To Find Your Early Voting Location (You can begin to vote on Saturday)
You can (early) vote from Saturday, October 24th, to Sunday, November 1st. Note that your polling place will likely be different than the polling place you are used to. When I keyed in my address, this is what Vote.nyc told me was my early voting site:
To find yours, please go to this site and type in your home address
Our democracy, humanity, and sanity are on the ballot this November.
Cemeteries of New York
Most of us are likely aware of the great cemeteries in New York like Woodlawn (straight up the 4 train, and open to the public – dogs permitted after signing a waiver) and Green Wood (Brooklyn), as well as the cemetery ‘belt’ in Queens. You may also be aware of the lost cemeteries like the African Burial Ground (behind City Hall) and our own East Harlem African Burial Ground that is now covered by the abandoned MTA bus depot at 126th and 1st Avenue.
Cemeteries of NYC, however, has not only mapped the ones we’ve all heard of, but countless others that were (or are) burial grounds in the 5 Boroughs:
Zooming into Harlem, I was surprised to see some cemeteries (long gone) that once existed. In particular, note how much of Wards and Randall’s Island were used as potters fields:
In this, zoomed in view, note how there was a cemetery, on both sides of Lexington, between 125/126:
On the map you can click on each of the features to learn more about how many people were/are buried there, and when/if they were transferred to another location at some point:
With the 2020 elections fast approaching, I wanted to share a fantastic visualization that shows population density. The map is fascinating and allows you to really get a sense of major metropolitan areas and the vast (population) deserts that separate them:
In the illustration above you see us, in New York, and the tail of Long Island tapering out to the east. You can probably make out some of the Ohio cities (2020 battlegrounds) and then Detroit up at the top.
Here is a full view of the US:
And you can look at the high resolution image of it all, here:
Patch.com reports that the Harlem African Burial Ground Project is a victim of the NYC budget crisis stemming from COVID-19. It’s not over, but it has stalled:
HARLEM, NY — A long-planned project to construct a memorial at the site of a historic African burial ground on 126th Street has been put on hold due to the pandemic, a community board leader told members this week.
Angel Mescain, district manager of East Harlem’s Community Board 11, said Wednesday that the city’s Economic Development Corporation has put the project “on pause” like many other development projects across the city, which is facing a $9 billion budget deficit due to the coronavirus.
The project has not been canceled, Mescain told CB11’s Land Use Committee, adding that “they’re just not rolling along the same schedule they had anticipated.”
Katie Nichson celebrated a century in Harlem on Saturday, commanding her well-wishers to “Get up off your butt and get out and vote!”
“I want people to learn that elections come up not just when there’s number 45 in there,” she said. “No, every time there’s an election, go out and vote, because the community is closer to you than the presidency.”
Community has indeed been the driving force of Nichson’s decades in the neighborhood. A longtime member of Mother AME Zion, she has also served in the neighborhood’s Democratic club since its inception, and is a regular guest at neighborhood community meetings — including one in 2017 where she made news for unloading on Mayor Bill de Blasio over the poor conditions of Harlem’s sidewalks.
Nichson said the importance of civic engagement wasn’t lost on her, as someone born the same year that women — at least some women — were guaranteed the right to vote.
“The fact [is] that at one time, women could not vote,” she said. “Then white women could vote and we couldn’t vote.”
NYC’s Marathon is 50 Years Old
Harlem is often the deciding stretch of the NYC Marathon – where leaders pull away, and dreams are won and shattered. This year, with COVID-19, we are not going to have the NYC Marathon pass through Harlem.