Reality Bites: Gentrification Is Changing The Face of NYC

Harlem_Starbucks-448x369Photo Credit: sosoactive.com, Julie Glassberg

New York City is undergoing a variety of changes. A lot of it has to do with gentrification, the intentional shift of an urban community. The shift is designed to benefit the rich, bring more businesses into the community, and accommodate the increasing property value. Brooklyn has been 360’d by gentrification and the changes continue to happen. Not only is Brooklyn going through changes but now Harlem is caught up in the ‘Gentrified Mix’ too.

According to the New York Times, Harlem is getting ready to change significantly. The one-time mecca for Black American history and culture is attracting a new kind of resident. It seems that blacks are no longer the majority and that number will continue to decline in the coming years. The change in a variety of Harlem hotspots is evident and some people can only watch it happen. Trying to live in Harlem is becoming an economic hardship for some, forcing people to move. Community businesses are feeling the hit as well. Big companies are coming in, forcing high rents and less revenue. Harlem landmarks like Lenox Lounge are closing their doors due to high rents and the inability to pay.

While residents fight to keep Harlem rich in black culture and history, it is a struggle that is being lost daily. According to the Census stats, only 672 non-Hispanic whites lived in Harlem. That number has more than tripled with almost 14,000 recorded 5 years ago. Like Brooklyn, it will be interesting to see how this whole Harlem ‘gentrification’ thing plays out. Check out the full New York Times article here.

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