The Triboro and Dapper Pedestrians

A lovely 1935-1940 postcard with dapper pedestrians and depression era cars taking in the Triborough bridge with Manhattan in the background.

This painting (then turned into a postcard) shows the fashion (and hats) of the day.

Note the hatless man on the right who appears to be the only one without a suit on a warm, sunny day. And while the Manhattan skyline appears to be generalized, Riverside Church stands out on the left-horizon.

The postcard is for sale on Ebay

Marcus Garvey Park’s Little Free Library Has Plexiglass

The doors on the 3 Little Free Library’s in Marcus Garvey Park now have plexiglass on them.

Before:

After:

Property Tax Reform Coming

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Dear New Yorker:
The NYC Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform recently announced three new virtual hearings on its 10 preliminary recommendations, scheduled for Queens on June 9The Bronx on June 14, and Manhattan on June 16. All three hearings will begin at 6 pm. Flyers with additional details about the hearings are available in multiple languages on the Commission’s website here.
On January 31, 2020, the Commission released a Preliminary Report with the following 10 initial recommendations aimed at making the City’s property tax system simpler, clearer, and fairer:
Moving coops, condominiums, and rental buildings with up to 10 units into a new residential class along with 1-3 family homes.
Using a sales-based methodology to value all properties in the residential class.
Assessing every property in the residential class at its full market value.
Annual market value changes in the new residential class being phased in over five years at 20 percent per year.
Creating a partial homestead exemption for primary resident owners with income below a certain threshold.
Creating a circuit breaker within the property tax system to lower the property tax burden on low-income primary resident owners, based on the ratio of property tax paid to income.
Replacing the current class share system with a system that prioritizes predictable and transparent tax rates for property owners.
Current valuation methods should be maintained for properties not in the new residential class (i.e. rental buildings with more than 10 units, utilities, and commercial).
A gradual transition to the new system for current owners, with an immediate transition into the new system whenever a property in the new residential class is sold.
Instituting comprehensive reviews of the property tax system every 10 years.
The Commission was formed by Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in 2018 with a mandate to reform NYC’s property tax system while ensuring there’s no reduction in revenue used to fund essential city services. An in-person hearing following the report’s release was initially scheduled for March 12, 2020, in Staten Island, but was later postponed due to COVID-19. However, the hearings resumed virtually this past May, with hearings for Staten Island and Brooklyn on May 11 and May 27, respectively.
The Commission is soliciting input from the public on the 10 initial recommendations in the Preliminary Report, specifically whether they would achieve the goals of a fairer system, would be improved by certain modifications, or should be enhanced with additional recommendations.
The public can submit feedback by emailing it to [email protected] or uploading it through the Commission’s online portal.
The public may also register to testify at the upcoming hearings for Queens on June 9, The Bronx on June 14, and Manhattan on June 16. To do so, speakers must register on the Commission’s website here.
Anyone wishing to testify must register no later than 24 hours in advance of the hearing. Following registration, speakers will receive further instructions. Speakers may (but need not) submit their presentations ahead of time.

You can testify at any borough hearing, not just the borough where you reside.To request interpretation services please email [email protected] or call 212-676-3072 by 5 pm three business days before the hearing. For ASL, or to request an accommodation for a disability, please email or call by 5 pm five business days before the hearing.
Thank you and, as always, stay safe.

In service,
                                                                         
New York City Council

In-Person, Open Mic, Candidates Forums

FORUM ONE – Your chance to see the candidates and to ask them questions

What:     NYC Mayoral Debates

When:    Saturday, June 5, 2021

Time:      2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Where:   NYC Madison Square Boys & Girls Club 

                 (155 St. & Bradhurst Ave.)

                 250 Bradhurst Avenue

                 NY, NY 10039

Trains:     D to 155 St. Station stop

Bus:         M10, M3 to 155 St. stop 

HBCU College Fair for Harlem Teens

If you have, or know of a Harlem teenager, make sure to encourage them to attend the upcoming HBCU College Fair on June 5th 2021 12-4 pm in Harlem St. Nicholas Avenue between West 122-West 123 Street! 

Imagine a World without COVID!

If you know an un vaccinated teenager, send them to Marcus Garvey Park tomorrow – Noon to 8 PM!

Press Conference and Protest Regarding Rising Crime

With the rise in both shootings in our streets and rise in crimes within our train systems community advocates and clergy have come together to demand accountability of our elected officials for their failed policies and reckless funding of ineffective programs.

