400 Miles to Freedom

If you’ve ever been curious about internal race relations within the Jewish community (in Israel and here in in the US), 400 Miles to Freedom is a great introduction. I’m including it here because of some wonderful shots of our neighborhood in the film:

400 Miles to Freedom (2012)

In 1984, the Beta Israel, a secluded 2,500-year-old community of observant Jews in the northern Ethiopian mountains, fled a dictatorship and began a secret and dangerous journey of escape. Co-director Avishai Mekonen, then a 10-year-old boy, was among them. 400 MILES TO FREEDOM follows his story as he breaks the 20 year silence around the brutal kidnapping he endured as a child in Sudan during his community’s exodus out of Africa, and in so doing explores issues of immigration and racial diversity in Judaism.

National Urban League Plans to Use $188M For 125th Street Headquarters in Harlem

urban empowerment center

The National Urban League is moving along with planning for a 17-story project that will include affordable rental housing, a civil rights museum, office space for community groups, retail space, and their headquarters/conference.

121 West 125th Street in Harlem. Courtesy of BRP Companies

The development, known as the Urban League Empowerment Center, will replace a low-slung retail building at 121 West 125th Street and a four-story parking garage that fronts the north side of the lot on West 126th Street. It will also rise next to the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building

For more see: https://commercialobserver.com/2020/08/national-urban-league-nails-down-188m-for-planned-125th-street-hq-in-harlem/

Build The Block Meeting

Ginjan Café 85 East 125 St Manhattan, 10035

Thursday, August 13th, 2020 Doors open at 4:30 PM

Meeting starts at 5:00 PM

Our Neighborhood Coordination Officers would like to invite you to a Build The Block meeting at Ginjan Cafe. This will be an opportunity to discuss any public safety or quality of life issues you would like our precinct to focus on. Come and meet your neighbors, share any concerns you might have, and help our precinct see community need through your eyes and experience.

For accommodations regarding any disability, please contact Lieutenant Mario Deras
At (212) 860-6515 or Mario.Deras@nypd.org
at least 72 hours (three days) prior to the event.

MTA to Begin Overnight Bus Service, Again…

Beginning Wednesday, August 5, MTA New York City Transit will provide new overnight bus service for customers between Manhattan and Brooklyn, and between Manhattan and the Bronx.
The new M99 will operate run every 20 minutes from approximately 1AM and 6AM, between East New York in Brooklyn and the West 42nd Street pier in Manhattan. The new Bx99 will run every 20 minutes from approximately 1AM and 6AM, between Woodlawn in the Bronx and the West Village serving the east and west sides of Manhattan, crossing Midtown along 57th Street. 
Please visit mta.info/overnight for more information and use the MyMTA app or call 511 to plan your trip. 

Volunteer Clean-Up in Marcus Garvey Park ~ August 8th

This just in from Gotham to Go:

It’s a day to clean-up, sweep-up, weed and paint! Join your friends & neighbors in a safe and socially distanced park clean-up event on Saturday, August 8th from 9:30am to 11:00am in Marcus Garvey Park. Socially distanced means limited capacity (20 spots left as of this afternoon). Reserve your spot on the Facebook Event Page. All volunteers mush sign in between 9:15 and 9:30am, meeting at the Drummers Circle (Madison Avenue side near 124). Marcus Garvey Park Alliance will provide gloves and tools. Masks are required. (Suggestion ~ bring a bottle of water). Register now and see you there!

See: https://gothamtogo.com/portfolio/volunteer-clean-up-in-marcus-garvey-park-august-8th/

Average Building Height

Carto has a map of NYC building heights where red is tall, and blue is short:

As you would expect, the lower half of Manhattan is mostly red, and Brooklyn is mostly blue.

If you zoom in on our neighborhood, you’ll typically see a mix of red and blue, with the projects being almost purely red areas:

Zooming in even more, you can see how the taller brownstones along Madison Avenue between 126/127 are taller (by one story) than the brownstones on 126th Street:

To zoom in and out yourself, explore this link:

https://public.carto.com/builder/6bb968c2-06ee-4e02-96d3-a912bc7a6da6/embed?state=%7B%22map%22%3A%7B%22ne%22%3A%5B40.741169225973046%2C-74.05136927962305%5D%2C%22sw%22%3A%5B40.83124105725294%2C-73.87833461165428%5D%2C%22center%22%3A%5B40.78622041213587%2C-73.96485194563866%5D%2C%22zoom%22%3A13%7D%7D

They’re Back!

Krispy Kreme donuts are back in New York City:

The new storefront opened on August 4th, and is serving up hot donuts to weary Harlemites.

Their latest NYC outpost is at 319 West 125th Street and it features the city’s very first hot light. The shop will serve these right-off-the-line doughnuts at a production rate of more than 100 per hour.

Up until recently, the Penn Station Krispy Kreme, which opened in 2009, was the chain’s only store in New York City. As part of their expansion, they recently opened locations in FiDi and just south of Bryant Park at 37th Street and Sixth Avenue. The international chain is planning an immersive flagship store in Times Square, complete with the world’s largest hot light, stadium-style seating where guests can watch the doughnut-making process, and even a “glaze waterfall.” Locations are also planned for the Upper West Side and the Bronx.

https://www.6sqft.com/krispy-kreme-opens-in-harlem-with-nycs-first-doughnut-hot-light/

For their new Harlem location, Krispy Kreme opened inside a historic building built in 1910; in the 1950s, it was the famous saloon and jazz club “The Baby Grand.” This store employs 45 newly hired team members and managers and offers all the Krispy Kreme classics like the iconic Original Glazed® doughnuts, a full doughnut menu, and hot and cold coffees. It’ll be open Sunday to Thursday from 7am to 10pm and Friday to Saturday from 7am to 11pm, and the store will offer local delivery.

https://www.6sqft.com/krispy-kreme-opens-in-harlem-with-nycs-first-doughnut-hot-light/

Harlem River Drive

One of my favorite songs of all time, Harlem River Drive, can be found on Soundcloud as a repeatedly covered and remixed tune:

https://soundcloud.com/teza-cappuccino/harlem-river-drive-teza-cappuccino-edit

The Library of Congress has a great short of horse racing on Harlem River Drive. Note the Aquaduct Bridge with its full complement of masonry arches before the center arches were replaced with a steel span to permit boat traffic:

Note the people on the Aqueduct Bridge, taking the parade of wealthy families and their horses.

To see the full 1903 film:

https://www.loc.gov/item/00694402/

More Hurricane Damage

The day after Hurricane Isaias is one of disbelief in many communities. Today I saw a huge tree down at Park Avenue and 120th Street:

This will undoubtedly impact the use of the sports field that the tree fell into and may impact this school’s opening plans unless the tree is removed and the fence repaired soon.