Many of your have heard that Mayor De Blasio visited 125th Street in November after the Greater Harlem Coalition sent a letter to the Mayor. Elected officials have given an update to the community board this week regarding actions they have taken to mitigate the quality of life issues. See this post for more detail: Actions Taken Post Mayor Visit of 125th Street – Greater Harlem Coalition. Keep raising your concerns. This is how we can help our elected officials improve our quality of life.
Last month Chase Bank attended our HNBA meeting and Kevin Cruikshank went over a whole range of housing options and what a bank will look at if you apply for a mortgage on any one of these properties.
Classic Mistakes People Make When Purchasing a New Home
Harlem World has a good, quick article on 8 checkboxes anyone on the market for a home should consider
“Remember there are always other fish in the sea, or should we say homes in the neighborhood. The perfect place will come along eventually, it’s just going to take some time! Don’t give up, stay strong, and remember there will be a happy ending!”
Does Your Water Taste… Different?
Have you noticed that your water tastes different recently (say in the last week or so)? If you have, you’re not alone. We contacted the DEP to see what’s up using this form:
Which is the web version of calling 311 for those of you who’d prefer to not talk to an operator.
We got a call back this morning that said that about a week ago, the DEP switched NYCs drinking water from Delaware and Catskills watersheds, to Croton water. This switch will be in effect for approximately a month.
The DEP has (of course) tested the water and it’s all good, it just comes from different sources, and thus has a slightly different taste.
You can, if you want to spin this in a positive way, think of this as the historic taste of NYC water. When the Croton Aqueduct system finally brought water to NYC in the 19th century, this is what New Yorkers would have (more or less) tasted in 1842.
Since then, Delaware and Catskills water has become more dominant in our taps, and that water/taste has usurped the original Croton water/taste.
Federal Drug and Weapons Arrests
This just came in from the commanding officer of Harlem’s 28th Precinct:
Subject: Narcotic operation arrests in the 28th precinct
Greetings Harlem residents and Stakeholders, On 12/2/20 an on-going investigation culminated with (14) Federal indictments for drug dealing and associated violence and weapons possession. The area in and around W.122nd St – W.124th St. Lenox to Adam Clayton Powell Avenues will receive some relief from the drug trade that was operating in that area. The concerns that were conveyed to the NYPD were not made in vane and these indictments and associated arrests are a testament to the work and commitment invested in effectively addressing and resolving the issue.
Often targeting the “low hanging fruit” only provides for instant, temporary relief for a few days before these individuals return and the condition continues. This operation targeted subjects on all levels of this drug dealing hierarchy, and thus will have a definite impact on its operational abilities. The prosecution of these cases will rest with the Federal Court system.
The enforcement and maintenance of this location will continue so that the benefits of this operation are long lasting.
Community Boards in East Harlem (#11) and Central Harlem (#10) now welcome new members. Deadline to apply is Feb 15. Elected officials themselves or their aides join the meetings of community boards, thus it is one of the easiest way to voice your concerns to NYC elected officials. Though it does not have voting power, the community board also advises city officials on land use applications (e.g. rezoning issues) and budget allocation.
Community Board is a good platform for policy advocacy and to build a network in the neighborhood. For example, CB7 in Upper West Side played an instrumental role in pushing back 1 of the 60 temporary homeless shelter. See article here: news 1, news 2.
To find out more about the two community boards, click here: CB10, CB11
The flip side is that this work takes time, which would be about 6-8 hours a month. If you have questions about the time commitment and responsibilities.. etc, feel free to text me to find a time to talk at 415 215 2035..
On Wednesday, Captain Henning of the 25th Precinct went over the CompStat data and noted that there is an significant increase in property theft (from homes, cars, and work sites) between 125th and 135th streets. Please be extra vigilant and watch belongings, keep tempting items and packages out of sight.
For those car owners, it was also jaw-dropping to hear that he (the commanding officer) personally arrested a man this past month engaged in a car break-in. This individual had an arrest record of OVER 100 car break-ins. He was not held.
Untapped New York collected some wonderful images of the Harlem River Drive. Note in the first two images, the High Bridge (the bridge which brings Croton water into NYC) consists solely of masonry arches (your can see the Croton High Bridge tower on the right-hand side, above a white building):
Construction of the Harlem River Speedway began in 1894 with the carving of the bluffs overlooking the river. After its opening in 1896, it quickly became a tourist attraction where people could watch horse races on the track as well as boat races on the river. The track was as wide as one-hundred feet in some areas, allowing for several carriages to compete at once. The natural beauty of the surrounding scenery attracted spectators from all social classes. Thousands from around the country visited to watch planned parades and competitions, and rich sportsmen were satisfied with their exclusive speedway, using it heavily to train and display their horses.
To read more about the history of the Harlem River Drive, see:
The tests are the swab tests, and for those you can get results back in three days. They’ll also have the rapid tests available, with results back in 15 minutes. The swab tests are free, and the rapid tests have an additional fee ($100).
If the testers get enough foot traffic, Uptown Grand Central may be able to get the van to return with us for future weeks.
Take care & mask up!
25th Precinct Community Council – Tonight
Kioka Jackson writes:
Hope you all are enjoying the chilly weather. Just wanted to remind you about tomorrow’s meeting which will begin at 6:00PM. Just as a point of clarity because of the rising COVID numbers we have decided not to do the hybrid meeting where we would have some people in-person and others join virtually. This meeting is totally virtual via Zoom. Hopefully, soon we will go back to some kind of normalcy where we can come out and enjoy a handshake or a hug. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy. Because we have recently received a good number of questions and concerns around sanitation issues in our community we invited DSNY to be a part of this conversation. Please have your questions ready. We will try our best to get to everyone. It is very important that we try to use the Zoom functions (Blue Raise Hand, Chat, and Mute) so that we can acknowledge everyone most effectively.
