Author: Darnell Jefferson

Tiger Who Was Famously Found Inside A Harlem Apartment In 2003 Has Died

Do you remember the pet tiger found in Harlem back in 2003 that made the news world wide? The ferocious feline named Ming had been raised in a 5-bedroom apartment at the Drew Hamilton Houses on Adam Clayton Powell by 141st Street for three years until a domestic incident brought in the authorities.  Ming, a 300-pound jungle beast, who had spent the last 15 years at an animal sanctuary in Ohio since his rescue from the Drew Hamilton Houses in October 2003, has passed away. He is buried in Upstate New York. 

The tiger’s tombstone, designed by the cemetery, features an engraved photo of Ming and a short inscription of his storied past. The Legendary tiger,  was raised in apartment 5E in the Drew Hamilton Houses. The tiger tombstone reads under his name and the engraving “Tiger of Harlem”

The owner bought Ming at age six weeks from a wild-animal dealer out west, starting him on a bottle, then on pureed meat lovingly spooned from Gerber baby food jars, then on chickens, liver and bones from the supermarket, from which, by 2003, he was lugging home about 20 pounds of big-cat food a day.


MTA Will Renovate 48 Subway Stations To Get Elevators


The MTA has announced which subway stations will be the next to receive badly needed wheelchair access. The Elevators will be added to a dozen stations in Manhattan; 21 in Brooklyn; 6 in the Bronx and Queens and another 3 on the Staten Island Railway. The 48 station upgrades will be included in the MTA’s proposed $51.5 billion capital plan for 2020 to 2024. Riders can check the list of 48 stations on, the state’s official website. The proposal includes bringing wheelchair access to major stations like 42nd Street-Bryant Park, Lorimer Street, Hoyt-Schermerhorn Street, Broadway Junction at the L and J/Z lines, Van Cortlandt Park-242 Street and Woodhaven Boulevard. The draft plan includes more than $5 billion to make 70 stations wheelchair accessible, but the authority has kept a tight lip as to which remaining stations will get the upgrades.


The MTA had originally planned to include just 50 stations in its capital program and the remaining 20 stations were tacked on at the last minute, which could explain why those stations have not yet been publicly listed, according to a source familiar with the MTA’s planning.


The Harlem Meer In Central Park Is Getting An Upgrade

The Harlem Meer area of Central Park will be getting a major makeover in a few years. The park upgrades will kick off with the landscape around Harlem Meer, with a focus on fixing the damaged landscape. The project will also be creating a new recreation center which will hold the pool and the rink. The boardwalk will be used for wildlife observation, fishing, and community programming.

The new building that will hold the skating rink and pool will have a green, vegetated roof, which will cover the facility. There is an area in which the Central Park Conservatory will offer spaces for any kinds of public gatherings and provide amenities to keep the area running smoothly.

The pool will be transformed into an elongated oval, and it will be built at a lower elevation. During the winter, the pool will be transformed into an ice-skating rink. The project is expected to break ground in 2021, and the construction is expected to be completed in 2024.

Keeping ‘Church’ Alive on an East Harlem Sidewalk

It’s a regular Sunday tradition on 113th Street in East Harlem. A group of parishioners from a shuttered Catholic church continue to meet for their own service.

On a recent Sunday at 11 a.m., nine people were gathered near a bench across the street from Our Lady Queen of Angels, which was closed by the Archdiocese of New York 12 years ago. Their service included no priest and no holy communion. They met for 45 minutes, leading a service themselves with readings, prayer, and song.

Our Lady closed in 2007, a small group of parishioners protested inside of the church. Several of them were arrested, including Patricia Rodriguez, an organizer of the outdoor prayer group. Have a listen to my story on Keeping ‘Church’ Alive on an East Harlem Sidewalk


‘Hair Love’ Tells The Story of Natural Hair In Black Families

If your planning on seeing The Angry Birds Movie 2, then you are in for a double treat. Playing before that feature is an animated short called Hair Love. The short directed by Matthew Cherry,  follows the story of an African American father — Stephen — and his daughter, Zuri. Stephen is trying to learn how to do young Zuri’s glorious natural hair, and, well, it’s not so easy. You can see Hair Love, which shows right before The Angry Birds 2, in theaters now. But in the meantime, check out the clip below and interview below. 

