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By Natasha Jokic and Sam Eagan

Gentrification is radically altering the social, economic, and political landscape of New York City. It is displacing long-time residents of some of New York’s most historic neighborhoods and driving out small businesses with rapidly increasing rent. Gentrification is particularly prominent in Harlem, where rents have increased almost 600 dollars on average since 2010, and up to a 90% increase since 2002. 

Harlem’s rapid gentrification has been particularly hard on small business owners, who often must think outside of the box to survive rapidly rising commercial and residential rental costs, as well as a skyrocketing cost of living. Businesses often add extra services, work extended hours, and even abandon storefronts for rent-free mobile and street shops.

In this interactive video, you play a small business owner attempting to survive a month in Harlem. Can you adapt to the neighborhood’s rising rents and keep your entrepreneurial dreams afloat? 


All situations in this video are based on real reporting by the 2019 Advanced Multimedia class.