Durst Sues the MTA

If you’ve ever wondered about those vacant lots, south of 125th Street, on both sides of Park Avenue that Uptown Grand Central works so hard to beautify, Durst Organization owns them.

According to The Real Deal, Durst is suing the MTA for stonewalling and failing to clarify what is required (or not) to develop the site.

The lawsuit, filed Friday with the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, stems from three East Harlem properties that Durst acquired in 2016 and 2017 for future development.

The vacant lots at 1800, 1801 and 1815 Park Avenue are located within the city’s Special Transit Land Use District, which requires developers to first get certified by the MTA and the city’s Planning Commission as to whether transit easements are needed to build.

The district was created in 1973 following the construction of a small section of the Second Avenue subway. In 2017, in preparation for extending the Q line from 96th Street to 125th Street, the zone was expanded into the area including the Durst properties. That meant Durst needed an easement certificate to get construction permits.

The article:

https://therealdeal.com/2021/11/12/durst-accuses-mta-of-stalling-east-harlem-development/

indicates that development has been postponed by the MTA withholding permissions that are needed to build on the Special Transit Land Use District.

The timing of this lawsuit is interesting given that President Biden’s infrastructure legislation is about to kickstart the 2nd Avenue subway. Perhaps Durst wants to develop in tandem with the subway construction, or perhaps before it, or not at all. The lots have remained eyesores for a long time now.

HNBA Meeting Tonight at 7:00

Happy Holidays!

Are you ready for holiday cooking with a twist of funny? 

Join stand-up comedian and host of the cooking/comedy show Dinner’s Ready Live (IGTV/YoutubeTV) for a night of fun cooking and big laughs. Dan will be teaching us how to make Spaghetti Carbonara from the refrigerator to the plate using simple ingredients. We encourage you to cook and laugh along! Here are the ingredients:

SPAGHETTI CARBONARA

  • 1 BOX SPAGHETTI
  • 2 LARGE EGGS
  • 1/2 CUP PARMESAN CHEESE
  • 4 SLICES BACON (can use turkey bacon too)
  • 4 CLOVES GARLIC
  • 1/2 CUP PEAS
  • SALT/PEPPER TO TASTE

UTENSILS

  • 2 LARGE PANS/SKILLETS (FOR BACON/FOR SAUCE)
  • LARGE POT (FOR PASTA)
  • KNIFE (FOR GARLIC)
  • TONGS (FOR TOSSING PASTA AND SAUCE)

We’ll also be joined by comedian Ryan Brown who will join us for Carbonara trivia!

If you’re vegetarian, leave off the Bacon. But don’t leave off your sense of humor and good cheer!  See you from the kitchen!

View the HNBA November Meeting

Our November 9th HNBA meeting is now available to view:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hw0239ynnvnoikt/HNBA%20Nov21.mp4?dl=0

Opioid Injection Site Opens on East 126th Street

Mayor De Blasio promised to begin opening opioid injection sites where people can find a safe space to inject illegal drugs, and now his promise has been fulfilled in East Harlem.

Corner Resources quietly opened a new facility at 104-106 East 126th in the evening of Marathon Sunday directly across the street from the ABC Head Start School. The governor has given tacit approval for this East Harlem site, and you can see her recent pick to head OASAS on the left in the photo above (Dr. Cunningham).

There are 8 booths for injecting drugs, and the drug users will be supervised and counseled.

This kind of facility has been found to be illegal by courts (in Philadelphia), but the group that has opened this East Harlem site is undaunted.

If you are interested in the issue of why communities of color are routinely chosen as the locations to site drug treatment programs that frequently serve addicted New Yorkers from other neighborhoods, you can learn more here:

And, to see a map of of how opioid programs are routinely located in proximity to schools, see:

https://fordham.carto.com/u/shill18/builder/a41095a9-bd31-41b3-9733-7b1168772a41/embed

November 9th – HNBA Monthly Meeting

Hello Harlem Neighbors, mark your calendar for 7:00 PM on Tuesday, November 9th. HNBA will have Michael Lythcott attend to explain the new National Black Theater building project that will replace the former building on 5th Avenue between 125/126.

This large new cultural center and residence will be a major landmark in our community. Learn more about the project, the theater, the residences, and much, much more.

(Note that Michael had been unable to attend an earlier HNBA meeting due to a scheduling conflict but is now excited about presenting the project to us on November 9th)

In addition to the National Black Theater, we will also have representatives from the NYC Department of Health’s Rat team who will talk about how we can all best deal with the rats who’ve also been profoundly impacted by changes stemming from our behavior during COVID, as well as the recent storms/flooding.

Lastly, we’ll have representatives from  Chelton Loft, which is located on East 126th Street between Park and Lex. They serve people with mental illness and run a strong program that includes wellness classes, job placement and cooking vegetables from our farmers market.

It’s a great lineup, and we hope to see you there. If you’d like to attend, make sure to subscribe to this newsletter:

And we’ll email you the Zoom link.