Digging the subway under Lenox Avenue. Note the water in the foreground.
Library Closing (Temporarily)
The New York Public Library’s Harlem Library will close for approximately three months, beginning January 30, to facilitate improvements to the building, including replacing the branch’s flooring and painting the branch. The branch is expected to reopen in spring 2023.During this temporary closure, patrons are encouraged to use the following nearby branches:George Bruce Library (518 West 125th Street) Harry Belafonte–115th Street Library (203 West 115th Street) Aguilar Library (174 East 110th Street)
All items on hold after January 28 may be picked up at Harry Belafonte–115th Street Library. Future holds can be sent to an alternative location selected by patrons using their account on The New York Public Library website
We apologize for this inconvenience and would like to thank all of our patrons for their support and understanding during this temporary closure. We look forward to seeing you soon!
A photo of Armistice Day in Harlem. The photo is taken looking up Lenox Avenue (you can see the 134th Street sign and the subway entrance on the crowded sidewalk).
One lone soldier appears in the crowd.
25th Precinct’s Community Council Meeting
HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL,
We made it to 2023! New beginnings……..
I just wanted to remind you that our next Council meeting is scheduled for:
Wednesday, January 18, 2023 @ 6:00PMat the 25th Precinct120 East 119th StreetNew York, NY 10035 We look forward to seeing you there for this month’s conversation. Our guest for this month is TBD.Many thanks to all of you for your dedication to contributing to making our community safe.
In the photo below, a group of men listen to a radio, mounted on a box. Their semicircular gathering allows the camera to take in a vignette with the central object (the radio) in full view – all of which suggests a staged photograph.
The image was taken in the 1930s during the depression. This location on Lenox Ave. is now the Mother Hale Bus Depot.
PIX11 Report on East Harlem’s Clean Team
The nonprofit group Positive Workforce joined forces with Uptown Grand Central three years ago. It has been a job-training center in the community for 30 years.
The city has recently added funding and resources to bring on 30 workers. It’s part of Mayor Eric Adams’ “Get Stuff Clean” program.
“It’s making a big difference. People take notice and are getting on board. The lighting is up. They see people getting involved and they get involved,” said Ruben Thomas with Positive Workforce.
A photo from the 1930s of a street scene in Harlem with a pawnbroker’s, a fruit and vegetable stand, and a grocery store.
The pawnbroker promotes that his business is “moth-free” and thus a safe location to pawn an article of clothing.
The grocery store has a number of brands that we would recognize today, even if the prices are quite different.
The fruit and vegetable stand has at least one customer peering in to look at what’s on offer – under the canvas shades (and burlap bags) to shield against the sun:
This otherwise quotidian scene has another component, a protest on the sidewalk against the fruit and vegetable stand:
The three men shown in the detail above look challengingly towards the photographer – perhaps wondering what is the purpose of the photographer as at least one of them protests the unfair labor practices of the fruit and vegetable stand’s owner.
Below is the street scene today. The Salvation Army dominates the block north of Harlem Hospital, with a speed camera and bus stop, and none of the vibrant street life depicted in the photo from the 1930s.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It’s that time of year where we celebrate family, friends and holiday spirit. After years of social distancing, we are finally coming back together to celebrate the season with our Annual Holiday Concert.
Join us at East River Plaza on Saturday, December 17 at 11 am and 1 pm as we welcome the Sing Harlem Choir to fill the air with the sounds of the season. Please share this invitation with your family, friends and neighbors. The more the merrier!
This photo of a Harlem street scene is labeled Lenox and 135th Street, and is dated March 23, 1939:
Where exactly was the photo taken?
First of all, the metal structure on the left (note the rivets holding it together, showing that it’s a metal structure):
is clearly a subway entrance:
that has a newsstand and shoeshine chairs glommed onto it, and an adjacent business called “Subway Shoe Repairing & Hat Renovating Shop”:
Note the retracted awnings that would be extended during sunny, hot summers (no airconditioning) on the buildings:
indicating (as much as the bundled up pedestrians do) that this is a chilly day:
But, where exactly was the photo taken? The shadows suggest that this is likely a view of the north side of a street. Looking at Google Street view, it’s clear that no 1939-era buildings exist on any of the 4 corners.
However, all of the subway entrances are oriented with Lenox Avenue and are located on Lenox Avenue and not on West 135th Street. As a result, the photo must be showing either the north-east corner (where the hospital is now), or the south-west corner, where 485 Lenox now stands:
In the end, the shadows prove that the photo is showing the southwest corner of 135th Street and Lenox Avenue – where 485 Lenox now stands. The long shadows indicate that it’s early morning and the men getting their shoes shined are getting ready for the day, and the relatively few window awnings suggest that few people in apartments that faced east thought it worth investing in this sun-blocking feature when the intense heat mostly beat down on south and west facing windows.
Renaming Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Jefferson Houses
Assemblymember Gibbs is convening an effort to rename Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Jefferson Houses – both are currently named after unabashedly racist men (and Thomas Jefferson, of course, bought/’kept’ enslaved people).
The National Urban League has chosen Jennifer Scott to be the founding executive director and lead curator of The Urban Civil Rights Museum being built on West 125th Street between ACP and Lenox.
The new museum will center the Urban League’s Empowerment Center in Harlem and house the NUL’s headquarters along with 170 units of affordable housing, retailers like Target and Trader Joe’s, and office space with below-market rent for community groups and nonprofits including One Hundred Black Men of New York and Harlem’s Jazzmobile.
The $242 million complex is scheduled to open in early 2025.
The museum will showcase the “long fight for justice in the North” – like the Great Migration and Harlem Renaissance – “from early African American communities to the current Black Lives Matter era,” Scott said.
Scott also has longstanding ties to New York City. An anthropologist and public historian, she has taught for more than 20 years at The New School on subjects including race and ethnic studies, cultural anthropology, and civic engagement. She also worked for nearly a decade at Brooklyn’s Weeksville Heritage Center, a memorial to a free Black community living there before the Civil War, where she helped redevelop the center’s programming and restore the historic site.