Tag Archives: East Harlem

Things to do with kids in Harlem: Street Games 2014 April 26 in East Harlem

Go back in time this weekend, April 26. That’s when Street Games, which takes place every year, is happening in East Harlem. Start time is 11 am.

Street Games brings back the classic games and sports played by previous generations and gives them a modern twist. New Yorkers young – and young at heart – can visit Classic Street Games zone and get moving with stickball, pogo sticks, hula hoops, double-dutch, yo-yos, and skateboarding clinics.

Street Games closes 114th Street and Pleasant Avenue in Harlem to vehicle traffic, so kids can participate in a soap box derby, learn to ride a bike clinics, street hockey, and relay races. On the adjacent fields, participants can test their soccer skills with the New York Red Bulls soccer team or throw a disc with the New York Empire ultimate team.

Below are the exact details:

WHAT: HOP OVER TO STREET GAMES 2014!

DATE: Saturday, April 26, 2014

TIME: 11:00 am-3:00 pm
(Speaking program begins at 12:30 pm)

LOCATION: Thomas Jefferson Park
114th Street and First Avenue

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Manhattan Mini Storage offering storage to displaced residents of East Harlem building explosion

In the wake of Wednesday’s massive gas explosion and collapse at two apartment buildings in East Harlem, Manhattan Mini Storage announced today (March 14) via a news release that it is offering free storage at its East Harlem location to any displaced residents by the explosion for up to three months while they recover from the incident and secure new housing.

Manhattan Mini Storage is asking any residents displaced by the explosion to call the company at 212-STORAGE (212-786-7243), Option 1, if they are in need of storage. Their East Harlem facility is located at 401 East 110th Street.

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Q&A: How Do Explosions Cause Building Collapses Like Harlem’s?

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Q&A: How Do Explosions Cause Building Collapses Like Harlem’s?.

Dan Vergano
National Geographic
PUBLISHED MARCH 12, 2014

The deadly collapse of two apartment buildings in New York on Wednesday has an engineering explanation—the “brittleness” of turn-of-the-century brick buildings. (See also: “Why Do Building Collapses Like Philadelphia’s Happen?”)

Triggered by what authorities said was a natural gas explosion, the collapse in East Harlem killed at least two people, with more than a dozen reportedly missing. Apartment buildings in that part of East Harlem date to the 1900s, prior to the advent of modern building codes.

“Buildings of that vintage are quite brittle,” says structural engineer Donald Dusenberry of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, editor of the Handbook for Blast Resistant Design of Structures. “Even a room-size natural gas explosion can trigger the collapse of an older masonry structure.”

National Geographic asked Dusenberry to explain how the buildings, one six stories and one four stories tall, may have collapsed:

How does a natural gas explosion trigger the collapse of two large buildings?

Masonry buildings are able to support very heavy loads, compressive ones, from gravity. But older ones weren’t built to take something extra pushing on them in the opposite direction [from gravity] or sideways, and they are quite brittle and can collapse. That’s what happens in an explosion.

How does it happen?

When there is an explosion, assuming this was a gas explosion, which is usually the case, pressures build up very suddenly in all directions and expand in the direction of the walls and ceiling.

The ceiling, the floor of the apartment above, can blow out from the force acting in the opposite direction of gravity.

When you lose the floor, you lose the sideways web of support for the columns holding the building. [The columns] are suddenly twice their unsupported length and they buckle.

The columns are great at supporting the compressive forces holding the building up, but they are quite weak, relatively speaking, at resisting the bending forces acting sideways to them that put them in tension.

They are brittle. It’s like a stick. You bend it and they snap.

How large an explosion does it take?

That is the tough question. It depends on the building. Normally [natural] gas explosions start in one room or place of origin. Along with the ceilings, they can blast out entire walls, which can leave the wall above not supported at all. So they collapse.

Because the [older] masonry is so brittle, it just breaks into small pieces, leaving piles of debris behind.

How are modern buildings different?

Today we add steel reinforcement, rebar, to masonry building walls. [The steel reinforcements] help to resist to sideways forces . . . Structures built to modern building codes are 10 to 20 times more resistant, normally, to these kind of forces.

Is there a building code change needed here for older buildings?

Well, typically, there aren’t requirements for upgrades in older buildings, unless renovations are made of a sufficient magnitude to trip local ordinances.

Is it always a leaky stove that triggers these blasts?

No, I’ve seen natural gas explosions happen all kinds of ways. Most modern stoves actually have a cutoff switch if left on too long without the burner firing. But that has happened.

