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The Suburbanization of Harlem

City Limits takes a look at a new book about the suburbanization of Manhattan, the affects of which are most noticeable in Harlem.

“If suburbanization – or globalization – threatens the city,” writes Sorkin, “the main danger comes not from the physical side of the equation, the introduction of specific alien architectures from suburbia – big boxes, ranch houses, shopping malls, etc. – but from the content side, which has proven adaptable enough to remain independent of the constraints of its setting.”

Take 125th Street in Harlem, for example. At one time it was the cultural and political heart of the African diaspora, teeming with street vendors selling wares to locals. Now, in the eyes of many of its older residents, it’s looking and feeling more and more like a traditional suburban mall. But it’s not because the streetscape has been leveled or the building types altered.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton designated the area an economic “empowerment zone,” which paved the way for outside corporate investment, according to another contributor, urban anthropologist Robin Kelley. In October of that year, Mayor Giuliani forcibly removed all the “illegal” street vendfocuseast-mapfinal.jpgors – many of them immigrants from West Africa and the Caribbean. Later, Magic Johnson’s multiplex theater moved in on one end of the street, while a major supermarket took up residence on the other. Sorkin gives us a map, and the 2007 result truly does conform to the commercial model of a traditional mall – a strip with anchor stores at either end and a whole host of brand-name stores such as Footlocker, the Gap and Starbucks filling the space in-between. Sorkin goes so far as to compare the subway stops to mall entrances.

But, again, why should we care? Why not chalk it up to the inevitable price of success?

The obvious answer, of course, is that most longtime residents won’t be able to afford to live there much longer. In 2002, the Village Voice reported that a person would have to earn $90,000 per year in order to afford what, in the new Harlem market, is considered moderate-income housing. And with new luxury condos on the way, the market doesn’t show signs of slowing. But the less obvious answer is that over the long run even those who can afford it won’t want to live there anymore. They won’t want to live in a neighborhood that’s not really a neighborhood, where homes are little more than investments and the local businesses come and go with the vicissitudes of a capricious global market.

Perhaps the strongest link between the suburbs and the recently remade commercial strips like 125th Street and 42nd Street is the emphasis on branding. But the brands go far beyond the products in chain stores, or even the chain stores themselves. In today’s marketing world they can encompass whole neighborhoods and cities. For instance, if you read “Suburban Nation,” the 2001 handbook of the wildly influential New Urbanist movement, you’ll find a lot stress being put on the way things appear: a street that “gives the impression” of intimacy, a neighborhood that “seems” safe, a town that “feels like” a community. This is because images and impressions can be controlled, repackaged and sold much more easily than the real thing. Harlem may still be far away from the Disney-built, -owned and -operated community of Celebration, Florida, but its “history” and “culture” are definitely already being marketed in a similar way.

Read the whole article here.

Note: Welcome NYMag readers! [NYMAG]

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30 comments on “The Suburbanization of Harlem

  1. dasit
    March 14, 2007

    Number 27/28, you seem like a well-meaning person and your questions are legitimate. I think in order to bring balance to a discussion one does have an obligation to also be informed. Some of your questions have been addressed in excruciating detail by many critical race theory intellectuals. If you’re honestly interested in learning, I’m sure members of this community can suggest basic, background texts for you to read. For example, to address this questions — “Am I supposed to feel an affinity towards white Americans based on the color of my skin?” — I’d recommend Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum. It’s an insightful book that explores the topic of white skin privilege (including “whiteness” as a property right in the US) in a way that I find is more palatable/less threatening to white folks than some others. There, you’ll find lots of background concerning why blackfolks find it beneficial (yet difficult) to band together in this society. You’ll also find an explanation about why what seems to you like a “lack of affinity” is actually just an outward expression of the privileges you’re accorded in this country simply by moving through the world in the skin you’re in. Happy reading!

