Holiday Lights Tonight

The 125th Street BID will light up West 125th Street tonight.

For more details on the festivities, see: https://harlemlightitup.vamonde.com/posts/event-details-turn-on-the-lights/10455/

Marilyn Monroe in Harlem

From the website: https://www.popspotsnyc.com/iconic_new_york_city_film_locations/

What the site doesn’t say is that one of her husbands – Arthur Miller – lived almost where the camera is, taking the photo. Miller was born in Manhattan and lived as a boy in Harlem in a spacious apartment overlooking Central Park. His father, Isidore, a Jewish émigré from Poland, owned a clothing business that allowed the family a certain level of luxury: three bathrooms, a chauffeur-driven car and a summer place in Far Rockaway. Before the stock market crash, the business began to fail, and so, in 1928, Isidore and his wife, Augusta — Izzie and Gussie — moved the family to the borough of churches and cheap rents – Brooklyn.

Arthur Miller wrote about the summer heat of New York, and how families near Central Park would cope in the New Yorker in 1998:

Before Air-Conditioning

The city in summer floated in a daze that moved otherwise sensible people to repeat endlessly the brainless greeting “Hot enough for ya? Ha-ha!”

By Arthur MillerJune 15, 1998

Exactly what year it was I can no longer recall—probably 1927 or ’28—there was an extraordinarily hot September, which hung on even after school had started and we were back from our Rockaway Beach bungalow. Every window in New York was open, and on the streets venders manning little carts chopped ice and sprinkled colored sugar over mounds of it for a couple of pennies. We kids would jump onto the back steps of the slow-moving, horse-drawn ice wagons and steal a chip or two; the ice smelled vaguely of manure but cooled palm and tongue.

Image may contain Clothing Apparel Human Person Water Swimwear Shorts Female Pool Bikini and Vehicle
Photograph by Weegee (Arthur Fellig) / International Center of Photography / Getty

People on West 110th Street, where I lived, were a little too bourgeois to sit out on their fire escapes, but around the corner on 111th and farther uptown mattresses were put out as night fell, and whole families lay on those iron balconies in their underwear.

Even through the nights, the pall of heat never broke. With a couple of other kids, I would go across 110th to the Park and walk among the hundreds of people, singles and families, who slept on the grass, next to their big alarm clocks, which set up a mild cacophony of the seconds passing, one clock’s ticks syncopating with another’s. Babies cried in the darkness, men’s deep voices murmured, and a woman let out an occasional high laugh beside the lake. I can recall only white people spread out on the grass; Harlem began above 116th Street then.

Later on, in the Depression thirties, the summers seemed even hotter. Out West, it was the time of the red sun and the dust storms, when whole desiccated farms blew away and sent the Okies, whom Steinbeck immortalized, out on their desperate treks toward the Pacific. My father had a small coat factory on Thirty-ninth Street then, with about a dozen men working sewing machines. Just to watch them handling thick woollen winter coats in that heat was, for me, a torture. The cutters were on piecework, paid by the number of seams they finished, so their lunch break was short—fifteen or twenty minutes. They brought their own food: bunches of radishes, a tomato perhaps, cucumbers, and a jar of thick sour cream, which went into a bowl they kept under the machines. A small loaf of pumpernickel also materialized, which they tore apart and used as a spoon to scoop up the cream and vegetables.

Read classic New Yorker stories, curated by our archivists and editors.

The men sweated a lot in those lofts, and I remember one worker who had a peculiar way of dripping. He was a tiny fellow, who disdained scissors, and, at the end of a seam, always bit off the thread instead of cutting it, so that inch-long strands stuck to his lower lip, and by the end of the day he had a multicolored beard His sweat poured onto those thread ends and dripped down onto the cloth, which he was constantly blotting with a rag.

For the full essay, see: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1998/06/22/before-air-conditioning

Enroll in the Rat Academy (yes, it’s a thing)

You have likely heard (and perhaps seen) that rats have made a comeback in the COVID era. With so many restaurants closed, or open in a reduced presence, rats have had to head toward residential garbage for their food needs.