It also happens in repairs or with construction, where a leak is triggered by work that damages pipes. I’ve heard of digging in the street outside a home snagging a pipe and leading to a house filling up with gas to trigger an explosion.

It can happen accidentally in a multitude of ways, unfortunately. It isn’t common, and people shouldn’t spend all their time worrying. But natural gas leaks should be taken seriously.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

East Harlem’s East River Plaza completely leased out, Planet Fitness and Mt. Sinai rent space

Blumenfeld Development Group, the owners of East River Plaza in East Harlem, today announced via a news release that the retail complex at 116th Street and FDR Drive is now 100 percent leased following the signing of a long-term agreement for 14,500 square feet of space by Planet Fitness and the inking of a 15-year lease by Mt. Sinai Hospital for a community oriented dialysis center, also for 14,500 square feet of space.

They join other tenants within the five-story, half a million square foot complex that includes Target, Costco, PetSmart, Aldi, GameStop, Burlington Coat Factory, Old Navy, Bob’s Discount Furniture and Marshalls, among others.

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Museum of Food and Drink launches new program in East Harlem, MOFAD Roundtable

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The Museum of Food and Drink is holding its inaugural MOFAD Roundtable, co-sponsored by the NYC Food Policy Center in East Harlem at Hunter College and Heritage Radio Network Thursday at CUNY School of Public Health at 3rd Avenue/E. 119th. The first MOFAD Roundtable live debate will tackle the NYC soda ban. See additional details below.

WHO: The inaugural Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) Roundtable. MOFAD Roundtable is a continuing series that will be broadcast on the Heritage Radio Network and hosted on MOFAD’s website, www.mofad.org.

WHAT: Increasing public concern about food has raised awareness, along with some tough questions, about controversial food issues. Enter MOFAD Roundtable, a new program from MOFAD bringing together top experts to debate today’s most complex food issues.

Esteemed speakers for this upcoming MOFAD Roundtable include:

Dave Arnold, Founder and President, MOFAD; Joel Berg, Executive Director, New York City Coalition Against Hunger; Nicholas Freudenberg, Faculty Director, NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College; Parke Wilde, Associate Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University; J. Justin Wilson, Senior Research Analyst, Center for Consumer Freedom; Lisa Young, Adjunct Professor, Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University.

WHEN: Thursday, December 5, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

WHERE: CUNY School of Public Health, 2180 3rd Avenue (at E. 119th St.)

COST/RSVP: Free; Online RSVP required

Make plans to attend East Harlem Harvest Festival happening October 27

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The second annual East Harlem Harvest Festival is happening this weekend, October 27, at 116th Street and Park Avenue. The event starts and 10 am and will last until about 6 pm. See full list below of what to expect at this years East Harlem Harvest Festival.

And check out last year’s coverage of the Festival as well. We attended and had a wonderful time. See you there this weekend!

  • Flea Marqueta’s 30+ Local vendors
  • Urban Garden Center’s pig roast series called El Boar-rio featuring sauce infused with Riazul Tequila
  • Beer Tent pouring the Harlem Brewing Company’s Sugar Hill Beer
  • Live Music by Blue Maky a blues band from Columbia
  • DJ Mellow G will be spinning all day at La Marqueta’s “Placita”
  • Bohemia Realty and Tutubell are hosting a Children’s Zone…Face Painting, Pumpkin Painting and lawn games
  • There will be a Soul Food Hut, an Empanada stand, a Popcorn stand, Cookies by our 9-year-old entrepreneur Mr. Corey’s, Coffee and Desert by La Bella Torte, a food truck
  • Composting and Urban Farming workshops hosted by Dr. Eluem Blyden the creator of Phytopod (manufactured right at Urban Garden Center)
  • NYRP and MillionTreesNY teamed up with Urban Garden Center to give away 100 FREE trees starting at 10

Founder of East Harlem’s Hot Bread Kitchen/Almacen receives Global Citizen Award from Clinton Global Initiative

A reader of HarlemGal Inc has provided a newsworthy tip about an East Harlem business. On October 1, the Founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen (HBK), which has a presence in East Harlem through Hot Bread Almacen, received the 2013 Global Citizen Award from the Clinton Global Initiative. Jessamyn W. Rodriguez, who is also a Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) Granteee, was recognized with among six other exemplary individuals who have created effective and scalable strategies that link public, private and non-profit sectors in order to bring about positive and lasting social change.

Since 2007, Hot Bread Kitchen has supported immigrant and low-income women and men through its culinary workforce and business incubation programs. UMEZ awarded HBK a $150,000 grant in 2011 to establish a retail outlet, Hot Bread Almacen, at the historic La Marqueta at 116th Street and Park Avenue in East Harlem.

