Harlem in Black and White

Ebay has a number of great images from Harlem’s past for sale as reprints

1946, West Harlem Summer


1960’s Unicycling Basketball


1946, Broadway and 125th Street


1940s Children Dancing


1946 Wisk Broom Seller


Thank You! From The 25th Precinct’s Community Council

Kioka Jackson put together an amazing National Night Out earlier this month but wanted to thank all of the great community members and officers who helped make this happen. She also wanted to encourage us all to shop locally at the businesses that are helping to build a community that thrives:

  • Please grab some amazing pastries, donuts and coffee from Super Nice located between Third and Lexington Avenues on 117th Street.  Yes, the coffee shop with the Pink Pig Logo. Most amazing Cheese Danishes I have ever had.
  • If you want some great food and drinks please go down to First Avenue between 116th and 117th to Sapoara Restaurant.  Tell the Bartender you know me she will make your drink extra special. LOL!
  • Need a Caterer? Reach out to Monique Jones.  Baby them Jerk Turkey Wings were saying something at National Night Out. Monique Jones <[email protected]
  • We all use Bouncy Houses at our events.  If you are looking for a place to rent Bouncy Houses from, consider Busta Bouncy House Entertainment.  They are very affordable and the owner is born and raised in East Harlem.  
  • Need some financial advice?  We all do.,….. Reach out to Tony Shaw – [email protected]   Trust me you will learn something.

Shooting and Injury at the 25th Precinct

Hello everyone, 

    First and foremost Happy New Year to you all. I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and enjoyed the time with their family and loved ones. For those of you who are not aware, we had a shooting incident regarding an off duty officer here in the 25 precinct. Around 0730 hours, Police Officer Keith Wagenhauser was off duty in his private vehicle in the parking lot of the 25 PCT when his driver side rear window was struck by a stray bullet causing it to shatter.  Keith just completed working an overtime midnight detail in central parking after working his regular scheduled tour and because the department mandated every member of service to work on both January 1, 2022 and January 2, 2022 for coverage, Keith had to work another tour in a few hours. He planned to take a nap in the dorm rooms but due to the lack of space and size of the doom rooms in the command there were no more beds available, so he went to take a nap in his car instead. Keith suffered multiple lacerations from broken glass fragments and a fractured skull. He was removed to Cornell Hospital. Surgery was successful and they inserted a titanium plate in his skull. He is resting well with his wife and children at his bedside.

We do not believe he was an intended target.  We had another officer in the parking lot at the time of the incident, and he did not hear any gun shots. We also did not have any shot spotter activations in the immediate area. These investigative leads, as well as others, is leading us at this time to believe it was a bullet that was fired from several blocks away, and as it came back down, it just happened to strike him in his skull. He is the unluckiest, and at the same time, the luckiest person in the world.

I want to personally thank each and every one of you for the tremendous outpouring of support.  It really makes a significant difference on the moral of the officers involved, as well as to Keith and his family.  

Thank you again, chris

Deputy Inspector Christopher Henning

Commanding Officer, 25th Precinct

120 East 119th street, NY NY 10035

(O) 212-860-6549

(M) 917-846-7194

25th Precinct Community Meeting

The last 25th Precinct’s Community Council for the year will be held on:

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at 6:00 PM

Located at the 25th Precinct 120 East 119th Street, New York, NY 10035

This meeting maybe a little longer than usual as we will have a special guest presenter.  We will also have treats again for you so please RSVP to let us know your intentions for attendance.  If you would be so kind to fill out the link below to help us manage attendance.

It is the Christmas Holiday so if you would like to donate new, unwrapped toys for ages 0-13 we would greatly appreciate it.
We look forward to seeing you soon.  


Kioka Jackson

Take Steps to Prevent or Manage Diabetes

Approximately 2 million people in New York now have diabetes. Many more have prediabetes and do not know. Prediabetes means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be in the diabetic range.

Get a blood sugar and A1C test at a NYC Health + Hospitals location

Are you concerned that you might have diabetes? Talk to your primary care doctor about getting tested for diabetes. You can schedule an appointment with your primary care provider using your MyChart account or calling 1-844-692-4692.

Prevent diabetes

You can prevent Type 2 diabetes by eating a healthy diet and getting a lot of exercise.

