Tensions are bubbling across the country as newcomers, often without the consultation of current residents, push to remove or change neighborhood names that residents may feel connected to personally and culturally. These names often emerge organically over time based on cultural melding, allowing residents to gradually grow into the name and identity. Abrupt changes, often for economic or social improvement, can lead to rougher transitions.
Such was the case in New York City.
The proposed designation of the southern edge of Harlem as “SoHa” provoked condemnation. For the community, the change is just the most recent in a series of nicknames looking to capitalize on the cachet of SoHo to attract young professionals to the area.
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