Posts Tagged: Harlem

Brand Evolves

The New York Times nervously ponders the evolution of a Harlem, a neighborhood whose core now has fewer black residents "than at any time since [Charles] Rangel was first elected in 1970" and is now eleven percent white.

More than ever, Harlem is less a clearly identified voting bloc than an idea. A brand. … Viewed from on top of those tour buses, Harlem is banking on a future tied to its legacy. Its currency is authenticity, a term that Harlem stakeholders added to their conversations as though pouring hot sauce and syrup over an order of chicken and waffles.

Leaving aside the problem with this imagery, [...]


Bobby Robinson, 1917-2011

"I record things that touch me. And I try to record them pure, 100 percent, no water added." —Bobby Robinson died Friday. His record store, Bobby's Happy House, was one of the first black-owned businesses on 125th Street in Harlem. His record label, Enjoy!, was one of the first businesses anywhere to sell rap music.


Is the Internet Dying? Let’s Go to the Cemetery and Pick Out a Tombstone

On a recent five-star November afternoon, I decided to visit Trinity Church Cemetery in northern Harlem. Starting at the plateau on Amsterdam Avenue and 154th Street, I followed the winding paths down through a kaleidoscope of autumn leaves and crumbling crypts, which, glowing in the western sun, appeared almost transitory. As one tends to do in cemeteries, I contemplated the end of all things. Lately, I had heard murmurs about “the death” of the internet, and though inclined to dismiss such speculation as a form of insipid nostalgia that often clings to any recollection of the past—and really, what is the internet if not an infinite collection of memories?—I [...]


The United Church of Deliverance

"If I had the money I spent on drugs and alcohol, I would buy this building, remodel it, and then take everyone here on a cruise," Senior Pastor Carrie McEachern told her congregation of about a dozen. Sometimes she shouts so loud that the PA system becomes redundant. "I enjoy that cocaine that goes up my nose, but the Devil doesn't talk about the consequences!" she said.

McEachern is a small woman with a large presence. That day she wore a navy-blue dress with matching blazer and a black bob wig somewhat in the style of Supremes-era Diana Ross. During worship music, McEachern bangs a tambourine against her hip. [...]


Chef Gets His Knives Out

"He has entirely bought into the establishment idea that table clothes, square plates, and stars define an objectively good restaurant. The value system he applies to Harlem is not one the community has ever accepted, and frankly, the rest of New York’s neighborhoods and food scenes are rejecting it as well. While the rest of us are busy winning over New York City with fistfuls of cilantro, funny glasses, and raw dining rooms, Marcus is up in Harlem plowing for the old guard—trying to carve out a new market for an outdated sensibility. He’s importing a concept on its last legs and trying to convince Harlem it’s new and [...]