Lenox and 116th Street

A few images from the intersection of Lenox and 116th Street. The first (above) shows the south facing view today.

Below shows the same view from 1901 and the construction of what is now the 2/3 subway line:

Looking northward, today’s view shows a building the is now a charter school on the north-west corner:

While the Google Street view (above) shows the space abandoned (before the charter school move in), the image below shows that in mid-century Harlem it was the home to a supermarket.

As Seen In Harlem

Uptown Grand Central lights up, under the Metro North Tracks.

126th Street and Lenox Ave

Looking eastward, from Lenox Avenue along West 126th Street.

And the same view, from 1904, showing a special riveted rectangular water pipe, over the roof of the subway.

And Further West…

The Riverside Drive Viaduct at 125th Street (photographer Berenice Abbott) ~1937

Lenox and 114th Street

Digging the subway under Lenox Avenue. Note the water in the foreground.

Library Closing (Temporarily)

Dear Patron,

The New York Public Library’s Harlem Library will close for approximately three months, beginning January 30, to facilitate improvements to the building, including replacing the branch’s flooring and painting the branch. The branch is expected to reopen in spring 2023.During this temporary closure, patrons are encouraged to use the following nearby branches:George Bruce Library (518 West 125th Street)  Harry Belafonte–115th Street Library (203 West 115th Street)  Aguilar Library (174 East 110th Street)  

All items on hold after January 28 may be picked up at Harry Belafonte–115th Street Library. Future holds can be sent to an alternative location selected by patrons using their account on The New York Public Library website

We apologize for this inconvenience and would like to thank all of our patrons for their support and understanding during this temporary closure. We look forward to seeing you soon!


Laurel Hambright

Library Manager, Harlem Library

Armistice Day

A photo of Armistice Day in Harlem. The photo is taken looking up Lenox Avenue (you can see the 134th Street sign and the subway entrance on the crowded sidewalk).

One lone soldier appears in the crowd.

25th Precinct’s Community Council Meeting


We made it to 2023!  New beginnings…….. 

I just wanted to remind you that our next Council meeting is scheduled for:

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 @ 6:00PMat the 25th Precinct120 East 119th StreetNew York, NY 10035
We look forward to seeing you there for this month’s conversation.  Our guest for this month is TBD.Many thanks to all of you for your dedication to contributing to making our community safe. 

Kioka Jackson

Follow your dreams………

Scenes from The 125th Street BID Holiday Lights Parade

Mayor Eric Adams Praises Hero Officers from East Harlem’s 25th Precinct

In East Harlem, NYC Mayor Eric Adams praised the NYPD officers who saved a man who fell into the subway tracks on Thanksgiving:

The Worst Subway Stations

The MTA’s customers have spoken. Harlem and East Harlem have some of the dirtiest stations, with the most open drug use on the platforms, and begging in the mezzanine.


In the spring survey of MTA riders, Harlem riders expressed frustration that their departure stations looked so much worse than the ones they exited.

Get a Job

We Need You! Now Hiring Emergency Snow Laborers 2022-2023 Season

The New York City Department of Sanitation has announced that registration is now open for those interested in working as Emergency Snow Laborers for the 2022-2023 winter season. Emergency Snow Laborers are per-diem workers who remove snow and ice from bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants and step streets after heavy snowfalls. Snow Laborers earn $17 per hour to start, and $25.50 per hour after 40 hours are worked in a week.

Snow laborers must be at least 18 years of age, be eligible to work in the United States, and capable of performing heavy physical labor. Additionally, candidates must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. All applicants must bring the following items at the time of registration:

  • Two small photos (1 ½ square)
  • Original and copy of two forms of identification
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Those interested in becoming a Snow Laborer must register for an application appointment at nyc.gov/snow. Registration appointments take place at the Department’s 59 garages. Applicants should not attend the appointment if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.


The City has a great article on how we can, as citizens, report what looks like a piece of infrastructure that is rusting, decaying, falling apart, whatever. The trick is knowing who’s the right person to call, and where can you report your concern?

When reporting on a crumbling part of the subway, a road, a bridge, or whatever, the first thing to ask yourself is who’s likely in charge of its maintenance. 

  • The city’s DOT has an online list of roads and bridges under its jurisdiction, and notes those that aren’t. The agency says it will respond within 14 days to a report made either through a borough representative or by calling 311. There is also a case tracking site to see the status of any complaint.
  • On the state DOT’s site, navigate to Region 11, representing the city, to report any damage to bridges and roads controlled by the state agency. 
  • As for the MTA, the agency says using social media can be the fastest way to interact with a representative regarding an issue with their bridges and tunnels, but their site also has mailphone and in-person contacts
  • For the NY State Thruway Authority, there is a dedicated hotline to report road conditions to, which is 800-THRUWAY (847-8929).

If you can’t figure out the right agency to call, two good places to get help are your local community board or the constituent services staff at your council member’s office. 

All community boards in the city have meetings where residents and other local stakeholders can express concerns or ask questions about anything pertaining to the neighborhood. Residents can call their boards outside of meeting dates and times to speak about their concerns.

The World Beneath Your Feet

311 is an amazing resource. One of the unheralded things it can address is if a manhole isn’t well seated, and makes a characteristic Clang-Clang as cars drive over it. If you live on a block plagued by this sound and want it to stop, 311 is your resource.

Utility companies and government agencies have equipment under the City’s streets. They access their equipment using square or rectangular-shaped metal covers. Companies and agencies must maintain their metal covers and the street surface around the hardware. 

