Film Studio

The Harlem African Burial Ground development project has been put on hold and as a consequence, the abandoned MTA bus depot that currently occupies the site remains shuttered. In the past, however, this site has also been the location for a film studio.

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio was located between 126/127th and 2nd Avenue and the Willis Avenue Bridge on part, but not all, of the bus depot’s block.

The photo (above) is a 1940’s tax photo of the property. Note the water tower and the large ceremonial towers that would have been dramatically visible to riders on the 2nd Avenue El (the train tracks you see at the top left of the photo).

While this location had advantages in terms of its proximity to transportation and downtown NYC, the ever present roar of the El just outside the front doors must have been a huge impediment to sound recording.

By the 1980’s the bus depot had replaced the studio with a low-slung, 2 story facility. The water tower and the El, both long gone.

2020 Debate Tonight!

A number of HNBA members had a great time in June of 2019 when we joined the first night of the Presidential Primary Debates in Harlem, NYC. Tonight it’s the (first) Election 2020 debate!

Instagram: @newyorkforbiden2020 / Facebook: @newyorkforbiden / Twitter: @newyorkforbiden
https://www.mobilize.us/joebiden/event/331934/

Our democracy, humanity, and sanity are on the ballot this November.

#NewYorkStrong #ItsUpToUs

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:

https://www.cemeteriesofnyc.com/map