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Vanished Harlem, a blog on Spanish Harlem’s Gentrification

October 20th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Vanished Harlem, a blog on Spanish Harlem’s Gentrification

https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/vanishedharlem/

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Vanished Harlem 2014-10-20 20:49:12

October 20th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Vanished Harlem 2014-10-20 20:49:12

Trinidad “Trini” Abraham opened up the Lexington Social, East Harlem’s wine and tapas bar in 2009 with his two brothers and business partners, Justino and Miguel Abraham.

1
The outside of Lexington Social Wine Bar, on 103rd and Lexington Avenue.
The Lexington Social was the first “upscale” restaurant/wine bar to open up in the area, at the start of East Harlem’s gentrification emergence. Located on Lexington Avenue between East 103rd and 104th street, Lexington Social is home to Spanish Harlem’s largest variety of wines imported country and worldwide, with seasonal tapas served in a dimly lit, romantic setting. It’s 28 person seating gives it a charming and quaint atmosphere for a quiet night in uptown Manhattan. Smaller tables are arranged against the wall, and two communal tables are placed in the center of the restaurant, just feet away from its 10 foot wide bar with an open kitchen, and its large selection of hard liquors and beers on the wall. The walls are decorated with each type of wine they have available, a list so long it would take weeks to memorize. Lexington Harlem remains as Spanish Harlem’s only place to go for a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy exotic wines paired with delicious tapas

The Lexington Social thrives as one of Spanish Harlem’s most popular “must visit” locations according to several travel and lifestyle blogs.

http://gothamist.com/2013/08/12/a_food_drink_tour_of_spanish_harlem.php#photo-1

The patrons that frequent the cozy 28-seat wine bar are predominantly regulars to the bar, or locals in the area.

2
Trinidad Abrams, owner, stands on the side of the bar inside Lexington Social.

Abraham, who has lived in Spanish Harlem for his whole life, opened up Lexington Social in May of 2009 on Lexington Avenue between 103rd and 104th street, three blocks from the house he has lived in for almost two decades. Lexington Social’s grand opening elicited mixed reactions, as it was just one of the many sudden changes East Harlem saw in a short amount of time, in the midst of all the gentrification underway. At the same time many residents of Spanish Harlem were being evicted and displaced out of the neighborhood some have known as home their entire life, construction began on multi-million dollar condominiums. It was clear a whole new era was dawning on East Harlem. Just like the buildings and businesses, there is a clearly visible and transparent shift in the population because of gentrification too. Everyone sees it, no one denies it.

This article was posted in the New York Times in 2010, reporting on the population shift as it was happening.

Abraham, pictured below, is of Mexican descent. “Just a few years ago, it was not like this. It was mostly Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, then the Blacks, then the Asians, and then the Whites. There were not a lot of White people at all, you never saw them uptown. Now it almost half Spanish and half White.”

3
Trinidad Abrahams stands behind his bar in the Lexington Social.

Because it has become known that Spanish Harlem is now more popular of a location to live in, landlords and real estate agents are free to charge more for rent. This probably couldn’t have been able to happen five or more years ago, but they can now afford this option because If current tenants disagree with the spike in rent and choose to move out, Spanish Harlem has been such a “trendy” neighborhood on the up-and-up, that the current residents will be replaced with ease by new prospective apartment hunters eager to take their place.

http://streeteasy.com/area/east-harlem

Found in the article: “Once a strictly working class neighborhood, the area has recently seen a wave of young professionals and more affluent families who have been lured by affordable co-ops and amenity laden new condos, as well as quick access to the rest of Manhattan.”

Abraham believes the rising rent draws in one crowd, while at the same time pushing another out. Spanish Harlem borders one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Upper East Side, so those living in the 80’s and 90’s streets are moving up at a lower cost, but still staying in a neighborhood they believe is popular while still relatively cheap. “The rent is too expensive now for the poor people living here, but it’s cheaper than the rent for people living in the 90 streets a few blocks away. The rent is higher for the people living here now, so they can’t live here anymore and are moving out. But the people living downtown are moving up because the rent is still cheaper for them.”

