As much as I love September, I am nonetheless eagerly awaiting October. I can’t wait to smell fall in the air and have the temperature drop just a bit to the low 70s. I have had enough of the humidity and end of summer anxiety. The last quarter of 2017, with its plethora of anticipated year-end galas and benefits, is beginning to look pretty good to me.
Yet, there are a few good days of September left, such as, happy birthday to Nina DeWees and Gwynn Wilcox. Also on tap is the beginning of the free community concerts hosted by Harlem School of the Arts, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and City Harvest. The first of what promises to be an exciting series is the orchestral tribute to Florence Price. Price was the first female African-American composer premiered by a major American orchestra. Included in the program between the musical performances are dramatic monologues written and performed by Kirya Traber. The event will take place in the Gallery at HAS, located at 645 St. Nicholas Ave. between 141st and 145th streets. Patrons are asked to bring nonperishable food donations to the concert for City Harvest to aid their mission of feeding New Yorkers in need.
Even though we are on the verge of fall, Harlem continues to blossom. The latest to arrive on the scene is Citi Bike. Scheduled to roll out 47 locations between 110th Street to 130th Street, Fifth Avenue to Frederick Douglass Boulevard before the end of the year, Citi Bike is on a roll.
Want to join? Go to citibikenyc.com to learn how to purchase a Citi Bike membership. The fee is $165/year or $14.95/month with an annual commitment, which includes unlimited 45-minute trips. Once you sign up, you will receive a key that allows you to unlock the bike, and off you go into the wild blue yonder. The timer starts when you unlock a bike and ends when you return the bike to any station. Should you choose, you can forgo the membership and just purchase unlimited rides for the day for $12. As with anything these days, you can download the app, find an available bike at one of the 600 stations citywide and use your mobile app to unlock it. All NYCHA residents 16 years and older can join Citi Bike for $5 per month with an annual commitment. Who says it doesn’t pay to live in the projects. So get ready, Harlem, to ride into the 21st century.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have plans underway to present a totally new and comprehensive renovation of the current bus terminal, located at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, while at the same time keeping the current facility in operation throughout the redevelopment. Currently, the terminal handles approximately 8,000 buses and 275,000 passengers a day. Projections show that there will be another 100,000 riders by the year 2040, so they are getting ready. Because there was opposition to expanding outward into existing neighborhoods, the new plan is to develop upward. Because costs hover around $32 billion for the completed project, give or take a few billion, the overall project might include building an ancillary bus terminal in the basement of the nearby Javits Center at 34th Street. Ramps would be used to connect the New Jersey bound buses to the Holland Tunnel, which already runs under the Javits Center. Wow, just blast that bedrock away! In the meantime, you might want to consider taking a ferry at Harlem’s newly developed pier at 125th Street. The west side at the Hudson River looks as if it is ready for anything.
Don’t feel like going anywhere, just staying in the hood? Well, pop by M.S. Healers Beauty Supply store at 127th Street and Lenox Avenue. She has every product you could possibly need to keep your hair looking clean and shiny and you looking good.
Appearing at the Princeton Club for an intimate fireside chat without the fire was civil rights activist and president of the National Urban League, Hugh B. Price. Price was there to talk about his new book, “This African-American Life,” and what it was like growing up among America’s Black elite. His father was a physician and his mother a housewife turned activist. “Father didn’t believe in women working in those days, so this was mom’s way of getting out of the house and getting involved,” stated Price as he reminisced about his childhood. Education was extremely important and dropping out for any reason, especially because of feeling overwhelmed because of segregation and bigoted attitudes, was not an option. “I was always told to keep my eye on the North Star and follow it,” stated Price, adding, “Dad always told me if the white students didn’t like me and gave me problems to suck it up and keep on, keeping on.”
One of the questions that arose during the discussion was posed by a young graduate from Princeton University (the Princeton Club is home to graduates from Princeton University, Columbia University, New York University and Williams College). She asked, “How do we create a space and venue to have a dialogue where language is respectful but doesn’t tip toe around critical issues as being too politically correct and isn’t always an honest conversation?” To be concise, Price’s answer boiled down to just talking and listening respectfully. Price’s advice to young people starting out on a career (or anyone for that matter) was, “Find something that makes you want to get up in the morning but do it with conscious. Give what you can to support those who are out on the front line fighting for the cause. Don’t take anything for granted.”
Born Nov. 22, 1941, in Washington, D.C., Price completed his undergraduate work at Amherst and received his law degree from Yale. He began his career serving inner-city communities, advancing into the government sector and switching to journalism, before accepting a position at WNET TV. He left that station to become vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation, where he managed the foundation’s Special Initiatives and Explorations grant fund that was responsible for helping minorities get more opportunities in groups served by the organization, and finally he took the post as president of the National Urban League. He is married to Marilyn Lloyd, and they have three children.
Until next week…kisses.