9/11

On this day I wanted to post part of a piece from John Jay College that interviews Dr. Keith Taylor, a Harlem resident, 9/11 first responder, CUNY professor, and community leader.

Twenty years ago on September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 lives were cruelly taken away from their family, friends, and colleagues. They senselessly lost fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, and even young children at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. As a New York City college focused on educating firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical professionals, the toll on our community was steep—John Jay lost 67 heroes that day. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice to save others in need. Now, after two decades, the emotional, psychological, and physical pain of that tragic day still runs deep. First responders and civilians continue to face life-threatening diseases because of the toxic air they inhaled; while many others have died because of the exposure to deadly dust and debris. As a community committed to public service, we honor the legacy of our fallen heroes, and we strive to ensure that a tragedy like 9/11 never happens again.

The morning of September 11, 2001 began like any other workday for Keith Taylor, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration, who at the time was a New York Police Department (NYPD) Missing Persons Detective Sergeant. “I remember it was a beautiful day, the sky was clear, the weather was great. I reported to work at One Police Plaza, not too far from the World Trade Center, when word got out that there was a plane crash,” recalls Taylor. “I looked out the window and saw what appeared to be plumes of smoke coming from the top of the North Tower. I thought it was a small plane that had crashed into the building, but just as we were preparing to get over there, the second plane hit. Once we saw the second plane hit, we knew it was a deliberate act of terrorism.”

To read the complete article, see:

https://www.jjay.cuny.edu/news/911-stories-keith-taylor-adjunct-assistant-professor-and-former-nypd-detective-sergeant%C2%A0shares

Mount Morris Park’s Fire Watchtower

In this photo, looking north on 5th Avenue from 117th Street or so, you can see the fire watchtower in the distance.

Note that the text at the bottom is incorrect. You can clearly see that 120th Street – the southern border of Marcus Garvey Park – is at least 2 if not 3 streets further north.

The brownstones you see in the top right – just over the white fence – cannot be in the park.

See the original photo, here: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/bcdf3fbe-a5a7-88d6-e040-e00a1806445a

Car Insurance?

One of our neighbors is investigating car insurance and Harlem. If you have a story/experience about car insurance, here’s how to get involved:

Dear neighbors,
Like many people, I bought a car during the pandemic. I then discovered how expensive and difficult it is to get a car insured and keep it insured – at first I thought it was true throughout the city, but my initial research suggests that that’s not the case. I’m a journalist, so I’m considering writing a piece about this. I am interested in talking to people who have cars in Harlem. Have you seen your insurance rates rise precipitously over time? Have you been dropped by your insurance company? Have you found that some companies won’t sell you insurance at all? I want to hear from you even if none of these things have happened to you and you have been able to maintain reasonably priced insurance.
I don’t need to use your name in the final article, but please be willing to share it with me and to give me all the same information that an insurer asks: your age, gender, whether you own or rent your home, the make and model of your car and whether you are making payments on it, where you keep the car (street or garage), whether the car has anti-theft devices and which ones, how you use your car (leisure or daily commute), your zip code, whether you are married, and what accidents or violations you and your spouse (if you have one) have had in the last five years. And I will also ask how much you are paying for insurance, the name of your insurance company, and whether your policy is for 6 or 12 months. I can be contacted at [email protected].
Thank you,
Masha Gessen

Ice Cream in Harlem

Two Harlem ice cream spots won praise in Today.com for their amazing offerings:

Sugar Hill Creamery: New York, NY

Serving out of two locations in the Harlem area, Sugar Hill Creamery is a labor of love built by wife-and-husband team Petrushka Bazin Larsen and Nick Larsen. With combined backgrounds in arts, culture, fine dining and community, they opened their first location in 2017 and have been producing seasonal and classic flavors inspired by Harlem. The handmade flavors to order include a blueberry cheesecake dubbed “Chairperson of the Board,” “Fly Girl,” a honey and lavender-flavored homage to the movie “Honey” and a salted caramel flavor named after Langston Hughes’s poem “Harlem Sweeties.”

The shop is currently delivering pints everywhere in the U.S. (except Hawaii and Alaska) through Goldbelly and will be launching its Ice Cream Sandwich of the Month Club this summer.

Mikey Likes It Ice Cream: New York, NY

Mikey Cole created his brand of ice cream following the advice of his late aunt: “If you are cooking with love, someone should receive that same food with love.” Now serving from two locations in NYC, on the Lower East Side and in Harlem, he will soon sell his ice cream at MoMA’s Cafe 2 as well. Cole’s take on banana pudding with vanilla wafers a flavor called “Brady Bunch,” and “Pink Floyd” is a take on a double-strawberry cheesecake. He even serves up a flavor that encourages you to eat your greens, called “Incredible Hulk.”

