WNYC Reports on The Amazing Work Of Uptown Grand Central

This morning WNYC and Gothamist reported on the amazing work that Uptown Grand Central and the clean-up crew do to keep the East 125th Street corridor clean and vibrant. Carey King is quoted at length, as is Jason McDavid who cleans and supervises much of the cleaning activity that works under and around the 125th Street Metro North station

Jason McDavid cleans the city streets near the Metro North station on 125th Street in East Harlem.SAMANTHA MAX / GOTHAMIST

Whenever you see the men and women working to keep our community clean and safe, make sure to thank them for their work.

To read the full article, and learn how threatened this clean-up program is (from funds running out):

https://gothamist.com/news/the-manhattan-da-had-250-million-for-community-investment-to-prevent-violence-now-its-running-out

Note that the article has this factual error:

a team of street cleaners works 40 hours a week filling yellow garbage bags with discarded coffee cups, cigarette butts, and dirty needles.

The clean-up crew use proper sharps disposal protocols and never place needles/sharps/syringes in common plastic bags. Remember, if you see a sharp on the ground, use your phone and call or text 311.

As Seen In East Harlem

Tito Puente

Uptown Grand Central does it again. Another great mural on E. 124, between Madison and Park.

Allison Ruiz and BC1 created this mural of the mambo king Tito Puente.

Uptown Grand Central’s Grandscale Mural Project is located on 125th & 124th streets from Third to Madison, and along Third, Lexington and Park avenues.

Hashtag #GrandscaleMuralProject.

From Nikoa Evans

HNBA’s September Meeting (next week)

Next week – September 13th (Tuesday) at 6:00 – the Harlem Neighborhood Block Association (and yes, you are a member simply by virtue of reading this!) will gather at East 129th Street and 5th Avenue (southeast corner) to celebrate the unveiling of Ann Petry Place.

Our gathering will include Manhattan Borough President, Mark Levine, the Chair of Community Board 11, and the Chair of Uptown Grand Central.

After presenting Liz Petry (Ann’s surviving daughter) with a copy of the street sign that will be unveiled tomorrow, The Harlem Rose Garden (next to Ann Petry’s former apartment building) will open and present a musical selection for all to enjoy.

Come out and meet new (and vintage) HNBA members as we gather outdoors, together.

Uptown Grand Central

Wanna talk trash with us? The NYC Department of Sanitation will roll with resources for a community cleanup this Saturday, July 30, from 12-2 p.m.

DSNY will bring their van full of brooms, trashcans and trash-pickers 
— and we’ll have the chance to not only pitch in, but talk trashcans and basket collection with Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. Plus learn about needle pickup & the new needle pickup hotline (718-415-3708) with the New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE).

We’ll also have unlimited cold drinks on hand! Click here to register

Mural Unveiling

Join Mattaya and the Hi-ARTS community on August 5, 2022 from 12-3 pm for the Reveal and Celebration of Musa as well as a Planting Workshop with artist Tasha Dougé.

This July we welcomed Mattaya Fitts as our inaugural ONE WALL MOVEMENT muralist. All month she worked on Musa,a mural that now adorns Cherry Tree Park in Harlem, NY.
Free & open to the public. Just show up!

Musa Reveal & Celebration 
August 5, 12-3 pm

Planting Workshop with Tasha Dougé
1:30-3 pm

 A creative planting and community intention setting exercise curated by Tasha Dougé. Tasha Dougé is a Bronx-based, Haitian-infused artist, artivist and cultural vigilante. Her body of work activates conversations around women empowerment, health advocacy, sexual education, societal “norms,” identity and Black community pride.

Workshop capacity is limited to 20 participants. No registration necessary.

Free & open to the public. Just show up!

“At a time when much feels heavy and uncertain, I am interested in conveying themes of personal growth, rest, joy, and transformation. This mural addresses self-care as an extension of community care.” @mattayafitts

Time to Get Political – Write to the Mayor!

