Harlem in the Movies

Harlem in the Movies

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All over Harlem there are signs of construction as the city rebounds from Covid and contractors race to renovate brownstones and apartment buildings.

A pair of of dilapidated townhouses across the street from me were torn down recently.

Tourists wandering through the neighborhood used to pause to take photos.

It took me awhile to realize they did it because its what they thought Harlem should look like. It fit their image.

The Marvel series Luke Cage set in Harlem had a similar dynamic. The outdoor shots were recognizable because there are so few “iconic” places left.

One was a wine store called Fred’s on 114th and Lennox Avenue.

Another was a barber shop one block north. It has a big sign Barber Shop. Here is what it looked like until recently.

What’s funny about the picture and how it’s used in the TV series is that if you pulled the camera back, you would notice this:

Barber Shop is next to a fancy French bakery called Le Petit Parisien that puts out tables and umbrellas on the sidewalk.

The juxtaposition of the two is more representative of the neighborhood.

But that may not be what tourists or Hollywood filmmakers think people want.

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MAKING LISTS: My mom’s list of things to pack for a Ski Trip in 2003 raises so many questions, among them how is it possible my parents kept it for 20 years!

YOU’RE SO VAIN: Love that Jagger sings backup on a song allegedly about him.

TAM: TAM is venture capital speak for total addressable market. It always struck me as odd that entrepreneurs were supposed to BOTH be insanely creative and passionate and know how big the market is. Jim Goetz hits on the same point.

CHINA RAIL: Perspective on what you can get done in 12 years.

CENTRAL PARK GATES: A number of the entrances to Central Park have been named. The Gate of the Exonerated is at the north end by 110th street and is named for the Central Park Five, a group of young men wrongly accused of assaulting a woman.

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