Back before anti-gentrification mania peaked, business development was actually encouraged here in Harlem. Elite Black players such as the Abyssinian Development Corporation and Magic Johnson's Sunshine Development Corp., bonded together to foment capitalist investment in Harlem. The result is Magic Johnson's Theater complex, and if built today, would definitely be at least 14 stories, instead of the current 4. As it is, it packs in many commercial interests into its compact space. Aside from the Theater itself, the building hosts The Hip Hop Cultural Center of Harlem, a Chase, Old Navy, 9 West, Commerce Bank, Chuck-E-Cheese, A New York Sports Club, the Hue-man Bookstore, and a discount clothing store. Damn! Based on a tip from Uptown Flavor, I decided to check out the scene at the "Women in Hip Hop Concert at the Hip Hop Cultural Center. Located on the second floor, it had many kiosks, murals, performances and generally cool young people all doing their thing. Here's some highlights as well as other scenes from the block.
This organization of was one of my favorites...a group young people helps teen entrepreneurship!
There was also an alternative energy consulting company, and a few fashion companies.
All in all it was an amazingly positive event. Its so great to see concientious young people who have talent and are inspired!
The rest of the Theatre (3rd Floor).
Going out like Mao!
What's this...Lakers and Knicks fans getting along???
I dont know what to make of this brightly-colored racial Utopia. Confound you Mr. Johnson, for destroying my cynicism!
Here's the rest of this commercial Never-never land. Complete with Chuck-E-Cheese and a Municipal Credit Union.
Along St. Nicholas, there's a rabbit in the footprint, here is an old time iron gate. The buidling on the corner has had most of its commercial spaces closed.
Dont ask me what this was about.
I feel its only a matter of time before it is completely unoccupied, although GameStop is still holding it down.
The anti-gentrification Communist forces are still in full effect. Notice in the background, the defunt KFC and Manna's. Still no renderings for what will take its place.
The NYSC on the 4th Floor.
The event was co-sponsored by Power 105 and some health-care organization.
They were actually offering people healthcare and popcorn. Great marketing!
The progression of the mural by AM Radio...