Enroll in the Rat Academy (yes, it’s a thing)

You have likely heard (and perhaps seen) that rats have made a comeback in the COVID era. With so many restaurants closed, or open in a reduced presence, rats have had to head toward residential garbage for their food needs.

In New York City, property owners are required (PDF) to keep their properties rat-free and address conditions that can lead to rats. They may have to hire a pest management professional when appropriate. Tenants can do their part by following our prevention tips below and promptly reporting rats to property owners, building managers or co-op associations.

If property owners are not fulfilling their legal requirement to prevent and manage rats and repair conditions that can attract rats, tenants can report the issue online or by calling 311. The Health Department will send inspectors to investigate the situation.

Learn more about what you can do prevent rat infestation, or how you can drive them out if they have already settled in your home or property:

Secure Garbage

The best way to prevent rats from settling in your home and property is to carefully dispose of your garbage. Be sure to:

  • Provide enough garbage cans with tight fitting lids to hold all garbage between pickups.
  • Bring garbage to the curb as close to pick-up time as possible. Garbage left on the curb for too long attracts rats.
  • Follow your building’s policy for garbage disposal and recycling.
  • If your building has a garbage chute, bag and tie your garbage before putting it down the chute.

Destroy Potential Shelter

Make your home inhospitable to rats by attacking their favorite places to seek shelter and reproduce:

  • Clean up any clutter or litter in and around your building, including your basement and yard.
  • Remove piles of newspapers, paper bags, cardboard and bottles.
  • Store items away from walls and off the ground.
  • Control weeds and shrubs around your home.

See: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/rats-tenants-property-owners.page

To learn more, consider enrolling in a virtual Rat Academy class:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/services/rats-control-training.page

The next on is on: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

You can learn about safe and effective methods for rat prevention in your home and community at this 3 hour virtual training.

Giant Step Arts – Free Performances Celebrating John Lewis and the Civil Rights Struggle

Groundbreaking artist-focused non-profit Giant Step Arts continues Walk With The Wind, a free series of performances in Central Park honoring the legacy of U.S. Representative and
civil rights leader John Lewis


Saturday, October 10 at 1 p.m. – The Nicole Glover Trio: saxophonist Nicole Glover, bassist Daniel Duke, drummer Nic Cacioppo
 
Sunday, October 11 at 1 p.m. – The Chris Potter Trio: saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Joe Martin, drummer Nasheet Waits
L-R: Immanuel Wilkins, Tyrone Allen, Josie Say (AcroYoga) and Nazir Ebo  © Jimmy Katz
“Giant Step Arts [is] a nonprofit dedicated to giving underappreciated but visionary jazz musicians the support they need to make quality live albums. Palmer is a…thrifty improviser with a vast dynamic range and an ambitious composer.” – Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times
 
Finding new ways to support musicians during the pandemicWhen the pandemic hit, Jimmy and Dena Katz, creators of Giant Step Arts, the groundbreaking, artist-focused non-profit dedicated to supporting visionary jazz musicians as they create adventurous new music, realized that it would be a while before they could continue their work commissioning, showcasing and recording music by some of modern jazz’s most innovative artists.  

They’ve created Walk with the Wind, a series of free performances in Central Park honoring the memory of John Lewis. Performances, which are acoustic and feature small groups, take place at 1 p.m. on The Mall in Central Park. In the event of bad weather, they will be rescheduled. They will continue as long as the weather allows. Upcoming performances include:• Saturday, October 10 – The Nicole Glover Trio: saxophonist Nicole Glover, bassist Daniel Duke, drummer Nic Cacioppo

• Sunday, October 11 – The Chris Potter Trio: saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Joe Martin, drummer Nasheet Waits

“The pandemic has been disastrous for musicians, many of whom normally earn a living through live performances and tours,” says Katz. “We’ve presented and recorded music in various venues, including partnering with the non-profit Jazz Gallery, but the current circumstances have forced us to improvise. We wanted to find a way to continue supporting musicians, bring them together with audiences, safely, and enable them to have a payday! Walk with the Wind, honoring the legacy of the great American John Lewis, is one way we are accomplishing this, and the response has been tremendous. Our goal is to raise enough money from foundations and donors so that we can have performances each spring and fall.”   

