Tag Archives: community

Has Harlem’s Masjid Aqsa Mosque been evicted from Frederick Douglass Blvd location?

I walked by Masjid Aqsa Mosque in Harlem yesterday and noticed there was no activity going on inside. When I walked closer to the building, I noticed the mosque was boarded up with an eviction notice slapped on the outside for all to see.

A few years back the mosque tried moving to a new location on Manhattan Avenue, but that failed for some reason. Yesterday, I asked on the street what happened? Why the eviction notice? Someone blurted out, the mosque got behind on their rent.

If anyone has any other details on Masjid Aqsa Mosque in Harlem, please chime in!




Broadway Malls in Harlem restored

NYC Parks and Recreation recently announced that an eight-block stretch of the Broadway Malls in Harlem was restored from West 145th Street through West 153rd Street. The restoration project was completed six months ahead of schedule and was funded with capital allocations of $605,000 from Borough President Stringer and $91,000 from Mayor Bloomberg. The NYC Parks & Recreation was a partner as well in this project.

“The stretch of malls on Broadway between 145th Street and 153rd Street [in Harlem] were well deserving of a restoration and beautification,” said Robert Herrmann, Chairman of the Broadway Mall Association in a news release. “The Broadway Mall Association maintains almost five miles of parkland along the Upper West Side…”
DSC_0156 Broadway Mall Ribbon Cutting 7 25 13  mp_resize

DSC_0037 Broadway Mall Ribbon Cutting 7 25 13  mp_resize

One week away, Harlem Harvest Festival October 6

Some of us will be checking out the Common Ground Festival today in Morningside Park, but then a week later its time to head over to the Harlem Harvest Festival on October 6, which I believe its in its third or fourth year. The Festival starts at 116th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. See details below and read last year’s blog post on the Harlem Harvest Festival.

‘Growing Up Gonzales’ coming to The Poets Den Theater in East Harlem

“Growing Up Gonzales,” the dramatic comedy which had a successful run at the Jan Hus Playhouse on East 74th Street, is coming to East Harlem.  It’s a one-man play “about a Nuyorican family in the 1970s, is part stand-up, part melodrama and part cultural tourism.”

Previews of  “Growing Up Gonzales” run from October 18-21 at The Poets Den Theater in East Harlem and then a few days later the official show begins October 25. The Poets Den Theater is located at 309 East 108th Street between First and Second Avenue. Click here to buy tickets.

And if you’re interested in contributing to the community play, the production of “Growing Up Gonzales” started a campaign on Indiegogo to cover some production costs with launching the show in East Harlem. All levels of contribution are welcome from as low as one dollar up to several hundreds of dollars. Go to Indiegogo.com to learn more.

Is there still a possibility for Andy Shallal’s Busboys and Poets to expand into Harlem?

Around this time last year, I blogged that Busboys and Poets’ plans to open in Harlem at 2280 Frederick Douglass went bust. Ironically, I am now blogging about them same time, but a year later, asking: is there still a possibility that Busboys and Poets could open in Harlem?  According to a recent article in The Washington Post, there is a smidgen of hope. Andy Shallal, the owner of the Washington, DC eatery and longtime activist, recently told the Post that “he has been courted to put a Busboys in a proposed National Jazz Museum near the Apollo Theater…” How cool would that be if Busboys and Poets opened in Harlem on 125th Street?

Shallal tried landing the retail space at 2280 Frederick Douglass a little over a year ago, but something happened and the deal went south. I wonder if the developer of 2280 FDB is having any regrets now on not cutting a deal with Shallal, especially given all the enormous/positive press coverage Central Harlem has been receiving over the months? The most recent praising news clip comes from The Wall Street Journal.

In my view, the developer of 2280 FDB totally lost out by not scoring something with Busboys and Poets in their commercial space. As the WSJ said, there’s a restaurant boom happening in Harlem. With this recent article in the Post,  there’s hope the folks behind the National Jazz Museum could pick up where 2280 FDB left off and seal the deal with Shallal. Let’s all hope so! I think Busboys and Poets is a perfect fit in Harlem!

