HNBA Meeting Tonight at 7:00

Tonight HNBA will have our new Community Affairs Officer [Troycarra Powers] from the 25th Precinct attend our HNBA meeting to answer any concerns you have about public safety and the rise in crime in our community.

In addition, Tatiana from will be joining to talk about their effort to convert Lincoln Jail (on Central Park North) into a women’s jail.

We will also have Wil Lopez (a candidate for State Assembly) and Tony Shaw (a Harlem-based financial advisor) introduce themselves.

To get the Zoom link, join HNBA HERE.

OutGoingNYC: NYC’s Historic Gay Nightlife is a fascinating time machine that you can use to explore gay nightlife from any time post 1859!

Looking at the map from Harlem’s perspective shows a fairly limited range of sites, but is fascinating nevertheless:

I had no idea a building at 5th Avenue and 128th Street was a sex club named Afrodeezziac, for example.

To learn more about the genesis of this project, see this talk by Jeff Ferzoco:

125th Street at FDB, Looking East

A great photo showing how 125th Street had street car tracks running down the center.

This photo is taken from 125/FDB, looking east towards 5th Avenue. Note how the huge rigid awning sticks out over the entire sidewalk in front of the Manhattan Market.

The vantage – the spot where the photo is taken – is the elevated platform of the 8th Avenue El, that ran up Frederick Douglass Blvd and was then replaced by the ABCD subways.

The Fire Factory

In New York, sidewalks and roads are constantly being torn up for subsurface repairs. The eventual patches are notoriously uneven in quality, and some (especially if wet concrete) are susceptible to the lure of graffiti and the chance for a name, drawing, or slogan to be there, on the ground, possibly for decades.

While walking along a stretch of 5th Avenue sidewalk the other day, I noticed a concrete repair that had been scratched into (while wet) that said “The Fire Factory”.

This term is the nickname of Engine 58 and Ladder 26, both of which are FDNY units based in East Harlem, on 5th Avenue at 114th Street. This FDNY stationhouse has been immortalized in a couple of novels/memoirs (sometimes lightly fictionalized) by Harry J. Ahearn:

Ghetto Firefighter — published 1977
The Fire Factory — published 1988
Harlem Memories — published 1993
The Collapse: An FDNY Saga – published 2011

Ahearn was bootstrapped out of poverty by a job with the FDNY. His love of the job, the men he worked with, and the everpresent adrenalin, is palatable in every book.

For a view of this stationhouse, the men who occupied it, and glimpses of the community that they served yet remained apart from, take a look at this 30 year-old video, below:

Scaffold Exhibit at the Calabar Gallery

Make sure to check out the Calabar Gallery on FDB:

Calabar Gallery

One of the joys of Harlem is visiting the galleries, large and small, that display such a range of amazing art.

The Calabar Gallery, at 2504 Frederick Douglass Blvd, (646-964-5062) focuses on representing underserved artists locally and globally, with a special interest in African, African American and Caribbean artists.

The gallery is an exhibition space, community space, retail location, and well worth checking out.


538 has a fascinating article on how the expected tsunami of evictions not only didn’t happen, but evictions are below historic norms:

Vigil Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Fri) at 10 am, you are invited to a vigil in memory of Mr. Yao Pan Ma. Join us to grieve with the Ma family and wish that justice will be served. We will lay down white flowers and light white candles at the location of the attack. 

Come join Harlem’s residents our officials to recommit to unity. We will call for better safety in the area where Mr. Ma was attacked and more social services for our vulnerable people, including our seniors and our homeless population. May something good come out of this tragic event.

PLEASE HELP spread the word about the event to the media and residents. Your support would be a great solace for the grieving family and to our large Asian senior population in Harlem.

You can also help repost and retweet on social media here: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

For more information, write to Upper Manhattan Asian American Alliance at [email protected] or call 415 215 2035. Anyone interested in supporting the Asian residents in Harlem can sign up to volunteer or donate on our website here.