The series began with the Wayne Escoffery Trio on August 28th and has included the Eric Mcpherson Trio, Marquis Hill Quartet, Michael Thomas Trio, Marcus/E.J Strickland Trio, Leap Of Faith Trio, Joel Ross Quartet, Immanuel Wilkins Trio, Nasheet Waits Trio, Melissa Aldana Trio and the Darius Jones Trio.  From 11-1 p.m. the pre-show festivities have included Arco Yoga specialist Josie Say and the Robert Lotreck Trio.
Giant Step Arts

Founded by renowned photographers Jimmy and Dena Katz in January 2018, Giant Step Arts is an innovative, artist-focused non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning and showcasing the work of some of modern jazz’s most innovative artists. In an era where it is increasingly difficult for musicians to earn a living, Giant Step Arts offers the artistic and financial resources to create bold, adventurous new music free of commercial pressure. Musicians have total control of their artistic projects and Giant Step Arts is committed to fostering their careers by providing promotional material and publicity services.
 
For the musicians it chooses to work with, by invitation only, Giant Step Arts:
 
• presents premiere performances and compensates the artists well
• records these performances for independent release
• provides the artists with 700 CDs and digital downloads to sell directly; artists retain complete ownership of their masters
• provides the artists with photos and videos for promotional use
• provides PR support for the recordings
 
“Giant Step Arts does not sell any music,” Katz says. “Our goals are to help musicians make bold artistic statements and to advance their careers.  We are also trying to increase our funding so we can help more musicians.”
 
Jimmy Katz

Through his award-winning photography with wife Dena Katz, and his esteemed work as a recording engineer, Katz has spent nearly 30 years helping to shape the way that audiences see and hear jazz musicians. Katz has photographed more than 550 recording sessions, many historic, and 200 magazine covers. Whether taken in the studio, in the clubs, on the streets or in the musicians’ homes, his photographs offer intimate portraits of the artists at work and in repose and capture the collaborative and improvisatory process of jazz itself. Recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association award for jazz photography in both 2006 and 2011, Katz’s work has been exhibited in Germany, Italy and Japan. Among the world-renowned artists he’s photographed are Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett, Ornette Coleman, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Haynes, Cassandra Wilson, Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, John Zorn, Pat Metheny, and Dizzy Gillespie. In addition to his well-known visual art, Katz is an esteemed recording engineer who has worked with artists including David S. Ware, Joe Lovano, Harold Mabern, William Parker, Benny Golson, and Chris Potter, among others.

Build the Block – Thursday at 5:30 pm

Sector C of the 25th Precinct will be holding a Build The Block event on Thursday at 5:30 pm at Ginjan Cafe – Park/125. Sector C is the sliver north of 115th Street, between 5th and Park Avenues.

Bring any public safety concerns to the meeting.

Black Parade Harlem

A great video with amazing production values and choreography is out from HarlemParade.org

Harlem Parade notes that:

The Harlem Parade initiative launched via HARLEMPARADE.ORG on September 17, 2020 with an innovative protest art video – Black Parade Harlem.

Led by Harlem native and principal dancer for Beyoncé, Dnay Baptiste, and Founder and Creative Director that produce unique content and event activations to celebrate Harlem’s rich arts community, amplifyHarlem’s Black-owned businesses, and promote civic engagement.

Driven by three pillars of purpose- culture, commerce and community, we are committed to preserving Harlem’s cultural legacy, protecting Harlem’s Black commerce, and empowering Harlem’s thriving community.

1887

I love this distinctive font used on an 1887 church (now a private residence – the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinon bought it almost 10 years ago for 2.75 million – 2050 5th Avenue).

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What I am less enthralled about is the fact that at the time of the sale, the deal makers touted that the church would be used for a community space:

According to the brokers who sold 2050 Fifth Avenue, Mr. Rondinone plans to transform the church into some sort of community cultural space. “It was a very busy listing, Louis probably showed it to 80 different groups,” Alan Miller of Eastern Consolidated told The Observer. Louis would be Louis Ricci, the Eastern director in charge of the deal. “When it finally sold,” Mr. Miller continued, “the neighbors were very happy to know it would be something for the community.” (Mr. Rondinone was traveling this afternoon and could not immediately be reached for comment.)https://observer.com/2011/11/heaven-yes-ugo-rondinone-buys-harlem-church/

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This statement has not turned out to be true.

