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.

Harlem Rents Near Subways

Renthop has an analysis of rent price increases for apartments close to subways. Looking at the 2/3 Lenox/125 station, the nearby rent increased by 18.4%:

The 4/5/6 transit area increased by 17.8%:

But the largest increase was near the A/B/C/D 125th Street station. Rents there increased by 20.3%:

If you’re wondering, the Harlem rents near subways above 125th Street all seemed to hover around 10% increase. So proximity to 125th Street increased rents by nearly twice as much as Sugar Hill, Hamilton Heights, and (interestingly, given the juggernaut of Columbia elbowing its way into Manhattanville) stops on the 1 line.

To see the full map, and look at other parts of New York, see

https://www.renthop.com/studies/nyc/nyc-mta-subway-rent-map

Harlem Authors Talk

The Harlem Rose Garden at 6 E. 129th St. is hosting a literary event on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at 1 p.m.

Price is a Bronx native, Harlem resident, author of The WanderersClockersFreedomlandLush Life and The Whites; writer for HBO series The WireThe Night OfThe Deuce and The Outsider.

Adams’ novels have been praised in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Guardian and the Times of London. A former Washington Post writer, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for a series on police brutality.

Support NYC Parks

Please see below that New Yorkers for Parks is advocating to send to our  email to the Council Members on the Budget and Negotiating Team (BNT). These are the officials who represent your interests directly during budget negotiations with the Adams Administration  to advocate for getting the 1% city budget to be dedicated to parks.

PLease share with others as well.  Parks are essential

Here are the email addresses

[email protected]

CC: [email protected]

BCC: [email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected]  

And here’s the letter to make it easy: Also feel free to add a personal note for more impact

Dear Council Member:

I’m writing to you on behalf of Play Fair, a coalition co-founded by New Yorkers for Parks. We are a parks and open space coalition of more than 400 advocacy organizations dedicated to building a better-funded, more equitable and resilient parks system in New York City.

Throughout this budget session, we fought alongside Parks Committee Chair Shekar Krishnan to demand an increase of NYC Parks funding to 1% of the city’s budget, something both Mayor Adams and Council Speaker Adams have committed to. This funding is needed for critical maintenance and operations, and to realize a comprehensive policy approach ensuring all New Yorkers have access to safe, equitable, and vibrant parks and open spaces.

There is momentum to make this happen in 2022. We urge the BNT to implement these transformative funding priorities:

Increase parks funding to 1 percent of the city’s budget: Every world-class park system in the US receives at least 1-2 percent of annual city funding. New York has underinvested in parks for over 50 years, allocating only about 0.5 percent for parks, despite parks and natural areas covering 14% of our city and more than 30,000 acres.

Save critical parks maintenance workers: NYC Parks will suffer a net loss of 1800 Cleaning Corps workers, leaving a gap in the workforce which will disproportionately impact communities of color. Last July, the Bronx had 1,047 maintenance workers. The Executive Budget proposes 822; a loss of 255 maintenance workers. The city must invest in funding these essential positions.

Protect the Play Fair positions at NYC Parks: Last year, we fought for Council-funded positions to accommodate increased park usage during the pandemic. With Covid cases and temperatures rising, New Yorkers are again relying on these spaces for mental and physical health. The Play Fair positions are vital for enforcement, maintenance, and operations.

Additionally, ensuring continued funding for the Parks Equity Initiative is critical to supporting community programs. These are critical investments that the City Council needs to remain committed to.

(I spend every day in my park, walking my dog and not only volunteering with our Park non-profit but also with our dog run.  There is not enough staff to keep the park clean let alone take care of needed repairs. That is why I’m writing.)

suzan marciona, RLA, MLA, ISA, GRPverdantvis |design • inspire • manage | 

Concert – Harlem Rose Garden – June 4th at 4:00 PM

On Saturday, June 4th at 4:00 PM, come to hear a garden concert in the Harlem Rose Garden (East 129th Street, just east of 5th) with the Dorothy Maynor Singers:

All welcome.