Learn more | >Take the Diabetes Risk Test

Uncontrolled diabetes can cause:

Nerve damageStroke
Kidney diseaseHeart disease
Eye problems and blindnessEarly death

Let us help you manage your diabetes

  • Schedule regular visits with your primary care provider. You can visit your provider in person, or speak to them over the telephone or video chat. Call 1-844-692-4692 or make an appointment using MyChart. Learn more about telehealth.
  • Use MyChart to record your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care team to show you how. This is a great way for you and your health care team to manage your diabetes together.
  • Contact your primary care doctor if you need a blood sugar meter (glucometer) or blood sugar test strips.
  • Our specially-trained pharmacists will work closely with you to identify the best diabetes medications that suits you.
  • Get your annual eye-screening. Learn more about eye complications
  • Get your annual foot exam. Learn more about foot complications
  • Call 1-844-692-4692 to get connected with your health care team.

Paying for your health care

NYC Health + Hospitals takes care of all New Yorkers regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status.

  • No health insurance? We can help you enroll in an affordable insurance plan.
  • If you do not qualify for health insurance, we can help you become a member of NYC Care. NYC Care is a health care access program that works like health insurance. Learn more
  • Call 1-844-692-4692 to learn more.

Food Resources

Your diet is an important part of taking care of your diabetes. Having trouble paying for food?

  • You can visit certain NYC public schools to pick up food for you and your family. Text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to find the nearest school.
  • Call 311 and say “GetFood” or visit nyc.gov/getfood for information about the closest food pantry, or to find out if you can receive free meal delivery.

Cheerleading vs. Critical Thinking

On June 6, 2021, New York City launched a pilot program in which both mental and physical health professionals are responding to 911 mental health emergency calls. This new approach, called B-HEARD – the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division attempts to treat mental health crises as public health problems, not public safety issues

B-HEARD teams include emergency medical technicians/paramedics from the Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services and social workers from NYC Health + Hospitals. Teams operate seven days a week, 16 hours a day in the 25, 28, and 32 police precincts in East Harlem and parts of central and north Harlem.

In 2020, there were approximately 8,400 mental health 911 calls in this area (Zone 7), the highest volume of any dispatch zone in the city.

The goals of the B-HEARD pilot are to:

Route 911 mental health calls to a health-centered B-HEARD response whenever it is appropriate to do so. Calls that involve a weapon, an imminent risk of harm, or where NYPD or EMS call-takers know that an individual has an immediate need for a transport to a medical facility will continue to receive a traditional 911 response—an ambulance and police officers.

Increase connection to community-based care, reduce unnecessary transports to hospitals, and reduce unnecessary use of police resources. Before B-HEARD, mental healthcare was not delivered in communities during an emergency. Instead, emergency medical technicians/paramedics provided basic medical assistance in the field and transported those who needed mental healthcare to a hospital. Now, with B-HEARD social workers delivering care on site, emergency mental healthcare is reaching people in their homes or in public spaces for the first time in New York City’s history.

The text above is cribbed from the promotional material of BHeard that you can read (in full) here:

What is interesting is that the rosy picture in the 2nd half of the press release on how successful BHeard has been, is sharply contrasted with the careful analysis found in the Gothamist where they note that the data indicates that:

During the first three months of its operation between early June and late August, 1,478 emergency mental health calls were made to 911 operators in the areas serviced by the program. Only 23% of those calls — 342 incidents — were routed to B-HEARD teams. The rest of the mental health crises were initially shared with traditional response teams involving the cops. In both cases, emergency medical technicians or paramedics were dispatched as well.

On top of that, B-HEARD was often under-resourced and didn’t have enough personnel to handle all of the emergencies shared by 911 operators. The program had to redirect 17% of calls back to the police.

To read the full, Gothamist analysis, see:


Court Ordered Evictions

How Calculated: 

Rate of executed evictions ordered by the New York City Housing Court, including those pending and scheduled as of December 31, per 10,000 housing units.

Eviction data are reported by New York City Marshals and gathered from NYC Open Data. For more information, see: https://data.cityofnewyork.us/City-Government/Evictions/6z8x-wfk4

Source: New York City Department of Investigation

Odyssey House on East 126 Advances

Odyssey House – a major social services provider in East Harlem (one of their buildings is shown below from the Metro-North platform) – is advancing its project on East 126th Street.