Abraham notes that the Lexington Social’s patrons are predominantly White, so gentrification better serves his business because it caters to the population that is moving in. His restaurant, as well as many, if not all businesses found in East Harlem is one of the first things afflicted by gentrification and what gentrification entails for the fate of the neighborhood.

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Vanished Harlem 2014-10-20 20:49:12

October 20th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Vanished Harlem 2014-10-20 20:49:12

Trinidad “Trini” Abraham opened up the Lexington Social, East Harlem’s wine and tapas bar in 2009 with his two brothers and business partners, Justino and Miguel Abraham.

1
The outside of Lexington Social Wine Bar, on 103rd and Lexington Avenue.
The Lexington Social was the first “upscale” restaurant/wine bar to open up in the area, at the start of East Harlem’s gentrification emergence. Located on Lexington Avenue between East 103rd and 104th street, Lexington Social is home to Spanish Harlem’s largest variety of wines imported country and worldwide, with seasonal tapas served in a dimly lit, romantic setting. It’s 28 person seating gives it a charming and quaint atmosphere for a quiet night in uptown Manhattan. Smaller tables are arranged against the wall, and two communal tables are placed in the center of the restaurant, just feet away from its 10 foot wide bar with an open kitchen, and its large selection of hard liquors and beers on the wall. The walls are decorated with each type of wine they have available, a list so long it would take weeks to memorize. Lexington Harlem remains as Spanish Harlem’s only place to go for a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy exotic wines paired with delicious tapas

The Lexington Social thrives as one of Spanish Harlem’s most popular “must visit” locations according to several travel and lifestyle blogs.
http://gothamist.com/2013/08/12/a_food_drink_tour_of_spanish_harlem.php#photo-1
The patrons that frequent the cozy 28-seat wine bar are predominantly regulars to the bar, or locals in the area.

2
Trinidad Abrams, owner, stands on the side of the bar inside Lexington Social.

Abraham, who has lived in Spanish Harlem for his whole life, opened up Lexington Social in May of 2009 on Lexington Avenue between 103rd and 104th street, three blocks from the house he has lived in for almost two decades. Lexington Social’s grand opening elicited mixed reactions, as it was just one of the many sudden changes East Harlem saw in a short amount of time, in the midst of all the gentrification underway. At the same time many residents of Spanish Harlem were being evicted and displaced out of the neighborhood some have known as home their entire life, construction began on multi-million dollar condominiums. It was clear a whole new era was dawning on East Harlem. Just like the buildings and businesses, there is a clearly visible and transparent shift in the population because of gentrification too. Everyone sees it, no one denies it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/06/nyregion/06harlem.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
This article was posted in the New York Times in 2010, reporting on the population shift as it was happening.

Abraham, pictured below, is of Mexican descent. “Just a few years ago, it was not like this. It was mostly Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, then the Blacks, then the Asians, and then the Whites. There were not a lot of White people at all, you never saw them uptown. Now it almost half Spanish and half White.”

3
Trinidad Abrahams stands behind his bar in the Lexington Social.

Because it has become known that Spanish Harlem is now more popular of a location to live in, landlords and real estate agents are free to charge more for rent. This probably couldn’t have been able to happen five or more years ago, but they can now afford this option because If current tenants disagree with the spike in rent and choose to move out, Spanish Harlem has been such a “trendy” neighborhood on the up-and-up, that the current residents will be replaced with ease by new prospective apartment hunters eager to take their place.

http://streeteasy.com/area/east-harlem
Found in the article: “Once a strictly working class neighborhood, the area has recently seen a wave of young professionals and more affluent families who have been lured by affordable co-ops and amenity laden new condos, as well as quick access to the rest of Manhattan.”

