WNYC Reports on The Amazing Work Of Uptown Grand Central

This morning WNYC and Gothamist reported on the amazing work that Uptown Grand Central and the clean-up crew do to keep the East 125th Street corridor clean and vibrant. Carey King is quoted at length, as is Jason McDavid who cleans and supervises much of the cleaning activity that works under and around the 125th Street Metro North station

Jason McDavid cleans the city streets near the Metro North station on 125th Street in East Harlem.SAMANTHA MAX / GOTHAMIST

Whenever you see the men and women working to keep our community clean and safe, make sure to thank them for their work.

To read the full article, and learn how threatened this clean-up program is (from funds running out):


Note that the article has this factual error:

a team of street cleaners works 40 hours a week filling yellow garbage bags with discarded coffee cups, cigarette butts, and dirty needles.

The clean-up crew use proper sharps disposal protocols and never place needles/sharps/syringes in common plastic bags. Remember, if you see a sharp on the ground, use your phone and call or text 311.

As Seen In East Harlem

Mapping Social Capital

Social capital – the strength of our relationships and communities – has been shown to play an important role in outcomes ranging from income to health. Using privacy-protected data on 21 billion friendships from Facebook, Opportunity Insights measure three types of social capital in each neighborhood, high school, and college in the United States:

  • Economic Connectedness
    • The degree to which low-income and high-income people are friends with each other
  • Cohesiveness
    • The degree to which social networks are fragmented into cliques
  • Civic Engagement
    • Rates of volunteering and participation in community organizations

The site visualizes where different forms of social capital are lacking or flourishing and allows you to explore how likely children in a given neighborhood, will be able to rise out of poverty.

One measure from the Facebook data was volunteerism. The map below shows how likely community members were to be engaged in volunteering in some sort of community group/action:

Note how the Bronx and East Harlem have very low volunteering rates, but then again, so do parts of the Upper East Side.

In the screenshot (above) the Upper West Side shows the highest rate of volunteerism – reflecting the attributes of social capital – time, status, connections, and financial stability – which permit/foster volunteerism.

To see more about what 21 billion friendships on Facebook can tell us about our communities, see:


Party on Park Returns – Sunday, October 2nd

Build the Block

Uptown Vinyl Supreme TODAY


All-vinyl D.J.s, vinyl swapping and selling, analog lessons, plus skateboard: That’s this month’s installment of Open Sounds at Open Streets with Uptown Vinyl Supreme.

All-vinyl D.J.s, vinyl swapping and selling, analog lessons, plus skateboard: That’s this month’s installment of Open Sounds at Open Streets with Uptown Vinyl Supreme.

This Sunday from 2-5 p.m. at our Open Street at 100th & Lexington, there’ll be skateboards and safety gear available to borrow, plus skate obstacles where you can show your skills. Newbies are welcome for a beginner clinic hosted by Bronx Girls Skate from 2-3 p.m., followed by a free skate session from 3-5 p.m.
All while we build our Open Streets community playlist with tunes that reflect the streets of East Harlem …

125th Street BID and Columbia University to Look at a Digital Rethink of West 125th Street

125th Street BID’s Partnership with Columbia UniversityWins $26M NSF Grant to Develop Center for Smart Streetscapes
New York, NY—August 10, 2022—The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it is awarding a $26 million, five-year grant to a team led by Columbia Engineering, together with Florida Atlantic University, Rutgers University, University of Central Florida, and Lehman College, for a new Gen-4 NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Smart Streetscapes(CS3). 
“The most exciting thing about this project is the community involvement at the early-on stage, when we’re planning out what Harlem should have as it relates to technology,” said Barbara Askins, President and CEO, 125th Street Business Improvement District. “For the businesses, the arts and culture, the community organizations, the universities, the office tenants, you name it, this project brings all of that together in a way that will take us into the future through technology.”
This win represents a giant step forward for 125th Street and the Harlem Community. We now have a great go to place to develop solutions for numerous monumental problems that we have been struggling with for decades in our streetscape.