Uptown Grand Central’s Clean Team has been doing an amazing job in keeping the area around Park/Lex and 125th Street tidy. But now, this funding is being threatened!

Now that the City just passed its next budget, we’ve heard that the Corps’ time with us will end June 30. The CCC has put thousands of people to work in cleaning and greening across the city, as part of COVID recovery — but its funding has now been cut to a fraction of last year’s.

Please click here to tell both the Mayor and the Clean Team why they’re important to you.

We’ve been hearing from longtime residents and small businesses that it’s been decades since they’ve seen East 125 looking this good.

You’re looking at about a third of our City Cleanup Corps members — a.k.a. Jason, Bryan, Christian, Deja, Nyaja and Tiereecha.

They joined our Positive Workforce Clean Team last fall to be aforce multiplier here along East 125th Street, increasing our Clean Team size from 5 to 40 people — and have been keeping our sidewalks cleaner than ever before.

Rat Academy

You can sign-up for an in-person Rat Academy now.

DOHMH will be raffling off rodent-resistant garbage bins and if you are interested in attending, please visit the rat academy website for more information on upcoming Rat Academy events.

Thank you,
Rat Academy Staff
NYC DOHMH Pest Control Services
www.nyc.gov/rats

HNBA’s June 14th Meeting Recording

Topic: HNBA Meeting
Date: Jun 14, 2022
https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/ruYRssMrDnunevcJR7_1JpLOvnKcrvLXPkTCckXN-kew3Eiz7Wf3vz0tr-yEpbsh.kELJHl9WvQnWBWn7
Passcode: 5T=%XSA^

2nd Avenue Subway

The MTA now hopes to break ground on (this iteration of the 2nd Avenue Subway) by the end of the year. Chuck Schumer – senator from New York – says: “Things never looked better for getting the Second Avenue subway to East Harlem.” In our neighborhood 71 percent of residents use public transit to get to work, compared with a citywide average of 56 percent.

When finished the 2nd Avenue Subway is expected to serve about 123,000 daily riders and will be the first major project transit project in memory that isn’t serving Manhattan’s elite.

Uptown Grand Central’s Carey King notes that, “I think you have a lot of people that are pining for the neighborhood to be thriving and vibrant and full of positive energy,”

“It could make a really big difference,” said Representative Adriano D. Espaillat, whose district includes East Harlem.

The photo, above, comes from the 1977 work done to the project that was proposed in 1929. When asked why it’s not been completed, the answer is unanimous – money.

A New York Times investigation showed that at the lower part of the line (below 96th Street) cost a mind-boggling $2.5 billion per mile – more than almost every other recent transit project in the world.

In total that section (below 96th Street) cost more than $4.4 billion. Pushing the line north into Harlem is expected to cost $6.3 billion, and major infrastructure projects almost always end up costing more than initially estimated.

The review by The Times — which included interviews with more than 50 contractors and nearly 100 current and former M.T.A. employees — found that transit projects in New York cost more than in other cities because trade unions, construction companies and consulting firms all take larger profits here than elsewhere.

New District Lines

New district lines have been drawn and here is your chance to see whether or not you live in the 68th District:

Or in the more central 70th district:

All of which will come into play when you go to the ballot box in June for the primaries.

Presentation on Homeless Shelters Tonight at 7:00

On Monday (March 7th) at 7:00 PM, join HNBA’s Vice President – Shawn Hill – in a presentation exploring how the Department of Homeless Services produced and distributed misleading maps that purposefully distorted the distribution of homeless shelters in New York City.

Click HERE to Register.

Durst Sues the MTA

If you’ve ever wondered about those vacant lots, south of 125th Street, on both sides of Park Avenue that Uptown Grand Central works so hard to beautify, Durst Organization owns them.

According to The Real Deal, Durst is suing the MTA for stonewalling and failing to clarify what is required (or not) to develop the site.

The lawsuit, filed Friday with the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, stems from three East Harlem properties that Durst acquired in 2016 and 2017 for future development.