Abraham believes the rising rent draws in one crowd, while at the same time pushing another out. Spanish Harlem borders one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Upper East Side, so those living in the 80’s and 90’s streets are moving up at a lower cost, but still staying in a neighborhood they believe is popular while still relatively cheap. “The rent is too expensive now for the poor people living here, but it’s cheaper than the rent for people living in the 90 streets a few blocks away. The rent is higher for the people living here now, so they can’t live here anymore and are moving out. But the people living downtown are moving up because the rent is still cheaper for them.”

Abraham notes that the Lexington Social’s patrons are predominantly White, so gentrification better serves his business because it caters to the population that is moving in. His restaurant, as well as many, if not all businesses found in East Harlem is one of the first things afflicted by gentrification and what gentrification entails for the fate of the neighborhood.

Tags: Uncategorized

In Between the Lines- Understanding the micro-affects of some macro-changes

October 20th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on In Between the Lines- Understanding the micro-affects of some macro-changes

Gentrification- What is it? How did it start?

Gentrification, in an attempt to summarize an entire socioeconomic trend with the potential to afflict thousands of residents within these neighborhoods into an objective single sentence, is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:

Definition of GENTRIFICATION

:  the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents
(Merriam-Webster)
Illustrating gentrification through text may capture the macro-affects it brings, such as using statistics reflecting on population, analyzing business and economic trends, and tracking visible changes to the neighborhood. But it is impossible to see the affects of gentrification on a micro-level scale, to the people who are actually afflicted by the changing neighborhood, more specifically, their changing home, unless you are an expert at that specific area and are able to reflect on the area before and after this transformation.
Gentrification was at first, an insidious speculation amongst Spanish Harlem, with minute, almost unnoticeable changes. (ie. A new restaurant, or a new bar) It wasn’t until one day, a a construction site that has been there for so long that it eventually just became a part of that block to those who saw it each day slapped a huge banner advertising a new luxury condominium building to enter the neighborhood. Soon, the tiniest snowball of one single fancy building within an entire neighborhood rolled down a hill almost as steep as the one on 102nd and Lexington. Maybe the first building posed as an experiment to see how its residents and the neighborhood would react, but its apparent success soon signaled similar additions to the neighborhood so rapidly I (someone who has lived through the changes, and saw the process of constructing what stands in Spanish Harlem today) barely had time to realize what was to happen in the forthcoming years.
The buildings, and restaurants are the only catalysts for the changes in gentrification that lie beneath the surface. The demographic has brought changes to the population living in Spanish Harlem, as well as making Spanish Harlem a trendy area of New York.
A harmless nickname
