Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rebranding Neighborhoods, Rebranding West Harlem. "The Harlem Meat Packing District"

SoBro, SpaHa, SoHa, and now the "Harlem Meat Packing District". Who advocates for the changing of a neighborhood name, who desires one, and why?

Boogie Downer, blogging about the South Bronx, asked, What's In A Name? and the commenters were largely opposed to the name SoBro as opposed to the South Bronx, with one commenter noting "it would sound silly (to my ears anyway) if someone were to actually reference the term when actually speaking."

City Room then batted around the topic in a recent post about attempts by some real estate concerns and at least one politician in the South Bronx to rebrand the neighborhood as Downtown Bronx. The Times writes that some civic and business leaders have been actively using the name in a variety of rebranding efforts, and made not so subtle insinuations about the class of people for and against such a name change.

Raphael Merino of NY Latino Journal commented on said post and added his take on the article from the perspective of a resident in E. Harlem, itself undergoing rapid change in the makeup of their neighborhood and the requisite rebranding that seems to follow a class shift in the population.
"Here, in El Barrio/ Spanish Harlem, we’re fighting a very similar battle. Although the generic moniker of "East Harlem" has gained more ground than "Downtown Bronx," El Barrio and Spanish Harlem designations are well respected, engraved in a large amount of small businesses, defended by local politicians and civic groups, and immortalized in popular culture. How do you turn your back on that? Some have tried...

You build on that kind of passion, you don’t paint over it."
West Bronx Blog picked up the article, offering more variety on the changing names of neighborhoods when they reported on a press release they recently received from Amalia Media, LLC on behalf of Body nightclub on 137th Street, near 12th Avenue in Harlem, a neighborhood soundly known as West Harlem. Amalia Media LLC apparently has other designs however, and claims in the release that area is "the newly penned 'Harlem Meat Packing District.'"

I was now sufficiently intrigued, as I do miss a lot of things and it's possible that I missed this "newly penned" name. Pissed over the possibility that the latest trend in Harlem passed me by, I sent an inquiry to Amalia Media LLC via email, asking just who exactly "newly penned West Harlem as the Harlem Meat Packing District", as the only reference I can find online are blogs repeating her release, such as this blog, West Bronx Blog, and Curbed, who also picked up the silly attempt at name changing.

Amalia Media LLC did not return a request for comment. Trying to visit their website to learn more about this very media savvy and hip Public Relations firm did not yield any results, as unfortunately the firm has no web presence to speak of aside from a profile ifreelance.com, where it claims 2-5 employees and New Jersey as it's home. According to a search of public records performed by NYC The Blog, Amalia Media LLC is not a registered business in the State of New Jersey nor the State of New York.

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