New Cultural Space in The Apollo’s Victoria Theatre to be Named for Jonelle Procope




Exterior of The Apollo and the new Victoria Building. Photo by Shahar Azran.

On Monday, March 27, 2023, The Apollo’s Board Chair Charles E. Phillips announced that the 99-seat theater in The Apollo’s new Victoria Theater—which marks the first major expansion in the organization’s history—will be named after its current President & CEO Jonelle Procope in honor of her two decades as leader of the iconic cultural and civic non-profit dedicated to providing a platform for Black creativity. The new, 25,000-square-foot facility is under renovation and will open later this year, adding two additional stages that will be operated by The Apollo and will welcome in artists, audiences, other cultural and civic organizations and creators, and students. The surprise announcement took place at a celebration in honor of Ms. Procope at the Ford Foundation following her announcement at the end of 2022 that she will step down as President later this year.

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MTA’s Second Avenue Subway in East Harlem One Step Closer




Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center, 69 East 125th Street.

In anticipation of Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, an MTA community information center with rotating exhibits is open to the public on East 125th Street, steps from the MTA Metro North Station, and halfway between the #2/3 and #4/5/6.

Update March 2023 ~ The Project is now out of the station “and heading on the track”…. Chuck Schumer. Feds willing to kick in $497 million to complete the next phase of the Second Avenue Subway, which will include three new stations at East 106th Street, East 116th Street, and East 125th Street. However, the federal money — which is now dependent on congressional approval as part of President Biden’s budget — will require matching funding from the MTA.

Further update on design cost & redesign of the platforms in New York Post article, March 29, 2023

A rendering shows what the outside of a finished station would look like at one subway stop in East Harlem.

MTA will go back to the drawing board and rethink the size of platforms needed to serve the Q train, which is a good part of the staggering price tag for the extension.

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Zaro’s Family Bakery Opens on East 125th Street




Update September 17, 2020 ~ Lights on….Doors open ~ Reopened!

  • Closed due to COVID-19. Waiting for an update.

This well-established, family-owned bakery, Zaro’s, first opened its doors in 1927, shortly after arriving from Eastern Europe, through Ellis Island. In the 1950s, the next generation expanded the business, and in 1977, opened the first of its four Grand Central Station shops ~ then Penn Station, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, with a total of 11 ~ until last week when they opened their doors along 125th Street in East Harlem.

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The Permanent Collection, ‘Harlem Roots’ to Open at State Office Building in November




‘Harlem Roots’ at State Office Building

Some twenty-five years ago, Commissioner of the New York State Office of General Services, RoAnn Destito, did a walk-through at what is our current State Office Building. The building was in total disarray with no window glass in some of the space. But in the basement she found a treasure-trove of artwork that had been stacked up and left there for several years. It was the work of local artists of that day, names like Barboza, Bey, Catlett, DeCarava, Van Der Zee…….

This work is part of The New York State Harlem Art Collection’s permanent collection, and it will be on view beginning November 15 for the first time since the mid 1990s.

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Uptown Grand Central Paints East 125th Street with Uptown GrandScale ~ East Harlem




Uptown GrandScale, Saturday, September 7, 2019 ~ ‘Harlem’ mural by Maria Castillo aka TooFly-NYC

Uptown Grand Central has stepped out from under the 125th Street viaduct along Park Avenue to transform fifteen hundred feet of construction fencing into a canvas for fifty artists.

We followed Carey King, Director of Uptown Grand Central and Project Organizer, Ayana Hosten, a veteran from the #100GatesProject in East Harlem, when the project began on August 3, 2019 with the artist Gera Lozano (@geraluz) and fellow-artists, WERC, Crow, Jill Folino and Kristy McCarthy, painting the entire south-west corner at Park Avenue and 125th Street.

@geraluz, August 3, 2019

Beginning Saturday, September 7th, the GrandScale Mural Project will kick-off the first of three weekends, transforming construction fencing on both sides of the 125th Street viaduct, to conclude in time for the annual East Harlem Event ~ Party on Park.

On Saturday, September 7th, painting will begin at 10am and continue to 7pm, with DJ Tedsmooth arriving at 3pm to begin celebrating the end of the day.

The dates include Saturday, September 7; Saturday, September 14th and Sunday, September 22nd during Party on Park.

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Shake Shack Harlem Opened at 1 West 125th Street




Shake Shack Harlem with Facade painted by Creative Art Works. Image taken May 4, 2019

Shake Shack Harlem moved into the old Applebee’s space located at 1 West 125th Street, on the north/west corner across from the National Black Theatre ~ and at the entrance to East Harlem, which is preparing for a number of new projects including the Second Avenue Subway. 

The spectacular opening unveiled artwork by eleven Harlem students, creating murals through a partnership with Creative Art Works inside ~ with exterior artwork currently underway.

Below is a sneak peek from beginning to end, including an update on Creative Art Works outside.

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First View of East Harlem’s New York Proton Center



North Facade. Image via NYCEDC

City Officials got a first view of progress on New York’s first advanced cancer treatment facility, the New York Proton Center (NYPC) in East Harlem.

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