The term “SpaHa” is coined as a new nickname for Spanish Harlem.The nickname is catchy, clever, and harmless, as it abbreviates SPAnish HARlem into two syllables. The nickname follows the same fashion as popular districts such as SoHo, NoHo, all areas tourists flock to for their visits to New York, but more substantially noticeable, is the population which is predominantly Caucasian. The moniker’s origin caught on in 2010, when I specifically remember AMNY- a daily newspaper free and distributed all throughout subway stations in New York featuring an article about the rise of SpaHa as Manhattan’s fastest trending neighborhood. Pre-existing nicknames for areas in New York such as SoHo (South of Houston), DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal), are all popular locations with many sites to visit and activities that make them unique in their own way. SpaHa’s nickname being generated in 2010 reflects the changing attitude New York has about Spanish/East Harlem. This patch of land has always been rich and embedded in its Puerto Rican and Mexican roots, but it wasn’t until the luxury buildings catering to trendy and wealthy populations started popping up did New York deem us worthy to have a catchy nickname.
There were many reactions, but the one that captures the neighborhood best would be confusion.
Omar DeLeon, 32, a construction worker in Queens, is of Mexican descent, and has lived on 103rd street and 3rd avenue for over 15 years. DeLeon’s  family and many other relatives have lived in Spanish Harlem for many years as well.  “You see a nice, expensive building with lots of rich people living there next to a loosie (cigarettes sold in single amounts, “loose” cigarettes” sold illegally and without government awareness) spot. There are places up here (restaurants, bars, etc) for white people, and then there are places for all the other people (native Spanish Harlem residents). You don’t see them mixed except out on the street.” When asked what changes he thought were to continue happening to Spanish Harlem, DeLeon responded, “It’s called El Barrio (Spanish for The Neighborhood), but you don’t even see that many Spanish people around here anymore. Everything’s also getting more expensive (he gives casual examples of restaurant foods, bar drinks, supermarket groceries, deli snacks, etc..), soon its gonna be too expensive for a lot of people to live here like whats happening already, more and more people are going to get pushed out to cheaper places to live like Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx.”DeLeon spent his days as a young adult with friends in the neighborhood daily. Spanish Harlem provided him with more than just shelter at night, but it was where he found happiness amongst friends and family, lingering the local restaurants and bars as a regular and an expert on the area. His three year old daughter, Rosa, is expected to grow up in Spanish Harlem as well.
Gentrification breeding racism
Gentrifying changes to neighborhoods, not exclusive to Spanish Harlem, are often awkward because they are very visibly displaced in locations where these new sites clearly do not belong. The new buildings springing up are home to the upper class, mingling directly with families of four or more on welfare struggling to get by. Gentrification happened at such an exponential pace its hard to not see it as a ticking time bomb at times, waiting to implode. Tensions have grown out of gentrification, against moving people out of their homes to make way for the upper class, so a feeling of deep rooted resentment grows out of a feeling of injustice on behalf of the community that is being torn apart and forced to make way for a new one. Coalitions against gentrification, most notably, El Barrio Tours of Spanish Harlem have spoken out against the gentrification to the neighborhood, but from the standpoint of the residents moving into the new buildings, it can be understood as being unwanted and excluded from the community they have just moved into. The Spanish community has expressed ongoing discontent at the rise of caucasian population in their neighborhood, but an anger that originated from what was being done to the neighborhood is now being taken out on the next closest thing to the real estate corporations, big businesses, and others who are responsible for making these plans a reality, the people who have moved into the neighborhood. It will definitely be a while before parties on both sides of the gentrification lens can harmonize.

