The Marcelle

One of the big disappointments of American aesthetic trends is that this country never caught Art Nouveau fever in the late 19th century. Yes, we have Tiffany, but any keen observer in NYC is hard-pressed to list more than a handful of Art Nouveau treasures in the 5 boroughs.

Here in Harlem, where so much of the cityscape was built during peak Art Nouveau in Europe, it’s rare to find even a touch of the organic design style.

All of this is to say that The Marcelle – at 2013 5th Avenue – is a rara avis, a brownstone with a subtle Art Nouveau twist.

If you take a careful look at the brownstone work above the central arch, you’ll see a beautiful rendering of AD 1888, but also the name of the building, in fluid/organic font.

What many may miss, however, is that what appears to be rusticated stone surrounding the date and name, is not actually rusticated stone. It’s a very subtle bas relief of olives and olive branches – often a symbol of fecundity, the harvest, and riches.

Take a look sometime, just north of Marcus Garvey Park, and see if you can make out the olives and olive branches.

Today: Mexican Muralism and its American Impact

Panel Discussion with Q&A
The American Academy of Arts and Letters
633 West 155th Street
Friday, January 28, 10 am
To attend in person, register via Eventbrite

To view the presentation LIVE on ZOOM, register via Drawing America

Unveiling the gift of José Clemente Orozco drawings from Michael and Salma Wornick to the Hispanic Society. Film still provided by Savona Bailey-McClain, West Harlem Art Fund.

A panel discussion led by Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the West Harlem Art Fund. Panelists include:

  • Esther Adler, Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, MoMA
  • Leon Tovar, Principal, Leon Tovar Gallery, NYC
  • Dr. Orlando Hernández-Ying, Rockefeller Brothers Fund Curatorial Research Fellow for the Hubert & Mireille Goldschmidt Works on Paper Fellowship, Hispanic Society Museum & Library
  • With remarks from: Dr. Marcus B. Burke, Senior Curator, Paintings, Drawings, and Metalworks, Hispanic Society Museum & Library

War dominated the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe. New political ideologies — socialism and communism, also added tensions. Art responded by turning its focus onto the common man and woman in natural and urban environments.

The Americas were impacted as well with cries for change. In Mexico, a ten-year revolution offered an opportunity for Mexico to acknowledge its pre-Hispanic past with a new blended population. Art became the medium to spark emotions and share with pride epic tales of how this blended world was to take shape.

The Mexican Muralism Movement embraced European traditions of drawing and frescoes with social realism and new aesthetics that swept into North America. Our panel will discuss these impacts and the artists whose mark still moves us today.

To view the presentation LIVE via ZOOM, Please register via Drawing America

Candlelight Vigil

Dr. Keith Taylor, a neighbor and friend writes:

If you are able, I ask you to attend a community candlelight vigil at the 32nd Precinct tonight at 6:30 pm to show support for our officers at a time of great loss to the NYPD and to the Harlem community. Your presence will mean a tremendous amount to the officers and to me. As a volunteer NYPD community liaison, I regularly speak to rookie officers as they get assigned to the 32 Precinct about the Harlem community as well as lessons learned from my 23 years in the NYPD. We have lost one of our best, Officer Jason Rivera, and another officer, Wilbert Mora, is fighting for his life as I write this to you. Thank you for sharing this with our community.

Art In The Park

Earlier, in the fall, we attended a reception for the sculpture Renaissance Women that was located in Marcus Garvey Park, in front of the pool entrance. The artist, Alice Mizrachi (pictured above) was on hand to answer questions, pose in front of her work, and help with a fun participatory art project.

If you’re in the park, make sure to stroll past and check out her hand-forged steel piece.

We Still Here

The Silent Procession (NYC4PR) is co-sponsoring a documentary film (fundraiser) on February 24th.

The documentary examines how in the absence of federal support from the previous administration, Puerto Rican communities were forced to rescue themselves in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Subways and Rubble

With the 2nd Avenue Subway getting (theoretically) closer and closer to becoming a reality for East Harlem, it’s interesting to ask where does all the soil and rock that used to take up the space the tracks, tunnels and trains now occupy.

First of all, it’s important to note that Donald Trump held back funding for the East Harlem portion of the 2nd Avenue Subway for the entirety of his term. It was only when President Joe Biden and the Democrats passed President Biden’s infrastructure bill that New York finally had/has the funds to begin the East Harlem portion of the subway.

This is interesting given that Trump himself benefitted from the earlier Upper East Side section of the 2nd Avenue subway. First of all, a number of his properties on the East Side benefitted from the increase in accessibility and thus the value of the property itself. But, more interestingly, the Trump golf course that was built on the Bronx side of the Whitestone Bridge was made from some of the rubble from the Upper East Side portion of the 2nd Avenue Subway.

