Harlem Rents Near Subways

Renthop has an analysis of rent price increases for apartments close to subways. Looking at the 2/3 Lenox/125 station, the nearby rent increased by 18.4%:

The 4/5/6 transit area increased by 17.8%:

But the largest increase was near the A/B/C/D 125th Street station. Rents there increased by 20.3%:

If you’re wondering, the Harlem rents near subways above 125th Street all seemed to hover around 10% increase. So proximity to 125th Street increased rents by nearly twice as much as Sugar Hill, Hamilton Heights, and (interestingly, given the juggernaut of Columbia elbowing its way into Manhattanville) stops on the 1 line.

To see the full map, and look at other parts of New York, see

https://www.renthop.com/studies/nyc/nyc-mta-subway-rent-map

Harlem Authors Talk

The Harlem Rose Garden at 6 E. 129th St. is hosting a literary event on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at 1 p.m.

Price is a Bronx native, Harlem resident, author of The WanderersClockersFreedomlandLush Life and The Whites; writer for HBO series The WireThe Night OfThe Deuce and The Outsider.

Adams’ novels have been praised in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Guardian and the Times of London. A former Washington Post writer, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for a series on police brutality.

Support NYC Parks

Please see below that New Yorkers for Parks is advocating to send to our  email to the Council Members on the Budget and Negotiating Team (BNT). These are the officials who represent your interests directly during budget negotiations with the Adams Administration  to advocate for getting the 1% city budget to be dedicated to parks.

PLease share with others as well.  Parks are essential

Here are the email addresses

[email protected]

CC: [email protected]

BCC: [email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected]  

And here’s the letter to make it easy: Also feel free to add a personal note for more impact

Dear Council Member:

I’m writing to you on behalf of Play Fair, a coalition co-founded by New Yorkers for Parks. We are a parks and open space coalition of more than 400 advocacy organizations dedicated to building a better-funded, more equitable and resilient parks system in New York City.

Throughout this budget session, we fought alongside Parks Committee Chair Shekar Krishnan to demand an increase of NYC Parks funding to 1% of the city’s budget, something both Mayor Adams and Council Speaker Adams have committed to. This funding is needed for critical maintenance and operations, and to realize a comprehensive policy approach ensuring all New Yorkers have access to safe, equitable, and vibrant parks and open spaces.

There is momentum to make this happen in 2022. We urge the BNT to implement these transformative funding priorities:

Increase parks funding to 1 percent of the city’s budget: Every world-class park system in the US receives at least 1-2 percent of annual city funding. New York has underinvested in parks for over 50 years, allocating only about 0.5 percent for parks, despite parks and natural areas covering 14% of our city and more than 30,000 acres.

Save critical parks maintenance workers: NYC Parks will suffer a net loss of 1800 Cleaning Corps workers, leaving a gap in the workforce which will disproportionately impact communities of color. Last July, the Bronx had 1,047 maintenance workers. The Executive Budget proposes 822; a loss of 255 maintenance workers. The city must invest in funding these essential positions.

Protect the Play Fair positions at NYC Parks: Last year, we fought for Council-funded positions to accommodate increased park usage during the pandemic. With Covid cases and temperatures rising, New Yorkers are again relying on these spaces for mental and physical health. The Play Fair positions are vital for enforcement, maintenance, and operations.

Additionally, ensuring continued funding for the Parks Equity Initiative is critical to supporting community programs. These are critical investments that the City Council needs to remain committed to.

(I spend every day in my park, walking my dog and not only volunteering with our Park non-profit but also with our dog run.  There is not enough staff to keep the park clean let alone take care of needed repairs. That is why I’m writing.)

suzan marciona, RLA, MLA, ISA, GRPverdantvis |design • inspire • manage | 

Concert – Harlem Rose Garden – June 4th at 4:00 PM

On Saturday, June 4th at 4:00 PM, come to hear a garden concert in the Harlem Rose Garden (East 129th Street, just east of 5th) with the Dorothy Maynor Singers:

All welcome.

