Summer of Soul is Here!

On Juneteenth, in Marcus Garvey Park!

SUMMER OF SOUL (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Screening: SUMMER OF SOUL (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) – City Parks Foundation

SCREENING: SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED)

Presented by Target and In Association with NYC Parks’ Historic Harlem Parks and Jazzmobile

Saturday, June 19, 2021

5:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Doors open 3:00 pm)

Marcus Garvey Park

18 Mt. Morris Park West, New York, NY 10027

Celebrate Juneteenth in Harlem with a free, outdoor screening of Summer of Soul presented by Target in association with Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage, NYC Parks’ Historic Harlem Parks and JazzMobile. The special advance screening will be followed by live performances at The Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park featuring Questlove and surprise guests. Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, highlights the story of the momentous 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, featuring never-before-seen footage from the massive concert series that was – until now – virtually eliminated from the history books. The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and was met with rave reviews, taking home both the grand jury prize and the audience award. SUMMER OF SOUL will stream on Hulu in conjunction with Disney General Entertainment’s Onyx Collective; Searchlight Pictures will release it theatrically on July 2, 2021.

The Triboro and Dapper Pedestrians

A lovely 1935-1940 postcard with dapper pedestrians and depression era cars taking in the Triborough bridge with Manhattan in the background.

This painting (then turned into a postcard) shows the fashion (and hats) of the day.

Note the hatless man on the right who appears to be the only one without a suit on a warm, sunny day. And while the Manhattan skyline appears to be generalized, Riverside Church stands out on the left-horizon.

The postcard is for sale on Ebay

Marcus Garvey Park’s Little Free Library Has Plexiglass

The doors on the 3 Little Free Library’s in Marcus Garvey Park now have plexiglass on them.

Before:

After:

Property Tax Reform Coming

Image

Dear New Yorker:
The NYC Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform recently announced three new virtual hearings on its 10 preliminary recommendations, scheduled for Queens on June 9The Bronx on June 14, and Manhattan on June 16. All three hearings will begin at 6 pm. Flyers with additional details about the hearings are available in multiple languages on the Commission’s website here.
On January 31, 2020, the Commission released a Preliminary Report with the following 10 initial recommendations aimed at making the City’s property tax system simpler, clearer, and fairer:
Moving coops, condominiums, and rental buildings with up to 10 units into a new residential class along with 1-3 family homes.
Using a sales-based methodology to value all properties in the residential class.
Assessing every property in the residential class at its full market value.
Annual market value changes in the new residential class being phased in over five years at 20 percent per year.
Creating a partial homestead exemption for primary resident owners with income below a certain threshold.
Creating a circuit breaker within the property tax system to lower the property tax burden on low-income primary resident owners, based on the ratio of property tax paid to income.
Replacing the current class share system with a system that prioritizes predictable and transparent tax rates for property owners.
Current valuation methods should be maintained for properties not in the new residential class (i.e. rental buildings with more than 10 units, utilities, and commercial).
A gradual transition to the new system for current owners, with an immediate transition into the new system whenever a property in the new residential class is sold.
Instituting comprehensive reviews of the property tax system every 10 years.
The Commission was formed by Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in 2018 with a mandate to reform NYC’s property tax system while ensuring there’s no reduction in revenue used to fund essential city services. An in-person hearing following the report’s release was initially scheduled for March 12, 2020, in Staten Island, but was later postponed due to COVID-19. However, the hearings resumed virtually this past May, with hearings for Staten Island and Brooklyn on May 11 and May 27, respectively.
The Commission is soliciting input from the public on the 10 initial recommendations in the Preliminary Report, specifically whether they would achieve the goals of a fairer system, would be improved by certain modifications, or should be enhanced with additional recommendations.
The public can submit feedback by emailing it to [email protected] or uploading it through the Commission’s online portal.
The public may also register to testify at the upcoming hearings for Queens on June 9, The Bronx on June 14, and Manhattan on June 16. To do so, speakers must register on the Commission’s website here.
Anyone wishing to testify must register no later than 24 hours in advance of the hearing. Following registration, speakers will receive further instructions. Speakers may (but need not) submit their presentations ahead of time.