Help Harlem School of the Arts win $25k in Pepsi Refresh competition

Get out your mouse pads folks! Harlem School of the Arts needs your clicks/votes pronto to win $25k in the Pepsi Refresh.  The soft drink and snacks company is giving out mucho dinero to those with the best ideas in several categories. Harlem School of the Arts is competing in the Communities category.

How can you help? Go online here to learn why Harlem School of the Arts is competing.  Using the same link, you can either register to vote through Pepsi or use your own Facebook account. Voters can also use their smart phone to vote by texting: 109529 to Pepsi!

According to the website there is about 13 hours left to vote! That is dog years on the online community so we have plenty of time to help out Harlem School of the Arts! Let’s go help them win!

Common Ground Family Festival is happening at Morningside Park in Harlem

UPDATE: The Friends of Morningside Park have decided to reschedule the festival for a date in October.  As soon as the rain date is available, we will pass along.

The Friends of Morningside Park are holding its Common Ground Family Festival this Saturday, September 24th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Festival will include kite making and decorating, Belly Dancing Ensemble, Peter Westbrook Foundation Fencing Demonstration, Johns Magic-Magician, The Legendary Paragons singing Doo Wop, Harlem Farm Fresh CSA, face painting, scavenger hunt, pony rides and much, much more!

And the best part, music will be provided by DJ Stormin Norman of the popular Harlem gathering called Sundae Sermon. Stop by Morningside Park at the 114th Street Stage and 117th Street Playground this Saturday to check out all the activities for Common Ground Family Festival.

Sneak peek at agenda for Frederick Douglass Circle Dedication in Harlem September 20

The dedication of the Frederick Douglass Circle, located at the intersection West 110th Street and FDB, is definitely on for next week, September 20, starting at 11 a.m. and HarlemGal Inc. has the scoop on some of the agenda.

Actor and Tony Award-nominee Andre De Shields will perform and channel Frederick Douglass in front of all the guests and dignitaries. De Shields is well-known for this and performed as Frederick Douglass in 2009. See video below.

Impact Repertory Theatre and Harlem School of the Arts will give performances. And a direct descendent of Frederick Douglass will be present and either acknowledged or part of the speaking agenda.

So far, there’s no word on whether Mayor Bloomberg will be on hand for the dedication.  However, there will be several local representatives in attendance.

Not too bad of an agenda to start! Now that we have a sneak peek of the Frederick Douglass Circle Dedication, the next question is are you attending? Chime in if you plan on attending this event!

To read complete blog coverage on Frederick Douglass Circle, click here!

2011 Harlem Week kick off was a big success

Macy's Food Truck Staff, Harlem Week 2011Harlem Week 2011Harlem Week 2011Uptown Dance Academy, Harlem Week 2011Face painting, Harlem Week 2011Harlem Arts Alliance, Harlem Week
Harlem Week 2011More tees, Harlem Week 2011Harlem Week 2011Face paint freshen up, Harlem Week 2011Harlem Week 2011Tees at Harlem Week 2011
Harlem Week 2011 VendorT shirt vendor, Harlem Week 2011Harlem Week 2011Harlem Week 2011Harlem Week 2011Harlem Week 2011
Harlem Week 2011Harlem Week 2011Harlem Week 2011Macy's Food Truck Crew, Harlem WeekHarlem Week 2011Macy's, Harlem Week

Harlem Week 2011 kicked off today, July 31, with much success. There were plenty of New Yorker’s in attendance who wanted to partake in this years theme, “A New York State of Mind.” I certainly did and enjoyed the kick off celebration very much. I checked out all the street vendors and camped out at the Macy’s Food Truck, which was featuring free food by Marcus Samuelsson.

If you were not able to check out Harlem Week 2011 kick off today, do not worry. There is  a month full of activities planned for August.  For additional details, go to Harlem Week’s website.

Visit Marcus Samuelsson today at 126th and Riverside in Harlem

Macy’s Culinary Council Hits the Road in Harlem today! Chef Marcus Samuelsson will be on board the Macy’s Food Truck cooking and serving catfish sandwiches with fried caper slaw and sweet potato fries! Below are the details:

Sunday, July 31, 2011
W. 126th St. & Riverside Dr.