The two New York City neighborhoods I visited and chose to study were Harlem and Flushing.
Harlem is in Upper Manhattan, located between 96th and 142nd Streets. The demographics of Harlem is primarily African-American, 62%, followed by Hispanic, 23%, White, 10%, and Asian, 3%. The poverty level is at 29% with an unemployment rate of 13%, according to the NYC Health Community Health Profiles 2015. Flushing, according to this source, is 52% Asian, 28% White, 17% Hispanic, and only 2% Black, with an unemployment rate of 15% and unemployed rate of 9%.
While both Harlem and Flushing are ethnically diverse, they are very different places. Although Harlem is best known for its African-American heritage and artistic / jazz culture, it has recently seen more Hispanics and Whites populating the neighborhood. In 2011, President Bill Clinton even chose to rent office space at 55 West 125th which people say was the beginning of its revival. Harlem is the home of the legendary Apollo Theatre and many other jazz clubs and soul food restaurants.
Flushing, once primarily German and Irish, is now called the “Chinese Manhattan.” It is said to be the largest Chinese community outside of Asia next to China Town in Manhattan. However, there are many other ethnic groups there, too, including Korean, Russian, Indian, Greek, and Middle Eastern. It is, therefore, also one of the most religiously diverse places in America with more than 200 places of worship including churches, synagogues, mosques and temples. This makes it one of the most interesting dining experiences as well. You can basically get any kind of food at any time of day or night in Flushing!
The psychographics of these two neighborhoods is interesting. Both African-American and Asian ethnic groups are growing, becoming better educated and more affluent as well. As this happens, fashion naturally becomes more important as well. I found fashion in both these places to be quite interesting. In Harlem, \a few key fashion looks I noticed were Jordan and Nike-hyped streetwear sneakers paired with jeans and a top that somewhat spoke for the person. Maybe a bold black or white or color or flashy designer brand. In Flushing, contrary to stereotypical notions of Asians being very brand conscious, I found everything was simpler and more subtle fashion-wise, with a lot of monotone looks, bomber jackets and sandals being trendy. Most people didn’t even seem to care about what they were wearing much at all. I feel like both these style trends have been popular in these areas for a while.