of white supremacy.