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

Spring Clean-Up, Today!

Got the itch to do some spring cleaning? Then meet up with Uptown Grand Central TODAY to spring clean on a massive scale.

TODAY Saturday, April 10, marks the kick-off of Uptown’s spring cleaning season, with the first of our warm-weather community clean-ups along the East 125th Street corridor. We’re glad to be doing it in partnership with the Sanitation Foundation (who, yes! know a thing or two about trash)!

It’s also the NYPD’s Graffiti Clean-Up Day (so we’ll be brushing up some artwork as well) and the beautification day for Art In the Park (in case you have a green thumb).

We’ll meet up at noon in the Uptown community space under the tracks at 125th Street & Park Avenue. Gloves, brooms and other supplies will be provided, so sign up here to help us get a headcount! Social distancing will be enforced. And most likely there’ll be snacks.

1987

Big hair. Twin Towers.

Jobs!

City Cleanup Corps is Hiring

The City Cleanup Corps (NYC CCC) will employ 10,000 New Yorkers for beautification across our city. NYC CCC workers will wipe away graffiti, powerwash sidewalks, create community murals, tend to community gardens, beautify public spaces, and work with community organizations to clean their neighborhoods.

Available Job Opportunities

Rally for Nurses Today

Harlem Community Art Center

It is hard to imagine the federal government funding an art center in Harlem today, but in the depression, the Democratic administration did just that.

The Harlem Community Art Center was located in the building that now has Cohen Fashion Optical on the ground floor – at the corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue.

The Harlem Community Art Center was created in November 1938 and only operated for 16 months. Eleanor Roosevelt opened the Center which operated under the Works Progress Administration.

The acclaimed sculptor – Augusta Savage – headed the Center which taught art to both children and adults. Pictured below, Augusta Savage was the preeminent Black sculptor of the 1930s and one of the few American women to be acknowledged as a sculptor by the notoriously clannish art establishment in New York.

The acknowledgment of her talent led to a commission to create a monumental sculpture for the 1939 Worlds Fair. The work, photographed below with Augusta Savage working on details, was destroyed at the end of the Fair.

Jacob Lawrence, a painter who depicted Harlem life in many of his paintings, attended programs at the Center and often taught classes.

Below is Lawrence’s painting of a Black, southern doctor who would migrate north during the Great Migration to follow his patients and escape southern terror.

DEP Jobs!

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has posted a position for City Park Workers who will assist with maintenance for our rain gardens. The maintenance work includes overall care and upkeep of the rain gardens such as edging, seeding, snow removal, cultivating, fertilizing, trimming etc.

Minimal qualification requirements including a valid New York State Driver’s License, and additional information are in the attachment provided, or by visiting: https://www1.nyc.gov/jobs/index.page

DEP, Bureau of Public Affairs

HNBA Zoom Meeting on Tuesday (7pm)

On Tuesday at 7pm we’ll meet on Zoom to learn more about strategies for buying a home, refinancing, and more ways to build generational wealth in these complex times. We will also have a candidate for Manhattan DA – Tali Farhadian Weinstein – join us to talk about how she wants to reform the DA’s office.

Lastly, we’ll have the new Parks Department administrator for Marcus Garvey Park stop by to introduce herself and her plans for MGP.

Cotton Comes to Harlem

Some of the joy found in the classic Cotton Comes to Harlem is seeing how many of the scenes were shot in our community. From the Rolls Royce driving west on East 115th Street:

To the protest that moves up Madison Avenue to East 129, and turns towards Park Avenue. This scene shows the (now silent) funeral parlor that is still located on Madison/E. 129 as a Madison Avenue, white facade, brownstone in the top right of the photo below.

Here is the same building with the white facade, today:

The protest concludes in front of the police station that the police officers Coffin and Gravedigger are stationed in – a building which has never been anything other than a residential apartment building.

When shots from the precinct or of the riots are shown, the distinctive porches of buildings on the north side of East 129th Street, across from the BP station, are visible (here, behind the heads of the actors):

These location shots were close to home – very near the movie studio on 2nd Avenue at East 127th where Cotton Comes to Harlem was filmed.

Below is the film’s ‘precinct’ as it appears on East 129th Street, today:

To buy some Cotton Comes to Harlem memorabilia from the 1970’s see:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/303723463391?ul_noapp=true

Two Central Harlem Parks Named After East Harlem Writers

The Parks Department has renamed two parks on St. Nicholas after Langston Hughes and James Baldwin:

The lawn at St. Nicholas Park is now James Baldwin Lawn. The entrance to the park located at 135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue has been named James Baldwin Lawn. Baldwin who was born in New York City was a world-renowned author, essayist, playwright, scholar, activist, and speaker with childhood associations with Harlem and DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. Baldwin later resided in Greenwich Village.

Langston Hughes Playground

St. Nicholas Playground North is now Langston Hughes Playground. Background: Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. Though not born in NYC, he is most closely associated as a leader in the Harlem Renaissance, and lived in a now landmarked Harlem townhouse for more than two decades.

In honor of the 51st anniversary of Black Solidarity Day, NYC Parks proudly announces it has named 10 park spaces in honor of the Black experience in New York City, memorializing that which is locally, nationally, and historically relevant. In June, the agency pledged to continue to demonstrate how it stands in solidarity with the Black Community in its fight to combat systemic racism. The naming of these park spaces is among the many ways NYC Parks is acknowledging the legacies of these Black Americans, encouraging discourse about their contributions, and working to make the park system more diverse and reflective of the people it serves. The spaces named now represent five Black Women, four Black Men and one Black settlement group; and represent arts, culture, education, sports and more.

To learn more about the newly renamed parks, see:

https://gothamtogo.com/nyc-parks-celebrates-black-solidarity-day-with-with-park-namings/

Help Our Trees

As the recent hurricane showed, our street trees take a huge beating in extraordinary events like Isaias and in the world of day-to-day life on the streets of New York.

You may not know this but the moment a tree is planted in the sidewalk, the open patch of dirt and anything contained in it miraculously (okay, legally) changes from DOT control to Parks Department. Flowers, mulch, tree guards, trees, whatever – if it’s in a tree pit, Parks owns it – even if you planted it!

There is no (legal) such thing as ‘my’ tree in the sidewalk. The city owns it and manages it via the Parks Department irrespective of origin. That said, we all exist in a realpolitik space where we can’t necessarily count on city agencies to respond to every minute need, and thus we, as concerned citizens, need to take the initiative and do what’s right.

After paving (think Park and 5th Avenues this past week), block parties, film shoots, and family gatherings, ‘our’ street trees often remain taped with notices. Please, if you see taped notices on trees, remove it as carefully as you can.

Tape traps moisture, that both rots bark, and provides a moist haven for damaging insects. (Think of bandaids you might have left on a bit too long.)

Always, remove taped/stapled notices from trees (once the event has passed) and help a struggling street tree.