A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from August 13, 2008
Little Harlem & Little Latin America (Corona, Queens)

Corona (Queens) was home to a large African-American community that once included jazz great Louis Armstrong. Today, Corona is home to many immigrants from Latin America.
The old Corona nickname of “Little Harlem” has given way to a new nickname of “Little Latin America”—although neither term has been used very often in print.
“Brooklyn’s Little Harlem” is a nickname for Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Wikipedia: Corona, Queens
Corona, Queens, (zip code 11368) is a neighborhood in the former Township of Newtown in the New York City borough of Queens surrounded by Flushing, Jackson Heights, Forest Hills and Elmhurst. Corona’s main thoroughfares include Corona Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, Northern Boulevard, Junction Boulevard, and 108th Street. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 4, while the northern most part is included in Community Board 3.
Corona was a late 19th Century development in the old Town of Newtown. The name allegedly derives from the crown used as an emblem by the Crown Building Company, which developed the area; the Italian immigrants who moved into the new housing stock referred to the neighborhood by the Italian word for “crown”: corona. The LeFrak City housing development is located within the southwest ending boundaries of Corona.
Over the last 30 years Corona has seen a few ethnic demographic turnovers. In the 1970s what was predominately an Italian American neighborhood began to give way to a very large influx of Dominicans, though some parts of Corona, including the southeast, have a small amount of Italian families. In the late 1990s, Corona saw a new wave of immigrants from Latin America.
Today, Corona is now around 65-70% Hispanic. Corona’s Hispanic community consists of Mexicans, Dominicans, Colombians, Guatemalans, Bolivians, Peruvians and Ecuadorians. There is also a small number of Asian Americans, (particularly Koreans, Filipinos Chinese) and Pakistanis, as well as Italian Americans and African Americans.
Corona is bordered on the east by Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, one of the largest parks in New York City and the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. Located within the park are Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets, and the USTA National Tennis Center, where the U.S. Open in tennis is held annually..
New York in Transition
Demographic shift transforms Corona’s culture, politics
by Laura Isensee
Corona, a community in the heart of Queens, once earned the nickname “Little Harlem.”
Jazz greats like Louis Armstrong lived there. Its residents formed one of the city’s strongest black voting groups. Through that political activism, Corona fought for its own library and City Council member.
Today Corona is known more as a Little Latin America.
New York (NY) Times
Take the No. 7 to the Andes (Come Hungry)
Published: August 14, 1996
ALONG Roosevelt and 37th Avenues from 74th to 102d Streets, in the Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona sections of Queens, there is a little Latin America, where Spanish is the language of currency, and the sign ‘‘Cuy ahora’’ ( ‘‘Guinea pigs today’’ ) makes the heart of an Ecuadorean or a Peruvian beat a little faster. For the guinea pig advertised on a recent Sunday at Casa America La Dispensa Ecuatoriana, at 102-04 Roosevelt Avenue, was not a little squealing fur ball on four legs. It was turning slowly on a spit, cooking until its skin was crisp and golden and the meat tender, with the texture of dark-meat chicken and the sweetness of pork.
There are devout fans of this little animal, which had been rubbed with garlic and cumin, and was served, as a takeout dish, with boiled kernels of corn, boiled potatoes, lettuce, sliced tomato and fava beans ($25 for the platter, which serves two). New York City has a population of 78,444 Ecuadoreans and 23,257 Peruvians, for whom the guinea pig is a traditional dish. The city also has 61,720 Mexicans, 84,454 Colombians and 3,733 Venezuelans. And most of them live in Queens, said Frank Vardy, a demographer in New York City’s Department of City Planning.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • Wednesday, August 13, 2008 • Permalink

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