The vacant lots at 1800, 1801 and 1815 Park Avenue are located within the city’s Special Transit Land Use District, which requires developers to first get certified by the MTA and the city’s Planning Commission as to whether transit easements are needed to build.

The district was created in 1973 following the construction of a small section of the Second Avenue subway. In 2017, in preparation for extending the Q line from 96th Street to 125th Street, the zone was expanded into the area including the Durst properties. That meant Durst needed an easement certificate to get construction permits.

The article:

https://therealdeal.com/2021/11/12/durst-accuses-mta-of-stalling-east-harlem-development/

indicates that development has been postponed by the MTA withholding permissions that are needed to build on the Special Transit Land Use District.

The timing of this lawsuit is interesting given that President Biden’s infrastructure legislation is about to kickstart the 2nd Avenue subway. Perhaps Durst wants to develop in tandem with the subway construction, or perhaps before it, or not at all. The lots have remained eyesores for a long time now.

HNBA Meeting Tonight at 7:00

Happy Holidays!

Are you ready for holiday cooking with a twist of funny? 

Join stand-up comedian and host of the cooking/comedy show Dinner’s Ready Live (IGTV/YoutubeTV) for a night of fun cooking and big laughs. Dan will be teaching us how to make Spaghetti Carbonara from the refrigerator to the plate using simple ingredients. We encourage you to cook and laugh along! Here are the ingredients:

SPAGHETTI CARBONARA

  • 1 BOX SPAGHETTI
  • 2 LARGE EGGS
  • 1/2 CUP PARMESAN CHEESE
  • 4 SLICES BACON (can use turkey bacon too)
  • 4 CLOVES GARLIC
  • 1/2 CUP PEAS
  • SALT/PEPPER TO TASTE

UTENSILS

  • 2 LARGE PANS/SKILLETS (FOR BACON/FOR SAUCE)
  • LARGE POT (FOR PASTA)
  • KNIFE (FOR GARLIC)
  • TONGS (FOR TOSSING PASTA AND SAUCE)

We’ll also be joined by comedian Ryan Brown who will join us for Carbonara trivia!

If you’re vegetarian, leave off the Bacon. But don’t leave off your sense of humor and good cheer!  See you from the kitchen!

Rally to Support Harlem’s Children

And Their Right to Attend Schools Free of Drug Activity – Saturday at 11:00

Mayor De Blasio placed the nations first opioid injection site directly across from a Harlem Pre-School with no community involvement. The block where this injection site has been located is already completely oversaturatated with men and women in methadone treatment, and the drop-off point for the Wards Island shelter population – a process that leaves these vulnerable men with no support services at the corner of Lexington and 126th Street.

The Harlem Neighborhood Block Association demands that this facility be moved to a commercial or industrial zone, away from Harlem’s children. The Harlem Neighborhood Block Association believes that helping people suffering from addiction should not also endanger parents and children going to school.

If you can, please join us on Saturday at 11:00. We’ll meet at the south plaza of Park and 125th Street, across from the main Metro North entrance.

Please come out to support Harlem’s children, and to ask New York City, and New York State, to equitably distribute programs and services in all New York neighborhoods, and not simply pack the over and over again, in Harlem and East Harlem.

Harlem Night Market is Back

Guess who’s back! And bigger than ever! That’s right, the Harlem Night Market returns Guess who’s back! And bigger than ever! That’s right, the Harlem Night Market returns to the historic La Marqueta this December 17th, 18th & 19th.

Join us the last weekend before Christmas as we celebrate the best food, makers and music from across East and West Harlem. This year we’ve expanded to include family friendly activities at @urbangardencenter and more vendors than ever in the stalls at @publicmarketsnyc.
@tedsmooth & @storminnorman will be holding us down again on the 1’s & 2’s and there will be plenty of hot foods and warm sweets to keep the chill off as you shop our makers plaza for unique holiday gifts.

Be sure to bring your wallet, your appetite, and your friends, and come celebrate with us while supporting small and local businesses.

Don’t wait in long lines! Free “Priority Access” tickets are available right now on EventBrite so click on the link in our bio and get your tickets now.

