Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Owens Funeral Home Proceeds in Style

DNAInfo, an interesting name for a news source, brings a local story about Owens Funeral Home, located on West 121st Street and Lenox Avenue.  About six months ago, Owens purchased a $80,000 custom built hearse from Prinzing Motor Cars, ostensibly to harken back to Harlem's Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s.
“The name of the car is The 'Renaissance,'" said Isaiah Owens, the owner of the Owens Funeral Home, who dons a black top hat and tails to accompany the custom-built car made by Prinzing Motor Cars. “I wanted it to be a signature of the new Harlem. We need signs to tell the world that Harlem is back.”
And why was Owens inspired to invest in his business in such an extravagant way?

Owens first got the idea to order the car two years ago, when he noticed the incredible detail and restoration work taking place on the brownstones around the corner from his business on 121st Street between Lenox Ave. and Mount Morris Park.
Is it possible that the "gentrifiers" aren't that bad after all?  After killing off local churches, they're actually getting credit for helping to restore the community and inspire local businesses to invest?  Well, not quite:  
Community groups in the area have worked hard to restore the stately stretch of homes on this strip, once among the most glamourous and immaculate homes in all of New York City, to its former glory.
Say what?  I know that the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association is willing to take credit for almost anything, but how exactly do you hand kudos to them without doing the same for the folks willing to move to the Mount Morris Historic District and invest in restoring their brownstones?  

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