You can testify at any borough hearing, not just the borough where you reside.To request interpretation services please email [email protected] or call 212-676-3072 by 5 pm three business days before the hearing. For ASL, or to request an accommodation for a disability, please email or call by 5 pm five business days before the hearing.
Thank you and, as always, stay safe.

In service,
                                                                         
New York City Council

In-Person, Open Mic, Candidates Forums

FORUM ONE – Your chance to see the candidates and to ask them questions

What:     NYC Mayoral Debates

When:    Saturday, June 5, 2021

Time:      2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Where:   NYC Madison Square Boys & Girls Club 

                 (155 St. & Bradhurst Ave.)

                 250 Bradhurst Avenue

                 NY, NY 10039

Trains:     D to 155 St. Station stop

Bus:         M10, M3 to 155 St. stop 

Register To Vote!

The deadline to register to vote is Friday, May 28 and early voting begins on Saturday, June 12. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is June 15.

Free Concerts in Marcus Garvey Park this Weekend

National Black Theatre is partnering with the New York Philharmonic to bring NY Phil Bandwagon 2 to Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem!

NY Phil Bandwagon 2 is a series of four weekend-long festivals across New York City, May 7–30, 2021. Performances will feature Philharmonic musicians and more than 100 New York artists, which span artistic disciplines from reggae, jazz, and opera, to dance, poetry, theatre, film, and visual art.  All performances will take place on a customized, mobile, 20-foot shipping container featuring a foldout stage and LED video wall.

Comptroller Candidates

The final list of NYC Comptroller Candidates is in:

You can see the NY Board of Elections full list of all races and candidates, here: https://vote.nyc/sites/default/files/pdf/candidates/2021/ContestList_6.22.2021_PDF_PrimaryElection_4.27.2021_.pdf

The Geography and Enrollment of Child Care Programs

Here is a quick map of child care programs in our community. The dots are sized according to the enrollment. Zoom in for more detail, and hover over any of the dots.

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/4ODu0/1/

The John Lewis Day of Action!

Join the Voter Awareness March in Harlem on Saturday, May 8th at 2:00 PM.

March from the Adam Clayton Powell State Building (ACP+125) to the Frederick Douglass Monument (FDB+110)

Mental Health Awareness Rally

Join mental health experts, local leaders, political candidates, and advocates for mental health support for all at a rally at City Hall on May 7th. Then, on May 8th, stop by Marcus Garvey Park for giveaways, information, and referrals for you or a loved-one. Details on the poster, below:

Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities at Parks

Happy Spring!

These NYC Parks job opportunities (below) made possible by the recent federal reinvestment bill are open to people of all ages and require no experience.

CAN YOU & YOUR ____BE LITTER AMBASSADORS FOR OUR HISTORIC HARLEM PARKS?
(Jackie Robinson/Marcus Garvey/Morningside/St Nicholas)
NYC Parks is looking for weekend volunteers we call * Litter Ambassadors * who can greet park visitors having special events & BBQs and offer them orange (!) garbage bags to “love your park!”.  Litter ambassadors will share where park visitors can drop their full orange trash bag after their event in a “Love Your Park” trash corral nearby. A NYC Parks staffer will provide you with bags and answer any questions. Ambassadors can volunteer as often as you want through Labor Day (and beyond)!  Parents with children / friends / couples / co-workers / group members are all welcome to volunteer (dogs welcome too)!  Just a couple of hours this summer give invaluable help to our parks to help us ensure our parks are clean, safe and green for our visitors, children, families, friends & neighbors. To learn more & volunteer – contact Historic Harlem Parks Administrator Jana La Sorte at [email protected]

NYC PARKS JOB OPENINGS FOR 18-80+
Mayor De Blasio has announced the creation of the City Cleanup Corps, an economic recovery program modeled on The New Deal that will generate 10,00 jobs in NYC and focus on cleaning our public spaces. Initial hiring began this month and more positions will be added through July.  Details include:
– Up to 8 months long with potential for full-time placement
– no experience or drivers license required for the “seasonal” job 

Check link below for information on how to apply for “City Park Worker Clean Up Corp – Manhattan” and/or “City Seasonal Aide Cleanup Corp – Manhattan” & note other job listings for all boroughs too. Please forward this far & wide to young & old alike who may be looking for good work! 