The Harlem Night Market is brought to you through partnerships with @uptowngrandcentral@tbo.harlem@nycedc , @unionsettlement and @cmdianaayalanyc, in addition to, support from @poncebank@urbangardencenter@qupey@shopharlemmade and @elmuseo

Vendors apply at link in bio!

Proof of vaccination and ID are required to enter. Face coverings must be worn at all times when not actively eating or drinking.

#Harlem#harlemworld#eastharlem#elbarrio#elbarrionyc#uptown#nyc#newyork#newyorkcity#tboharlem#igersofnyc#visitharlem#harlemnightmarket#nycnightmarket#shopsmall#shoploca

Limited English

How Calculated: 

Estimated number of people who do not speak English at home and are not English Proficent, divided by the total population; expressed as percent.

Source: American Community Survey

We Are All New Yorkers

Uptown Grand Central writes:

Yo yo here we go! So glad to be a part of TOGETHER, WE ARE NEW YORKalong with creatives from other boroughs including Brooklyn’s Weeksville Heritage Center, Queens’ Louis Armstrong House Museum, Staten Island’s Sundog Theatre and the Bronx’s Kingsbridge Heights Community Center.

We’ve been convened by the Association for a Better New York to produce community-based arts campaigns that celebrate our city’s residents, resiliency, and cultural diversity as we power through this pandemic.

Here in East Harlem, we’ve got a few things up our sleeves for you on the storefront gates along East 125th Street.

Much love to our community collaborators, Harlem Wellness Center and artists MenaceresaKristy McCarthyKronLostbreed Culture and Andre Trenier.

Frederick Douglass Circle

At the northwest corner of Central Park lies Frederick Douglass Circle, a memorial plaza featuring an eight-foot bronze sculpture of the famed abolitionist leader, women’s suffragist, editor, orator, author, and statesman. While Douglass is an integral figure in American history, it took time for the sculpture and accompanying renovation of the area to come about—a rare, but needed celebration of African-American history in New York City.

The Central Park Conservancy has an interesting article on the history of the circle, the work required to get it done, and the sources of inspiration behind the artwork.

https://www.centralparknyc.org/articles/establishing-a-gateway-to-harlem

$20/hour Full-Time Work

Uptown Grand Central is HIRING! For up to 40 new staff members to join our Positive Workforce Clean Team as part of the City Cleanup Corps.

Clean Team members keep our East 125th sidewalks clean, powerwash our public spaces, tend street trees, clean graffiti and more. And now we’re growing by 10x!

Make a difference for East Harlem while building your resume. Find the NYC Cleanup Corps application hereText 212-457-1254 for more details and to let us know you’ve applied.

Open House NY Weekend: Grandscale Mural Project

More than half a mile of murals, created by more than 100 artists: The Grandscale Mural Project is now part of Open House New York Weekend!

Since its start nearly two decades ago, OHNY shines a spotlight on the places, people, projects and ideas that define New York and its future. This year’s event includes some 200 different in-person and
virtual tours, talks and self-guided walks at select locations citywide.

Join Uptown Grand Central this Sunday, October 17, from 1-5 p.m. to walk the walls of the Grandscale Mural Project that stretch along East 125th and East 124th streets, and Park, Lexington and Third Avenues:
https://ohny.org/place/grandscale-mural-project.

The murals feature a wide range of street art styles, and many of our participating artists will be on hand to tell their stories and answer your questions. In-person artists include: Mark Musters, BC1 NBA,
Blanka Amezkua, Laura Alvarez, Erica Purnell, Ysabel Abreu, Yeksoe, Carla Torres, One Rad Latina, Social Icon, Gia Gutierrez, Alexis Vanity, Danny Peguero, EunHea Kim, the CCC Art Collective and SJK 171.

Blazay (from the DMX mural fame) will also be live-painting portraits next to the fire station at Third Avenue & 124th Street.

To start, come find us under the yellow tent just outside the Harlem-125th Street Metro-North Station.