Children Tested With Elevated Lead

How Calculated: Number of children less than 6 years old tested in a given year with blood lead levels of 15 mcg/dL or greater, divided by the number of children less than 6 years old who were tested for lead poisoning in a given year; expressed as cases per 1,000 tested. The numbers in this table include all children tested within a given calendar year, regardless of whether they were tested in previous years with the same or different blood lead levels. While children can receive more than one test during the calendar year, children are only counted once using the highest confirmed blood lead level during the calendar year. If the child does not have a confirmed test in a given year, the child’s blood lead level is based on the highest capillary or unknown test type. This measure differs from the rate of children newly identified with blood lead levels of 15 mcg/dL or greater reported by the Health Department in other publications. 

Read more about different measures used by the Health Department for surveillance of childhood lead poisoning.

Source: New York City Healthy Homes Program

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is Open

After a long pause during COVID, the National Jazz Museum is open. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Head to their website to grab a timed ticket:

Harlem Rose Garden Concert

A People’s History of Strings

Created by Puerto Rican-American violinist and educator Skye Steele, A People’s History of Strings is an interactive musical and multi-media journey that traces the evolution of fiddles around the world. Starting from the first bowed instruments in Central Asia two thousand years ago, audiences travel through the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and back to the USA.

Woven into the narrative is Skye’s own family history of immigration, acculturation, and re-discovery, as reflected in the musical lineage of his grandfather, his mother, and himself.   

A People’s History of Strings explores relationships between cultures by exposing the connections between musical traditions that range from jazz and salsa to the classical music of Europe and the Middle East, all while offering a deeper and de-colonized understanding of an instrument we thought we knew so well.

Featuring:

Skye Steele – Narration; European, Turkish, Ghanaian, and Brazilian fiddles, vocals.

Gilbert Mansour – Middle Eastern and Latin percussion, drum set, vocals.

Mayteana Morales – Latin percussion, vocals.

Michael LaValle – Brazilian percussion, bass, cavaquinho, vocals.

Willerm Delisfort – piano, percussion

Refinancing Workshop from MMPCIA and Chase

Chase/MMPCIAMortgage Refinancing Workshop
Thursday, October 14th, 6:30 pm
an interactive workshop hosted by the Chase Community Branch Team to learn more about opportunities to refinance your home mortgage. 
In person (limited space) or via Zoom.

Registration link:

https://chase.surveymonkey.com/r/KHMBXCB

Art Kane on Choosing East 126th Street

If you’ve ever wondered why Art Kane chose East 126th Street for his iconic photo, here is his explanation:

And, while 17 East 126th Street was the ultimate location, few know that in the middle of the project, everyone moved a block eastward, to 52 East 126th Street, but after a few test photos (and dissatisfaction with 52) the whole group returned to 17 East 126th Street where the final photos were taken, and A Great Day In Harlem was born.

Below is 52 East 126th Street – the building is demolished – that awaits redevelopment as an Odyssey House facility.

Fall Events at The Harlem Rose Garden

Join The Vitafusion Fruit Tree Project Planting With Concrete Safaris In East Harlem

The vitafusion Fruit Tree Project is making a stop at Jefferson Houses in East Harlem to partner with the local nonprofit Concrete Safaris.

Come join the fun on October 8, 2021, to plant 35 apple, plum, and pear trees as well as blueberries and blackberries.

The planting will mitigate poor air quality in East Harlem, a neighborhood that is polluted by multiple truck and commuter routes and faces devastating impacts of climate change including heatwaves.

Since 2017, vitafusion Gummy Vitamins and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation have partnered to create the vitafusion Fruit Tree Project. So far, the project has planted over 200,000 fruit trees around the globe, with tree planting and/or distribution events in the U.S. and internationally.

These fruit trees have helped increase access to 28 million pieces of fresh fruit in underserved communities, combat global pollution by reducing CO2, and generate 33 million pounds of oxygen each year.

These fruit trees have helped increase access to 28 million pieces of fresh fruit in underserved communities, combat global pollution by reducing CO2, and generate 33 million pounds of oxygen each year.

Since 2008, Concrete Safaris has prepared youth in East Harlem and beyond to lead healthy lives and shape their environment through outdoor education, play, exploration, and community engagement.

Approximately 400 daily, direct-service participants are enrolled in after-school or internships, and 5,000+ community members get active outdoors at the garden and street-based events led by youth in East Harlem.

Approximately 400 daily, direct-service participants are enrolled in after-school or internships, and 5,000+ community members get active outdoors at the garden and street-based events led by youth in East Harlem.