A German View of Harlem

Ebay has a photo up for sale that shows a view of Harlem taken by a German photographer.

The photo, from 1963, references the 1962 study of poverty in America – “The Other America” by Michael Harrington – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Other_America

Note the sharply dressed young men and women, and the black police officer on the right:

Careful observation will likely tell you where this photo was taken. The most obvious clue is that we’re near a subway stop, even if the signage is markedly different from contemporary signage:

The most powerful clues, however, are embedded in the image below. Note the street sign, likely saying 125th Street. Also the church steeple to the left of the gentleman looking into the distance. That church is at 123/Lenox, and if you look carefully below the (1)25 ST you might be able to make out “…NOX AV”

Thus, the large building in the background – on the corner – is where Whole Foods currently resides.

The Ebay listing, is here.

The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute is Expanding

The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) has a new lease for new cultural space across the street and a bit more east from their current East Harlem location.

The new addition – 201 East 125th Street – is in the lower, commercial space of a large new residential/commercial building. CCCADI will now have an additional 5,000 square feet to further its mission of exploring the African diaspora through art, music, and community.

“Expanding CCCADI’s presence in an ever-changing Harlem furthers our commitment to serving as an anchor for, and reflection of, the people of Harlem, particularly African descendants, and the promise that states that we are here and here to stay,” Melody Capote, executive director of CCADI, said in a statement.

The new location will house the Institute for Racial and Social Justice in Arts and Culture, providing artists a hub to collaborate, create, perform, and “affirm their roots and diverse cultural expressions.” It will also include a larger presentation space for the local community.

The CCCADI’s new location is within One East Harlem, a mixed-use, 19-story development that includes 300 affordable apartments and 100 market-rate units, in addition to 65,000 square feet of commercial space. CCCADI will share the building with other cultural organizations, including Groove With Me, a youth development dance center. Its developers and landlords include the Richman Group, Bridges Development, Monadnock Development, Hope Community, and El Barrio Operation Fightback.

Congressman Espaillat Announces A Plan For 125th Street In Collaboration With Mayor Eric Adams

Harlemites have been at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic for two years, hard hit by the immediate health emergency and the longstanding challenges that the pandemic underscored. On our road to recovery, we must address High unemployment, rising gun violence, a houseless and affordability housing crisis, food insecurity, systemic mental health and psychiatric care failures, poor sanitation, and inadequate access to open spaces.

I am working in collaboration with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, local elected officials and community stakeholders to address the ongoing needs of our community and enhance the safety of West and East Harlem through criminal justice and health reform.

(photo: Espaillat tour with Mayor Adams, March 2022)

In coordination with key local stakeholders, the following suggestions to help address some of these issues have been put forth:

1.         Amplify Neighborhood Safety Teams in West and East Harlem.  

2.         Reduction of Methadone Clinics and other related services in the 125th Street corridor by no less than 50%. 

3.         Crack down on the “Iron Pipeline” and “Ghost Guns” in the 125th Street Corridor.

4.         Increase Violence Interrupters in the 125th Street Corridor – specifically in neighborhoods that currently have few or none. 

5.         Establish additional bus routes from Randall’s and Wards Islands.  

6.         Support Mental Health Assistance throughout West and East Harlem and Enhance Homeless Services. 

7.         The establishment of an ad-hoc committee composed of senior leadership members of the offices of the Mayor, Representative Espaillat and the Governor, key agencies including OASAS and DOHMH, MTA, DOT, NYCT, DSNY, law enforcement including the NYPD and the Manhattan DA, and lastly- elected officials and key stakeholders on 125th street. 

8.         Engage and Support Youth in the 125th Street Corridor. 

9.         Mitigate Financial Stress in the 125th Street Corridor.  

10.      Increase the number of Park Enforcement Patrol officers at ART Park, Dr. Ronald McNair and Marcus Garvey parks to help discourage illicit activity and encourage a safe welcoming open space environment. 