Tags: Uncategorized

In Between the Lines- Understanding the micro-affects of some macro-changes

October 20th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on In Between the Lines- Understanding the micro-affects of some macro-changes

Gentrification- What is it? How did it start?

Gentrification, in an attempt to summarize an entire socioeconomic trend with the potential to afflict thousands of residents within these neighborhoods into an objective single sentence, is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:

Definition of GENTRIFICATION

:  the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents
(Merriam-Webster)
Illustrating gentrification through text may capture the macro-affects it brings, such as using statistics reflecting on population, analyzing business and economic trends, and tracking visible changes to the neighborhood. But it is impossible to see the affects of gentrification on a micro-level scale, to the people who are actually afflicted by the changing neighborhood, more specifically, their changing home, unless you are an expert at that specific area and are able to reflect on the area before and after this transformation.
Gentrification was at first, an insidious speculation amongst Spanish Harlem, with minute, almost unnoticeable changes. (ie. A new restaurant, or a new bar) It wasn’t until one day, a a construction site that has been there for so long that it eventually just became a part of that block to those who saw it each day slapped a huge banner advertising a new luxury condominium building to enter the neighborhood. Soon, the tiniest snowball of one single fancy building within an entire neighborhood rolled down a hill almost as steep as the one on 102nd and Lexington. Maybe the first building posed as an experiment to see how its residents and the neighborhood would react, but its apparent success soon signaled similar additions to the neighborhood so rapidly I (someone who has lived through the changes, and saw the process of constructing what stands in Spanish Harlem today) barely had time to realize what was to happen in the forthcoming years.
The buildings, and restaurants are the only catalysts for the changes in gentrification that lie beneath the surface. The demographic has brought changes to the population living in Spanish Harlem, as well as making Spanish Harlem a trendy area of New York.
A harmless nickname
The term “SpaHa” is coined as a new nickname for Spanish Harlem.The nickname is catchy, clever, and harmless, as it abbreviates SPAnish HARlem into two syllables. The nickname follows the same fashion as popular districts such as SoHo, NoHo, all areas tourists flock to for their visits to New York, but more substantially noticeable, is the population which is predominantly Caucasian. The moniker’s origin caught on in 2010, when I specifically remember AMNY- a daily newspaper free and distributed all throughout subway stations in New York featuring an article about the rise of SpaHa as Manhattan’s fastest trending neighborhood. Pre-existing nicknames for areas in New York such as SoHo (South of Houston), DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal), are all popular locations with many sites to visit and activities that make them unique in their own way. SpaHa’s nickname being generated in 2010 reflects the changing attitude New York has about Spanish/East Harlem. This patch of land has always been rich and embedded in its Puerto Rican and Mexican roots, but it wasn’t until the luxury buildings catering to trendy and wealthy populations started popping up did New York deem us worthy to have a catchy nickname.
There were many reactions, but the one that captures the neighborhood best would be confusion.
Omar DeLeon, 32, a construction worker in Queens, is of Mexican descent, and has lived on 103rd street and 3rd avenue for over 15 years. DeLeon’s  family and many other relatives have lived in Spanish Harlem for many years as well.  “You see a nice, expensive building with lots of rich people living there next to a loosie (cigarettes sold in single amounts, “loose” cigarettes” sold illegally and without government awareness) spot. There are places up here (restaurants, bars, etc) for white people, and then there are places for all the other people (native Spanish Harlem residents). You don’t see them mixed except out on the street.” When asked what changes he thought were to continue happening to Spanish Harlem, DeLeon responded, “It’s called El Barrio (Spanish for The Neighborhood), but you don’t even see that many Spanish people around here anymore. Everything’s also getting more expensive (he gives casual examples of restaurant foods, bar drinks, supermarket groceries, deli snacks, etc..), soon its gonna be too expensive for a lot of people to live here like whats happening already, more and more people are going to get pushed out to cheaper places to live like Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx.”DeLeon spent his days as a young adult with friends in the neighborhood daily. Spanish Harlem provided him with more than just shelter at night, but it was where he found happiness amongst friends and family, lingering the local restaurants and bars as a regular and an expert on the area. His three year old daughter, Rosa, is expected to grow up in Spanish Harlem as well.
Gentrification breeding racism
Gentrifying changes to neighborhoods, not exclusive to Spanish Harlem, are often awkward because they are very visibly displaced in locations where these new sites clearly do not belong. The new buildings springing up are home to the upper class, mingling directly with families of four or more on welfare struggling to get by. Gentrification happened at such an exponential pace its hard to not see it as a ticking time bomb at times, waiting to implode. Tensions have grown out of gentrification, against moving people out of their homes to make way for the upper class, so a feeling of deep rooted resentment grows out of a feeling of injustice on behalf of the community that is being torn apart and forced to make way for a new one. Coalitions against gentrification, most notably, El Barrio Tours of Spanish Harlem have spoken out against the gentrification to the neighborhood, but from the standpoint of the residents moving into the new buildings, it can be understood as being unwanted and excluded from the community they have just moved into. The Spanish community has expressed ongoing discontent at the rise of caucasian population in their neighborhood, but an anger that originated from what was being done to the neighborhood is now being taken out on the next closest thing to the real estate corporations, big businesses, and others who are responsible for making these plans a reality, the people who have moved into the neighborhood. It will definitely be a while before parties on both sides of the gentrification lens can harmonize.

Tags: Uncategorized

Mission Statement and Editorial Plan

September 29th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Mission Statement and Editorial Plan

Blog mission statement

I have called the area in New York City known as Spanish or East Harlem my “home” since having a working memory. To simply call the neighborhood I took my first steps in “different” than the neighborhood I live in now, is so far of an understatement it almost seems offensive. The statement “I live in Spanish or East Harlem” did not have the same connotation ten years ago, arguably even five years ago. My goal is to have people walk past a certain restaurant, apartment building, or particular street located in Spanish Harlem and either not think of it the same way after reading my blog, or see this site for the first time and be interested in exploring after reading about its history or significance. I want to document some observations about comparing the gentrifying neighborhood seen today to its roots.

