Councilmember Jordan Will Not Seek Reelection

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.

“Harlem wants a pragmatic and effective Council member.  We’ve had two years of ideology, let’s aim for two years of results.”

Precinct Council Meeting Tonight

Congress Member Espaillat Endorses Inez Dickens

Harlem’s Council Member – Adriano Espaillat – endorsed Inez Dickens – the latest Harlem establishment figure to support Dickens in her bid for City Council on June 27th.

Espaillat stated that: “Inez is who we need… City Council needs her leadership, experience and passion.”

Inez Dickens is seeking to reclaim her seat on City Council (District 9). Dickens noted that:

“We have very serious issues in the district that require more than aspirational speeches.”

“With the support of my colleagues, the esteemed former Congressman Charles Rangel and Congressman Adriano Espaillat, as well as my neighborhood and constituents, I feel confident that better days are ahead for us.”

Remember, election day is June 27th!

Eater is Back With “Where To Eat In Harlem”

Take a look at Eater’s list of great places to eat in Harlem:

And see if you agree, or think they’ve missed a gem.

East Harlem Author’s Book Launch at Fordham University

Professor Magda Teter’s new book: Christian Supremacy: Reckoning with the Roots of Antisemitism and Racism will be launched tomorrow, at 4 PM and feature a panel discussion on the common roots of anti-Black racism and antisemitism. Teter’s book is published by Princeton University press.

Tuesday, May 16, 4 PM

In-person at Fordham University at Lincoln Center, McNally Amphitheater, 140 West 62nd Street, or virtually on zoom.


First Known Record of Baseball in Harlem

The November 1. 1856 edition of Porter’s Spirit of the Times, has the first known evidence of a Harlem baseball team.

The paper records a competition between Harlem and The Continental Club, that Harlem won, 18 to 17. Details on the score, below:

The item is for sale on Ebay.

Landmarking in Harlem

Minton’s Playhouse and an apartment building in Hamilton Heights where jazz pioneers Duke Ellington and Noble Lee Sissle once lived may soon be listed and landmarked.

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.

Harlem’s councilmember stated:

“It is actually not OK to erase Black leaders who are not pleasing to white people,” Jordan told her colleagues during the full Council vote. “I profoundly vote aye on Elijah Muhammad Way.”

Harlem Neighbors, Organizers, and Activists Celebrated

Our neighbors, Eva Chan and Lilian Chow were recently celebrated and highlighted by Columbia University for their work and activism to support Harlem’s growing Asian community.

In the summer of 2021, we started distributing meals to Asian seniors with the help of Heart of Dinner. We’re looking for ways to expand that service because there’s a lot of interest. There is a real lack of groceries for these Asian seniors. They are forced to travel long distances to Chinatown to do their grocery shopping because they don’t know how to use the vegetables and produce that are in the markets near them. 
We’ve been in conversation with grocery store owners in the area–some of which are actually Korean–and they cannot justify selling Asian groceries because there’s not enough demand to cover the cost. So it’s not an easy thing to solve. That’s why we continue our work with Heart of Dinner which gives out Asian vegetables—and the seniors love it.

Eva and Lilian have worked to empower the many elderly Asians and Asian Americans who call Harlem home through political activism, cultural events, and more.

Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics

As seen, upsidedown, reflected in the Harlem River.

HNBA Meeting Recording

If you missed HNBA’s meeting on Tuesday night, here’s the recording:

Topic: HNBA Meeting
Date: May 9, 2023 06:48 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Passcode: =UEbdm=0

Spring Cleanup on Malcolm X

Saturday, May 20th. Malcolm X Blvd. and 140th Street.

Participatory Budgeting Slideshow (from the HNBA meeting on Tuesday)

Free Concert in the Harlem Rose Garden

Harlem Rose Garden Opening of the Season Concert

Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 3PM

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

They’re Back!

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. 

$10,000,000 for East Harlem

Pix11 has a report on a check for East Harlem from New York State to improve conditions.

Hope in Harlem

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.

People can register for free at the conference website

HNBA Reaches Out to EastView Residences

HNBA gave a presentation on litter baskets in and the DSNY budget to residents of the Salvation Army’s East View Apartments, earlier this month.

Are You Ready To Vote?

Check your registration here:

or register if you’re not yet.

Environmental Justice Conference

On May 25, Cristina Contreras, CEO of Metropolitan Hospital and District Leader Will Smith will open an exciting Environmental Justice Conference at Metropolitan Hospital

Morning Session: 10 am – noon

The order of presenters:

  1.  Steve Chiu, Representative to the UN
  2. Ameesha Mehta-Sampath, EPA
  3. Tyisha Smalls, We Act
  4. Kyle Jeremiah, Energy Vision
  5. Dr. Pellicone, Chief Medical Officer, NYC Health + Hospital

Lunch Break: Noon until 1 pm

[Congressman Adriano Espaillat. Representative Jose Serrano and Councilman Diana Ayala will be in attendance – they may give a talk in the auditorium between 12:30 and 1] 

Afternoon Session: 1 pm – 4 pm

  1. Tomi Vest, General Counsel to Manhattan Borough President
  2. James C. Lendemer, Lichenologist at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
  3. Narendra Paramanand, Analyst, NYC Parks
  4. Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, First Deputy Commissioner at NYC Parks and Rec.
  5. 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.  

See you on Zoom TODAY at 7:00 PM:

Meeting ID: 858 0978 4042
Passcode: 840216