Friday, July 18, 2008

A Smaller Renaissance

by Charles Michael Smith

The current gentrification of Harlem has been labeled as the second Harlem Renaissance, but that is a misnomer. The Harlem Renaissance, in the 20s and 30s, was an artistic movement out of which came such luminaries as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Countee Cullen. What's happening in Harlem today is all about real estate, not art. If there is a second renaissance in the making, Casa Frela, a new art gallery located on West 119th Street in the Mount Morris Park Historic District, is in the vanguard.

Casa Frela, which means, "your house should be a walk in the park" (containing one word from Spanish and one from the language of the Yaqui Indians of Mexico) is in a brownstone designed by the Gilded Age architect Stanford White.

Read the rest of the story here.

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