If the appearance of a medical college in the last sector foretold gentrification, here between 7th and 3rd Avenues is where the phenomena is witnessed at full force. Here’s where 125th Street starts to look like a suburban outlet mall.
Lenox Avenue, also known as Malcolm X Boulevard plays host to tenants the likes of which Malcolm X would never in his life have expected: H & M, Marshalls, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. Past Bill Clinton’s office (in a faceless multi-storey glass building) and a spanking new loft apartment complex across the street, The Body Shop itself makes its appearance at the 5th Avenue intersection.
The onslaught continues for four blocks till 3rd Avenue – gleaming mall complexes that occupy whole blocks appear at Lexington Avenue. Quite a few turn-of-the-century townhouses have been demolished to make way for these, and more are already slated to go.
At the end of this stretch sits The Salvation Army, across from yet another spanking new luxury loft apartment complex, looking (almost) out-of-place. Here, old and new Harlem come face to face with each other.