When a trendy Starwood boutique hotel called Aloft opens in Harlem later this month, it will be the neighborhood’s first major hotel since the famed Theresa closed in 1967.It's the minor victories such as these that have such major psychological impact upon the entire Black community. Overcoming impediments placed by capitalistic vultures intent on making a profit for their shareholders and promising safe working conditions for the labor employed has for too long been a thorn in the side of the Black community.
Harlem is already a must-see for many visitors to New York, but the tourism industry believes the opening of this hotel will help make the area even more of a destination by encouraging people to stay overnight or longer.
“Instead of just going up to visit Harlem, you can stay in Harlem,” said George Fertitta, head of NYC & Company, the city’s tourism and marketing agency.
The Aloft is one of about 100 new hotels to open in the city since 2007. A number of other hotel projects planned for Harlem were abandoned or delayed by the recession.
Fertitta acknowledged that the opening of Harlem’s first hotel in over 40 years has been a long time coming. “The interest in Harlem from tourists on a global basis is extraordinary. It’s one of the top spots in New York City that people want to see.”
Big Apple Greeter, which offers free tours led by volunteer New Yorkers, gets more requests for Harlem than any other neighborhood except Greenwich Village. And double-decker tour buses pull up all day long on 125th Street outside the Apollo Theater, which attracts 2.5 million visitors a year for in-house tours and its famous Wednesday Amateur Night.
Apollo CEO Jonelle Procope said the Aloft “will be a nice addition to the neighborhood, and will only increase Harlem’s appeal to tourists.”
Standing outside the Apollo, you can still see the sign for the old Hotel Theresa, located in a landmarked building that now houses offices. The Theresa was a haven for prominent African-Americans in an era when they weren’t welcome at hotels elsewhere.
Thankfully, those days are gone. Harlem has a new hotel. Newark has had a murder free month!
Now we just have to find a way to get the armed paramilitary guards away from grocery stores in Detroit and national grocery chains and retail stores to invest in that community. And those flash mobs to stop in Kansas City and Philadelphia.
Again, it starts with baby steps! After all the GOP is turning Brown according to Ebony!
Magic Johnson, hailed as a titan and entrepreneurial superstar, is seeing his investments in blighted areas fail, though these stories garner far fewer headlines then when he opens new businesses.
May 2010 be remembered as the year things finally started to turn around. We've been doing our best at Stuff Black People Don't Like to document this historic year and feel that a few more surprises might transpire still!
Let us know of other miracles being performed in cities throughout the land!