Concrete is being poured. Pump trucks are engaged:

Sign Up for the 25th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Please use the above link to register for the 25th Precinct’s Community Council meeting – October 20th at 6:00 PM.  They need a count of how many plan on attending in person.
Thank you all so much

Parking Lot to be Transformed into Supportive Housing, Parking Garage, and Afro-Latin Music and ArtsCenter

Real Estate News reports that the parking lot behind the 25th Precinct (between 119/118th Street, on Park Avenue) will be developed for supportive housing for homeless individuals:

The city has unveiled a plan for 600 new apartments along with an Afro-Latin Music and Arts Center  and an upgraded community center in East Harlem.

The project is one of the first major developments since the rezoning of East Harlem rezoning and, according to HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll, delivers on significant commitments in the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan for affordable housing, education, and workforce training investments.

“These incredible projects are delivering on the City’s commitment to invest in job training, youth, education, and more affordable housing for East Harlem. They are also proving that affordable housing can be an anchor for the arts and the entire community’s well-being,” said Carroll.

“I am so proud to announce plans for both the new Afro-Latin Music and Arts Center and renovated multi-service facility that will enhance the community’s quality of life. I want to thank our partners, The Community Builders, Ascendant Neighborhood Development, Mega Contracting, Lantern Organization, and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance for their creative and thoughtful leadership.”

Mega Contracting, Lantern Organization, The Community Builders and Ascendant Neighborhood Development were selected to build the properties following the East Harlem RFP released in 2019, which sought plans to redevelop two sites that include affordable housing alongside retail and community services.

Located on the east side of Park Avenue between East 118th Street and East 119th Street, the former New York Police Department 25th precinct parking site (pictured top) will be transformed into a residential building with 330 affordable homes, of which 99 homes will be set aside for formerly homeless households.

Mega Contracting and Lantern Organization will build the development, called Timbale Terrace, which will also house a 16,000 s/f Afro-Latin Music and Arts (ALMA) Center, operated by the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA). The facility will include practice rooms, community performance and art gallery spaces, recording studios, and street-facing retail.

In addition to hosting professional musical performances, the community partner ALJA will offer free or affordable music education programming for all ages, job training in the arts, and run an anti-gun initiative through the new center.

The Community Builders and Ascendant Neighborhood Development will develop the second site located at 413 East 120th Street, to be known as The Beacon.

The East Harlem Multi-Service Center site will give rise to an affordable 250-home residential building, of which 75 homes, or 30 percent, will be set aside for formerly homeless households. The new residential building will be constructed at the back of the existing East Harlem Multi-Service Center, which will be rehabilitated and expanded.

The original architecture of the multi-service center will be preserved and include additional space for after-school programming, a new atrium, green space, and the Wagner Walk walk path connecting the residential building to the multi-service facility. The renovated facility will continue to host the nonprofit organizations serving East Harlem.

“East Harlem is the community that best represents the mission of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, to use music as an entry point for service to the community and to reflect back to that community the beauty and ingenuity of its citizens,” said Arturo O’Farrill, Founder, Artistic Director, Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. “Partnering with the City of New York, the Lantern Organization and Mega development is an opportunity to put theory into daily practice. We are honored to lock arms with these partners and serve the people of East Harlem in a manner designed by their needs. Timbale Terrace will be a place that welcomes all!”

“Lantern Organization is thrilled to partner with the City of New York, Mega Development, and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance to create Timbale Terrace,” said Dan Kent, President/CEO, Lantern. “We are grateful to the East Harlem community members who inspired this project through their advocacy for mixed-income housing, housing for vulnerable populations, and an arts and cultural center dedicated to this incredible neighborhood. We look forward to working with our neighbors to ensure Timbale Terrace achieves these shared goals for East Harlem.”

“Crafting a vision for Timbale Terrace was a labor of love for our team,” said Mega principal Hercules Argyriou. “Throughout our process, we were dedicated to creating a new mixed-use project that would address the needs articulated by the East Harlem community — 100% affordable housing that prioritizes those most in need with an arts and cultural center that celebrates East Harlem’s history and activates the Park Avenue corridor. In partnership with Lantern Organization and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, we are honored to have the opportunity to realize our vision for this important location.”