For those who have just discovered this pocket of deeply embedded culture in this new wave of popularization that comes from the gentrification thats been taking place, a lot of people may assume the neighborhood has always been the way its been. This blog will feature different posts that reflect upon different aspects of what it means to say “I live in Spanish Harlem”. On the surface, visible differences such as different buildings, parks, businesses will be explored. But what is more important to this reflection is the changes in culture, community, demographic, and what Spanish/East Harlem means to the rest of the city who don’t live or maybe have never even been here.

My blog will feature community perspectives on the changes happening to Spanish Harlem. Through communicating with people that have lived in the neighborhood since before the changes began appearing (like I have), and with new residents, I hope to get a well rounded and diverse public opinion on the gentrification concept. Using photo and video to interview business owners, residents, and even visitors, I hope to create the first blog to voice the opinion specific to Spanish Harlem on the reactions that the city has created.

My target audience focuses on anyone that has an interest in this unique and beautiful neighborhood. Through the use of text, and photographs, I hope to incite critical thinking within the readers who come across this blog, whether they have a connection to Spanish Harlem like I do, or if they have yet to set foot in the neighborhood. With those who have lived here and have seen the changes in Spanish Harlem, I hope to bring a sense of nostalgia and remind people of certain buildings that are no longer there, or make them feel like they are not the only people that remember a certain part of Spanish Harlem that resonated with them. And for those who don’t know as much about the culture and history of Spanish Harlem, I hope to bring an interest in the history of the different changes that make it what it is today.

My understanding of the changes Spanish Harlem has seen and will continue to see is that initially these changes were insidious, but still unnoticeable. But as soon as the wheels started moving in the transformation process, the changes grew exponentially. Growing up, I had to prepare myself for the walk out of a station in fear of being robbed or attacked because of a lack of safety and attention given by the city. Now, there is a cafe on the same block I’ve lived in my whole life, with overpriced coffee drinks, like on every other street in Williamsburg. This blog pays respect to both the good and the bad in the neighborhood that used to exist, as well as the one that exists today. It is important to understand the history behind anything if one wishes to understand its present state.

I am excited to revist different locations and share my knowledge of different buildings, stores, streets, and the changing community. By looking at a building, it is impossible to tell what once stood there but was transformed, but I will be featuring different memories I have of different locations within the neighborhood in regards to how it has become part of the entire gentrification movement.

The people are what bring a geographical mass of land to life, by feeding it culture and a sense of community. The term “gentrification” means different things for different people. Many factors weigh in on a person’s opinion on gentrifying a neighborhood. Real estate agents and business can see gentrification as a trendy bandwagon and profitable opportunity. Individuals seeking residence can see it as a new and exciting experience. But for those who have been a part of a neighborhood that was once neglected, now suddenly becoming popularized for all the wrong reasons, it incites outrage, frustration, and resistance. The “El Barrio Tours” movement began as a group of individuals combatting the transformations to their home and the culture in Spanish Harlem they have loved for so long. The group currently has a blog that features different group activities and events, as well as why it is so important that gentrification be stopped. My blog will not be biased against or for gentrification, but instead, will accept the changes and provide an unbiased history of interesting things that have changed throughout the years. So far, El Barrio Tours is the only blog that speaks about the changing/gentrifying neighborhood, but has no interest in promoting the new changes to the community, and are fixated on the past. My blog will be incorporating both the new and the old, as well as the good and the bad of the different eras in East Harlem’s history.