Jobs at Parks : NYC Parks (nycgovparks.org) 

ITS MY PARK DAY IS MAY 22 — A DAY OF FUN VOLUNTEERING TO LOVE YOUR PARK !
Join thousands of New Yorkers who come together each year to volunteer and celebrate their neighborhood parks and public spaces through It’s My Park Day.  What might your group – neighborhood association / sorority / fraternity / school / arts group / temple / mosque / church / family / friends, etc! – want to do to help love our parks?  Cleanups / painting / weeding & more pitch in help is welcome at ANY time of the year but May 22 has been set as the spring It’s My Park Day for our historic Harlem parks.  Contact [email protected] at Partnership for Parks to arrange for your special volunteer day and ask questions, particularly for groups of 10+.  NYC PARKS
www.nyc.gov/parks

Do We Live in a Democratic Bubble?

Apparently, yes, we do…

You can see the blueness of upper Manhattan, below, and note the outcrops of red republican voters across the Hudson, and a few in the UES/Midtown as well as Queens:

The bubble visualization (below) shows how our neighborhood looks if you group all the Democrats and Republicans together:

This is in contrast with Fort Lee, across the Hudson, which is almost 50/50 split.

What researchers in the NYT article propose is that lifestyle choices drive many location decisions, and thus segregate us into political clusters, even if this clustering is driven by individual decision making:

To test this out yourself, enter some Zip Codes here:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/04/30/opinion/politics/bubble-politics.html

West 124th Street Library

Landmarks has recently moved closer to landmarking the NYPL on West 124th Street on the north side of Marcus Garvey Park.

Completed in 1909 and funded by Andrew Carnegie, the branch “nurtured African-American cultural and intellectual life, especially during the Harlem Renaissance,” said Timothy Frye, the LPC’s director of special projects.

The library once housed the groundbreaking Rose McClendon Players theater group and is the only one of Harlem’s five Carnegie libraries that has not been designated a city landmark.

The beautiful limestone facade has faced the park for decades. High up, however, you might have noticed that there are 4 open books, carved into the limestone. While my photo (below) isn’t clear enough to show the books in detail, they are not blank books.

Each of the left-hand pages begins with the alphabet, has some text and: “This New York Public Library, No. 37, Will Contain Wholesome Books.”

The carving also includes “What Boy Cut Letters On These Pages To Give Texture To the Surfaces,” and “Why Does It Matter. Drawing The Whole. Lamkin Robson,” followed by however much of the alphabet would fit. The ending on the western-most book is ”Does It Matter? Drawing These, Patrick Clune. Where Does Reason Commence [Illegible] Does End.”

And there are more oddities. In some of the text on the left side of the spreads, you find the word ”Paddy,” in others ”Benny.”

East Harlem vs. UES

NY1 has an interesting article on disparities between East Harlem and the Upper East Side.

Below 96th Street, more than a quarter of all adults have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. 

Above it, about 13% are fully immunized — and there are fewer than half as many sites at which to get the vaccine, including sites at local pharmacies.  

In East Harlem, COVID death rates for the pandemic are more than triple that of the Upper East Side, according to city data. One of its ZIP codes, 10035, has the highest death rate in the borough. 

The map (below) is somewhat difficult to parse, but essentially the intensity of the red color indicates COVID-19 death rates, whereas the percentages shown in the 3 zip codes, indicates what percentage of residents have been vaccinated.

For the full article, see:

https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2021/03/18/new-program-could-help-bridge-vaccine-divide-in-east-harlem

Marcus Garvey Park Operating Meeting

HNBA was invited to a meeting earlier this week regarding updates for Marcus Garvey Park.