  2. Hugo
    March 13, 2007

    #26 I’d like to just say that those things you mentioned do exist in Harlem. I grew up around drug dealers and can tell about the times I saw people get shot but a few feet away from me. But these things are just as appalling and a thorn to native harlem residents as it is to you. These are the by-products of ignorant and careless individuals who don’t care for the area they live in. It is an ugly but real side of Harlem. And despite your remarks Harlem is filled with a rich sense of history and pride. It is simply not the part you have been exposed to.

    #28 I would first like to say that your situation is quite unfortunate. Given your experience I certainly understand your ambivalence in the matter. Racists exist everywhere, even among black and hispanics. I personally am latino and even I experienced racist remarks from other latinos and blacks. However, it is something I came to understand as a result of closed minds and uneducated individuals.

    I would like to clarify something and it’s that when we refer to “black-owned” business es we mean locally owned business. It just happens that the local demographics in Harlem is comprised of blacks/latinos. And in promoting minority ownwed we’re stressing the fact that the money coming into harlem should benefit the people of harlem. I would also like to add that I agree that there have been many cultures that have come through harlem and moved on. And their history is no less important than those of the current residents. The difference is that those waves of people moved out because their socioeconomic make-up improved and saw it fit to move on to better neighborhoods. It was an issue of upward mobility. In this case when we refer to the suburbanization of harlem it is the act of forcing out the current demographic make up by means economic forces that make it unaffordable to live in neighborhood.

  3. anon
    March 13, 2007

    Before I start, I’d just like to clarify that I am a white European. There are people who will claim I don’t know what I’m talking about, and some that will tell me to go back to where I came from, based on that. Perhaps I can offer a more balanced, if less informed opinion.

    When I first came to New York, I moved into an apartment in Harlem, for the simple reason that it was the first place that I viewed that was available, and within my budget. I was living in a glorified homeless shelter since getting off the plane, and after 2 weeks of searching for something better, Harlem happened to be the place.

    Since I moved here, I’ve been called names, which don’t mean so much to me as I’d never heard them before. I’ve seen that black people are just as capable of racist comments as anyone else.

    There are people who tell me I could move to a white neighborhood in the outer boros for the same rent. There aren’t any neighborhoods specific to my country and identity. Am I supposed to feel an affinity towards white Americans based on the color of my skin?

    Forgive me if I don’t understand the logic behind promoting “black owned” businesses. I shop at a variety of stores, and would prefer to, but don’t always, shop at independantly owned businesses, as a half-hearted anti-capitalist. The race of the owner makes no difference to me.

    Harlem has seen different waves of population that have inhabited it since the Dutch, so why should things be different now? Is any one group of people in Harlem’s history more important that the others? I’m sure they would all say so.

    When people talk about Harlem losing it’s identity as an entirely black area, it sounds to me like promoting the voluntary segregation of people into areas of a city based on race. Is that something to aspire to? Isn’t diversity healthy? It seems like the problems of racism, that America tries to sweep under the carpet, can’t be dealt with if people do their best to avoid different people and opinions.

  4. anon
    March 13, 2007

    Before I start, I’d just like to clarify that I am a white European. There are people who will claim I don’t know what I’m talking about, and some that will tell me to go back to where I came from, based on that. Perhaps I can offer a more balanced, if less informed opinion.

    When I first came to New York, I moved into an apartment in Harlem, for the simple reason that it was the first place that I viewed that was available, and within my budget. I was living in a glorified homeless shelter since getting off the plane, and after 2 weeks of searching for something better, Harlem happened to be the place.

    Since I moved here, I’ve been called names, which don’t mean so much to me as I’d never heard them before. I’ve seen that black people are just as capable of racist comments as anyone else.

    There are people who tell me I could move to a white neighborhood in the outer boros for the same rent. There aren’t any neighborhoods specific to my country and identity. Am I supposed to feel an affinity towards white Americans based on the color of my skin?

    Forgive me if I don’t understand the logic behind promoting “black owned” businesses. I’m sure someone will explain. I shop at a variety of stores, and would prefer to, but don’t always, shop at independently owned businesses, as a half-hearted anti-capitalist. The race of the owner makes no difference to me.