VP Debate Tomorrow!

On Wednesday, October 7th, the world will watch Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate and Senator, Kamala Harris, take the stage to make history. And, our New York for Biden+Harris family will be there to cheer her on – virtually, of course!
Sign up for our NYS Pre-Debate Program featuring Valerie Jarrett – former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, and special guests.
We will also be hosting a full day of phone banks from 3pm to 8pm in collaboration with local elected officials, Democratic clubs, partner organizations, and more!
Click here to sign up for a volunteer shift and help us make history!
Interested in learning how to make an impact over the next 27 days? Register to visit our Virtual Campaign Field Office this Wednesday at 12pm for a mini-training & GOTV update.

Nieuwe Haarlem > Lancaster > Harlem

Harlem has, since the Dutch settlement of Manhattan, been known by 3 names. Nieuwe Haarlem, Lancaster, and Harlem. The name Lancaster was imposed (unsuccessfully) by Richard Nicholls, the governor of New York, in 1666, during the brief period between May 1688 and April 1689, during which New York was part of the Dominion of New England, the territory was known in this period as the Province of New York.

His proclamation read:

That from and after the date of these Presents the said Town shall no longer be called New Harlem, but shall be known and called by the name of Lancaster; and in all deeds, bargains and  sales, records or writings, shall be so deemed, observed and written.

Picture
Richard Nicholls

A Tourist Guide’s Guide to 6 Must-See’s in Harlem

I confess I”m suspicious of any guide to our community that uses an image of Brooklyn in the chapter on Marcus Garvey Park, but nevertheless, this article did make me ask myself, ‘What are my top 6 Must-See’s in Harlem?’

WTF Should I Do?

Living in a blue corner of a reliably blue state can be frustrating when looking at the electoral college system which rewards states that seem to have more cows than people.

DemCast is a great outlet for the “WTF can I do?” question that bedevils many of us who would like to engage in this crucial election.

To search for opportunities by state, click here, and choose a (tossup) state you want to have an impact on.

Beer in Dutch (New) Harlem

From the very beginning of Harlem, beer was an essential drink among the European colonists. James Riker notes in “History of Harlem” that:

In 1667 beer was the common beverage in the Dutch Colony. “At vendues, or in making contracts or settlements, its presence was deemed indispensable to the proper transaction of the business. The magistrates when occupying the bench always had beer brought in, running up a score with the tapster at the public charge. Nor did the ordination of elders and deacons, or funeral solemnities, form an exception. At such times wine and other liquors, with pipes and tobacco, were also freely distributed. Families commonly laid in their beer by the quarter and half vat, or barrel. — Much of the beer consumed here (in New Harlem) was brewed by Johannes Vermilye, while the breweries of Daniel Verveelen, Isaac de Forest, and Jacob Kip, at New York, were also patronized.”[4]

There were, however, also laws that attempted to restrict the sale of alcohol to the Lenape people in and around Harlem. This prohibition was signed by Nichols, the English ruler of New York, in 1664

A Warrant to the Magistrates of Harlem for the Prohibition of the sale of strong liquors to Indians. Whereas, I am informed of several abuses that are done and committed by the Indians, occasioned much through the liberty some persons take of selling Strong Liquors unto them; These are to require you that you take special care that none of your Town presume to sell any sort of Strong Liquors or Strong Beer unto any Indian, and if you shall find any person offending therein, that you seize upon such Liquor and bring such person before me, to make answers for the offense. Given under my hand, at Fort James, in New York, this 18th of March, 1664 [1665 N. S.]. RICHARD NICOLLS.

The presence, of course, of this “Prohibition” indicates that “the sale” was in fact, a common practice – common enough to warrant special mention.