“At TCB we pride ourselves on building and sustaining strong communities where all people can thrive,” said Desiree Andrepont, Senior Project Manager at The Community Builders. “It is a privilege to partner with Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation and bring together the East Harlem community with this exciting project. The transformation of the Multi Service Center will create a collaborative space to unite neighborhood leaders, local organizations and the greater community, and the development will provide much-needed affordable housing for generations to come.”

“For over thirty years, Ascendant has worked with our partners and allies to preserve, protect, and celebrate the unique history and heritage of East Harlem,” said Chris Cirillo, Executive Director at Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation. “We are profoundly grateful to have the opportunity to re-envision the Multi-Service Center as a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive 21st century community hub. We look forward to working with community members, Wagner Houses residents, Multi-Service Center tenants, Community Board 11, Council Member Ayala, and all of the other stakeholders who have helped to shape the vision for this site and the broader neighborhood.”

In 2017, the New York City Council approved the East Harlem rezoning to identify opportunities to create new mixed-income housing and preserve existing affordable housing. The East Harlem Rezoning builds on recommendations of the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan (EHNP), developed through a comprehensive community planning process and led by a committee of local stakeholders including former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Community Board 11 and Community Voices Heard. After a series of community meetings, the EHNP was issued with 232 recommendations for addressing key neighborhood issues.  In addition to authorizing the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program for East Harlem, the rezoning creates opportunities for economic development while preserving the community’s existing commercial and manufacturing uses

The East Harlem rezoning also prioritizes creating more than 2,600 affordable homes, serving the lowest-earning families by leveraging city subsidies and the transformation of local public-owned sites. Other East Harlem affordable housing projects, include the 100 percent affordable Sendero Verde project, a mixed-use development primarily serving low-income households. Sendero Verde will become the nation’s largest Passive House development, providing more than 700 affordable homes. At least 20 percent of the homes will serve families earning less than $25,000, and 60 percent will serve households earning less than $49,000. In addition, 79 affordable apartments are for seniors. Once completed, Sendero Verde will also feature a community center, a Harlem Children’s Zone charter school, and a community art space.

Additionally, the City announced the East Harlem El Barrio Community Land Trust (EHEBCLT) alongside a $13.2 million project to convert four city-owned buildings into affordable housing under the CLT’s ownership. The EHEBCLT is the first CLT to receive public land, capital financing and startup support from the City in decades. Under the model, a board of tenants, community members, and nonprofit leaders will oversee and operate the development as an affordable rental mutual housing association.

Since the rezoning, the City has financed over 7,500 affordable homes in East Harlem. The zoning changes also support the construction of stations in the next phase of the Second Avenue Subway by planning for needed elevators, station access, and ventilation facilities.

Bengalis in Harlem

In the early/mid 20th century Harlem became the destination for African Americans escaping racial terror in the south, and hoping for a better life in New York City. In addition to southern migrants, other Black, Hispanic, and Asian diasporas found homes in Harlem – frequently after being denied the ability to rent in white neighborhoods.

In addition to these groups, Bengali seafarers moved from Manhattan’s waterfronts to live in the Lower East Side and also in Harlem. These diverse communities provided cover for undocumented immigrants who could blend into communities of color and remain undetected by white authorities. 

In his 2013 book, Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America, Vivek Bald explains how Bengali migration to Harlem it had roots in colonialism.

In 19th-century India, British policies gutted the handicraft industry and its local markets—but in America, “Oriental goods” (such as embroidered cotton and silk, perfumes, spices, rugs, and handbags) were symbols of sophistication in middle-class homes. So Bengali men from villages north of Calcutta came to America as traders and peddlers, and some of them settled in New Orleans and across the American South, where they lived in segregated communities and tended to marry Black women while selling their wares in white neighborhoods.

Life aboard British steamships was “worse than working in hell” according to a 1920 news report quoted in Bald’s book—and by the 20th century, Bengali seamen like Habib were deserting their posts and seeking work in the Northeast and industrial Midwest. Between 1910 to the 1940s, Bald estimates, thousands of primarily Bengali Muslim men jumped ship. The majority of them returned to the subcontinent, but “somewhere in the high hundreds ended up settling in the New York/New Jersey area, Detroit, and elsewhere in the East and Midwest,” says Bald, now an associate professor of comparative media studies at MIT. In New York, they opened restaurants or set up small businesses selling herbs and spices.

