Skating On The Harlem River

The Museum of the City of New York has a great image of children lacing up their skates to skate on the Harlem River at McComb’s Dam (155th Street).

The image is from 1904.

Further South, The Triborough

A great, 1937 photograph of the Triborough Bridge by Berenice Abbott as a part of the Federal Art Project in the depression. The bridge was just a year old.

Below shows the wire strands necessary to support the bridge:

From the vantage below, you can see how the Triborough (from Queens) was built in stages on cleared land:

Lastly, below, opening day with a presidential motorcade.

Harlem Neighbors, Organizers, and Activists Celebrated

Our neighbors, Eva Chan and Lilian Chow were recently celebrated and highlighted by Columbia University for their work and activism to support Harlem’s growing Asian community.

In the summer of 2021, we started distributing meals to Asian seniors with the help of Heart of Dinner. We’re looking for ways to expand that service because there’s a lot of interest. There is a real lack of groceries for these Asian seniors. They are forced to travel long distances to Chinatown to do their grocery shopping because they don’t know how to use the vegetables and produce that are in the markets near them. 
We’ve been in conversation with grocery store owners in the area–some of which are actually Korean–and they cannot justify selling Asian groceries because there’s not enough demand to cover the cost. So it’s not an easy thing to solve. That’s why we continue our work with Heart of Dinner which gives out Asian vegetables—and the seniors love it.

Eva and Lilian have worked to empower the many elderly Asians and Asian Americans who call Harlem home through political activism, cultural events, and more.

Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics

As seen, upsidedown, reflected in the Harlem River.

Funds for the East Harlem Greenway Along the Harlem River

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that the city has received a $7.25 million federal grant to plan for a major expansion of the greenway network across the five boroughs, with a focus on historically underserved, lower-income communities that lack access to affordable transportation and job opportunities. The funding comes from a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant and will be used to develop a comprehensive vision plan to fill critical gaps in the city’s greenway network, improve cyclist and pedestrian safety with improved infrastructure, and enhance quality of life with green transportation options and greater waterfront access.

“All New Yorkers deserve access to our beautiful greenways, and we’re making that happen thanks to millions in federal funding,” said Mayor Adams. “This grant will help us do the necessary planning to make the city greener and more bike-friendly in the communities that most need that infrastructure. Thank you to USDOT, Senator Schumer, and all our partners in New York and Washington for helping to ‘Get Stuff Done’ for New Yorkers.”

With the new funding, NYCDOT, NYC Parks, and NYCEDC will together create the city’s first comprehensive greenway vision plan in 30 years to guide future projects and track cycling growth and related trends. As part of that vision plan, the city will work to identify approximately five planned “Early Action” corridors across the five boroughs — prioritizing low- and moderate-income communities outside of Manhattan — and conduct robust planning studies for each to prepare the projects for funding and implementation. These new corridors would complement NYCDOT’s network of on-street bike lanes and NYC Parks’ public open spaces by dedicating more space to walking and cycling. The vision plan and corridor studies would include robust public engagement processes and would be developed in close collaboration with communities and key stakeholders, including the NYC Greenways Coalition.

The new greenway vision planning process follows a $47.6 million investment by Mayor Adams to complete six projects that will improve existing greenway routes in central Queens and along Brooklyn’s southwest shoreline through NYC Parks’ “Destination: Greenways!” plan. The city is simultaneously working to fill five key gaps in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway in Inwood, Harlem, East Harlem, and East Midtown, representing an investment of over $1 billion. The first of these projects — the East Midtown Greenway, from East 53rd Street to East 61st Street — is expected to be completed in 2023.

Congressmember Adriano Espaillat noted: “I have long championed expansion of the New York City Greenway network, and I am delighted to help bring this significant level of federal funding and support through the Department of Transportation to move this project closer to the finish line,” said U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat. “After decades of neglect, communities throughout my district look forward to the development of the Harlem River Greenway to bring new open space, waterfront access, and a renewed seawall to the communities of Upper Manhattan — from East Harlem to Inwood. This grant funding is a win for our community and the families who call New York City home.”