Since opening in 2012 in East Harlem, Hot Bread Almacen has been featured in several publications including Zagat, The New York Times, and New York Magazine. Congrats to HBK and Almacen on the accolades. And a big thanks to our reader for sending in this news for all of us to learn about!

L to R: Melissa Mark-Viverito, Christine Quinn, Jessamyn W. Rodriguez, Christina Bahn, My Sweet Brigadero (HBK Incubates Member), Paula Barbosa, My Sweet Brigadero (HBK Incubates Member), Kenneth Knuckles (UMEZ), Seth Pinsky (EDC)

L to R: Melissa Mark-Viverito, Christine Quinn, Jessamyn W. Rodriguez, Christina Bahn, My Sweet Brigadero (HBK Incubates Member), Paula Barbosa, My Sweet Brigadero (HBK Incubates Member), Kenneth Knuckles (UMEZ), Seth Pinsky (EDC)

Is Citi Bike Share finally coming to Harlem? Where will the racks be located in Harlem?

A few weeks ago, HarlemGal Inc wrote a blog post, which was picked up by two media outlets and collected mixed comments, criticizing Citi Bike Share for allowing the film set Annie to use the bike program in Harlem, but not allowing real life Harlem residents to have the same opportunity. Ironically, we are learning today from The New York Daily News that the Citi Bike Share may now becoming to Harlem as part of Phase II.

According to The Daily News, “Community Board 10 Chairwoman Henrietta Lyle revealed Wednesday night (October 2) that Department of Transportation officials emailed her with their plans to install at least three docking stations uptown featuring the clunky blue two-wheelers. Lyle told her fellow board members that the racks-the first that would be located in Manhattan above 59th St.-would be installed on Frederick Douglass Blvd. at W. 115th St. and W. 154th St. along with one on Lexington Ave. near E. 98th St. in East Harlem.”

Kudos to Chairwoman Lyle for leaking out the information at the board meeting and for raising the question “what about the rest of the Harlem community and the bike share?”

HarlemGal Inc.’s position has been, if Citi Bike Share was good enough for a movie set in Harlem, it is good enough for real life residents of Harlem to use. The Village of Harlem should have been a part of Phase I of the program! However, if Citi Bike Share is honestly moving forward with implementing the bike share in Harlem, we’ll take it!
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What’s happening in East Harlem September and October? a pig roast and East Harlem Harvest Festival

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The good folks behind East Harlem’s Urban Garden Center sent us their event line up for September and October. And as always, there is lots of fun things to do in this section of Harlem.

Mark your calendar. The East Harlem Harvest Festival will take place on Sunday, October 27th from 10 am to 6 pm at La Marqueta on 116th Street and Park Ave. We went last year and had a very good time. This event is a celebration of East Harlem’s retailers, restaurants, bars, institutions, parks, history and more.

On September 15 and 29, and October 13 and 27, there will be a pig roast called El Boar-rio at La Marqueta starting at noon. Flea Marqueta is hosting this event on specific Sundays because that’s when the market is open where you can shop for artisans, food and enjoy entertainment.

Interested in sponsorship and vending opportunities at these events? Email info@fleamarqueta.com for more information.
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Bikram Yoga in East Harlem to close…for good

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Sad Harlem business news to report. Late last night, Bikram Yoga East Harlem informed their members via email that they are “unable to continue operating and maintaining” the yoga studio located at 4 East 116th Street. The owners of Bikram Yoga say they are closing because they have been unable to make a profit from running the yoga studio. The East Harlem yoga studio will close on September 14.

Read the full email notice below.

Dear Bikram Yoga East Harlem Family and Friends:

We are writing to let you know that we are unfortunately unable to continue operating and maintaining Bikram Yoga East Harlem.
After nearly 5 years of serving our community, we continue to be faced with issues that prevent the studio from being profitable.
We have been pouring personal funds into the studio to keep it going for some time now. We can no longer do this.
We have contacted teachers and fellow studio owners who we thought might be interested in buying the studio and taking over the lease, however we got no firm offers.
We are still open to selling it, however, we must announce that the studio will be closed as of September 14th, 2013.
If you know of anyone who might be interested in purchasing the studio and taking over the lease, please have them contact us ASAP.

We are in the process of making arrangements for students to be able to transfer their packages to a nearby studio.
We will confirm those details ASAP.

It is with a heavy heart that we must close, but I look forward to being able to still teach and share the yoga without the burden of ownership in the near future.

Jennifer and I can not thank you enough for the support you have given to Bikram Yoga East Harlem over the past 5 years.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to call or email the studio.
Love & Light,
Stephanie