Beer was not only regulated, but was also taxed – not only in terms of volume but also in terms of quality. This accusation (against Johannes Verveelen) was for his failure to pay tax on beer:

Most Honorable Heeren, Overseers of this Town: Whereas Johannes Verveelen, ordinary-keeper in this town, did on the 6th February wickedly smuggle one-half vat of good beer; on the i8th April, one vat of good beer and one anker of rum; on the 27th of April, one-half vat of good beer; on the 8th May, one-half vat of good beer; on the 27th May, one-half vat of good beer and one anker of rum; all which is contrary to the existing placards on the subject of smuggling, and by the high magistracy approved. Therefore the plaintiff, ex-officio the preserver of the peace, demands that the defendant be condemned in the penalty of twenty-one hundred guilders, according to the placards, together with the costs of prosecution. The I4th June, 1667, in N. Harlem. Yours, Honorable Heeren, DANIEL, TOURNEUR, Deputy Sheriff.

The tavern of the day was Verveelen’s:

At the comer of the lower street and third crossway, Verveelen’s tavern hung out its sign-board, its site now on the north line of 123d street, 300 feet west of 1st avenue. Well patronized, too, by the lovers of good-cheer and goed bier, this is shown by the frequency with which he supplied his vault with goed bier and klegn bier, Spanish wine and rum

The tavern’s site is where (today) the Wagner Projects are located:

And, I can’t end a piece on beer without mentioning Harlem Hops, Harlem’s amazing 21st century pub at 2268 ADAM CLAYTON POWELL JUNIOR BOULEVARD.

Harlem Hops notes that takeout is now available. They write:

Please check out our menu below and call us at 646-998-3444 We are delivering within a 20 block radius of the bar.

If you’re not in the NYC area but would still like to support us, click on the link to our Swag shop where you will fine some cool Harlem Hops Merchandise and Merchandise Gift cards for purchase. If you want to purchase an in-store gift cards, please click on the In-Store Gift Card link. You can also support by donating to our non-profit organization Harlem Hopes.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and your continued patronage

Team Harlem Hops

What Now? (After the storm)

After Hurricane (or Tropical Storm) Isaias tore through New York City, the city, businesses, utilities, and neighbors have all been struggling to deal with the loss of mature trees. This tree on Randall’s Island (just over the 103st Bridge) is one example:

Before the storm and before COVID, the city had been marking-up, grinding out, and preparing a number of empty tree pits in our community for replanting with a new, young tree. This is a classic example:

Where the sidewalk has been cut out to the regulation size, and the address (on 5th Avenue) has been spray painted in white. This tree pit should have been populated in March but now who knows what will happen with the COVID related budget cuts that are starting to be felt in all city departments?

Street trees store 23% of all the carbon that New Yorkers produce. NYC ‘forests’ – think trees in parks – store another 69%:

See:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-28/planting-city-trees-with-a-new-focus-on-equity?

Schools+COVID+Apps…

For everyone, not just families with children, the potential for schools to be vectors for the explosion of winter COVID cases is huge. The DoE has a useful map to help everyone, but parents in particular, learn about COVID impacted schools.

🔴 A red dot indicates a building that has been closed.

🔵 A blue dot indicates one or more classrooms in a building that has been closed.

Unfortunately, as you can see on the map, Harlem and East Harlem have been been severely impacted. Below is a more detailed view of our community:

To keep up and stay informed, use the link below. Note that the map is updated Sunday through Friday (not Saturday):

https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-year-20-21/return-to-school-2020/health-and-safety/daily-covid-case-map

New York’s New COVID Alert App

The New York Department of Health has launched a new, free app that will tell you if you’ve come in contact with a COVID-positive person. COVID Alert NY is available as of today for iPhone and Android. Using your phone’s Bluetooth technology, it will alert you if you’ve been within six feet of an infected person for more than 10 minutes.

In a press conference call yesterday, Governor Cuomo said he believes the app is the first of its kind in the nation. It cost $700,000 to develop and was paid for through a combination of federal dollars and support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Bluetooth technology–which senses proximity to other phones–was developed by Google and Apple in conjunction with MIT. The Linux Foundation and Tech:NYC also collaborated on the app.

The technology works to sense “close contact”–that within six feet and for at least 10 minutes (it ignores people who you just pass by or were farther than six feet from). When your phone senses close contact, it exchanges a secure random code with the other person’s phone, and your phone stores this close contact code in a list. If a person tests positive, the Department of Health contacts them and gives them a password that they can enter into the app that will then alert people moving forward. The DOH will also ask the positive person if he or she is willing to share their app’s list of close contacts to alert those they’ve been in contact with previously. It’s completely voluntary and no names or privacy information will be shared, which is the reason the app was developed with Bluetooth technology instead of GPS.