CS3 develops hyper-local real-time, interactive, high-precision applications on the streetscape to improve the quality of life by advancing livable, safe, and healthy communities. 

CS3 will explore new technological innovations determined by community engagement that reflect their needs within the initial context of these five applied themes:
Mobility(Pedestrian, cyclists, vehicles and autonomous systems, trash collection)
Ethical security in public spaces(Retail, urban planning-parks)
Assistive technologies for people with disabilities(Street crossing, real time assistance wayfinding
Future outdoor work(Emergency response, sidewalk logistics for deliveries, impacts of construction)
Hyper-local environmental monitoring(Street flooding, infection modeling, drones)

Landmark East Harlem is Awarded $12,000 for an East Harlem Historic Survey

Landmark East Harlem has been awarded a $12K grant from the Preservation League of New York State – their fiscal sponsor and coalition member, Ascendant Neighborhood Development, received the grant to fund a reconnaissance level survey of historic resources in the northern portion of East Harlem.

This project will complete their comprehensive historic/cultural resources surveying for all of East Harlem.

Read the Press Release

East-Central Harlem survey area (Purple); East Harlem Historic District (Teal); East Harlem South/El Barrio survey area (red)
The final EH historic survey (blue) will complete LEH’s reconnaissance for all East Harlem properties.


As we all know, New York is a terrible place when it comes to finding a public bathroom that you’d actually want to use.

This ‘situation’, coupled with the decriminalization of public urination – spearheaded by East Harlem’s Melissa Mark-Viverito – https://gothamist.com/news/nyc-will-soon-be-filled-with-public-pee-ers-according-to-ny-post – has led to a noticeable increase in people (admittedly, almost always men) peeing in public over the last decade.

Into this mix came gig workers, and app-based taxi drivers in particular. Some, and by no means all, use drink bottles, to relieve themselves. This would likely go unnoticed, but supers or homeowners are forced to deal with the partly-filled drink bottles – often left at the curb or tossed in tree pits.

Help Support the Asylum Seekers That Governor Abbott is Sending to NYC

Governor Greg Abbott from Texas has spent over 12 million dollars to send migrants, asylum seekers, and immigrants to NYC and Washington DC. Here’s how you can help ease their way into New York City and the United States:

Electric Zoo is Coming

Electric Zoo is back. Labor Day Weekend. Randall’s Island.

Harlem in Black and White

Ebay has a number of great images from Harlem’s past for sale as reprints

1946, West Harlem Summer


1960’s Unicycling Basketball


1946, Broadway and 125th Street


1940s Children Dancing


1946 Wisk Broom Seller


Thank You! From The 25th Precinct’s Community Council

Kioka Jackson put together an amazing National Night Out earlier this month but wanted to thank all of the great community members and officers who helped make this happen. She also wanted to encourage us all to shop locally at the businesses that are helping to build a community that thrives:

  • Please grab some amazing pastries, donuts and coffee from Super Nice located between Third and Lexington Avenues on 117th Street.  Yes, the coffee shop with the Pink Pig Logo. Most amazing Cheese Danishes I have ever had.
  • If you want some great food and drinks please go down to First Avenue between 116th and 117th to Sapoara Restaurant.  Tell the Bartender you know me she will make your drink extra special. LOL!
  • Need a Caterer? Reach out to Monique Jones.  Baby them Jerk Turkey Wings were saying something at National Night Out. Monique Jones <[email protected]
  • We all use Bouncy Houses at our events.  If you are looking for a place to rent Bouncy Houses from, consider Busta Bouncy House Entertainment.  They are very affordable and the owner is born and raised in East Harlem.  
  • Need some financial advice?  We all do.,….. Reach out to Tony Shaw – [email protected]   Trust me you will learn something.

Diana Ayala Hosts Community Forum on the Opioid Crisis, Tonight

Tonight, at 5:00 PM, Council Member Ayala is hosting a community conversation on the opioid epidemic.