The meeting was chaired by Commissioner Castro. He welcomed everyone and stated that the federal package relief will ensure that the budget is fully funded for staffing, maintenance and pool program. He is working with the Assistant Commissioner and his staff to start a new initiative: a Park Enforcement Station (PEP) which exists already in other parks.

Administrator Jana La Sorte reported on that initiative with Calderon:

  • She is excited to work with Captain Calderon. They are meeting on March 17 in AM to review the facility where the PEP will be located,close to the pool.
  • The PEP will have a staff of 5 plus one Sargeant. The hours of patrol will be 8 am to 6:30 pm, 7 days a week. 
  • The PEP will address mostly quality of life issues in the park, can issue summonses and make arrests. Will be equipped with walkie-talkies.
  • The PEP will also work on specific projects in the evening or night, and hours of patrol can be flexible according to seasons or needs.
  • Jana is working with the Central Park conservation team to address the issue of erosion on the west side of the Acropolis.
  • She is providing support to the group led by Melanie responsible for the dog run: they want to add an area with gravel, improve drainage and Melanie suggested a water fountain for the dogs.
  • The Litter Ambassadors program starts next month and Jana is recruiting volunteers. They will be paired to go around the park and offer orange garbage bags to visitors and ask them to dispose of their trash.
  • Jana encourages everyone to visit the park’s website for additional information about these initiatives.
  • The Harlem Youth Gardeners program is being launched now and offer decent pay for the jobs.
  • There are requests for programming in the amphitheater and schools graduations as well.
  • She is looking to increase volunteering in the park and will send flyers out to promote initiatives such as: Adopt a Tree, Adopt a Bench.

Robert Mc Lean, Regional Park Manager, reported working for two months with some corporate groups.

  • So far 29 hardwood trees have been planted, mainly oak.
  • There are two gardeners on staff and he is looking to have volunteers sign up.
  • A new garden of about 650 square feet was planted at the Drummers’ Circle.

Officers Brigante and Lau gave the 25th Precinct report

  • The 25th Precinct is working with the department of Homeless Services and Social Services. 
  • There is a marked decrease of homeless people in the park.
  • The crime level has been related to the encampment on the stage.
  • A request was made to install cameras by the playgrounds and basketball court.The commissioner stated that at this time there is no funding for cameras. The budget needed is for the maintenance of the cameras.Cameras were also requested previously for the Acropolis but could not be installed because there is no access to electricity at that site.The Commissioner will follow up and report back on the cost for cameras.

Alexandra Long reported that less activity of homeless was noted in the park also. 

Connie Lee also commented on the decrease of homelessness in the park

  • The Homeless Outreach program will continue to distribute masks and increase the number distributed from 250 to 500 week, thanks to a new sponsor for masks.
  • New York Company foundation has provided funding for Arts in the park.
  • Art installations will go up in Morningside park and murals in Marcus Garvey park, mostly semi-permanent or permanent.
  • the MG Park Alliance is working with multiple community groups on community engagement initiatives.
  • Small groups of people will be on the grounds to talk to park goers and collect information. The results will be compiled into a report and presented to sponsors as a multigroup effort for fundraising.
  • the Harlem Youth Gardeners program starting this spring will hire youth at $18 per hour.
    Madlyn Stokely reported looking forward to developing a relationship and working with Park Alliance. She voiced concerns over the number of cars parked at the entrance of the pool area. The Commissioner will look into this issue.

Rene Cuenca: The Partnership for Parks is getting ready for the summer season

  • It will launch at the end of March the “It’s my Park” event. Will send out information when the plans solidify,
  • Working with Harlem Wellness Center on Project Healing. (to address racial issues?). Steve Simon reported working on two capital projects, one is to rehabilitate the recreation center

Many thanks to Cecile for these amazing notes.

East Harlem + Flooding

The https://welikia.org/ project to visualize the New York area before European explorers and colonists arrives is an incredible resource for anyone curious about the landscape of pre-contact New York.