Cole also continues to donate food to the community and hopes his ice cream brings people together. Plus, if you’re a kid with an A on your report card: Congrats — your scoop is free!

Former Sign/Plaque?

At the point where 5th Avenue intersects with 120th Street, Marcus Garvey Park has a curious remnant of a former sign or plaque.

You can see the former bolt holes, and someone chiseled the rock to allow the sign to lay flat.

If anyone knows what it was or said, do tell.

The Heat Vulnerability Index

The Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) shows neighborhoods whose residents are more at risk for dying during and immediately following extreme heat. It uses a statistical model to summarize the most important social and environmental factors that contribute to neighborhood heat risk. The factors included in the HVI are surface temperature, green space, access to home air conditioning, and the percentage of residents who are low-income or non-Latinx Black. Differences in these risk factors across neighborhoods are rooted in past and present racism.

Remember, all neighborhoods have residents at risk for heat illness and death. A neighborhood with low vulnerability does not mean no risk.

What factors affect heat vulnerability in your neighborhood?

 Daytime summer surface temperature is different from air temperature, and varies more by neighborhood: some neighborhoods are hotter than others. A higher surface temperature is associated with a higher risk of death from heatwaves. 

 Green space is treegrass, or shrub cover. Green space helps cool a neighborhood. Less green space in a neighborhood is associated with a greater risk of death during heat waves.

 Air conditioning is as necessary during extreme heat as heating is in winter. A neighborhood with a high percentage of households with air conditioners means that more of its residents can be protected from extreme heat.

 Poverty is a social factor that places people at risk of death during heat waves for many reasons. One reason is that people living in poverty may be less likely to afford owning or using an air conditioner during heat waves. Citywide average: 19.6%

Racial disparities in heat vulnerability

In NYC, Black people die of heat-related illness at a disproportionately high rate. Because of this, neighborhoods with more Black residents are more greatly impacted by extreme heat.

Black New Yorkers suffer these disproportionate health impacts from heat due to social and economic disparities. These disparities stem from structural racism, which includes neighborhood disinvestment, racist housing policies, fewer job opportunities and lower pay, and less access to high-quality education and health care.

Overall, these systems limit access to resources that protect health. While many factors affect a neighborhood’s heat risk, Black New Yorkers are subjected to higher rates of poverty and lower access to air conditioning, green space, and neighborhood cooling resources.

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/kuXB4/2/

You can learn more about what the City is doing to address extreme heat and how the HVI is guiding that work at Cool Neighborhoods NYC. Communities can also use the index to advocate for services and resources.

Sendero Verde Phase II

The massive development on the block Park/Madison and 111/112 is about to double. Financing has been arranged ($225 Million) to begin Phase 2.

The project will have 709 units of affordable housing, public gardens and recreational space, a mix of community facilities and social services, a new school, and approximately 30,000 square feet of retail. Phase Two will specifically include 347 affordable housing units reserved for the formerly homeless up to households and individuals at 90 percent of the area median income (AMI).

The project will also be the largest Passive House structure for multifamily use in New York City.

“Sendero Verde’s mix of incomes, passive house design, plaza, gardens, and more than 85,000 square feet of community space serving education, youth, and senior activities and health needs provides a model for the next generation of communities of opportunity,” said Jonathan Rose Companies president Jonathan F.P. Rose. “We are so grateful for the support of our community neighbors and the local community board, our partners, and the city agencies that made this project possible.”

Charlie Parker Jazz Fest and COVID

 The NYC Parks Department wanted to let you know that this weekend’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival – with the Jazzmobile on Friday – will require proof of vaccination or negative covid test within 72 hours.

This is a SummerStage decision and more details can be found at www.summerstage.org

Friday, August 27, 2021

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Marcus Garvey Park

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

All free performances will be open to the public, first come, first served, and subject to venue capacity limits.

In response to the increasing spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, all guests of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival SummerStage events at Marcus Garvey Park on August 27, 28 and 29, will be required to show either proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (final dose by August 13) or a negative PCR test within the last 72 hours in order to enter.

Learn more about acceptable documentation, mask guidelines, and other safety protocols here.

This performance will be livestreamed on CharlieParkerJazzFestival.org.

