Harlem’s Council Member Jordan has decided to not run for reelection. Jordan’s name will remain on the ballot, and she will continue to serve out the rest of her term.
Jordan’s decision leaves Inez Dickens, Al Taylor, and Yusef Salaam in the race.
Harlem resident and activist, Syderia Asberry-Chresfield, said that The Greater Harlem Coalition — which has spoken out about the placement of supervised injection sites in the neighborhood — often found it difficult to work with the outgoing councilmember.
“We found it challenging to work with a politician who repeatedly viewed issues and concerns through a lens of ideology, rather than through the needs and wishes of constituents,” Asberry-Chresfield wrote in an email to THE CITY.
Thelonius Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, and Teddy Hill outside Minton’s Playhouse in 1947. Photo via WikiCommons
Minton’s Playhouse on West 118th Street was the birthplace of bebop, an improvisational style of jazz, came to prominence during the 1940s. Over three decades, the club hosted famous house bands, star headliners, and informal jam sessions, according to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The five-story Renaissance Revival hotel where Mintons was located was listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book. Minton’s remained a center of jazz music throughout the 1950s and 60s and was the location where several important live albums were recorded by artists including Tony Scott, Stanley Turrentine, and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. The club stayed open until 1974 after a fire damaged the building.
The other Harlem building is maybe over the border into Hamilton Heights, but is deeply linked to Harlem is a limestone and terracotta apartment building at 935 St. Nicholas Avenue where for more than 20 years, legendary jazz musicians Edward “Duke” Ellington and Noble Lee Sissle lived.
Ellington lived in the building from 1939 to 1961, at the height of his career. Sissle resided in the building from 1950 to 1972, in the later part of his career.
When he lived in the building, Ellington wrote many songs that have become American jazz standards like “Sophisticated Lady” and “Satin Doll.” Sissle, who was a member of the Harlem Hellfighters during World War II, became known as the unofficial “Mayor of Harlem” during his time on St. Nicholas Avenue, writing for both the “New York Age” and “New York Amsterdam News” and hosting a local radio show.
‘The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad Way‘ Approved and Scheduled to Receive Sign
Gothamist reported on the recent controversial co-naming of 127th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem as “The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad Way” supported by Councilmember Kristin Jordan. Opponents of co-naming this street after Elijah Muhammad referenced that Muhammad and others in the Nation of Islam had frequently espoused and encouraged anti-Semitic and anti-white sentiment.
Please join us at the Harlem Rose Garden for a very special performance by the members of the Harlem Chamber Players.
Violinists Ashley Horne and Claire Chan, violist William Frampton, and cellist Wayne Smith will perform selections from Haydn’s String Quartet No. 1 in G Major, Tania León’s Esencia, Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 12, Op. 127, and Frederick Tillis’s Spiritual Fantasy No. 12.
Founded in 2008, The Harlem Chamber Players is dedicated to bringing accessible and affordable live classical music to Harlem and beyond while promoting diversity in classical music, providing opportunities for professional musicians of color, and featuring works by composers of color and women composers. We are thrilled to invite the ensemble for the first time to our garden and look forward to seeing you there!
* rain date Sunday, June 11th
Councilmember Jordan Is A No-Show, Again
May Membership Meeting: City Council District 9 Candidates Forum
The New York Primary Election is June 27 and one of the most hotly contested seats this year is in Harlem. The District 9 race for New York City Council is heating up, and for our May Membership Meeting, we are hosting a forum to hear from three of the candidates in this race (Inez Dickens, Yusef Salaam, and Al Taylor) on what they plan to do for Harlem and for environmental justice. Join us at Twenty-first Century Academy for Community Leadership at 501 West 152nd Street on Saturday, May 13 from 10 am – 1 pm.
The inaugural HOPE in Harlem Conference is taking place on Saturday May 13th. The purpose of the conference is to celebrate the heroic efforts of mental health professionals and community members during the pandemic and shed light on mental health equity.
The conference will be followed by a Wellness Fair with resources, face painting for children, and other wellness initiatives.
Tricia Hersey, founder of the Nap Ministry and NY Times Best-selling author is our keynote speaker.
OMH Commissioner Ann Sullivan is a featured speaker.
U.S.Congressman Ritchie Torres is just confirmed to speak and share his wellness journey.
Tomi Vest, General Counsel to Manhattan Borough President
James C. Lendemer, Lichenologist at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Narendra Paramanand, Analyst, NYC Parks
Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, First Deputy Commissioner at NYC Parks and Rec.
Jean Kim, Executive Director of the East River Esplanade
HNBA Meeting Tonight!
Hello Harlem Neighbors,
TONIGHT at 7:00 PM HNBA will meet on Zoom with an exciting and packed agenda.
The meeting will start off with a presentation from neighbors in the 2041/5th HDFC Co-Op (5th Avenue at 126th Street) who are planning a second annual family and community block party to celebrate the children in East Harlem on 8/12/23. Lionel will answer any questions you have about the block party and hopefully encourage you to get involved.
Shawn Hill will then present on new data regarding NYC’s Shelter Distribution
To be followed by Travon Butler, who’ll tell us more about the upcoming Participatory Budgeting project that his office – Civic Engagement.NYC – is promoting.
Our District Leader for the 68th Assembly District – Sharase DeBouse – will provide a community update.
And we’ll conclude with a brief presentation from NYC’s Rat Academy representative, Martha Vernazza, Community Coordinator for Rats (what a job title…) on upcoming Rat Academies for Manhattan Community Boards 9, 10, and 11 residents.