Sincerely,

Image

Adriano Espaillat
Member of Congress

============================

Los residentes de Harlem han estado en la primera línea de la pandemia de COVID-19 durante dos años, y han sido muy afectados por la emergencia sanitaria inmediata y los desafíos de larga data que subrayó la pandemia. En nuestro camino hacia la recuperación, debemos abordar los índices alto de desempleo, el aumento de la violencia con armas de fuego, una crisis de viviendas asequibles y de personas desamparadas, la inseguridad alimentaria, las fallas sistémicas en la atención psiquiátrica y de salud mental, el saneamiento deficiente y el acceso inadecuado a espacios abiertos.

Estoy trabajando en colaboración con el alcalde de la Ciudad de Nueva York, Eric Adams, los funcionarios electos locales y las partes interesadas de la comunidad para abordar las necesidades actuales de nuestra comunidad y mejorar la seguridad en el Oeste y el Este de Harlem a través de reformas de la justicia penal y de la salud.

En coordinación con participantes locales clave, se han presentado las siguientes sugerencias para ayudar a abordar algunos de estos problemas:

1.         Ampliar los Equipos de Seguridad Vecinal en el Oeste y el Este de Harlem.

2.         Reducción de clínicas de metadona y otros servicios relacionados en el corredor de la calle 125.

3.         Tomar medidas enérgicas contra la “Iron Pipeline” (ruta de contrabando de armas ilegales) y las “Armas indetectables” en el Corredor de la calle 125.

4.         Aumentar los Interruptores de la Violencia en el corredor de la calle 125, específicamente en los vecindarios que actualmente tienen pocos o ninguno de estos servicios.

5.         Establecer rutas de autobuses adicionales desde Randall’s y Wards Island

6.         Apoyar la asistencia de salud mental en todo el Oeste y Este de Harlem y mejorar los servicios para personas desamparadas.

7.         El establecimiento de un comité ad-hoc compuesto por interesados clave en la calle 125, miembros de las oficinas del alcalde, la gobernadora y yo, agencias clave que incluyen OASAS, DOHMH, MTA, DOT, NYCT, DSNY, agencias de aplicación de la ley, incluyendo el NYPD y el fiscal de distrito de Manhattan y, por último, los funcionarios electos locales.

8.         Involucrar y apoyar a los jóvenes en el corredor de la calle 125 a través de servicios de mejora de la educación y el empleo.

9.         Mitigar el estrés financiero en el corredor de la calle 125 a través de oportunidades económicas.

10.       Aumentar el número de agentes de la Patrulla de Vigilancia de Parques en los parques ART, Dr. Ronald McNair y Marcus Garvey para fomentar un ambiente de espacio abierto seguro y acogedor.

Atentamente,
Image

Adriano Espaillat
Miembro del Congreso

Construction Has Topped Off

Construction on a massive new building east of the State Office Building.

HNBA Meeting Tonight at 7:00

Tonight HNBA will have our new Community Affairs Officer [Troycarra Powers] from the 25th Precinct attend our HNBA meeting to answer any concerns you have about public safety and the rise in crime in our community.

In addition, Tatiana from https://womenscja.org/ will be joining to talk about their effort to convert Lincoln Jail (on Central Park North) into a women’s jail.

We will also have Wil Lopez (a candidate for State Assembly) and Tony Shaw (a Harlem-based financial advisor) introduce themselves.

To get the Zoom link, join HNBA HERE.

OutGoingNYC: NYC’s Historic Gay Nightlife

Outgoingnyc.com is a fascinating time machine that you can use to explore gay nightlife from any time post 1859!

Looking at the map from Harlem’s perspective shows a fairly limited range of sites, but is fascinating nevertheless:

I had no idea a building at 5th Avenue and 128th Street was a sex club named Afrodeezziac, for example.