To attend the planting event, local event hosts are requiring proof of COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within the prior 72 hours and masks. The event remains rain or shine, and experience is not necessary.

Anyone who would like to attend must register at this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jefferson-houses-fruit-tree-beautification-day-tickets-174272432537

Interested? Great, here’s the details on Friday, October 8th: Meet at 10:30 am EST outside Jefferson Houses Management Office at 300 East 115th Street New York, NY, the Planting will begin at 11:00 am.

Ephesus Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Some great stonework on the outside of Ephesus Church – Lenox and West 124th Street.

And Underground…

A short distance north, and under the street, are these great mosaics:

Faith Ringgold is the artist behind these amazing works.

Ms. Ringgold took inspiration for the title of her mosaic from a Lionel Hampton song, Flying Home. First recorded by the Benny Goodman Sextet in 1939, the tune is based on one that Mr. Hampton hummed earlier. As a member of Mr. Goodman’s band, Mr. Hampton, along with the other band members, was waiting to board a flight from Los Angeles to Atlantic City to play an engagement. To calm his nerves, because he had never flew in an airplane, Mr. Hampton hummed a tune. When asked what it was by Mr. Goodman, Mr. Hampton said he did not know. The song was developed from those innocent beginnings. It would go on to become Mr. Hampton’s theme song.

Becoming Othello at The Harlem Rose Garden

Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 2PM

The Harlem Rose Garden is delighted to host a special event by the acclaimed Harlem actor/producer/director Debra Ann Byrd.  We will present a free special sneak peek preview of her solo show based on her life.  Attendees will also have the chance to purchase a limited amount of discount tickets to her upcoming performance in November at the United Solo Theater Festival at 42nd St. in November. 
“Becoming Othello:  A Black Girl’s Journey” was presented this summer at a sold-out show at Lincoln Center and received a standing ovation. Debra Ann is the founder and director of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival and Take Wing and Soar Productions a theater company presenting award-winning classical theater for actors of color.

Please see more details below along with some video links:

OFFICIAL SELECTION OF THE UNITED SOLO THEATRE FESTIVAL – NYC 2021Award-winning classical actress Debra Ann Byrd performed her one-woman show, BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl’s Journey, in Lenox, Massachusetts, this July and Lincoln Center Restart Stages in August. The autobiographical show is about the period in Byrd’s life from her tumultuous childhood in Harlem to her founding of a classical theater troupe after discovering a love for Shakespeare. Byrd incorporated hundreds of lines from the Bard’s own writing into the story. In the Wall Street Journal, Terry Teachout praises Byrd’s “limitless charisma” and compares the “riveting” show to Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain Tonight.

In addition to her current show, Byrd has played the lead in three all-female productions of OthelloShe will be performing

Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey at the United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC on November 4 at Theatre Row, produced by Voza Rivers/New Heritage Theatre Group for the Harlem Shakespeare Festival.

Protest the Treatment of Harlem

STOP GOVERNMENT SPONSORED CHILD ABUSE       Tell the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Support (OASAS) that is NOT OKAY to put over 20% of NYC’s drug treatment facilities in our community. 
OUR STREETS BELONG TO OUR CHILDREN.       Not drug dealers who prey on vulnerable substance abuse patients, shelter residents, and the street homeless.
JOIN OUR MARCH AND RALLY ON OCTOBER 8, 2021 FROM 3:30PM-5:30PM TO CELEBRATE CHILDREN’S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DAY
Ways to participate:    3:30pm – meet on the corner of 126th Street and Lenox to start the March.
Or
4pm –meet in front of 290 Lenox ave in recognition of substance abuse disorder victims. 
Or
4:30pm- rally in Marcus Garvey Park surrounding the baby playground to show solidarity with city, state, and law enforcement representatives who support our demand for equitable distribution of treatment facilities throughout NYC.
Sponsored by The Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association (MMPCIA) in collaboration with the Greater Harlem Coalition, the 125th street Business Improvement District,  and The Nation of Islam. 

Mt. Morris Bathhouse

The Mount Morris Bathhouse (also sometimes called) the Mount Morris Turkish Baths, was located at 28 East 125th Street.