Estey Piano Company and the 3rd Avenue Bridge

An Ebay posting of the 3rd Avenue Bridge in stereoscope:

And while it’s hard to see in the photo above, there are horse-drawn wagons on the right, and pedestrians on the left, all waiting for the perpendicular center span to repivot back to allow passage for terrestrial forms of transportation (clearly a boat of some sort must have prompted this swing bridge to swing open.

Below are the pedestrians waiting (note the safety railing separating them from a plunge into the Harlem river):

And below, a close-up of the horse-drawn wagons:

Note, the building popping up above the bridge’s arch, on the Bronx side of the Harlem River. This building, now known as the Bronx’s Clock Tower (and currently a residential and commercial building), was at the time of this 1890 stereoscope, the Estey Piano Company’s building in Port Morris.

The Estey Organ Company was an organ manufacturer based in Brattleboro, Vermont, founded in 1852 by Jacob Estey. At its peak, the company was one of the world’s largest organ manufacturers, employed about 700 people, and sold its high-quality items as far away as Africa, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

Estey built around 500,000 to 520,000 pump organs between 1846 and 1955. Estey also produced pianos, made in The Bronx in what was known as the Estey Piano Company Factory – now the Clock Tower Building.

Harlem Arts Stroll


NOVEMBER 12, 2022, 1PM TO 6PM

It’s about Harlem from 110th to 155th Streets with its galleries and businesses welcoming you.

Spend time with:

CALABAR GALLERY @calabargallery

CLAIRE OLIVER GALLERY @claireolivergallery

KENTE ROYAL GALLERY @kente_royal_gallery

UNDERGROUND GALLERY @reginaldrousseauarts

HEATH GALLERY @heathgallery

ILON ART GALLERY @ilonartgallery

L’ SPACE DE REVE @lespacedereve

DIASPORA NOW @cafaartfair

ARTISTIC NOISE @artistic_noise

JVS PROJECT SPACE @jvsprojectspace

AHL FOUNDATION @ahlfoundation

FACES OF HARLEM @facesofharlem

ART & FOOD will be at:


It’s very much local and global. Come experience of Harlem culture. Email [email protected]

Rowing on The Harlem River

The Harlem River was (in the 18th and 19th Century) a popular destination for rowing or sculling. Remnants of this pastime were visible into mid 20th century.

In the photo below, you can see 4 large boat houses on the Bronx side of the Harlem River (note the Highbridge water tower in the back-left corner):

The bridge visible on the river would be the 155th Street Bridge, so the apartment buildings in the Bronx are the ones that overlook Yankee Stadium, today.

East River Crew reports that in 1937, Robert Moses The Power Broker” of New York City started evicting rowing boathouses “to build tennis courts for the people living in Harlem.”

By the 1950s all of the Row, boathouses were gone.

Can Collecting Property Hoarder

The Post has an interesting article on a woman who owns dilapidated property in Harlem, collects cans in a beat-up car, while living and hoarding in Brooklyn.

Silicon Harlem Events

Silicon Harlem Meetup – Wed, September 21, 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Register for the Meetup (virtual)

Please join us on September 21, 2022 to talk about the upcoming “Future Ready Communities” conference and our new impact token for uptown. Your voice matters!

Silicon Harlem 9th Annual Next Gen Tech Conference – Fri, October 21, 2022

Agenda and registration below: (in person)

Please join us at the 9th Annual Next Gen Tech Conference at the iconic Schomburg Center Library in Harlem. Our theme this year is “Future Ready Communities”. The Conference will help prepare future ready communities through innovation and technology. Your participation will help solidify that!

Metro-North Bridge Over The Harlem River

For an olde timey image of crossing from Harlem to The Bronx in 1870, this image from the Museum of the City of New York, can’t be beat. And, remember, at the time, that bridge, and especially that train, were state of the art – precisely why the photo was taken.

Performance at Harlem Rose Garden: Bird Language

Wednesday, June 29 for the following event at 6 PM.

