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Frederick Douglass Blvd. Anointed as Harlem's New Hot Spot

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The Times profiled a slice of Harlem along Frederick Douglas Boulevard, unofficially anointing it as the next best neighborhood (something that the paper already did back in 2009, and the Daily News did in 2010 and this summer). The boulevard, "once isolated by blight and neglect," is the northern counterpart to Central Park West, and in recent years, has seen a boom of new restaurants and residential developments (thanks in large part to Columbia's Manahttanville expansion), the tell-tale signs of gentrification. The neighborhood demographic is changing as well. The latest census data shows that household income rose by 67 percent. Additionally, the number of African Americans declined from 81 percent to 64 percent, while the number of whites increased from 6 percent to 20 percent. And, as the Times says, the area "now skews young and trendy."

Of course, people are both happy and sad about all of this. "We need to find a balance," says the owner of a two-year-old beer garden, who opened the place because "every other borough had one." He now owns another new cafe across the street, which is filled with "laptops, white mugs and a few baby strollers." A longtime Harlem resident sang the same refrain we hear in every gentrifying 'hood: "I don't want it to become a place where the original people are no longer welcome here, that they can no longer afford to be in a place that they built."
· A Boulevard in Harlem Undergoes a Resurgence [NYT]
· Frederick Douglass Boulevard coverage [Curbed]