Credit Union

If you’ve ever considered putting your money in a Credit Union, the LES People’s Credit Union which has for years worked out of the Union Settlement House on East 104th Street, is moving closer to us at the north-west corner of 117th and 2nd Avenue.

The credit union has low fees, flexible terms, and is a great place to bank at.

Details can be found here: https://www.lespeoples.org/

Today is their first day at this new location.

Cleaner police garage on 118 St and Park

Inspired by the discussion in HBNA’s September meeting, the folks on the block of 118 Street and Park helped clean up the pile of trash in the police garage under the metro north rail. The trash picked up completely fill one large trash bag. Please help to keep the area clean for our children and residents!

Police garage on 118 Street and Park Avenue - before clean up
Before clean up

Police garage on 118 and Park - after clean up
After clean up

1619 and 1658

The New York Times and its 1619 Project has brought forward the centrality of Black Americans to United States history to many of its readers and beyond. The core thesis of the 1619 Project:

 “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of [The United States’] national narrative.”

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html

But what about the centrality of Black Americans in the history of Harlem?

The founding document that established Harlem in 1658 included a reference to enslaved Africans (see the 5th item, below).

Ordinance for establishing a new village at the end of Manhattan Island (Harlem)

The director general and council of New Netherland hereby give notice, that for the further promotion of agriculture, for the security of this island and the cattle pasturing thereon, as well as for the greater recreation and amusement of this city of Amsterdam, in New Netherland, they have resolved to form a new village or settlement at the end of the island, and near the lands of Jochem Pietersen, deceased, and those which adjoin thereto. In order that the lovers of agriculture may be encouraged thereto, the aforesaid proposed new village is favored by the director general and council with the following privileges:

First, each of the inhabitants thereof shall receive by lot, in full ownership 18, 20 to 24 morgens of arable land, 6 to 8 morgens of marshland, and be exempt from tenths for 15 years commencing next May, on condition that he pay within the course of three years, in installments, eight guilders for each morgen of tillage land for the behoof of the interested, or their creditors, who are now or formerly were driven from the aforesaid lands, and have suffered great loss thereon.

Secondly, in order to prevent similar damage from calamities or expulsions, the director general and council promise the inhabitants of the aforesaid village to protect and maintain them with all their power, and when notified and required, to assist them with 12 to 15 soldiers on the monthly pay of the company, the village providing quarters and rations; this whenever the inhabitants may petition for it.

Thirdly, when the aforesaid village has 20 to 25 families, the director general and council will favor it with an inferior court of justice; and, for that purpose, a double number is to be nominated out of the most discreet and proper persons, for the first time by the inhabitants and afterward by the magistrates thereof, and presented annually to the director general and council, to elect a single number therefrom.

Fourthly, the director general and council promise to employ all possible means that the inhabitants of the aforesaid village, when it has the above-mentioned number of families, will be accommodated with a good, pious orthodox minister, toward whose maintenance the director general and council promise to pay half the salary; the other half to be supplied by the inhabitants in the best and easiest manner, with the advice of the magistrates of the aforesaid village, at the most convenient time.

Fifthly, the director general and council will assist the inhabitants of the aforesaid village, whenever it will best suit their convenience, to construct, with company’s Negroes, a good wagon road from this place to the village aforesaid, so that people can travel to and from it on horseback and with a wagon.

Sixthly, in order that the advancement of the aforesaid village may be the sooner and better promoted, the director general and council have resolved and determined not to establish, or allow to be established, any new villages or settlements before and until the aforesaid village be brought into existence; certainly not until the aforesaid number of inhabitants is completed.

Seventhly, for the better and greater promotion of neighborly correspondence with the English of the north, the director general and council will at a more convenient time, authorize a ferry and suitable scow near the aforesaid village, in order to convey cattle and horses, and favor the aforesaid village with a cattle and horse market.

Eighthly, whoever are inclined to settle themselves, or to have servants set up some farms there, shall be bound to enter their names at once or within a short time at the office of the secretary of the director general and council, and to begin immediately with others to place on the land one able-bodied person provided with proper arms, or in default thereof to be deprived of his right.

Thus done at the session of the director general and council held at Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland, the 4th of March 1658.