In celebration of what would have been Charlie “Bird” Parker’s 100th birthday, alto saxophonist Vincent Herring invited two seminal fellow altoists — Gary Bartz, & Bobby Watson – to deliver Bird At 100 (Smoke Sessions) as a tribute to and in honor of Parker’s legacy. Bird at 100 sees the three saxophonists alternate between soaring solo flights and three-part harmonies, at times pushing each other, while at others, taking a backseat to Bird, their inspiration. They’re supported by David Kikoski on piano, Yasushi Nakamura on bass while Carl Allen sets the pace from behind the drum kit. A special guest for the evening is Antonio Hart and his quartet. Hart is an alto saxophonist who has sat in with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Terrence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, and Dizzy Gillespie. Rounding out the Quartet will be Miki Yamanaka on piano, Alex Ayala on bass, and Vince Ector on drums.

NoMAA Has a New Home

NOMAA makes new home at theUnited Palace of Spiritual ArtsNoMAA’s Studios

The uptown arts community now has a new place to create art as the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) has officially opened NoMAA’s Studios @4140, taking residence in the office and four arts studios on the 2nd floor of the United Palace of Spiritual Arts at 4140 Broadway.   

Led by Executive Director Niria Leyva-Gutierrez and Executive Coordinator Michelle Orsi Gordon, NoMAA moved its base of operations into space the last month, and, this spring, will begin programming the United Palace’s two professional dance studios and two multi-purpose arts spaces.   NoMAA was established in 2007 as a non-profit arts service organization that cultivates the works of local artists, strengthens the infrastructures of local arts organizations, and encourages public engagement and dialogues around issues affecting the cultural community of the area. Its programs include technical assistance workshops for artists, promotion of artist open studios (online since March 2020), and the annual Uptown Arts Stroll, now in its 18th year.  

United Palace of Cultural Arts and NoMAA have already begun working in collaboration on “Uptown Artists at United Palace”, a virtual performance featuring uptown artists on the United Palace stage as we safely usher in the return to theater. 
Please join us in giving a warm welcome to NoMAA’s Studios @4140

Eligible New Yorkers Can Get the COVID-19 Vaccine at Home

NYC Logo

Note:  Mayor de Blasio announced that the City will resume use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccine including for the home vaccination program.

New York City is vaccinating City residents at home with the COVID-19 vaccine if they are 75 years or older, have a disability, or are fully homebound. “Fully homebound” means that the individual cannot leave their home.

To schedule an in-home, personalized vaccine visit, please use this form:

https://forms.cityofnewyork.us/f/home

Free Film on Monday the 30th

MUST SEE FILM! 

THE NEUTRAL GROUND AT MARCUS GARVEY PARK ON MONDAY 8/30!

A film about white southerners and the continued obsession with the confederacy and their use of euphemisms like “states rights” to obscure their continued maintenance of white supremacy.

Adults Who Walk or Bike for Transportation

How Calculated: Estimated number of adults who reported having walked or bicycled more than 10 blocks to get to and from work, school, public transportation or to do errands, in the past 30 days, divided by all adults in the area; expressed as a percent.

Source: New York City Community Health Survey (CHS)

Constructed 1937, Renovated 2005

A rarely noticed, circular granite stone commemorates the renovation of Marcus Garvey Park (misleadingly indicating that it came into existence in 1937) in 2005:

The text is particularly hard to make out, but as always, politicians got their names etched into a fairly permanent form of free publicity.

Marcus Garvey Park has been in existence as a common space, if not a park, since the Dutch colonial era, when the rocky outcropping of Manhattan schist was set aside as a common pasture land.

The Parks Department website notes:

The history of Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park reaches far back into the colonial period. Dutch settlers named it Slangberg, or Snake Hill, after the creatures that slithered through the hilly area. In 1835, local citizens won their fight to preserve the land as a public park rather than raze it to make room for city streets. Their park welcomed a community center and child health station in the 1930s. The 47-foot cast-iron watchtower built in 1856 to guard the mostly wooden city against fire was designated a landmark in 1967 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Originally named Mount Morris Park, the park was renamed Marcus Garvey Park in 1973 after the black activist, orator and journalist.

Marcus Garvey Park continues to be a unifying element for the community who once fought to keep it. The Pelham Fritz Recreation Center includes an amphitheater and a swimming pool, and the two children’s playgrounds allow all young visitors of all abilities to play. Families and neighbors can gather together on hot summer days to swim in the outdoor pool and enjoy jazz performances from the City Parks Foundation’s annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. The community also plays a large part in the upkeep of the park with groups like the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, the Marcus Garvey Dog Run Committee, and the Mt. Morris Park Community Improvement Association, as well as the police and local elected officials working with Parks to ensure its safety and cleanliness for another 100 years.