    Harlem has seen different waves of population that have inhabited it since the Dutch, so why should things be different now? Is any one group of people in Harlem’s history more important that the others? I’m sure they would all say so.

    When people talk about Harlem losing it’s identity as an entirely black area, it sounds to me like promoting the voluntary segregation of people into areas of a city based on race. Is that something to aspire to? Isn’t diversity healthy? It seems like the problems of racism, that America tries to sweep under the carpet, can’t be dealt with if people do their best to avoid different people and opinions.

  5. anon
    March 11, 2007

    >In 10-20 years all that will be left is a
    >vestige of what was once the cauldron of a
    >rich african american culture and all its
    >beauty.

    HAHAHA. Romanticised crap. That “Harlem Renaissance” was what, 75 years ago? So what, praytell, differentiates Harlem from say, The Bronx, these days? What makes it so special?

    Here’s a word for ya: crack. Dogshit on the sidewalk from the thugs walking their pitballs – ‘cuz it ain’t ‘gangsta’ to clean up after your dog. Reggaeton blasting everywhere; the cops don’t care. That’s Harlem. Yeah, SAVE HARLEM!@#$!@# Whoop-de-do.

    The only color that matters in this world is green. Everything else is a diversion for suckers.

  6. ac
    March 9, 2007

    dasit-you make a great point. actually you make TWO great points. the first is that harlem is full of middle/upper middle class black people who already own, shop, invest in the hood. so it’s not like harlem will ever go completly white (at least that’s my hopeful thinking). and second–i personally shop at those places too—and to be honest i LIKE shopping at those places. i love H&M and i couldnt be happier they moved in. and it’s not like they replaced someone locally that was offering the same service. where else in harlem was i going to find cheap, trendy clothes before they showed up?

    so am i to blame for stripping harlem of what makes it great? or is there room for both?

  7. dasit
    March 9, 2007

    You think of “dirty looks” as racism? Think again. Racism = Prejudice + Institutionalized Power.

    Anyway, I do shop the chain stores (MAC, Aerosoles, Old Navy, H&M, etc.) on 125th but, in my experience, I rarely see whitefolks in these places. For example, it’s only been in the last year that the New York Sports Club has been so chock full of whitefolks. During the previous 5 years, NYSC was primarily — and robustly — full of blackfolks. To me, that supports the notion that there is actually a more sizeable population of blackfolks who can and will stay in the area and support commerce there than the article may want us to believe. It’s this part . . .

    “[E]ven those who can afford it won’t want to live there anymore. They won’t want to live in a neighborhood that’s not really a neighborhood, where homes are little more than investments and the local businesses come and go with the vicissitudes of a capricious global market.”

    . . . that I find very telling. Anybody else think this is potentially stereotyping what we actually want and expect from our own community?

  8. anon
    March 9, 2007

    #20, “You think of racism and images of slave ships”

    No, not in this century or the last, I think of racism as an area of predominantly one color, when a person of different color arrives he may hear racial slurs thrown in his direction, given dirty looks, made to feel unwelcome, told that the area is lessened by his presence, should go back to where he cam from, stick with his own type etc etc.

    This sound like some southern redneck town we should be ashamed of.

    Unfortunately this is Harlem 2007, we should be ashamed of it.

  9. Pingback: The Stoop: The Suburbanization of Harlem « UPTOWN flavor

  10. Anonygirl
    March 9, 2007

    Lpcon – I addressed the statement in the first comment that said….Everyone’s to blame right on up to the Churches focused on tourist dollars denying seats to life long members for that Japanese/European tourist. I’ve seen this first hand at Butts very own church.

    As for Butts being a slumlord, that is what the papers make him out to be. It goes with being in the public eye.

    Plus, there are a lot of white people who are slum lords, but are they dragged through the papers like that? Not really.

    Now…besides that ONE beautiful article that was posted, do you know of the positive things that he has done in the community?