In New York City, property owners are required (PDF) to keep their properties rat-free and address conditions that can lead to rats. They may have to hire a pest management professional when appropriate. Tenants can do their part by following our prevention tips below and promptly reporting rats to property owners, building managers or co-op associations.

If property owners are not fulfilling their legal requirement to prevent and manage rats and repair conditions that can attract rats, tenants can report the issue online or by calling 311. The Health Department will send inspectors to investigate the situation.

Learn more about what you can do prevent rat infestation, or how you can drive them out if they have already settled in your home or property:

Secure Garbage

The best way to prevent rats from settling in your home and property is to carefully dispose of your garbage. Be sure to:

  • Provide enough garbage cans with tight fitting lids to hold all garbage between pickups.
  • Bring garbage to the curb as close to pick-up time as possible. Garbage left on the curb for too long attracts rats.
  • Follow your building’s policy for garbage disposal and recycling.
  • If your building has a garbage chute, bag and tie your garbage before putting it down the chute.

Destroy Potential Shelter

Make your home inhospitable to rats by attacking their favorite places to seek shelter and reproduce:

  • Clean up any clutter or litter in and around your building, including your basement and yard.
  • Remove piles of newspapers, paper bags, cardboard and bottles.
  • Store items away from walls and off the ground.
  • Control weeds and shrubs around your home.

See: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/rats-tenants-property-owners.page

To learn more, consider enrolling in a virtual Rat Academy class:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/services/rats-control-training.page

The next on is on: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

You can learn about safe and effective methods for rat prevention in your home and community at this 3 hour virtual training.

Giant Step Arts – Free Performances Celebrating John Lewis and the Civil Rights Struggle

Groundbreaking artist-focused non-profit Giant Step Arts continues Walk With The Wind, a free series of performances in Central Park honoring the legacy of U.S. Representative and
civil rights leader John Lewis


Saturday, October 10 at 1 p.m. – The Nicole Glover Trio: saxophonist Nicole Glover, bassist Daniel Duke, drummer Nic Cacioppo
 
Sunday, October 11 at 1 p.m. – The Chris Potter Trio: saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Joe Martin, drummer Nasheet Waits
L-R: Immanuel Wilkins, Tyrone Allen, Josie Say (AcroYoga) and Nazir Ebo  © Jimmy Katz
“Giant Step Arts [is] a nonprofit dedicated to giving underappreciated but visionary jazz musicians the support they need to make quality live albums. Palmer is a…thrifty improviser with a vast dynamic range and an ambitious composer.” – Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times
 
Finding new ways to support musicians during the pandemicWhen the pandemic hit, Jimmy and Dena Katz, creators of Giant Step Arts, the groundbreaking, artist-focused non-profit dedicated to supporting visionary jazz musicians as they create adventurous new music, realized that it would be a while before they could continue their work commissioning, showcasing and recording music by some of modern jazz’s most innovative artists.  

They’ve created Walk with the Wind, a series of free performances in Central Park honoring the memory of John Lewis. Performances, which are acoustic and feature small groups, take place at 1 p.m. on The Mall in Central Park. In the event of bad weather, they will be rescheduled. They will continue as long as the weather allows. Upcoming performances include:• Saturday, October 10 – The Nicole Glover Trio: saxophonist Nicole Glover, bassist Daniel Duke, drummer Nic Cacioppo

• Sunday, October 11 – The Chris Potter Trio: saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Joe Martin, drummer Nasheet Waits

“The pandemic has been disastrous for musicians, many of whom normally earn a living through live performances and tours,” says Katz. “We’ve presented and recorded music in various venues, including partnering with the non-profit Jazz Gallery, but the current circumstances have forced us to improvise. We wanted to find a way to continue supporting musicians, bring them together with audiences, safely, and enable them to have a payday! Walk with the Wind, honoring the legacy of the great American John Lewis, is one way we are accomplishing this, and the response has been tremendous. Our goal is to raise enough money from foundations and donors so that we can have performances each spring and fall.”   

