Harlem and The Bronx

This image from the 1930’s from a high vantage point (likely from the towering 555 Edgecombe Avenue), shows Harlem in the foreground and The Bronx in the background.

What is now Jackie Robinson Park is immediately below (in the foreground) and you can see the distinctive kiosk shown in another 1930’s photo and from Google Streetview:

Note how the 1930s streetscape north of 152nd Street (up to 153rd Street) is fully intact. It also appears as if the vacant lot on the south-east corner of the block has been vacant for almost 100 years.

Harlem’s Poet Laureate

CBS has the story from Governor Hochul’s inauguration on how a 9-year-old from Harlem came to be her poet laureate:

“I was outside the Apollo Theater, it was Amateur Night,” Hochul recalled at the beginning of her speech Sunday. “And there’s a long line around the block, and I saw this young man standing there. I said, ‘You’re going in to watch somebody?’ He goes, ‘No, I’m a poet. I’m going to go recite.'”
“I was excited,” Hern remembered feeling. “Yeah, because at the Apollo, I just wanted to take a picture with her. And then she asked me, what do I do? And I said, I draw. I also write poems.”
Hern did not throw away his shot, performing his way straight to the top.
“I figured he’d whip out a piece of paper and read it to me,” Hochul continued. “He had memorized it … I stood there on the spot and I said, ‘If I win this election, you are my Poet Laureate and I want you here.'”


View of Harlem Plains, 1814

For sale on Ebay.

Pups on Parade! (October 29)

If your pup has a costume, head on over to Jackie Robinson Park for a pup Halloween costume party:

(Hopefully, your best friend won’t be as beleaguered as the pup in the photo, above.)

The Visitation


The Visitation, a sound walk, a haunting site-specific experience created by Stephanie Fleischmann, Christina Campanella, and Mallory Catlett. Inspired by the appearance of a one-antlered deer in Harlem in 2016, The Visitation takes the listener on an urban odyssey in search of the collective memory of the deer’s sojourn in Jackie Robinson Park via geo-located avant-pop songs that conjure a series of encounters with the buck. Launching on April 23, The Visitation is a meditation on the presence of the mythic in the everyday and the uneasy relationship between the built environment and the natural world.

Conceived and developed with director Catlett and featuring original music and sound design by
Campanella and text by Fleischmann, the soundscape of The Visitation is threaded through with the
ethereal sounds of the deer, voiced by Obie-winning legend Black-Eyed Susan, a founding member of
Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Listeners simultaneously traverse interior landscapes and exterior terrain ranging from far-reaching urban vistas to a dense canopy of trees, from the former wilderness of the park to the blacktop of basketball courts and playgrounds.
Geo-located songs conjure moments experienced by a handful of characters—including a park gardener,a weeping pharmacist, a neighborhood teenager, and more—whose lives were changed by their encounter with the deer.

Along the way, participants will also encounter Mesingw, a Lenape spirit associated with the deer, who
could, it was believed, reinstate balance to a disease-inflicted earth. Listeners may ask themselves,
“Where is Mesingw now? How do we navigate his absence, and that of Artemis, Greek goddess of
nature, from our contemporary lives? What are the repercussions of the ways we continue to colonize
the land on which we live?”

The team for The Visitation also includes Lenape historical consultant Oleana Whispering Dove.
Participants must download the Gesso app onto their mobile device to experience The Visitation, which begins a few blocks from Jackie Robinson Park, at West 148th Street and St Nicholas Avenue. The geography of the park includes stairs and some uneven terrain. A map with alternate start and end points is available for individuals with limited mobility. Participants should bring their own headphones. The Visitation can also be experienced remotely via the Gesso app as a 60-minute soundscape.

The Visitation launches on April 23, 202, and is free to download, however, donations at www.here.org
are encouraged.

On Saturday, May 1, the creators from The Visitation and the founders of Gesso will host an in-person
gathering in Jackie Robinson Park to discuss the inspiration, artistry, and technology behind the sound walk.

City Council District 9 Forum

Here is the zoom registration link: http://bit.ly/HWS_Forum