Welika allows you to see how much more ‘pointed’ the lower tip of Manhattan was – jutting out into New York harbor – and how there were marshes, streams, ponds, and other water features in areas that are now part of Chinatown and the financial district.

Further north, in our neighborhood, you can see how Randall’s and Wards Island stood out, and were separated.

there is even an inlet or stream, paralleling East 108th Street to what is now the Harlem Meer in Central Park and then up (north) to the west of Marcus Garvey Park, and then over to 126/FDB.

In a zoomed-in view, the two hills in the yellowish marshland at the top of the screenshot are Big and Little Snake Hills. Big Snake Hill became Mount Morris. The smaller hill to the east (near Park/122) was leveled

All of this is to note that most of East Harlem is built on former marshlands or infill rubble. If you go to Lexington and 108th Street, for example, you can clearly see the depression that marks the former watercourse that essentially followed East 108th Street from the East River to Central Park.

The City has a great story on how a million-dollar report on the risk of flooding in East Harlem has not been released publicly: https://www.thecity.nyc/2021/1/25/22245050/de-blasios-1-million-flood-plan-shelved-and-hidden-from-high-risk-east-harlem. Indeed, a FOIL request for the report, resulted in a CIA level of redaction. It’s hard to believe that this amount of text on the topic of flood control needs to be hidden from residents:

But the De Blasio administration is afraid that something in there, beneath the blackouts, is somehow dangerous and something the public should not see.

Curious?

https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/contact-the-mayor.page

Senator Brian Benjamin

Senator Brian Benjamin at work in Albany:

Opioid Treatment Programs 2019/2020

Our latest data from a 2019/2020 FOIL request to OASAS has yielded this map of the location of Opioid Treatment Programs in the 5 boroughs and their admission totals:

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Zooming into our neighborhood you can see how OASAS has oversaturated Harlem and East Harlem as well as the South Bronx:

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Franciscan Handmaids of Mary Motherhouse Building to be Developed

Gotham To Go is reporting that 15 West 124th Street (the building to the west of the library) sold on February 11, 2019 for $9,400,000 to Harlem LLC. This building, the former Franciscan Handmaids home, will be redeveloped as housing overlooking Marcus Garvey Park.

For the full story, see:

MuchFest 2020! December 26, 2020 – January 9, 2021

Wrap up your holiday season and say goodbye to your tree at Mulchfest. Join NYC Parks and the New York City Department of Sanitation in the NYC holiday tradition of recycling your Christmas tree!

Put on your boots and haul your tree to a Mulchfest location — we’ll chip your tree into wood chips that we’ll use to nourish trees and make NYC even greener.

More than 50,000 trees were recycled last year. Help us top this number by bringing your tree to Marcus Garvey Park!

Chipping Saturdays

Saturday, Jan. 2 and Saturday, Jan. 9
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Know Before You Go

Please remember to remove all lights, ornaments, and netting before bringing the tree to a Mulchfest site. Bring your own bag if you wish to take some free mulch home. Mulch is available at the sites marked with an asterisk (*) below.

Please wear a face covering and practice social distancing by remaining at least 6 feet apart from others.

How to Volunteer

Volunteer with our Stewardship Team to help spread mulch from Mulchfest around our trees to insulate them from the cold weather. Find a site near you, and help give back to our trees! Register today

Mulchfest Locations

Drop off your tree at any Mulchfest location between December 26 and January 9 or join us at Chipping Saturdays on Saturday, January 2 and Saturday, January 9!

Join CB11!

Apply now to join Manhattan Community Board 11! The Community Board’s mission is to ensure all constituent voices are adequately heard, equally represented, and armed with the information necessary to become effective advocates in defending and shaping East Harlem’s future. Applications close Monday, 2/1. 
Prior to seeking an appointment, applicants are expected and encouraged to attend Community Board meetings, committee meetings, and/or Community Board Leadership training conducted by the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.
View our full meeting schedule here