A neighbor wrote to Governor Cuomo and OASAS recently, asking for them to address how the illegal drug trade (which congregates around the nexus of OASAS licensed addiction programs in our community) is impacted by OASAS decisionmaking. Zoraida Diaz (the OASAS NYC District Director) replied with a refusal to acknowledge the impact of decades of OASAS’s decisions that have oversaturated our community. She and OASAS are hiding behind an “it’s complicated” defense, and refusing to meet or begin a conversation.
Here’s the letter:
Please call: 646.728.4760 and ask why OASAS is failing to take responsibility for the oversaturation of addiction programs in Harlem and East Harlem and how this oversaturation attracts the illegal drug trade to our streets.
Mayor Visits East Harlem
Patch has an article on Sunday’s unannounced visit by the mayor to East Harlem to see the rampant drug dealing and quality of life issues that plague East 125th Street.
The article notes that:
Neighbors have complained of open heroin use, garbage strewn across East 125th Street, and human waste littering the sidewalks. This week, the city closed the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Playground on Lexington between East 122nd and 123rd streets at Ayala’s request after consistent drug use in the park left it virtually off-limits to parents and children.
The New York Times has a wonderful (virtual) walking and talking chat with the architect David Adjaye about Hotel Theresa, Marcus Garvey Park, the home of Langston Hughes, the Y.M.C.A. and other landmarks.
A highly recommended, architectural focused stroll:
The NYPD Wants Your Opinions
The NYPD has come up with a detailed 18 question survey for you to voice your thoughts about the police and how they are doing in our community.
As we always say, the city can’t read your mind. We need to tell them what we want, what we expect, and what is unacceptable to our community:
Harlem has had a mail system since 1673. In order for mail to travel, however, the road to Harlem to New York and beyond had to be finished, or at least made usable. Eventually, a monthly mail between New York and Boston was officially announced and the earliest letters set out on the first of January, 1673.
The novelty of the mounted postman reining up at the tavern at Harlem, with his dangling “portmantles,” crammed with “letters and small portable goods,” but tarrying only so long as necessary to deliver his mail and refresh himself and horse, added another to the sights and incidents which dutifully noted by all in town.
By-Mail Absentee Voting (Using the USPS)
After making your votes on the ballot, fold the ballot and put it in a smaller envelope. Sign and date the back of the envelope. Seal the envelope and put it in the larger envelope that is addressed to the Board of Elections. Mail or deliver your ballot to your borough Board of Elections office.
An absentee ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and must reach the Board of Elections no more than 7 days after the election to be counted.
Your input is invaluable and your perspective is vital in assisting the Police Department in its efforts to reform and reinvent its policies. We have launched a brand new initiative to collect feedback from New Yorkers. We will incorporate what we learn into a plan of action to make the NYPD more transparent and fair for everyone. We want to hear all feedback. What is working? What isn’t working? How can officers better work with the community members they are sworn to serve? What are best practices we can replicate across the city? While in-person attendance is limited due to COVID-19, all meetings are streamed on Zoom and Facebook. The schedule is below along with the links to join and participate.
The week after election day HNBA will hold its November meeting on Tuesday, November 10th at 7 PM.
We are looking forward to a fantastic lineup of guests, the first of which will be representatives from Chase bank who will talk about helping Harlem residents achieve home ownership, including:
Applying for a mortgage Available Grants to help with the down payment 2-4 unit properties – using rental income to qualify Multiple borrowers on one application Is now the time to refi? Pluses and minuses Working with a realtor Single-family Multi-family with rental income Market Condo Deed restricted condo Market co-op HDFC co-op
We will then meet Tali Farhadian Weinstein who is running for Manhattan DA. https://www.taliforda.com/ Tali and her staff recently join in on a walking tour of 125th Street from Lenox to Lexington to see first hand some of the major struggles we have with quality of life and small business development.
Tali Farhadian Weinstein is a prosecutor, a professor, and a proven criminal justice reformer. She is also an immigrant, a daughter, a wife, and the mother of three girls.
Lastly, Jana La Sorte from the NYC Parks Department will join us. Jana is the new administrator for the four Historic Harlem Parks — Jackie Robinson, Marcus Garvey, Morningside and St. Nicholas — that advocates for and supports the unique history and character of each park and their future development to better serve the greater Harlem community.
If you are a member of HNBA (Join Here) and would like to join in this exciting conversation on the 10th, email Shawn for the zoom link.
DWB (Driving While Black)
Join the New York & Virtual Premiere of dwb (driving while black) this evening until October 29th.
dwb (driving while black) isa new chamber opera about racism, erasure, and the fear and love that black parents experience when they send their kids out into a world that too often sees them not as a child, but as a threat. This powerful music-drama documents the all-too-familiar story of an African American parent whose beautiful brown boy approaches driving age. What should be a celebration of independence and maturity turns out to be fraught with the anxiety of “driving while black.”
“One of the most singularly devastating theatrical moments of the last year.” –The Pitch
“A composer of vivid imagination and skill” —Fanfare
“Singers are storytellers,” says soprano/librettist Roberta Gumbel (“silver voiced…” – The New York Times), “but rarely do we get the opportunity to help create the stories we are telling.” Collaborating with composer Susan Kander and the cutting-edge duo New Morse Code (“Clarity of artistic vision and near-perfect synchronicity.” icareifyoulisten.com), this brief, powerful music-drama documents the all-too-familiar story of an African-American parent whose “beautiful brown boy” approaches driving age as, what should be a celebration of independence and maturity is fraught with the anxiety of driving while black.
Roberta Gumbel, librettist/soprano Susan Kander, composer Chip Miller, director New Morse Code– Hannah Collins (cello) and Michael Compitello (percussion)