The Source Magazine Will A Throw Block Party In Honor Of Biggie Smalls

The Source, an American hip hop and entertainment magazine, is throwing a block party for Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace.His latest honor revolved around the city co-naming the street where he grew up, St. James Place in Clinton Hill, to Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace Way. To celebrate, the magazine’s annual conference and festival, Source360, will host an all day party on Christopher Wallace Way on Saturday, August 17. It’s part of a four-day hip hop event. The Source360 conference and festival will kick off Thursday, August 15, at Brooklyn Borough Hall. There are events in Harlem and, of course, on the notorious Christopher Wallace Way.

The NYPL Bookmobile Library Making It’s Way Around NYC

There’s a new way to check out books from the library, and it may be pulling up to a curb near you. The Bookmobile has been the hitting the streets. The mobile libraries will travel around the borough making stops, so children can check out books even if they can’t get to a brick and mortar library location. Officials from the library say with upcoming branch closures and repairs, the need is even greater. They say it’s especially important making sure students still have access to books. The new mobile libraries will bring up to 1,000 kids and adults books at a time to curbs of not just schools, but also senior homes and community centers. The books can be returned to the van or any library branch.

Source: The Bookmobile mobile library debuts at P.S. 11 in Highbridge



Vending Machines To Replace MTA Subway Station Newsstands

Several subway stations across New York City will test out replacing their traditional newsstands with high-tech vending machines.The MTA says it had trouble filling vacant newsstands in recent years and they are not doing the same kind of business they once did. The Vending machines from CVS have popped up at Union Square and in Chambers Street on the 1, 2, 3 lines for a trial run.

The MTA will test the vending machines for two years. In some cases, the locations competing with subway storefronts like one at Union Square, are just beyond the turnstile. The machines will offer products such as travel-sized toiletries, ear buds, phone chargers and on-the-go snacks. The MTA is testing the machines as a response to a reduction in subway newsstands, the result in part of declining magazine and newspaper sales.  A third of the 248 retail spaces in the subway system are shuttered — most of those closed outposts are newsstands. Many people hope that this will bring in more revenue for a struggling transit system.

You Will Soon Need A New ID, Driver’s License In NY State

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, New Yorkers will need a new form of identification to cross the U.S. border or to fly within the country. The change is required by the federal Real ID Act, adopted in 2005, and the state Department of Motor Vehicles is warning New Yorkers to avoid common pitfalls when applying for the new IDs. Customers have three options when it comes to getting a driver license, permit, or non-driver ID in New York State.

An enhanced license (permit, or non-driver ID) is a New York State DMV issued document that you can use instead of a passport to return to the US by land or sea from Canada, Mexico and some countries in the Caribbean. New York’s EDL is compliant with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).


An enhanced license, permit or non-driver ID is Federal REAL ID compliant and is accepted to board a domestic flight (within the US), enter military bases, and certain federal facilities.

For more information, visit: WHICH ID IS RIGHT FOR ME? 

Take Your Kids To The Movies For $4 This Summer

AMC Movie Theatres are offering a special deal this summer where every Wednesday at select theaters, kids can get a movie ticket and snacks for just four dollars plus tax. It’s part of AMC’s promotion, “Summer Movie Camp,” which hosts special kid-friendly screenings of popular movies for a discounted price while school is out. The four dollars not only includes a PG movie ticket but also a carton of popcorn, a soft drink, and a box of Footi Tootis fruit snacks. The 2019 “Summer Movie Camp” will run from June 5 to August 14.

You can find the full list of participating theaters and their movie schedules on AMC’s website here. There are other ways to save on trips to the movie theater this summer, too. AMC recently announced that they’ll continue their Discounted Tuesdays program throughout 2019, where AMC Stubs members (who also get a free refill every time they order a large popcorn) can order deeply discounted movie tickets every Tuesday.