Mark Levine Wants You!

Mark Levine, Manhattan’s Borough President writes:

Democracy is on the line on Nov. 8th—here in New York and nationally. In this election, Democrats face a Republican party that advances the Big Lie, denies reproductive freedom, and keeps our nation awash in guns.

Against this extremism, statewide Democrats in New York are only polling in the low 50s. That’s way too close for comfort. We need our voters to come out in huge numbers in Manhattan and across all of New York City to ensure our candidates win big statewide.

We also need to fight to win swing districts around the state and nation. If Republicans take control of congress, it will have disastrous consequences for our democracy.

We need your help, to take the energy we are building here in Manhattan to Wake Up Dems in key races around NYC and beyond.

This Saturday – October 8th – I am teaming up with Vote Blue 2022 to organize bus trips to bring Manhattan volunteers to a competitive and crucial district – New Jersey CD-7.

The incumbent Rep. Tom Malinowski, the former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor under Pres. Obama is in a tough re-election fight due to redistricting.

I hope you can join me Saturday to head to PA to talk to voters and get the word out! Sign up HERE or the button below.

Sign Up HERE to Wake Up Dems in NJ on 10/08


Here’s the view (on a rainy morning) looking east from the Metro North platform on 125th Street:

Notice the wrought iron detail on the former fire station:

A fire-breathing dragon? A witch?


As we all know, New York is a terrible place when it comes to finding a public bathroom that you’d actually want to use.

This ‘situation’, coupled with the decriminalization of public urination – spearheaded by East Harlem’s Melissa Mark-Viverito – – has led to a noticeable increase in people (admittedly, almost always men) peeing in public over the last decade.

Into this mix came gig workers, and app-based taxi drivers in particular. Some, and by no means all, use drink bottles, to relieve themselves. This would likely go unnoticed, but supers or homeowners are forced to deal with the partly-filled drink bottles – often left at the curb or tossed in tree pits.

Help Support the Asylum Seekers That Governor Abbott is Sending to NYC

Governor Greg Abbott from Texas has spent over 12 million dollars to send migrants, asylum seekers, and immigrants to NYC and Washington DC. Here’s how you can help ease their way into New York City and the United States:

Electric Zoo is Coming

Electric Zoo is back. Labor Day Weekend. Randall’s Island.

Esplanade Gardens: Maintenance and the Jewel of Harlem

The New Republic has a great story on how the deferral of maintenance and the failure to quickly address issues before they spiraled into more complex issues, has led to the shocking deterioration of Esplanade Gardens, “The Jewel of Harlem”.

This middle-class housing project has had a number of attempted solutions to the maintenance crisis, tried from within and from the outside. In all cases, poor planning, delayed implementation, and shoddy workmanship have left a majority senior residents suffering under unacceptable conditions.

Esplanade Gardens was – when founded – trumpeted as a way to build wealth for middle-class Black New Yorkers. But its crumbling infrastructure shows how far off the rails this vision has fallen.

Opened in 1967, Esplanade Gardens’ co-op apartments were birthed out of the Mitchell-Lama housing program—a 1950s equity initiative to increase home ownership among middle-income New Yorkers. Across the city, the program was seen as a way for Black families to acquire intergenerational wealth and gnaw away at centuries-long inequality in housing.

The six-building, 1,872-unit complex is over 50 years old and has received little maintenance over the decades. At the same time, as a middle-income affordable housing program, Esplanade Gardens has operated at a financial deficit at times, pulling from a shallow pool of residents’ monthly fees for issues with immense depth. Because Esplanade shareholders (the name co-op apartment owners use to describe themselves) own their apartments and hold equity in the shared housing corporation, responsibility is complicated—the trinary control by Esplanade Gardens Board of Directors (elected by residents), the hired outside management company, and the city’s housing agency leaves everyone pointing fingers and residents hanging in the balance. Then the invasive, often poorly executed capital improvement project starts—old structural negligence is laid bare, there’s a lack of accountability, and shareholders’ apartments are caught in the mix.

What’s more, Esplanade Gardens has a large population of elderly and Black residents, existing at an intersection particularly vulnerable to the lack of care in Harlem, New York City, and the United States for aging populations. They live at the epicenter of what happens when once grand programs made to transform inequities in housing are left to wither as time passes, hurting those they were meant to benefit along the way.