Join her, city officials, community leaders, and East Harlem neighbors in a wide-ranging (in-person) discussion about what she plans to do about the open air drug dealing and drug using that has inundated our community.

Please come out and bring your perspective and questions.

The forum will be held tonight at 5PM in La Marqueta, Park Avenue, under the train, between 116 and 115th Streets.

East 125th Street

They Can’t Read Our Minds

“They can’t read our minds” is one of the mantras of HNBA and should be one of any engaged citizen. Reporting everything from leaking hydrants, to rats, to illegal drug sales helps our city respond proportionately.

Unfortunately, the use of 311 and 911 is disproportionately impacted by many factors that are often rolled up into the term “social capital”. Essentially, people with privilege are more likely to complain or notify authorities because they identify more expansively with the landscape, are socially rewarded for reporting, and do not fear blowback from authorities (and the police in particular). All of this is coupled with the very real fear that a simple report to 311/911 could potentially lead to a police encounter that could escalate.

How then do we report drug sales and drug usage so NYC can respond to this quality of life and public safety issue appropriately?

You can [anonymously] report the illegal sale of drugs, chronic drug dealing, and individuals involved in such activities, in public areas.

Call 311 for assistance by phone or use this link (and please, bookmark it):



I love this photo of a Harlem Hellfighter, posed on an NYS Police Harley, with his rifle drawn. The sunglasses and crisp uniform make this an iconic photo of professional pride.

Ebay has the photo for sale, here:



The City has a great article on how we can, as citizens, report what looks like a piece of infrastructure that is rusting, decaying, falling apart, whatever. The trick is knowing who’s the right person to call, and where can you report your concern?

When reporting on a crumbling part of the subway, a road, a bridge, or whatever, the first thing to ask yourself is who’s likely in charge of its maintenance. 

  • The city’s DOT has an online list of roads and bridges under its jurisdiction, and notes those that aren’t. The agency says it will respond within 14 days to a report made either through a borough representative or by calling 311. There is also a case tracking site to see the status of any complaint.
  • On the state DOT’s site, navigate to Region 11, representing the city, to report any damage to bridges and roads controlled by the state agency. 
  • As for the MTA, the agency says using social media can be the fastest way to interact with a representative regarding an issue with their bridges and tunnels, but their site also has mailphone and in-person contacts
  • For the NY State Thruway Authority, there is a dedicated hotline to report road conditions to, which is 800-THRUWAY (847-8929).

If you can’t figure out the right agency to call, two good places to get help are your local community board or the constituent services staff at your council member’s office. 

All community boards in the city have meetings where residents and other local stakeholders can express concerns or ask questions about anything pertaining to the neighborhood. Residents can call their boards outside of meeting dates and times to speak about their concerns.

Learn How To Tune-Up And Fix Your Bike

Bike Repair, Maintenance and WorkshopsSaturdays, July 30 / 11AM – 3PMJoin us for an outdoor Bike Repair and Maintenance led with Frank from Bronx Messenger and Uptown & Boogie Bicycle Advocacy.Bring your own bike [BYOB] – ask local bike mechanics and enthusiasts from Upper Manhattan and The Bronx, questions about commuting in the city, discuss biking with kids, bike touring, biking while menstruating and more.Participants are welcome to work on their bicycle during the event.Volunteer: Are you a bike mechanic or enthusiast and want to volunteer? Email [email protected]Suggested Donation: Your donation supports the growth of community programming and events at the garden. To donate, click here to Select Citizen Action Group – St. Nicholas Miracle Garden. It’s supporters like you that help us change the world every day.Event Information:Time: 11:00AM – 3:00PMLocationSaint Nicholas Miracle Garden
330 Saint Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10027Bikers MUST ride their own bicyclePlease note, this DOES NOT include a bike share and rain cancels event.
Register Here!

National Night Out is on Tuesday, August 2nd