    Granted, most don’t. A lot of people go by what is posted in the papers and by word of mouth and not by what is fact. That is just they way we function as humans. It is like the telephone game, by the time the message gets to you, what was the original statement? You will never know.

  11. Hugo
    March 9, 2007

    It seems to me that those commentators who have tried to explain the suburbanization of harlem as a product of economic development independent of class or race disparity do so because racism is truely a ugly phenomenon in our society. You think of racism and images of slave ships dockiing on US ports, waves of blacks being blasted with water hoses, and Rodney King being pounded on by white cops comes to mind. And who would like to associate themselves to that. The face of racial and class discrimation may have taken on many incarnations but the spirit of it remains quite intact. It’s just become politically incorrect to stand by it. It’s moved from the street corners to the livingrooms. The suburbanization/ gentrification of harlem is not an abstract occurrence. It is quite concrete.

    in the past neighborhoods such as harlem and washington heights have had many minority groups pass by and move on because they have improved themselves (Jews, greeks, irish). What is occuring here though is that a group is slowly being pushed out because they cannot afford to live here anymore.

    And what happens is that you have non-hispanic whites moving saying…”hey it’s not my fault. we’re just following market prices.” and that’s because they have no attachment to race and class problems we’re facing. you will see drones of non-hispanic whites protest against the G8, sweatshops abroad, the war, etc. You will never see them protesting against disparate wages between black and white men/women of equal competence. You will not see them protest against slumlords who indirectly drive out low-income tenants by refusing to make repairs and allow the slow dilapidation of their homes. Why? Because these issues are close to home and would directly affect their lives whereas external issues such as sweatshops and G8 have little to no bearing on their day to day lives. That is somewhat hyprocritical.

    There is no smoking gun solution to this issue of suburbanization. All we can do is peel away at the issue But to say that race is a non-issue in this matter is just as ignorant. The proper way to build a community is from within. Improving the educational infrastructure, educating the people on strengthening personal finance, and providing employment which empowers the individual. This drives economic development from the inside out. In 10-20 years all that will be left is a vestige of what was once the cauldron of a rich african american culture and all its beauty.

  12. anon
    March 9, 2007

    18 “updates on cool things”? so according to you the whole Columbia U. – West Harlem “take over” should not be discussed or addressed on Uptown Flavor?

    Just admit it, you’re uncomfortable with accepting the suburbanization of Harlem is inseperable from the homogenization of Harlem which all equates to the dilution and demise of Harlem as being culturally significant going forward.

    Scandanavians, Jews, Blacks, and the new steward of Harlem is $100K+ earners side by side with the welfare class and their high density in Harlem. Ah yes, lovely times ahead, we should all get along just dandy.

  13. anon
    March 8, 2007

    the problem with you is that you are talking in white/black terms. like there are no other races. #16 is saying, look, there are lots of people of lots of different races and cultures in this city, and they dont all get the same chances that white people get, but they overcome through hard work and not dwelling on the eniquities. but you keep coming back to black and white—so you two will continue talking a different language. and the rest of us who come to this website for updates on cool things happening in our hood will have to suffer through more of this bullshit. enough. go back to curbed.

  14. Anon
    March 8, 2007

    16, what you’re poorly educated on is the long term
    ramifications of the disenfranchisement of a people
    and their culture. The immigrants of the last 30
    – 40 years were allowed to keep their culture and family in
    tact. Makes a hell of a lot of difference, their are
    books on this subject, whole courses you can take at
    colleges and universities of the effects of
    disenfranchising people of their language, religion,
    family, completely deconstructing the people. Yes this
    last hundreds of years….

    The White man does a great job at destroying a Culture.
    Just take a look at the state of Native Americans. However
    I won’t go into that but I am sure white folks don’t believe
    they have any historical culpability in the state of Native
    Americans. The mentality of the white man, he’s never
    harmed or damaged anyone…right?