Putting all biases aside, this is still the place I live in, and the place I’ve had to learn to adapt to. I may be unable to help what happens to the neighborhood, but I can offer insight on the changing neighborhood that is unique to someone who has walked the same streets, waited at the same train station, and called the same place home for 19 years. I love this pocket of culture that is so prominent and still so visible, but the changes have also brought a sense of excitement and refreshment to see so many more people discover and love my home, even if the reasons are not necessarily the same, it is undeniable that Spanish Harlem has been put on the radar for the first time. With El Barrio Tours and the anti-gentrification groups that have started with gentrification, they understandably oppose new residents and people who see their culture as a trend. But at the end of the day, I’m excited to share my experience of living and growing up here with more people, because it is a beautiful place to see and live in. There isn’t another place on this planet that I can call home like I do for Spanish Harlem. But my home is different now, for better and for worse, and I hope to share the process of transformation and changes that I’ve had the privilege of experiencing and have the knowledge to reflect on.

EDITORIAL PLAN-
OVERVIEW

Types of Content:

A different establishment will be featured in each post, all with its each unique significance to the community, and the neighborhood’s history. As a life long East Harlem resident, not many other blogs can offer the same type of insight that can only come with seeing changes to the community over the 19 years I’ve had a working memory. The same streets I have walked to the train station may have been the same geographically, but could not have seen a more rapid transition due to the city’s plans for gentrifying the neighborhood. Each post to this blog will show a certain building, establishment, or street that can be visited today, but will be contrasted to my memory of what stood there previously. The blog will also feature the visible changes and plans that are currently underway to further alter the neighborhood, that speak directly on the inevitable transformation to Spanish Harlem. I hope to represent the culture that this neighborhood is founded on, while at the same time, reflect on the changes seen within the past decade (since the idea of gentrification was first introduced to the neighborhood).

The posts made on this blog will feature picture with text, but I also hope to add occasional video of the neighborhood, offering a visual tour of the community and its people. As a video editor and shooter for the past three years, I am so excited to show readers the place I grew up in, and the place I live in now, and be able to reflect on the differences between two ends of the spectrum. The videos I hope to create will give a tour as well as interviews with people on changes in the neighborhood, from both new residents and people who have been in the neighborhood before all these changes started appearing exponentially.

Number of Updates:
Posting will be frequent, as there are so many different businesses, streets, and buildings that have come and gone within the past few years. My goal is to update the blog with:

2 pieces of photo and text per week, featuring a different building/street/area of spanish harlem to be discussed in context of gentrification.
1 interview with a resident/business owner per week, varying in photo and video
1 EDITED video of a street in Spanish Harlem, giving a visual tour of the neighborhood.

Multimedia Reporting:
By using photo and video to capture the visible changes to the community, I want to give readers a visual tour of the neighborhood. Interviews will also be conducted with locals within the area, which will be done using photo and video.

Recurring Content:
Each week will feature a different person being interviewed on the neighborhood. This section of the blog will vary in the type of people interviewed and the role they play within the community, such as residents, business owners, real estate agents, etc…

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Spanish Harlem Photo Slideshow

September 29th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Spanish Harlem Photo Slideshow

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1OHfICtZKd34SYq8F6dabO_R9NH4iqNF1YdXfvr8BpcI/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000

This slideshow features a series of photographs capturing Spanish Harlem in the midst of the gentrification and changes to the community as they are still underway. Many establishments that have had their doors closed several years ago still look the exact same, leaving remnants of what used to be bustling businesses and housed many tenants. Spanish Harlem has witnessed exponential changes to the neighborhood within the past decade, and will continue to develop into a “new Williamsburg”, with a changing demographic.

Tags: Uncategorized

Spanish Harlem Photo Slideshow

September 29th, 2014 Written by | 2 Comments

This slideshow features a series of photographs capturing Spanish Harlem in the midst of the gentrification and changes to the community as they are still underway. Many establishments that have had their doors closed several years ago still look the exact same, leaving remnants of what used to be bustling businesses and housed many tenants. Spanish Harlem has witnessed exponential changes to the neighborhood within the past decade, and will continue to develop into a “new Williamsburg”, with a changing demographic.

Tags: Uncategorized

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