The series began with the Wayne Escoffery Trio on August 28th and has included the Eric Mcpherson Trio, Marquis Hill Quartet, Michael Thomas Trio, Marcus/E.J Strickland Trio, Leap Of Faith Trio, Joel Ross Quartet, Immanuel Wilkins Trio, Nasheet Waits Trio, Melissa Aldana Trio and the Darius Jones Trio.  From 11-1 p.m. the pre-show festivities have included Arco Yoga specialist Josie Say and the Robert Lotreck Trio.
Giant Step Arts

Founded by renowned photographers Jimmy and Dena Katz in January 2018, Giant Step Arts is an innovative, artist-focused non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning and showcasing the work of some of modern jazz’s most innovative artists. In an era where it is increasingly difficult for musicians to earn a living, Giant Step Arts offers the artistic and financial resources to create bold, adventurous new music free of commercial pressure. Musicians have total control of their artistic projects and Giant Step Arts is committed to fostering their careers by providing promotional material and publicity services.
 
For the musicians it chooses to work with, by invitation only, Giant Step Arts:
 
• presents premiere performances and compensates the artists well
• records these performances for independent release
• provides the artists with 700 CDs and digital downloads to sell directly; artists retain complete ownership of their masters
• provides the artists with photos and videos for promotional use
• provides PR support for the recordings
 
“Giant Step Arts does not sell any music,” Katz says. “Our goals are to help musicians make bold artistic statements and to advance their careers.  We are also trying to increase our funding so we can help more musicians.”
 
Jimmy Katz

Through his award-winning photography with wife Dena Katz, and his esteemed work as a recording engineer, Katz has spent nearly 30 years helping to shape the way that audiences see and hear jazz musicians. Katz has photographed more than 550 recording sessions, many historic, and 200 magazine covers. Whether taken in the studio, in the clubs, on the streets or in the musicians’ homes, his photographs offer intimate portraits of the artists at work and in repose and capture the collaborative and improvisatory process of jazz itself. Recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association award for jazz photography in both 2006 and 2011, Katz’s work has been exhibited in Germany, Italy and Japan. Among the world-renowned artists he’s photographed are Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett, Ornette Coleman, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Haynes, Cassandra Wilson, Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, John Zorn, Pat Metheny, and Dizzy Gillespie. In addition to his well-known visual art, Katz is an esteemed recording engineer who has worked with artists including David S. Ware, Joe Lovano, Harold Mabern, William Parker, Benny Golson, and Chris Potter, among others.

Reminder: 25th Precinct’s Community Council Meeting Tonight at 6 PM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81120463238?pwd=VDdzd1UrR2NYbTYwSHRSdzE1Ui9zQT09

Meeting ID: 811 2046 3238
Passcode: 2525PCC

The Central Park U-Boat

Untapped New York has a great piece on the captured German U-boat from WW1 that was brought to Central Park for display as a War Bonds promotion. Proof of the purchase of War Bonds allowed entry into the U-boat:

When reading the article I was struck by the fact that it was brought to Central Park via Harlem.

The U-boat had been cut in 3 section for transport to the park. The pieces were unloaded at the Manhattanville docks (by the now defunct Fairway store) to begin travel through the city:

On arrival to New York, it “was hauled from the North river at 132nd street via Manhattan street, 125 street, 7th avenue, 110th street, and Central Park West to the 66th street entrance to the park and ‘docked’ on the Sheep Meadow.”

While I know it was in 3 pieces, but still, the image of a submarine going down 125th Street and then turning south on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. is arresting.

For the whole story and more images, see:

Manhattan Community Board 11 is Seeking Your Input

Help determine East Harlem’s greatest needs and budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. You can participate in the annual budget process in the following ways:

  1. Fill out the Public Input Survey by Friday, September 25, 2020. Access the survey here: https://forms.gle/BEVYsJZnf97UzoTA9
  2. Testify at the Public Hearing on Draft FY 2022 Statement of District Needs. The hearing will occur during our Full Board meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 6:30 PM.

    Register to attend here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/3615998323216/WN_bZqKJAOrQASa1DzCjdF34Q