    Your response is part of the
    ignorance of white people. You think it’s an even playing
    field and _nothing_ is about race. Sure, right, gotcha!

    It’s always about race, always has been, always will be.

  15. anon
    March 8, 2007

    #15, your right, life is not fair, we are not all dealt an equal hand.

    I will give you an example of not being dealt an equal hand, many immigrants come here, cannot speak the language, let alone understand the culture. These folks start businesses, send their kids to school, work long hours. I suspect the new hardware store on 125th has this story behind it at some point in this families American history.

    What is really unfair is a culture of blame where people do not even try.

  16. Anon
    March 8, 2007

    13 & 14 failures? Connection with the real world. Ever heard of the term “redlining”? When it was happening everyone and their mother denied it was happening.

    Today, right now a Black person on Wall Street makes about 80%-85% the same dollar of a White person. To deny this or assert other factors are at play producing this reality is absurd. It’s about _race_.

    It does not matter if I make $1M when the White person who did comparable work received $1.2M. This happens in all sectors of corporate NYC. Any accomplished distinguished Black professional of age 40+ knows Black peers who’ve had to sue their employer for discrimination. I know 5 Black people that have done this (and won settling out of court) against law firms and i banks.

    It never stops being about “race”, especially in NYC. In 30 years history will look back on Harlem 2000-2010 and note the historic warehousing of buildings miraculously stopped (though it happened for decades).

    There are all sorts of constructs and factors at work producing a disadvantaged & exploitive playing field for Black Harlem. White folks are just not comfortable acknolwedging and coming to terms with it. Even if it’s something as simply as policing services. Police looked the other way on all sorts of crimes in Harlem for decades (it was Black on Black). Now? Police are stopping people for J-walking in Harlem.

    13 and 14 want to claim that nothing about the Suburbanization of Harlem has anything to do with race?

    Oh yeah, and Blacks are paid on par with Whites, we don’t get pulled over for driving expensive cars and the security guard at Barney’s does not eyeball me more & follow when I walk in.

    It’s always, always, always about race, everywhere, including with the Suburbanization of Harlem.

    It’s very difficult for White folks to see and accept how they are privileged in getting a loan to buy a home, or even renting a home. They simply refuse to believe the world is not fair.

    I am not complaining, I am just calling it for what it is, deal with it.

  17. anon
    March 8, 2007

    #13, I agree

    For #12, it is NOT all about race, it is all about blaming economic failure on racism.

    The term “ethnic cleansing” demonstrates more of the blame mentality.

    Maybe should be replaced with “economic failure cleansing”.

  18. anon
    March 8, 2007

    #12 if the business was successful and served the changing needs of the community, they would be able to afford rising rents. that hardware store you are talking about is not a huge chain store with tons of capitol to force out the black man. it’s a family owned store with one other outlet in manhattan. so why can they afford the rising rents but black owned businesses cannot? or are you suggesting that landlords are not renting to black owned businesses and forcing them out but giving a break to any one but black owners? they are part of some grand conspiracy?

    throughout new york small business owners are being forced out by big chain retailers. on every street, on every corner. you being convinced that it has to do with RACE and not economics actually isolates you from the larger movement to stop this march of the coorporate boxes into new york.

  19. Anon
    March 8, 2007

    10 “James” I assume is White and European based on his spelling of neighborhood. 7 is simply does not know much and lacks any real cultural knowledge.

    To the comments of 7, Those black people and their dollars being spent (as you say) are exiting the community instantly with these chains and not circulating in Harlem. You lack an understanding of economics and community development to understand the impact of that. That is what is killing Black Harlem.

    Research Jewish, Chinese, Korean, etc. communities and you’ll learn those dollars circulate within the community 6 – 7 times before exiting enriching the community.

    My people, Black folks, easily take their eye off the ball. The “suburbanization” of Harlem is part of the “ethnic cleansing” of Harlem of Black people. I am dead serious.

    I understand you White folks and poorly educated and informed Blacks “won’t get it”. However it’s indisputable to the astute, educated, and historically informed.

