RNA Blog

Monday Jul. 11, 2011

A return to Harlem's gloried past?

Harlem's Frederick Douglass Blvd. (8th Ave) won Curbed's 2010 New York City neighborhood of the year award. While some may question the designation of FDB as a neighborhood, readers of Curbed's site overwhelmingly recognized it as an area better than the other 15 nominated. Surely the award is in recognition of FDB's recent surge of development. The near one mile stretch of blocks between 110th and 125th Sts. now include a luxury hotel, a beer garden, a supermarket and a number of luxury condos. And according to Curbed, one of the largest sites for NYC real estate news, the area has even been designated the "Gold Coast". Yet for some the award, the significant number of new establishments and the whites who patronize them are just blaring signals of a gentrifying Harlem. But is all this recognition simply a sign of return to Harlem's gloried past? (click title to continue)

Monday Jul. 11, 2011

Atlantic Center Mall Pathmark Supermarket

Having recently moved to Fort Greene in Brooklyn, I have started to do my grocery shopping at the Atlantic Center Mall Pathmark. It is probably the largest supermarket I have ever seen in New York City, with the frozen section alone being as large as most supermarkets in Manhattan. While looking for a bag of frozen organic vegetables, I realized that only one case out of rows and rows of freezers was dedicated to organic foods. The rest of the products were either large cuts of frozen meat or processed foods such as TV dinners or co-branded products from fast food and chain restaurants.

Monday Jul. 11, 2011

Sidewalks: Not Just for Walking, Karen A. Franck

This article describes the various functions of sidewalks as places that foster community cohesiveness, socializing, and commercial activity. The author notes the importance of these functions to a community then goes on to explain that urban redevelopment in many places are passing regulations that foster an apparently clean sidewalk. These regulations counter the many functions of sidewalks as the author previously explained. She ends off with the argument that if these sidewalk functions are lost; the liveliness of a community will also suffer. It's ironic that the same regulations that are used to "clean up" different neighborhoods, namely minority neighborhoods may also impact the ways in which these populations live their lives and come together as a community. Is there a happy medium or is the only solution simply that one must be sacrifice the other functions of sidewalks for clean neighborhoods?

Monday Jul. 11, 2011

Outdoor advertising in Black neighborhoods

We have published work on outdoor advertising in Black neighborhoods. Our work in Central Harlem, NYC, showed that 25% of all ad spaces marketed alcoholic beverages; that as many as 50% of alcohol ads were within 500 ft of schools (despite purported internal guidelines among outdoor advertisers not to do so); and that exposure to alcohol advertising was associated with 13% greater odds of being a problem drinker among Black women. Some examples of alcohol ads in the city are shown here.

Alcohol continues to be aggressively marketed in Black neighborhoods throughout the country, it's not just NYC. These photos show examples from West Philly and Chicago's South Side. Indeed, alcohol marketing appears to be paradigmatic for outdoor advertising in Black communities. For example, JC Decaux has an African American market segment, the "African American network", which comprises the African American population in Chicago.(click title to continue)

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