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?”

Got the Itch?

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

This 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.

Where Does My Sewage Go?

Quick. Do you know where your sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets eventually empty? For most of us in Harlem, our sewage waste goes to Wards Island to the sewage treatment plant that was built in the 1940’s in the shadow of the Hellgate Bridge.

A 2013 plan to upgrade the facility is ongoing, but since the Public Works Administration built the Wards Island plant, your sewage flows (in a pipe) under the East River to Wards Island where in 8 hours, the solids are removed, the liquid cleaned, and the resulting clean water is put into the East River.

In the map above, any drain or toilet in the purple area, eventually gets to Wards Island.

Please note that you should never believe that anything labeled ‘flushable’ is indeed flushable. Do not put it in the toilet. Place it in a garbage can and take it out with the solid waste.

COVID-19 Positivity and Vaccination Rates for Harlem

From Patch.com:

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/1ZvOB/2/

Hover over a Zip Code or click on a line to focus on that particular data.

Nick Garber from Patch.com has information on our community and the vaccine:

Latest Harlem vaccine data

  • 10026 – Central Harlem (South): 34 percent received one dose, 20 percent fully vaccinated
  • 10027 – Central Harlem (South)/Morningside Heights/West Harlem: 33 percent received one dose, 19 percent fully vaccinated
  • 10029 – East Harlem: 36 percent received one dose, 22 percent fully vaccinated
  • 10030 – Central Harlem (North): 28 percent received one dose, 16 percent fully vaccinated
  • 10031 – Hamilton Heights/West Harlem: 34 percent received one dose, 21 percent fully vaccinated
  • 10035 – East Harlem: 39 percent received one dose, 23 percent fully vaccinated
  • 10037 – Central Harlem (North)/East Harlem: 32 percent received one dose, 20 percent fully vaccinated
  • 10039 – Central Harlem (North)/Washington Heights (South): 27 percent received one dose, 16 percent fully vaccinated

Open Streets this weekend!

Hi neighbors,

We’ve now got not just one but TWO Open Streets here in East Harlem! This weekend’s schedule:

PLEASANT AVENUE AT 118TH:

Saturday, October 17:

  • COVID testing (rapid & antibody), plus flu shots (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • HIV and Hep-C screenings (10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
  • “Pick your own” produce sales at Pleasant Village Community Garden‬ (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
  • Free smoothies by Get Healthy East Harlem Cafe (Noon-5 p.m.)
  • ‬Zumba with Leo Zumba‬ (2-3 p.m.)

Sunday, October 18:

  • Adventure playground with playground:NYC, powered by Patsy’s Pizza (12-3 p.m.)
  • Obstacle course with Street Lab, plus chalk art with Jess Rolls (12-3 p.m.)
  • Free smoothies by Get Healthy East Harlem Cafe (Noon-5 p.m.)

The street will always be open for scooting and biking, plus our (as Patch put it, “staggeringly long”) community table is open for socially distanced dining from Bistro Casa Azul or any picnic you bring from home.

101ST STREET AT LEXINGTON:

101st Street has tables and chairs for open-air dining from local small businesses including Lexington Pizza Parlour, Chu Ros Thai, Au Jus Oklahoma BBQ, Burritos y Mas, Mojo Mousse Bar, Joy Burger Bar, Pro Thai, El Tepeyac, MY NY Cafe, Lloyd’s Carrot Cake & more. Plus games and sidewalk chalk for adults and kids!

Also, Saturday nights at 7 p.m., we’re screening film shorts curated by the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival. Grab dinner and a drink from one of the nearby eateries, and join us!