To learn more about the genesis of this project, see this talk by Jeff Ferzoco:

125th Street at FDB, Looking East

A great photo showing how 125th Street had street car tracks running down the center.

This photo is taken from 125/FDB, looking east towards 5th Avenue. Note how the huge rigid awning sticks out over the entire sidewalk in front of the Manhattan Market.

The vantage – the spot where the photo is taken – is the elevated platform of the 8th Avenue El, that ran up Frederick Douglass Blvd and was then replaced by the ABCD subways.

125th Street Redesign

Transportation Alternatives is floating an idea on how to address the endemic double parking on 125th Street that effectively blocks bus traffic, forcing busses to veer into traffic lanes, causing more congestion and slowdowns.

The proposal is to take the bus lanes which are located on the edges of the street, and instead put them in the center of the road.

Bus lanes ensure that disproportionately low-income and BIPOC bus riders aren’t stuck in the traffic created by private vehicles. They propose the city install center-running bus lanes to minimize double parking and delays by private vehicles, and allow for a cycle track.

They also propose more greenery to combat high pollution and asthma in our community. In times of extreme weather, trees increase a city’s resiliency. During summer heat, their shade can lower surface temperatures by up to 20°C, and during heavy rain, a single street tree can reduce runoff by around 60 percent. Throughout the year, they also clean the air: one tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually.

Lastly, parking spaces for bicycles along 125th street can combine waste receptacles as well as secure bike parking. Moving trash from piles on the sidewalk to sturdy containers in the street will increase pedestrian space, ease the work of sanitation workers, and reduce rat populations while creating secure bike parking will expand access and reduce maintenance costs for bike owners.

To see an interactive version of the plan:

https://platform.remix.com/streets/plan/0748e39f/scenario/49358c0d?latlng=40.80813,-73.94615,17.77,p0,b29.12

To see the comments made by Harlem residents on the plan/idea, see:

https://platform.remix.com/streets/plan/7fadc9d4/scenario/f0532c2c?latlng=40.80543,-73.93876,15.803,p0,b28.6&public=true

Meanwhile, Kristin Richardson Jordan is quoted by Patch.com as saying:

she supported measures to reduce congestion on 125th Street, pointing to her campaign materials calling for “a solution that helps move people, busses, taxis, and bicycles faster and safer.”

Up in the Clouds

It’s true that Harlem doesn’t have any supertalls gracing the top of Central Park, but we do have a new tallest residence – the old Victoria Theater building.

6 Square Feet are reporting that a lottery has begun for 102 mixed-income units that start from $755/month. at this building:

At 27 stories and 340 feet high, the new Victoria Towers redevelopment at 230 West 126th Street in central Harlem–the site of the former Victoria Theater–has the distinction of being the neighborhood’s tallest building. Leasing opened in July, and now 102 of its units are available for those earning 50, 60 or 130 percent of the area median income and range from studios at $755 /month to $3043/month two-bedrooms (market-rate studios start at $2,238/month). Designed by Aufgang Architects, the mixed-use building complex is also home to a Renaissance Marriott hotel and a cultural arts center.

Prices for the affordable apartments based on AMI levels range from:

  • $775/month studios to $971/month two-bedrooms for 50% AMI
  • $1,089/month studios to $1,398/month two-bedrooms for 60% AMI
  • $2,351/month studios to $3,043/month two-bedrooms for 130% AMI

All apartments have hardwood floors, open living areas and kitchens, plenty of closets, and central heating and air conditioning. Amenities for residents include a fitness center, laundry room, lounge with game area, on-site parking, and rooftop access.

The building has a separate entrance for residents. The entrance to the hotel and cultural center is located in a sleek glass tower that rises behind the historic theater’s restored facade. The hotel, the first to be built in Harlem in over 85 years, offers hotel guests a club lounge, meeting rooms, a fitness center, and restaurants. The cultural arts center will feature programming from the Apollo Theater and other local arts organizations.