To read the full article, see:

Intern With the Manhattan Borough President’s Office

Summer and Fall Interns

The office of the Manhattan Borough President seeks interns for the policy, land use, communications, and special events departments. Click the links below to learn more about each internship.

Policy Intern Description

Communications Intern Description

Land Use Intern Description

Special Events Intern Description

HNBA Meeting on Tuesday, October 12th, 7:00 PM

Join HNBA and learn more about the large new development that the National Black Theater has for 5th Avenue at 125/126 Street.

We’ll hear from the founder’s (Barbara Teer) son who is managing the project.

The Democratic Manhattan Borough President candidate Mark Levine will also swing by our Zoom meeting and answer any questions about what his vision for Harlem in 2022 and beyond, is.

Terrifying Admission by Mayor De Blasio

Free String Jazz Concert, Saturday

The Harlem Rose Garden is delighted to offer you another performance in the garden this Saturday at 2PM.

6 E 129th St, New York, NY 10035

Judith Insell / Joe Fonda Duo – Dark Wood Explorations Project

Chamber jazz dominated by the dark, rich tones of the viola and bass as played by the Judith Insell / Joe Fonda Duo, focuses on the hidden subtleties of jazz and improvisation: harmonic possibilities and the variety of timbres of their instruments. The intimate, interwoven, and often fragile “Dark Wood Explorations” Project is comprised of compositions by John Coltrane, Richie Beirach and Bill Evans, as well as original compositions.

visit for reviews

Please come from 1:30PM to pick a seat.  No signup required – we will close when we’re at capacity.

Our rain date will be Sat., May 22nd same time.

Look forward to seeing you soon!


NYC Water Supply

The DEP publishes an annual report on the quality and safety of New York’s amazing water supply. As you likely know, we get our water mostly from Croton and the Catskills:

The DEP has a number of ways in which you can reduce your exposure to lead:

  • Run Your Tap. for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking, when your water has been sitting for several hours.
  • Use Cold Water. for cooking, drinking, or preparing infant formula. Hot tap water is more likely to
    contain lead and other metals.
  • Remove & Clean the faucet screen monthly (also called an aerator), where small particles can get trapped.
  • Hire a licensed plumber to identify and replace plumbing fixtures and/or service line that contain lead.

The annual report can be found here:

Manhattan Borough President Candidate List

The NY Board of Elections has a ‘final’ list of Manhattan Borough President candidates:

See this PDF for more candidates in other races:

Manhattan Borough President’s Harlem Forum Tonight

Join the Greater Harlem Coalition in a forum for Manhattan Borough President candidates, focused on Harlem issues and concerns:

Saturday: Graffiti Cleanup Day

Wanted to invite you to Saturday’s Graffiti Clean-up.  (See the flyer below). 

As a reminder, we are offering our youth community service hours for participating.  I will need names for those who need community service letters before Saturday – however, everyone is welcome to participate.

We need a headcount of attendees so please let me know if you or a young person want to come to hang out with us to clean up the graffiti around the community. 

We will meet up at the Precinct (25th Precinct – 120 East 119th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues) 10 AM and head out to the various sites at 10:30 AM.  We will meet back up at the Precinct parking lot at around 1 PM for refreshments and close-outs – maybe even a special something or other depending on how many people respond. 

We will ensure to keep everyone safe.  We have extra masks and tons of hand sanitizer.  Please wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty.  

Thank you guys and I hope to see you on Saturday!  I’m looking forward to all the in-person fist bumps and elbow bumps.

Best Regard,


Manhattan Borough President Candidate’s Forum – April 7, 7:00 PM

You are invited to join a Manhattan Borough President’s Forum that is centered on Harlem issues. Bring your questions, and join the candidates who impact land use, community boards, and a host of other neighborhood issues that impact us all.

To register, click this link:

And we look forward to seeing you on Wednesday evening.

Manhattan Borough President’s Candidate Forum

Join The Greater Harlem Coalition on Wednesday, April 7th for a forum focused on Harlem and East Harlem issues/concerns.

When: Apr 7, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor has released January 2021 drug arrest data.

Note that in the graph below, the seizure information on the left is for all of 2020. The seizure information on the right is only for January 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccine for Homebound Seniors

Homebound seniors who would prefer to get a COVID-19 vaccine at home can call the NYC Vaccine Reservation Call Center at 877-829-4692.

Please pass along to any of your neighbors who might benefit.