    Example: I used to spend my dollars on hardware items with a Black owned Hardware shop on 125th, a woman owned it, many here will be familiar with her and know it. Well she could not afford the new lease and is gone, vanished, erased, or “cleansed” from 125th St. She had been there for a very long time. The dollar I spent with her circulated in Harlem a few times with employees, etc. before it left.

    Now who gets my dollar? That middle eastern or East Asian Mushati (sic) Hardware store now there? That dollar leaves Harlem in a nanosecond, she does not hire Harlem residents, etc.

    You can take this model and apply it to every Black retailer that’s been priced out of Harlem. This is one example of economic ethnic cleansing, one less Black owned business.

    In a nutshell this is how it works. Every retail chain store displaces a formerly Black owned/operated retailer (more or less in a nutshell). Spread this model over a decade and soon all the Black owned business will be cleansed and 125th St. will look like 14th St.

    The point? There are ramifications, a rippling effect with the suburbanization of Harlem. It’s part (and a significant part) of the overall ethnic cleansing of Harlem (of Black folks).

    Harlem had a high % of Black owned business in 1970 and it’s been going downhill ever since and paralleling that is Harlem’s cultural significance and place in Black Culture.

    I understand you White folks don’t care about this, it’s all about amenities right? Of course. It all depends on your lens, how you view Harlem, what Harlem means to you.

    I’m a Black person that can’t separate the suburbanization of Harlem from the Black cultural demise and or what is sheer, outright, and blatant “ethnic cleansing” (American style on an economic level).

    White people have a “guilt” and and don’t want to couple the economic transition in Harlem with race. They want to say “it’s about economics, not race”.

    Folks, it’s always about race. Well educated Black people know this. 7 figure Black folks on the Street will tell you that, in America, no matter where you went to school or how distinguished you are, it’s always about race, believe me.

  20. Lpcon
    March 8, 2007

    9, Do you have an excuse or defense for Butts being a Harlem SLUM LORD?

    You read the papers don’t you? This was well documented a couple of months ago. Please, don’t come here and hold up Butts as if he’s some kind of role model free of criticism.

    The man may be many things, but one thing he also is, is a well documented negligent landlord in Harlem, deal with it.

  21. James
    March 7, 2007

    “So please don’t blame whitey because black people like convenience.”

    Finally someone has some sense. There is a reason why the price of the neighbourhood has got up. The neighbourhood is now more convenient and improving as the days go by. Simple supply and demand. You can’t have development without the price going up. Call it gentrification or suburbanation all you want, but you railing against the wind.

  22. Anonygirl
    March 7, 2007

    To poster #1, as a member of the Abysinnian Baptist Church, which I am going to assume you may have visited once or twice…if you knew of Butts’ philosophy you would know that he doesn’t cater to the tourist/european visitors. He is a firm believer that his parishioners come first. What most people don’t realize is that the church has two services a 9am and an 11am service. Due to the convenience of the 9am service, meaning that we get out normally by 10:30, the majority of the members go to that service…and might I add is where the majority of the money that runs the church comes from. Those visitors that dominate the seats at the 11am service are there because there are free seats. Get your facts straight on that one before you knock Butts in the head.

  23. Hugo
    March 7, 2007

    I have to say that there is a bitter sweet taste for those of us who are native to Harlem and have seen the landscape be dressed over with the franchises and anchor stores. On the one hand you are happy because even though these businesses are a result of outside or “external” investors it is money invested in Harlem. That means that jobs are available to the community. There are tax incentives and revenues which directly help the neighborhood. At the same time the price-per-square foot of commercial and residential real estate has risen exponentially. It’s hard to measure the longterm impact with just a snapshot.

