Free COVID Tests and Flu Shots – Today

Uptown Grand Central will be hosting COVID testing and flu shots today at Fresh Food Box from 12-5 p.m.

The tests are the swab tests, and for those you can get results back in three days. They’ll also have the rapid tests available, with results back in 15 minutes. The swab tests are free, and the rapid tests have an additional fee ($100).

If the testers get enough foot traffic, Uptown Grand Central may be able to get the van to return with us for future weeks. 

Take care & mask up!

25th Precinct Community Council – Tonight

Kioka Jackson writes:

Hope you all are enjoying the chilly weather. 
Just wanted to remind you about tomorrow’s meeting which will begin at 6:00PM. Just as a point of clarity because of the rising COVID numbers we have decided not to do the hybrid meeting where we would have some people in-person and others join virtually.  This meeting is totally virtual via Zoom.  Hopefully, soon we will go back to some kind of normalcy where we can come out and enjoy a handshake or a hug. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Because we have recently received a good number of questions and concerns around sanitation issues in our community we invited DSNY to be a part of this conversation.  Please have your questions ready.  We will try our best to get to everyone.  It is very important that we try to use the Zoom functions (Blue Raise Hand, Chat, and Mute) so that we can acknowledge everyone most effectively.  

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Meeting ID: 862 3516 0120
Passcode: 252020

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Seen on the fence of the Fred Moore School – East 130th Street:

Visit East Harlem

The official guide to dining, culture, and shopping in East Harlem is undoubtedly not quite the list residents would create, but that is the nature of lists for the visitor.

NYC Go highlights a number of places that we’d all likely recognize and recommend. But there are some selections that would likely make a resident roll ones’ eyes.

Note how on the map, the Jazz Museum is shown to be in its former East Harlem home, and on East 126th Street. As anyone who’s headed to the 4/5/6 train knows, that block – between Lexington and Park – is not where you’d go to listen to jazz, it’s where you’d go to hang with your friends who just got off the M35 bus, or who just got their methadone from a program in the Lee Building.

The Jazz Museum migrated to West Harlem, on West 129th Street at Lenox.

The rest of the map is problematic, but interesting to explore, if only to find the errors. Note how “East” Harlem stretches over onto Malcom X Blvd, for example. Or, how The Africa Center is listed, but has not opened yet.

To see the list of places, take a look at the NYC Go webpage: https://www.nycgo.com/boroughs-neighborhoods/manhattan/east-harlem/

Visit 17th Century Dutch NYC

Given the sad state of the NYC Go page, I thought I’d offer a 17th century Manhattan promotional text for potential European settlers:

“This land is excellent and beautiful to the eye, full of noble forest trees and grape-vines ; and wanting nothing but the labor and industry of man to render it one of the finest and most fruitful regions in that part of the world.” He then condenses the accounts given by “our countrymen who first explored this river, and those who afterward made frequent voyages thither.” The trees are “of wonderful size, fit for buildings and vessels of the largest class. Wild grapevines and walnut trees are abundant. Maize or Indian corn, when cultivated, yields a prolific return; and so with several kinds of pulse, as beans of various colors, pumpkins,—the finest possible, melons, and similar fruits. The soil is also found well adapted to wheat and several kinds of grain, as also flax, hemp, and other European seeds. Herbaceous plants grow in great variety, bearing splendid flowers, or valuable for their medicinal properties. The forests abound in wild animals, especially the deer kind; with other quadrupeds indigenous to this part of the country. Quantities of birds, large and small, frequent the rivers, lakes and forests, with plumage of great elegance and variety of colors. Superior turkey-cocks are taken in winter, very fat, and the flesh of fine quality. Salmon, sturgeon, and many other kinds of excellent fish are caught in the rivers. The climate differs little in temperature from our own, though the country lies many degrees nearer the equator than the Netherlands. In winter the cold is intense, and snow falls frequent and deep, covering the ground for a long time. In summer it is subject to much thunder and lightning, with copious and refreshing showers. Scarcely any part of America is better adapted for colonists from this quarter ; nothing is wanting necessary to sustain life, except cattle, which can be easily taken there, and easily kept, 

Wilhelmus Baudartius, of Zutphen; printed at Arnhem, 1624,

COVID Antibodies

As you likely know by now, the presence of COVID antibodies indicates people who have had COVID (knowingly, or completely asymptomatically). The DOHMH for NYC has released a map of COVID antibody testing. Our (East Harlem) data is based on 6,258 tests:

The city on Tuesday released the results for roughly 1.5 million coronavirus antibody tests conducted since mid-April. The new data confirms earlier reports that the virus has hit people of color and low-income communities harder than more well-off neighborhoods in New York City. At 33 percent, the Bronx saw the highest rate of people who tested positive for COVID-19; in Manhattan, 19 percent of antibody tests were positive. A new map and table released by the city’s health department break down antibody testing rates by ZIP code, age, borough, sex, and neighborhood poverty.

As you can see, our community is somewhere in the middle of Manhattan’s range. Many more people in Washington Heights have had COVID, and many people south of is in the upper East Side, for example, have not had COVID.

The lowest rates in Manhattan, which had the lowest overall rate of positive antibodies, were found on the Upper East Side and Upper West, both at 12.6 percent positive. No neighborhoods south of Harlem saw rates higher than 20 percent. In the ZIP code 10036, which includes Midtown West, 19.6 percent of those tested had antibodies.

Some researchers say those with COVID antibodies are likely protected from getting the virus again or as severely, possibly offering some relief to those neighborhoods hardest hit early on in the crisis. But there are still too many unknowns, and the city wants everyone, antibodies or not, to consider themselves at risk for infection.

See: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data-testing.page

Leo Goldstein

The Bronx Documentary Center has a great online exhibit of the photography of Leo Goldstein. Goldstein photographed East Harlem in the 50’s and captured, in black and white, the gritty world that awaited many Puerto Ricans who moved to New York in the post-war era.

Goldstein belonged to The Photo League which was targeted by the FBI in the postwar witch hunt period as a subversive organization and forced to disband in 1951. However, Leo and a number of former members continued to meet at each other’s homes on a round-robin basis to show and critique their work.

For more of Goldstein’s work, see: https://www.laffbdc.org/leo-goldstein