Who: Community Advocate Alpheaus Marcus, Police Clergy Members Pastor Antoinette Glover, Pastor Robert Rice, and Pastor Staci Ramos along with community members who are tired of the violence and rise of homelessness within their communities?

When: Friday June 4th.

Where: At both the hotbed for homelessness and crime 125th Street and Lexington Avenue Train Station.

Time: 12:00 pm.
Cordially
Mr. Alpheaus Marcus
(718) 916-2141

Pastor Staci Ramos

HNBA June Meeting

On Tuesday next week, the Harlem Neighborhood Block Association will host our final pre-election meeting at 7:00 PM. (we will be taking a break during July and August, returning in September with a – planned – hybrid meeting on Tuesday, September 14th)

We hope you’ll be able to join us on Tuesday at 7:00 PM to hear more from (and ask questions of) a number of candidates for office: 

  • Joshua Clennon (City Council 9)
  • Mario Rosser (City Council 9)
  • Athena Moore (City Council 9)
  • Tali Farhadian (Manhattan DA)

If you’d like to join, please contact us on our Contact Us page: https://hnba.nyc/contact-us/ and we’ll get you the Zoom link

Pet Friendly?

Localize looked at the data for pet friendly rental listings and came up with this:

Top pet-friendly Manhattan neighborhoods

  • Morningside Heights: 98%
  • Upper West Side: 84%
  • Greenwich Village: 83%
  • Washington Heights: 80%
  • East Harlem: 79%

While New Yorkers love their pets, many property managers don’t share the sentiment. The following neighborhoods are more challenging to find buildings that allow pets.

Worst neighborhoods for pet-friendly listings

  • Brooklyn: Park Slope (16%), Bedford Stuyvesant (24%), Crown Heights (33%)
  • Manhattan: Harlem (17%), East Village (19%), LES (23%)
  • Queens: Astoria (21%), Glen Oaks (29%)

While Park Slope had a higher overall score due to its proximity to dog parks and other amenities, it also ranks as a difficult neighborhood to find pet-friendly listings due to low inventory. It’s still possible to find pet-friendly apartments in the areas listed above, they just have the least number of available listings currently on the market. 

For more, see:

https://www.localize.city/blog/pet-friendly-neighborhoods-nyc/

The Tree of Hope III

On the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd’s median, you can see a sculpture – The Tree of Hope III – at the location of the original Tree of Hope that was a talisman to performers in Harlem’s many clubs.

The style of the sculpture – the colors and form in particular – certainly situate it as a product of the early 70’s, but it has a vibrancy and panache that works (even if it’s too small for the location).

The Commute

Opioid Treatment Commuters – travel patterns and patient numbers (commuting into East Harlem) from all 5 boroughs are illustrated on this map.

Hover over a zip code on the map below to learn how many travel (often daily) to East Harlem for their treatment.

Extreme Heat Is Coming

(okay, this weekend isn’t super hot, but you know, the heat is coming…)

Extreme heat is one of the most significant hazards facing New York City, and New Yorkers are especially vulnerable to extreme heat-related hazards during the summer months.

NYC Emergency Management is hosting a Ready Up Webinar and invites all New Yorkers to learn about how be prepared for the dangers of an extreme heat event. This webinar will provide tips and guidance on what to do before and during an extreme heat event and how to remain connected to resources and information.

Black Wall Street Festival

3 short plays in Harlem’s first annual Black Wall Street (theater) Festival:

Celebrate a Black-Owned Harlem Gay Bar with Poster House

In honor of Pride month, Poster House is thrilled to partner with Alibi Lounge in Harlem, one of the last Black-owned gay bars in NYC, for an evening of cocktails & design activities that are sure to delight!
First, Alexi Minko of Alibi Lounge will walk you through some delicious cocktail creations, and share the history of Alibi lounge and the importance of preserving Black LGBT spaces.
Then Master Educator Maya Varadaraj will lead us through an interactive design activity in MURAL where participants will get the chance to name a cocktail at Alibi Harlem!

All proceeds from this event will go to The Transgender Law Center.

Check back closer to the event for a list of cocktail ingredients.

Alexi Minko opened the very first Black Gay owned LGBTQ+ Lounge in Harlem, NYC in 2013. Alexi grew up between Europe and Africa, and fifteen years ago, moved to NYC to start their career as a lawyer at the United Nations. Although not practising human rights law on a daily basis, Alexi found a new purpose in their new role as part of a shift in the LGBTQ+ culture in Harlem.