    The article mentioned that in order to afford to live in the new harlem you’d have to earn 90K which was quite disconcerting. It implied that those who could not afford it would be washed away with the tide of change. This is true. I do not agree though that those who can afford it would not want to live there because of a lack of community. This is where the new york city differs from many other living frameworks. It is in fact the ability to afford a place that is the main impetus for a person to choose where to live in the city. A sense of community or neighborhood is a distant second in the order of priorities.
    It should be noted that this issue of suburbanization or globalization is a city wide phenomenon. We just feel the impact in a specific way because of the specific dynamic of our neighborhood.

  24. girlyFace
    March 7, 2007

    If you walk into any of those chain stores on 125th, they’ll full of black shoppers. So please don’t blame whitey because black people like convenience.

    thank you.

  25. Crawford
    March 7, 2007

    I don’t understand the previous posters. Why do chain stores and white people = suburban? There are plenty of nonwhites in suburbs and plenty of chain stores in cities.

    From my perspective, Harlem is getting more diverse, both demographically and in terms of retail options. Diversity in both spheres is generally a good ingredient for successful urban neighborhoods.

  26. anon
    March 7, 2007

    the article wasnt talking about harlem, it was talking about new york, using harlem as ONE example. so it wasnt about color.

    since when are the suburbs all white anyway?

  27. Lpcon
    March 7, 2007

    3, can you honestly discuss the suburbanization of Harlem without also noting the demographic shift and transition of the inhabitants that parallels that of the retail stores.

    The faces of Harlem will soon be that of Suburbia, as its Blackness further dilutes and it becomes homogenized in character and feel with the rest of NYC.

    Counter this with Chinatown, on the cultural & demographic upswing for the Chinese and they’ve basically taken over Little Italy and it’s now called Chitaly (which they will swallow in whole in another decade).

    Ever entertain out of town guest who’ve not been here in 10 years? They’re shocked by seeing a Starbucks and all the suburbia retail and all the white people. The two are interlocked when discussing the suburbinization of Harlem

  28. anon
    March 7, 2007

    not that i disagree, but i dont think the writer meant the “whitening” of new york. he was talking about a city wide issue, and as we all know the entire city is filled with white people…

  29. Lpcon
    March 7, 2007

    Pathmark, Footlocker, Modells, Old Navy McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts,Payless Shoes, Marshalls, to name a few and lots and lots of white people.

    “Suburbanization”? Do you really have to ask? There are white folks walking their damn dogs and pushing their baby strollers on Lenox Avenue ya’ll (and ain’t afriad) Hell has frozen over!

  30. Anonymous
    March 6, 2007

    Black culture died in Harlem in the late 90’s, the Schomborg Center should up and move to Brooklyn, DC, Atlanta. Everyone’s to blame right on up to the Churches focused on tourist dollars denying seats to life long members for that Japanese/European tourist. I’ve seen this first hand at Butts very own church. There’s been a void and that’s how you explain a Mormon church, a church that told Black people there were inferior and unwelcomed a couple of decades ago build the newest plushest Church in dead center of Harlem?

    How in the hell does that happen? If Malcom X or MLK came back and saw that + all this N word used here and there they would say, “what happend”?

    Harlem has always been occupied for a term and that’s it. The Scandanavians had it for a while, the Jews had it, the Blacks had it…and the exodus of Black commenced in the late 90’s. The only Black cultural influence out of Harlem is the “Chicken Noodle Soup” dance and “Harlem Shake”. Congratulations.

    Harlem’s dead. Black culture in America is far more influence by Black folks in Brooklyn, Atlanta, Chicago, LA, etc.

    People hold onto nostalgic notions, that’s it. Talk to anyone 50+ from Harlem and they’ll tell you Black Harlem is on it’s death bed (from what it was). Everything changes, do the research and you’ll learn the 15th Congressional district is majority Hispanic/Latino, not African American.

    Going forward it’s only getting worse. Soon a Black person in Harlem will be nostalgic, kind of like The Cotton Club. Black Harlem is dead and it’s going to look silly with the Schomborg surround by Hispanic and White folks.

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This entry was posted on March 6, 2007 by in Business/Finance.
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