National Night Out Tomorrow

National Night Out

The 25th Precinct Community Council is looking for organizations to staff a table at National Night Out on August 3rd. If you would be interested in staffing a table for HNBA, let us know:

Here is the letter from the 25th Precinct Community Council:

Good Evening,
As you know National Night Out is an annual event that happens on the 1st Tuesday of August.  We, unfortunately, were not able to host it last year because of the pandemic.  However, we are looking forward to a fun-filled night this year. 
I’m hoping that you and your organization will participate with us on the evening of August 3rd.  We are asking all organizations and partners to contribute by tabling and possibly supplying a fun activity or game.  Your activity can be for children or adults.  I.E. If you are an organization that specializes in art then you might want to have the kids color/paint National Night Out Logos (This is just an example) or you might want to host a carnival game of some sort or you can support by making an in-kind donation such as Snacks, Hot Dogs for the grill, Hamburgers for the grill, condiments, water, ice, possibly even a bouncy rental for kids, or some other inflatable rental (WE REALLY DO NEED A BOUNCY HOUSE) —(You get my drift) –  But It is totally up to you.  Look, bottom line is- we just want you to hang out with us and help make the day fun.  
If you do plan on participating and have an activity or plan on donating something please email me or text me so that I can put it on our spreadsheet.  
We totally appreciate anything that you can do to help support this night. 
Best Regards,Kioka Jackson and the 25th Precinct Community Council

NYC’s Department of Health Approves Bringing More Men and Women In Crisis Into East Harlem

You may have heard of Project Renewal’s Support and Connection Center (SCC) which was located on East 116th Street. This innovative project was supposed to allow officers of the 25th Precinct to bring men and women experiencing a crisis, into a supportive dormitory where trained staff members could help with a wide range of resources and assistance (both short and long term).

At a community advisory board meeting, it was announced that the Department of Health (DOHMH) had expanded the catchment area of the East Harlem pilot project to include the 28th and 32nd Precincts. This move was explained by a Department of Health official as a way to “address the underutilization of the beds.”

There was no mention that this move may be in response to the scathing press from May of this year that noted:

East Harlem has served just 45 people — coming out to $1.1 million per visit.

Here is the full article in The City:


The press coverage of the SCC debacle was a huge blow to New York’s DOHMH and the administration of Mayor Deblasio. Many members of HBNA noted how yet again New Yorkers paid millions for a mental health program with little to no result.

To see the full minutes of the SCC CAB meeting and the justification for bringing more men and women in crisis to East Harlem, see:

As a member of the SCC CAB I have written the following response:

Hello Daylyn, 
Thank you for these minutes.

  1. Could we please have a discussion at the next CAB meeting centered on how the decision by DOHMH to take on referrals from neighboring precincts contributes to (bureaucratic) systems of structural racism?  In particular, I would like to hear how the decision by DOHMH to add referrals from neighboring precincts helps an already oversaturated and already extremely vulnerable community.  Perhaps we could all take a look at: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/dpho/race-to-justice-action-kit-impacts-of-racism-on-health.pdf and discuss this in light of the NYC Department of Health’s “Race to Justice internal reform effort to help [their] staff learn what they can do to better address racial health gaps and improve health outcomes” (see: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/race-to-justice.page)
  2. I would also like to know if when SCC was being proposed and presented to the East Harlem community, was it made clear that the East Harlem SCC would/could take on referrals from neighboring precincts?
  3. Lastly, I would like to know if this is now the SCC/Community workflow; that SCC will make (or be told to make) programmatic and policy changes and then present these changes to the CAB as a fait accompli?  I’m trying to understand whether or not the members of the CAB are partners that are consulted and engaged, or if the SCC CAB is simply a forum for SCC to announce changes, milestones etc.

Our block association (HNBA.org) looks forward to hearing more about these issues.
Shawn Hill

Run For Justice

JOIN US FOR THE 4TH ANNUAL #RUNFORJUSTICE World Day For International Justice is 7/17 and we invite you to join us for the 4th annual Run for Justice 5K! For the 2nd year in a row, Latinos Run and Black Men Run are teaming up for this great event. By participating, not only will you further our missions to increase health and fitness in communities of color, but you will help us bring awareness to social justice issues and promote equity, diversity, and access to resources. A portion of our proceeds will support two organizations at the forefront of social justice: ACLU and Equal Justice InitiativeDon’t forget to share your pics and hashtag us#RunForJustice #LatinosRun #BlackMenRun