This virtual event will be hosted on Zoom with attendees cameras off. Closed Captioning will be provided. A recording will be provided to all registered attendees. Questions about access? Please email Salvador Muñoz, Public Programs Manager, at [email protected]

Speeding Drivers

How Calculated: 

Estimated percent of adult drivers (drove in the last 30 days) who responded “often”, “sometimes” or “rarely” to the question:

 “In the past 30 days, when you drove in New York City, how often did you drive 10 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit?” 

Source: New York City Community Health Survey (CHS)

New York Senate Moves Legislation forward to Protect and Support Seniors

The legislation passed by the NYS Senate Majority includes:

  • Senior Housing Protections: This bill, S.1106, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, prohibits the termination of tenancy in housing facilities, with 20 or more units, occupied by senior citizens and/or persons with disabilities without cause or court approval.
  • Office of Older Adult Workforce: This bill, S.555A, sponsored by Senator Rachel May, will establish an Office of Older Adult Workforce Development within the State Office for the Aging to provide support and services addressing the needs of older adults in the workplace.
  • Encore Entrepreneurs: This bill, S.554, sponsored by Senator Rachel May, will direct the Office for the Aging and the Department of Economic Development to expand encore entrepreneurship in the state to empower individuals fifty years of age or older to become first-time business owners.
  • Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate: This bill, S.4884, sponsored by Senator Diane Savino, will establish an independent Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate to advocate for residential utility consumers at both state and federal proceedings.
  • Elder Abuse Shelter Aftercare Demonstration Program: This bill, S.1065, sponsored by Senator Alessandra Biaggi, will establish an elder abuse shelter aftercare pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness and potential to expand temporary elder abuse shelters.
  • Elder Abuse Prevention Training: This bill, S.5196B, sponsored by Senator James Sanders Jr. directs the State Office of the Aging to develop elder abuse prevention training that includes elder abuse detection, reporting, and counseling.  Senior service providers are required to take the training and receive supplemental refresher training every 3 years.
  • Senior Trail Guide: This bill, S.6208, sponsored by Senator Jose M. Serrano mandates the public posting of a senior trail guide that identifies walking and hiking opportunities for active seniors within the state park system and along public non-motorized multi-use trails within the state.
  • Expanding Medicare Eligibility: This bill, S.2535A, sponsored by Senator Gustavo Rivera will allow individuals who have comparable coverage to a Medicare Part D plan to also be eligible for EPIC if they otherwise qualify.
  • Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption: This bill, S.4216, sponsored by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, will  raise the income eligibility limits for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and the Disabled Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) program to $55,000 beginning July 1, 2021. These programs exempt low income seniors and people with disabilities from rent increases that could lead to them losing their homes.

BLM+COVID-19 in 2020

The Museum of the City of New York has a new exhibit about the New York response/experience of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter protests. This timeline is worth watching and remembering just how fraught 2020 was (oh, and it had, perhaps, the most consequential presidential election in our lifetime…?).

To order tickets to the Museum, see:

http://35948.blackbaudhosting.com/35948/tickets?tab=3&txobjid=e8515371-445d-47a5-9f63-15dcb8fa977e

Free Hot Breakfasts for Children

FIELDTRIP in Harlem will be serving hot breakfasts daily for children between the hours of 7 am – 8 am.
The program runs from May 26, and ends on June 25.  Breakfast will be served from FIELDTRIP weekdays M – F from 7 AM – 8 AM
Please reserve your breakfast 3 days before pickup. Breakfasts must be reserved by an adult and require an adult signoffBreakfasts must be reserved to pick up. No walkups will be accommodated. 
Breakfasts are free to all children who sign up.
For questions, please email: [email protected]
RSVP

City Council District 9 Candidates’ Forum, Tonight at 7:00 PM

What does a City Council Member do, anyway?

And yes, some of the candidates seem to be fuzzy on this as well…

Earlier in March, The City had a great breakdown of what City Council members do, and why you should care about their election. Here is part of The City’s email on the issue:


City Council is kind of like Congress, but for the city. It may seem like a small office, but since New York has 8.4 million people living here, a local office like the City Council has more influence than you may think.

Klein pointed out that some leaders — Mayor Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, to name two — have used the City Council as a stepping stone to higher office.

“City Council is an entry point into politics — and a way to build a bench for more diverse representation in higher offices years down the line,” she said. “One reason many people are disappointed in the mayoral field is because 15 years ago, the city wasn’t building an exciting and diverse bench of new political talent.”