All those ‘features’ you see on the golf course – an attempt to mimic the windswept rolling landscape of coastal Scottland – were built by piling load after load of rock that was quarried below 2nd Avenue.

But what about other subways in our community? What happened to that subway rock that was removed so the trains could travel underground?

East Harlem’s other lines – stressed and desperately in need of the 2nd Avenue Subway – the 4/5/6 were constructed under Lexington and the rock and rubble from that construction went into New York Harbor to extend Governors’ Island to the south. The large (mostly) parkland area, furthest away from Manhattan, was built from 4/5/6 subway excavation material.

Rubble was not just used for golf courses and island expansion, the gorgeous Manhattan schist that gives the historic City College of New York’s buildings their black, sparkling look, was also material from subway construction. The digging of the 1/2/3 lines brought tons and tons of Manhattan schist to the surface and City College used this material to create some of the most impressive neogothic buildings in New York City.


Mulchfest 2022 will run from today through January 9. New Yorkers will be able to drop off holiday trees at one of 74 sites—35 are chipping sites—across the five boroughs, including parks and GreenThumb gardens. The trees are then chipped and recycled, and the mulch is used to nourish city trees and plants in every corner of the city.

During the chipping weekend—January 8 & 9—residents can bring their tree to a chipping site and watch their tree being chipped, and bring a bag of nutrient-rich mulch home with them. Weather-permitting, DSNY will also collect and compost clean trees left at curbs from Thursday, January 6, 2022, to Saturday, January 15, 2022.

Mulchfest, part of the New York City holiday tradition, encourages New Yorkers to make greening a family activity—turning holiday trees into mulch which can be used for gardening and to increase soil fertility.

Bring your tree to Marcus Garvey Park and give your tree a starring role in helping the community gardens of New York.

HNBA Meeting on Tuesday, 7:00 PM

Join HNBA next week, on Tuesday the 14th, for our annual December/Holiday meeting.

Are you ready for holiday cooking with a twist of funny? 

Join stand-up comedian and host of the cooking/comedy show Dinner’s Ready Live (IGTV/YoutubeTV) for a night of fun cooking and big laughs. Dan will be teaching us how to make Spaghetti Carbonara from the refrigerator to the plate using simple ingredients. We encourage you to cook and laugh along! Here are the ingredients:


  • 4 SLICES BACON (can use turkey bacon too)
  • 1/2 CUP PEAS



We’ll also be joined by comedian Ryan Brown who will join us for Carbonara trivia!

If you’re vegetarian, leave off the Bacon. But don’t leave off your sense of humor and good cheer!  See you from the kitchen!

Holiday Tree Lighting


We Are Lighting The Tree @ 6 pm (Near The Pool)


Greater Calvary Baptist Church

(Across The Street From Park) 43-55 124th Street

FEATURING: Dancer/Choreographer Du’Bois Akeen

Holiday Songs Of Praise by Pastor Terrence L. Kennedy and The Reach Music Ministry
State Senator Cordell Cleare Coming & Councilmember Elect Kristin Jordan Richardson Invited
Masks Required

Grab and Go Refreshments

Marcus Garvey Park Tree Lighting

December 8th, at 6:00 PM.

124th Street and 5th Avenue.

Join the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance in the lighting of the holiday tree.

Under the Stoops

Along 5th Avenue, between 129/128th Streets, there are 3 brownstones in a row that still have grills that allow light into the under-the-stoop space.

As a result, you can see 3 houses through and during the day, illumination is unnecessary.

Let’s Work Towards Carbon Neutrality

NYC Accelerator is a free program through the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability committed to restoring NYC and its buildings. The Accelerator team experts work with building representatives to improve building’s energy and water efficiency through building upgrades which create healthier buildings, save owners and residents money on their utility bills, and improve local air quality. 

The program is looking to connect with small, multi-family building owners in Harlem so that NYC can reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. We recognize the importance of The Harlem Neighborhood Block Association in Harlem and admire your dedication to your community. We would like to partner with your organization, at no cost to you, to educate building owners and residents in your community how they can improve their buildings utilizing funding from many local and state programs to boost their building’s energy performance while reducing carbon emissions, and ensuring healthier, cleaner air for Harlem residents.

Jazmine Espeut

Community Coordinator

P: 212.656.9198

E: [email protected]

A Holiday in Harlem (Well, actually Hartford, CT…)

Soul Train Tomorrow!

Head to Marcus Garvey Park on Saturday to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Soul Train and BET’s attempt to break a world record with the longest one ever.

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:

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.