You can report utility access covers that are:

  • Damaged
  • Sunken
  • Noisy

You also can report asphalt or concrete damage around the hardware. The Department of Transportation (DOT) investigates the reports and notifies the responsible agency.

Report a damaged, sunken, or noisy street utility access cover.

Seen On Lex

I noticed this manhole cover – although no person could get down this 14″ hole – on Lexington near East 128th Street:

Looking closely, you likely can see IRT – referring to the 4/5/6 line’s initial parent company, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company which went out of business (folded into a unified transit system in 1940). But PSC? That stands for the city agency that managed engineering projects (like the subways) in a part collaborative, part oversight role. The name was the Public Service Commission.

Jackie Robinson Block Party

The new Jackie Robinson Museum is about to open and is hosting a Block Party. And yes, you’re invited.


Cocktails (or Mocktails) on Randall’s Island

This FRIDAY, July 22, you are invited to make Cocktails on the Farm with RIPA’s very own Farmer Juan Carlos! Spend time with old friends – or meet new ones – here on the Urban Farm. 

There will be three cocktail/mocktail recipe options for you to choose from, all including ingredients picked the same day from the Farm. Enjoy cucumbers, basil, spilanthese, and more! One drink will be on the house for the first 45 attendees, and then more may be purchased. 

The event will take place from 6:30 PM to 8 PM at the Urban Farm here on the Island. Click here for details.

Our next Cocktails on the Farm event won’t be until Saturday, September 10, so be sure to come out to the Urban Farm this Friday! 

In The Subway. In the 80’s.

The BBC has a great piece on photos from Brooklyn-based photographer Jamel Shabazz. His work in the 1980’s captures the world underground in the subway – finding fashion, joy and love in surprising images.

To watch the video see:

Patch.com Reports On Very, Very Bad Apartment Buildings

Patch.com’s Nick Garber and a colleague report on a number of buildings in Harlem that have so many issues and consequent fines that the city may simply take over the repairs and bill the landlord:

Here are the 24 Harlem buildings that were added to the Alternate Enforcement Program:

  • 504 West 142nd St.
  • 521 West 150th St.
  • 3341 Broadway
  • 1516 Amsterdam Ave.
  • 539 West 148th St.
  • 602 West 141st St. (also on Worst Landlord Watchlist)
  • 540 West 146th St.
  • 557 West 149th St.
  • 2035 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. (also on Worst Landlord Watchlist)
  • 1845 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd.
  • 203 West 144th St. (also on Worst Landlord Watchlist)
  • 2866 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (also on Worst Landlord Watchlist)
  • 226 West 116th St.
  • 60 St. Nicholas Ave. (also on Worst Landlord Watchlist)
  • 2022 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd.
  • 2890 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
  • 304 West 147th St. (also on Worst Landlord Watchlist)
  • 220 West 149th St.
  • 312 West 114th St.
  • 228 East 116th St.
  • 2093 Madison Ave.
  • 51 East 126th St.
  • 2411 Second Ave.
  • 79 East 125th St.


Subways and Rubble

With the 2nd Avenue Subway getting (theoretically) closer and closer to becoming a reality for East Harlem, it’s interesting to ask where does all the soil and rock that used to take up the space the tracks, tunnels and trains now occupy.

First of all, it’s important to note that Donald Trump held back funding for the East Harlem portion of the 2nd Avenue Subway for the entirety of his term. It was only when President Joe Biden and the Democrats passed President Biden’s infrastructure bill that New York finally had/has the funds to begin the East Harlem portion of the subway.

This is interesting given that Trump himself benefitted from the earlier Upper East Side section of the 2nd Avenue subway. First of all, a number of his properties on the East Side benefitted from the increase in accessibility and thus the value of the property itself. But, more interestingly, the Trump golf course that was built on the Bronx side of the Whitestone Bridge was made from some of the rubble from the Upper East Side portion of the 2nd Avenue Subway.

All those ‘features’ you see on the golf course – an attempt to mimic the windswept rolling landscape of coastal Scottland – were built by piling load after load of rock that was quarried below 2nd Avenue.

But what about other subways in our community? What happened to that subway rock that was removed so the trains could travel underground?

East Harlem’s other lines – stressed and desperately in need of the 2nd Avenue Subway – the 4/5/6 were constructed under Lexington and the rock and rubble from that construction went into New York Harbor to extend Governors’ Island to the south. The large (mostly) parkland area, furthest away from Manhattan, was built from 4/5/6 subway excavation material.

Rubble was not just used for golf courses and island expansion, the gorgeous Manhattan schist that gives the historic City College of New York’s buildings their black, sparkling look, was also material from subway construction. The digging of the 1/2/3 lines brought tons and tons of Manhattan schist to the surface and City College used this material to create some of the most impressive neogothic buildings in New York City.


Mulchfest 2022 will run from today through January 9. New Yorkers will be able to drop off holiday trees at one of 74 sites—35 are chipping sites—across the five boroughs, including parks and GreenThumb gardens. The trees are then chipped and recycled, and the mulch is used to nourish city trees and plants in every corner of the city.

During the chipping weekend—January 8 & 9—residents can bring their tree to a chipping site and watch their tree being chipped, and bring a bag of nutrient-rich mulch home with them. Weather-permitting, DSNY will also collect and compost clean trees left at curbs from Thursday, January 6, 2022, to Saturday, January 15, 2022.

Mulchfest, part of the New York City holiday tradition, encourages New Yorkers to make greening a family activity—turning holiday trees into mulch which can be used for gardening and to increase soil fertility.

Bring your tree to Marcus Garvey Park and give your tree a starring role in helping the community gardens of New York.