Simona Smirnova is a Lithuanian-born jazz vocalist, composer and folk zither – kanklės player based in New York City. By press described as “Eastern European-tinged jazz/exotica”, she is a fixture in the New York live scene when she’s not touring the world, including Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Smirnova’s genre-bending style has a unique theatrical flavor and uncanny vocal improvisation techniques. She deftly implements folkloric chants and Lithuanian zither – kanklės into foundations of jazz and rock. Smirnova’s new album “Bird Language” — channels groundbreaking artists like Björk and Joanna Newsom while exploring the ways that humans are connected to nature. “Bird Language” album is dedicated to the awareness of climate change.

The Harlem Rose Garden is on East 129th Street, just east of 5th Avenue.

Winter Scenes of Upper Manhattan

Ernest Lawson, a Canadian artist who came to New York at the turn of the 20th century to take classes at the Art Students League, was a beautiful painter of the Harlem River.

In the painting above, you might be able to make out what is now Bronx Community College, but at the time, was the new NYU campus that the university had bought, begun to develop, and was considering moving to. The rotunda at the top of the hill, beyond the Harlem River, is now the Hall of Great Americans – a Beaux-Art – pantheon of sorts with bronze busts of (mostly) white men.

Below, the High Bridge sparkles at night with lights, fading skylight, and reflections on the Harlem River.

For more on Lawson, see the article in Ephemeral New York, here:

Lone Figure, Madison Avenue Bridge and the Harlem River

A 1930 scene from the shore of the Harlem River.

155th Street Bridge

In the image below it’s hard to imagine that this bucolic scene is looking at what will become the 155th Street bridge between Harlem and Yankee’s Stadium.

Note that the bridge in the background is the Croton aqueduct bridge – High Bridge – with it’s full complement of masonry arches (the central core of which, were torn down and replaced with a steel arch for Harlem River navigation in the 19th Century).

To see the ebay listing for this image, see Bass Fishing.

To look at the history of the Macombs Bridge, see:

Bob Dylan

Many Harlemites don’t know that Bob Dylan lived in Harlem, on Strivers Row, for many years.

Bob Dylan owned the home for 14 years before selling it to its current owners in 2000. They purchased the house from the folk icon for just $560,000. The four-story townhouse at 265 West 139th Street

Richard Avedon took the (above) black and white photo of Bob Dylan on Nov. 4, 1963. The location is approximately 132nd Street and the Harlem River. The 22-year-old Bob Dylan is just south of the Metro-North Bridge between Manhattan and the Bronx, which crosses out of Manhattan at Park Avenue and 134th Street in East Harlem.

The black and white photo, of Dylan in jeans, a flannel shirt, and a battered guitar case, is often contrasted with Avedon’s next photo of Dylan, taken in 1965 along Central Park East, with Dylan wearing a fashionable long dark coat and tall leather boots and bearing a world-weary superstar’s look.

Click the following link to see the location from FDR Drive – showing the earlier photo’s location:

Lung Block

For many of the reasons that remain today (and are evidenced in the COVID-19 death rates among Black Americans vs. white Americans) in the 1930’s tuberculosis and pneumonia killed nearly twice as many Black Harlem residents as white New Yorkers.

By 1934 one Harlem block was deemed “Lung Block” on account of the widespread infection rates in this part of Harlem. The block was located between 142 and 143rd Street, and 6th and 7th Avenues.

3rd Avenue Bridge

A charming stereoview showing the 3rd Avenue Bridge is for sale on eBay for $10:

Notice the clock-tower in the back-right, indicating that we are looking from Harlem, north, towards the bronx. The woman’s outfit, the horse wagon and the Belgian block paving all add to the charm.

Join Your Community Board

2021 Community Board application is now “live”

ON Apply now to join your Community Board, the most grassroots form of local government. The Boards are pivotal in shaping their communities and work to enhance and preserve the character of the city’s many unique neighborhoods. Applications close Monday, 2/1/2021. Click here to download a PDF to study the questions and prepare your answers before applying online (the online application does not allow “sessions”– you must complete the application all … Read more