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By Greg B.
The Apollo Theatre was once the mecca of up and coming talent in New York for many years. During the early years that the theater existed it found itself flanked by the matured state of the Harlem Renaissance, and the flourishing art, poetry and musical influence.
Back then the only businesses you saw in close proximity to the Apollo were African American owned mom and pop joints. But today if you venture to Harlem for a historical rendezvous you are likely to believe you drove to the wrong area. Today, the Apollo is surrounded by corporate America, in a literal sense. First, there is a major reinvigoration of people to the area, most of which are not indigenous to Harlem. The area itself, is the victim or victor in a gentrification process that has seen many old residents priced out of the area and new ones who are welcomed in by the army of retailers. From Red Lobster, to Old Navy to The Gap, corporations have made the trek to Harlem in order to serve the new customers the area created.
In most urban communities around the U.S. we have seen this repeated many times over; generally an area will go through a process of urban living for all the under 30 crowd. Typically these young professionals want to live closer to the city; where they seek to work and play. Harlem serves the same purpose as other communities, albeit no other place has the Apollo theatre to anchor such a movement.
But, don’t fret about the Apollo, sure you will not see the likes of Lauren Hill, James Brown, or the Jackson 5 rubbing the lucky tree, but you will still be delighted to enjoy the historic value the theatre offers, and a retro look at history in motion and a city moving forward.
Source NY Daily News
Chime In, have you visited Harlem lately?
Greg B., is a financial professional and native Ohioan who is the writer here. I am an avid reader, coffee connoisseur and dog lover. Follow me on Twitter @love2edify.