In 2008 Mayor Bloomberg announced plans for a $5 million renovation of the amphitheater. The project is funded in part by a $1 million contribution by The Rodgers Family Foundation.

Art At Collyer Brothers’ Park

Make sure to walk by 128th Street and 5th Avenue to check out the artwork on the fence of the Collyer Brothers’ Park:

Artist Julio Valdez’s work (collectively titled: I Can’t Breathe) is a response to the murder of Black Americans at the hands of the police.

Julio Valdez is a former artist in residence at The Studio Museum of Harlem.

To learn more about the park and its creation, see:

https://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/historical-signs/listings?id=7845

The Firetower

Seize the King

Run, don’t walk to the best theater in New York happening right now in Marcus Garvey Park.

Seize the King is a witty, moving adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard the Third that will thrill and challenge you.

Get there immediately as the performances end on July 29th!

https://www.cthnyc.org/seize-the-king/

How Long Does It Take To Build In NYC?

Between 2016 and this year, it took an average of 545 business days, or roughly two calendar years, for a developer to go from initially filing a project proposal with the DOB to receiving the first certificate of occupancy, the department said. The process took the longest time in Manhattan, about three years, and the shortest time on Staten Island, about a year and a half.

Crains has an article on this building in East Harlem:

https://www.crainsnewyork.com/news/case-study-what-it-took-get-affordable-apartment-project-built-east-harlem

July 31st – Tour East Harlem Parks

Join Manhattan’s Community Board 11 Environment, Open Space & Parks Committee in a fantastic tour of 14 parks in upper East Harlem.

The tour starts at Marcus Garvey Park – where 5th Avenue and 120th Street meet, on Saturday, July 31st, at 10:00 AM.

It’s Not My Trash, But It’s My Planet

If you are around this week, on Saturday we are caring for our street trees on 103rd St (near the subway station on Lexington Ave) and supporting a new local business. Our friends from Mojo Desserts are opening a Brazilian-Belgian bar right next to Mojo! We’ll head to Bar Goyana after our clean up. For the grand opening they are making Brazilian Feijoada (beans and pork stew, but they have a vegetarian option too), Caipirinhas (Brazilian drink made with cachaça rum) and live music on Saturday and Sunday.  Follow their Instagram to make your reservations  @bargoyana 
Cheers!Simone @greenandblueecocare 

Reading Circle in Marcus Garvey Park

Please join The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance [MGPA]

for great read-aloud and fun literacy activities for school-aged children!

*Every Wednesday Throughout the Summer

   11:00am – 12:00pm

  • July 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th
  • August 4th, 11th

Marcus Garvey Park, Northwest Lawn (123rd & Mount Morris Park West)

Happy 4th of July

Vaccination Scholarship Incentive

Enter your vaccinated 12-17-year-old for a chance to win a full scholarship to a SUNY or CUNY school.TOPVaccination Scholarship IncentiveSHARE

GET A SHOT TO MAKE YOUR FUTURE

The ‘Get a Shot to Make Your Future’ vaccine incentive is a public outreach campaign consisting of a series of statewide drawings to increase awareness of the availability and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and provide incentives to New Yorkers 12-17 years of age to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Parents or legal guardians of any New Yorker, ages 12 to 17, can enter their child who has received at least their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, for a chance to win one of 50, four-year full-ride scholarships (including tuition, fees, room-and-board, and expenses) to any New York State public college or university.

REGISTER TODAY

Enter to Win a Full Scholarship

Parents or legal guardians, enter your vaccinated child for a chance to win a full scholarship to any New York Public College or University.

REGISTER

The Marcus Garvey Park Bathroom Construction Saga

Dear Friends:

I am pleased to report that the construction of the Little League clubhouse building has finally been completed. The construction fence was removed yesterday.  The public bathrooms are fantastic.  They have air conditioning and heating and are far superior to the bathrooms in almost any other Parks Department comfort station.  However, at the request of the Department of Environmental Protection, we are not opening them yet.  DEP needs to repair the sewer line in Mt. Morris Park West, and we are waiting to find out when that will happen.  It has been my hope that we can open the bathrooms in time for the start of the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s performances on Tuesday evening, but unfortunately that is not clear at this point.

I will try to keep you posted.

Steve Simon

Chief of Staff – Manhattan
NYC Parks
T 212.408.0110