Alumni Beat 9: Harlem Walk Tour

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     On a gorgeous day in mid-September, SVMP Alumni in the Greater New York area came together for our 1st EVER walking tour and brunch event in one of the world’s most famous and iconic neighborhoods: HARLEM! Popularly known as a hub of African American culture and famous for its twentieth century renaissance, this area has seen dramatic changes and developments over its nearly 400 years of existence. SVMP Alumni explored the rich history and modern additions of this amazing community with the guidance and insights of a fantastic, professional tour guide.



     The tour commenced at the renowned Apollo Theater, where legendary performers like Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, and Michael Jackson have all graced the stage. During the comprehensive two hour walking tour, the group visited many notable sites such as Astor Rowe, the former site of Lenox Lounge, Sylvia’s Soul-Food Restaurant, and Hotel Teresa, just to name a few.  Intermixed with the neighborhood’s historic landmarks and brownstones, newer establishments and signs of development in the area were seen including the Magic Johnson Theatre, popular soul-food restaurant, Red Rooster,  the Office of President Bill Clinton, and new luxury apartment buildings.

     It was fascinating to see the transformation taking place in Harlem. The racial, cultural, and socioeconomic demographics of the area are changing with an influx in rent and property value. Gentrification is definitely in motion here.  It will be interesting to see how the neighborhood deals with these changes and continues to evolve over the next few years. While on the tour, alumni received a bonus event because the African American Day Parade was taking place; celebrating positive achievements and pride in the African American community. It was a great addition to a tour of an incredible neighborhood.

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The tour ended at neighborhood hot spot Harlem Tavern where brunch was held. Seated in the vibrant outdoor patio area of the restaurant under bright red umbrellas, the group socialized, networked, enjoyed delicious food, and reminisced about their amazing SVMP experiences at HBS. It was a terrific event that was fun, insightful, and extremely memorable. The SVMPAA looks forward to hosting more neighborhood tours!


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