Uptown Grand Central, Again!

If you’ve been on East 125th Street recently, you’ve probably noticed that Uptown Grand Central has again restarted their amazing mural project on the otherwise, monotonous green construction hoarding.

The UGC project has grown from 50 artists in 2019 who enlivened the area around the Metro-North station at 125/Park. This year, is inviting up to 100 artists to paint new work over the old ones.

The goal, like last time, is to create art that will “support and uplift the community,” according to Carey King, director of Uptown Grand Central, which organizes the project.

Artist applications are open and being selected on a rolling basis through June, when organizers hope to have them all painted. Each artist chosen will receive a $500 honorarium, and priority is being given to artists with connections to Harlem, Upper Manhattan and the Bronx — as was the case last time.

“They were all people from the community that knew East 125th Street and knew how important it was to bring joy here,” King said of the 2019 artists. “It was just a beautiful thing.”

The project’s funders include City Councilmembers Diana Ayala and Bill Perkins, the city’s Department of Small Business Services and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

In the coming weeks, Uptown Grand Central will put out another, separate artist call: this time, to paint dozens of metal shop gates between Fifth and Lexington avenues, building off a 2017 project.

To learn more about the call for artist submissions, click here, or read more about the Grandscale Mural Project at Uptown Grand Central’s website. To see the works in progress, stop by East 125th Street — and tag Instagram photos with the hashtag #grandscalemuralproject.

Thanks to Patch.com ‘s Nick Garber for the reporting, above.

Miss Harlem Shake 2021

Toe Whoppin’ Tina was crowned Miss Harlem Shake 2021.

Toe Whoppin’ Tina received the official Golden Cup award, free burgers for a year, a $1,000 gift, and a $500 donation to her favorite charity – the 116th Street Food Pantry in Harlem.

Toe Whoppin’ Tina is 32 and works as a children’s mascot entertainer, a promoter and a restaurant manager. Tina says she enjoys dancing, singing and parties. In her words, “I love people with a good sense of humor. I’m funny.”  

Tina’s favorite Harlem Shake meal is the Hot Mess burger and she believes she personifies a chocolate shake. When asked why she loves Harlem, Tina responded with a question, “Who doesn’t love Harlem?”