Two percent of the building’s units are reserved for vision and hearing-impaired residents; five percent of units are reserved for mobility-impaired residents. Qualifying New Yorkers can apply for the affordable units until January 10, 2022.

Education Feeds The Mind – The Child Grows

High School Graduates

How Calculated: 

Estimated number of people 25 years and over who have completed High School (Includes Equivalency), divided by the total number of people 25 years and over; expressed as percent.

Source: American Community Survey

Koch and Co

Ephemeral New York has a great article on the stately building, and former department store on 125th street between Lenox and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvds, Koch and Co.:

HNBA November Meeting, Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7:00 PM

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 9th. at 7:00 PM HNBA will welcome Michael Lythcott attend to explain the new National Black Theater building project that will replace the former building on 5th Avenue between 125/126.

This large new cultural center and residence will be a major landmark in our community. Learn more about the project, the theater, the residences, and much, much more.

(Note that Michael had been unable to attend an earlier HNBA meeting due to a scheduling conflict but is now excited about presenting the project to us on November 9th)

In addition to the National Black Theater, we will also have representatives from the NYC Department of Health’s Rat team who will talk about how we can all best deal with the rats who’ve also been profoundly impacted by changes stemming from our behavior during COVID, as well as the recent storms/flooding.

Lastly, we’ll have representatives from  Chelton Loft, which is located on East 126th Street between Park and Lex. They serve people with mental illness and run a strong program that includes wellness classes, job placement and cooking vegetables from our farmers market.

It’s a great lineup, and we hope to see you there. If you’d like to attend, make sure to subscribe to this newsletter:

And we’ll email you the Zoom link.

Harlem 125

Uptown Grand Central, Again!

If you’ve been on East 125th Street recently, you’ve probably noticed that Uptown Grand Central has again restarted their amazing mural project on the otherwise, monotonous green construction hoarding.

The UGC project has grown from 50 artists in 2019 who enlivened the area around the Metro-North station at 125/Park. This year, is inviting up to 100 artists to paint new work over the old ones.

The goal, like last time, is to create art that will “support and uplift the community,” according to Carey King, director of Uptown Grand Central, which organizes the project.

Artist applications are open and being selected on a rolling basis through June, when organizers hope to have them all painted. Each artist chosen will receive a $500 honorarium, and priority is being given to artists with connections to Harlem, Upper Manhattan and the Bronx — as was the case last time.

“They were all people from the community that knew East 125th Street and knew how important it was to bring joy here,” King said of the 2019 artists. “It was just a beautiful thing.”

The project’s funders include City Councilmembers Diana Ayala and Bill Perkins, the city’s Department of Small Business Services and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

In the coming weeks, Uptown Grand Central will put out another, separate artist call: this time, to paint dozens of metal shop gates between Fifth and Lexington avenues, building off a 2017 project.

To learn more about the call for artist submissions, click here, or read more about the Grandscale Mural Project at Uptown Grand Central’s website. To see the works in progress, stop by East 125th Street — and tag Instagram photos with the hashtag #grandscalemuralproject.

Thanks to Patch.com ‘s Nick Garber for the reporting, above.

Miss Harlem Shake 2021

Toe Whoppin’ Tina was crowned Miss Harlem Shake 2021.

Toe Whoppin’ Tina received the official Golden Cup award, free burgers for a year, a $1,000 gift, and a $500 donation to her favorite charity – the 116th Street Food Pantry in Harlem.

Toe Whoppin’ Tina is 32 and works as a children’s mascot entertainer, a promoter and a restaurant manager. Tina says she enjoys dancing, singing and parties. In her words, “I love people with a good sense of humor. I’m funny.”  

Tina’s favorite Harlem Shake meal is the Hot Mess burger and she believes she personifies a chocolate shake. When asked why she loves Harlem, Tina responded with a question, “Who doesn’t love Harlem?”