City Council members represent a district that usually includes two to four neighborhoods, and they have four main responsibilities.


They pass laws

Just like Congress or the state Legislature, the City Council proposes and votes on legislation that makes the rules for all sorts of things ranging from public health, education, housing and transportation. You can see all the different City Council committees here.

After a bill is proposed, the Council holds a public hearing to get feedback from the community and potentially make changes. Then, members vote on the bill.

Bills passed by a majority of the Council go to the mayor to be signed into law. The Council can override a veto from the mayor with a vote of at least two-thirds of the members.

Example: The Council has passed laws authorizing things such as police reforms (just last month members proposed another set of reform bills), bike lane protections, the plastic bag banprotecting tenants from harassment and the tax lien sale.


They *help* decide the budget

The Council negotiates with the mayor to pass the city budget every year. That means members help decide how your taxes and other revenue will be spent to fund different city agencies and programs — ranging from the public schools to policing to a bunch of social services. The most recent budget was more than $88 billion.

Your Council member can advocate for certain programs or projects to be funded in your neighborhood. And each Council member has their own discretionary budget to fund local projects and groups

Example: The Council has a huge say in how the city funds its police force, and it cut funding for affordable housing programs in the last budget.


They keep an eye on city agencies

The Council makes sure agencies like the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Preservation, NYCHA and the NYPD are doing their jobs well.

Example: The Council can monitor what the DOE is doing about school segregation and provide a check on how NYCHA manages and maintains its buildings.

Here’s a list of all the city agencies.


They have a say in how the city uses public land 

And Council members vote to approve or reject development projects that need public approval.

How land is used can affect if housing is affordable, what kind of greenspace is available and how much pollution is likely to affect a neighborhood, among other things.

Klein said: “City Council candidates are extremely accessible in a way that candidates for higher offices aren’t. If you want to get involved in local government, meet with your council candidates, get to know them and ask them questions.”

That means where to build, what to preserve and what to close (like Rikers Island). The Council has a major say in real estate deals for city-owned land and votes on all zoning changes or rezoning.

Example: The Council approved the Flushing rezoning plan.


They can advocate for you

Lastly, Council members can advocate on behalf of their constituents to advance certain causes, like joining the Hunts Point Produce Market workers strike.

Most candidates are hosting campaign events on Zoom or offering ways to be in touch directly with constituents.

https://www.thecity.nyc/2021/3/4/22314486/bill-perkins-harlem-nyc-council-race-health-concerns

Here is a great Explainer Video, Admittedly with a Brooklyn Bias, but hey, BRIC created it…

George Floyd

One year ago.

Born: October 14, 1973, Fayetteville, NC

Died: May 25, 2020, Minneapolis, MN

Bicycle Lane Density

The percent of streets with bike lanes can affect cyclist and pedestrian safety, physical activity, and sustainable transportation use. 

 About the Measure

Bicycle Network Coverage – Percent of Streets with Bicycle Lanes 

Percentage of streets with bicycle lanes (conventional and protected bicycle lanes, excluding sharrows, dirt trails, boardwalks, and velodrome tracks).

Source: New York City Department of Transportation

Cyclists Killed by Drivers

In Manhattan, nearly 30 percent of streets have bike lanes – but in Brooklyn, only 13 percent of streets do. This is consistent with research that shows that bicycle networks offer protection to people on the streets.

Safety in numbers

The idea of “safety in numbers” comes from a study that found that “a motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking and bicycling if more people walk or bicycle.” This is probably because as the number of people walking and cycling increases, motorists become more attentive. So as the number of cyclists rises, we expect to see injury rates go down.

Ongoing work to promote cycling will help lower injury rates. Expanding bike share networks, increasing bicycle network coverage, and continuing to build protective street environments – like separated bike lanes – can get more riders on the street and offer them greater protection.

This effect is apparent when we look at differences between Manhattan and Brooklyn – and apply what we learn throughout the city. Disparities in cycling by sex, race/ethnicity, age, and neighborhood poverty also need to be addressed through equitably focused safety improvements, since safety in numbers works best if we increase safety for everyone – starting where it is most needed.

As New York City continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, many New Yorkers may turn to biking as a good way to get around while still keeping a safe distance from others. Our data show us that there is a clear connection between road infrastructure and street safety. That means that one way to keep New Yorkers safe during this public health emergency – and beyond – is to continue building safer streets.

Electronic Waste and Recycling