Built in 1889-90 by C. Abbott French & Co., the structure was designed as a blend of two popular styles at the time, neo-Grec and Queen Anne.

The bathhouse was the first commercial tenant of the Lohengrin apartment building. The building itself is a stately late 19th Century structure with well-preserved architectural details on the façade. The Baths, located on the basement level, featured Turkish and Russian-style facilities.

Continuously in use from 1893-2003, Mt. Morris was the only bathhouse in New York City that specifically catered to Black men. The Baths started serving a predominantly gay clientele, probably sometime during the Harlem Renaissance. Those frequenting the baths during that period included Countee Cullen, Harold Jackman, Carl Van Vechten, and Lincoln Kirstein. Up until the 1960s, it was the only gay bathhouse in the city to admit Black customers.

Learn more about the history of the baths and it’s important social service work during the HIV/AIDs crisis from the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project at https://www.nyclgbtsites.org/site/mt-morris-baths

NAN Community Day

Join the National Action Network at a Community Day at Col. Young Playground – 143rd and Lenox Ave. on Wednesday, September 1st – 11 am to 7 pm

Poetry in The Garden

The Harlem Rose Garden is excited to present the extraordinary poet Mr. Daniel Carlton on Sunday, August 29th at 4PM
Honoring Harlem as A Garden of History, Now, and Future Harvests

Daniel Carlton is an actor, storyteller, playwright, poet, director, and award-winning teaching artist who has appeared on New York, national, and international stages. His work has been presented in schools, jails, homeless shelters, libraries, and other traditional and non-traditional spaces.

Summer of Soul, Tonight!

Head to the Harlem Rose Garden tonight at dusk for a screening of Summer of Soul. The Harlem Rose Garden (East 129th Street at 5th Avenue) is a gorgeous oasis and cultural hub for the community. Bring bug spray and get ready for one of the best films of the year.

Tomorrow, also feel free to drop by the Harlem Rose Garden to participate in Harlem Week’s evening of the Harlem Swing Society starting at 7 PM (Friday). The event: “A Taste of The Harlem Renaissance”  includes dance performances, dance lessons and a rare film of the 1920s – 50s Harlem.

And here are more great events at Harlem Rose Garden:

Bedbugs!

Yikes!

How Calculated: Estimated number of adults reporting a problem with bed bugs that required an exterminator, in the past 12 months, divided by the number of adults, expressed as a percent

Source: New York City Community Health Survey (CHS)

Harlem Hall of Fame

A BET production, The Harlem Hall of Fame will honor the legends and icons that have made significant contributions to Harlem’s iconic and historic reputation around the globe.

The Hall of Fame is set to make its inaugural debut in August 2021, with a stellar line-up of inductees, via a multimedia execution that will include a virtual induction ceremony/documentary looking at the impacting lives of some of Harlem’s Living Legends (set for broadcast in August) as well as a physical Harlem Hall of Fame exhibition – featuring replicas and personal defining items of the honorees, set for Black History Month February 2022.

Love Garden

One of the most charming and vibrant NYCHA gardens can be found on West 129th Street near FDB. Love Garden is an amazing visual feast and well worth walking past.

Ballroom Basix

My name is Rikki Ziegelman and I am the Media Manager for an education-based arts-initiative non-profit organization called BALLROOM BASIX. Our organization provides school children physical, social, emotional and cultural engagement through the etiquette and education of non-competitive Ballroom, Latin & Line dancing. Our headquarters are also, conveniently, in East Harlem!

Next Monday (August 2nd), we are beginning our “Sizzling Summer Salsa & Swing Series” which is happening in 3 different East Harlem Parks: Jackie Robinson Park, Harlem Art Park, and Thomas Jefferson Park. This free series is open to all ages and is completely FREE! Please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or (917)-831-7521 for more information.

I Am Not Your Negro in The Harlem Rose Garden

In celebration the birthtday of the literary icon and national/neighborhood treasure, James Baldwin, we will be screening “I Am Not Your Negro” on this Monday, August 2nd in the Harlem Rose Garden.
About Raoul Peck’s documentary:
In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, “Remember This House.” The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.
We will open the gates at 8PM with readings of favorite excerpts of his work (if you wish to read something brief, please reach out and we will save a slot for you) we will screen the film at 8:30PM

Look forward to seeing you on Monday!