I was just a boy when my father brought me to Harlem for the first time, almost 50 years ago. We stayed at the Hotel Theresa, a grand brick structure at 125th Street and Seventh Avenue. Once, in the hotel restaurant, my father pointed out Joe Louis. He even got Mr. Brown, the hotel manager, to introduce me to him, a bit paunchy but still the champ as far as I was concerned.
Much has changed since then. Business and real estate are booming. Some say a new renaissance is under way. Others decry what they see as outside forces running roughshod over the old Harlem.
New York meant Harlem to me, and as a young man I visited it whenever I could. But many of my old haunts are gone. The Theresa shut down in 1966. National chains that once ignored Harlem now anticipate yuppie money and want pieces of this prime Manhattan real estate. So here I am on a hot August afternoon, sitting in a Starbucks that two years ago opened a block away from the Theresa, snatching at memories between sips of high-priced coffee. I am about to open up a piece of the old Harlem- the New York Amsterdam News—when a tourist asking directions to Sylvia’s, a prominent Harlem restaurant, penetrates my daydreaming. He’s carrying a book: Touring Historic Harlem.
History. I miss Mr. Michaux’s bookstore, his House of Common Sense, which was across from the Theresa. He had a big billboard out front with brown and black faces painted on it that said in large letters: "World History Book Outlet on 2,000,000,000 Africans and Nonwhite Peoples." An ugly state office building has swallowed that space.
I miss speaker like Carlos Cooks, who was always on the southwest comer of 125th and Seventh, urging listeners to support Africa. Harlem’s powerful political electricity seems unplugged-although the sweets are still energized, especially by West African immigrants. (来源：英语论坛 http://bbs.englishcn.com)
Hardworking southern newcomers formed the bulk of the community back in the 1920s and’30s, when Harlem renaissance artists, writers, and intellectuals gave it a glitter and renown that made it the capital of black America. From Harlem, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, Zora Neal Hurston, and others helped power America’s cultural influence around the world.
By the 1970s and ’80s drugs and crime had ravaged parts of the community. And the life expectancy for men in Harlem was less than that of men in Bangladesh. Harlem had become a symbol of the dangers of inner-city life.
Now, you want to shout “Lookin’ good!” at this place that has been neglected for so long. Crowds push into Harlem USA, a new shopping centre on 125th, where a Disney store shares space with HMV Records, the New York Sports Club, and a nine-screen Magic Johnson theatre complex. Nearby, a Rite Aid drugstore also opened. Maybe part of the reason Harlem seems to be undergoing a rebirth is that it is finally getting what most people take for granted.
Harlem is also part of an “empowerment zone”—a federal designation aimed at fostering economic growth that will bring over half a billion in federal, state, and local dollars. Just the shells of once elegant old brownstones now can cost several hundred thousand dollars. Rents are skyrocketing. An improved economy, tougher law enforcement, and community efforts against drugs have contributed to a 60 percent drop in crime since 1993.
19. At the beginning the author seems to indicate that Harlem
A. has remained unchanged all these years.
B. has undergone drastic changes.
C. has become the capital of Black America.
D. has remained a symbol of dangers of inner-city life.
20. When the author recalls Harlem in the old days, he has a feeling of
21. Harlem was called the capital of Black America in the 1920s and ’30s mainly because of its
A. art and culture.
B. immigrant population.
C. political enthusiasm.’
D. distinctive architecture.
22. From the passage we can infer that, generally speaking, the author
A. has strong reservations about the changes.
B. has slight reservations about the changes,
C. welcomes the changes in Harlem.
D. is completely opposed to the changes.
The senior partner, Oliver Lambert, studied the resume for the hundredth time and again found nothing he disliked about Mitchell Y. McDeere, at least not on paper. He had the brains, the ambition, the good looks. And he was hungry; with his background, he had to be. He was married, and that was mandatory. The firm had never hired an unmarried lawyer, and it frowned heavily on divorce, as well as womanizing and drinking. Drug testing was in the contract. He had a degree in accounting, passed the CPA exam the first time he took it and wanted to be a tax lawyer, which of course was a requirement with a tax firm. He was white, and the firm had never hired a black. They managed this by being secretive and clubbish and never soliciting job applications. Other firms solicited, and hired blacks. This firm recruited, and remained lily white. Plus, the firm was in Memphis, and the top blacks wanted New York or Washington or Chicago. McDeere was a male, and there were no women in the firm. That mistake had been made in the mid-seventies when they recruited the number one grad from Harvard, who happened to be a she and a wizard at taxation. She lasted four turbulent years and was killed in a car wreck.
He looked good, on paper. He was their top choice. In fact, for this year there were no other prospects. The list was very short. It was McDeere, or no one.
The managing partner, Royce McKnight, studied a dossier labeled "Mitchell Y. McDeere-Harvard." An inch thick with small print and a few photographs; it had been prepared by some ex-CIA agents in a private intelligence outfit in Bethesda. They were clients of the firm and each year did the investigating for no fee. It was easy work, they said, checking out unsuspecting law students. They learned, for instance, that he preferred to leave the Northeast, that he was holding three job offers, two in New York and one in Chicago, and that the highest offer was $76,000 and the lowest was $68,000. He was in demand. He had been given the opportunity to cheat on a securities exam during his second year. He declined, and made the highest grade in the class. Two months ago he had been offered cocaine at a law school party. He said no and left when everyone began snorting. He drank an occasional beer, but drinking was expensive and he had no money. He owe
d close to $23,000 in student loans. He was hungry.
Royce McKnight flipped through the dossier and smiled. McDeere was their man.
Lamar Quin was thirty-two and not yet a partner. He had been brought along to look young and act young and project a youthful image for Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which in fact was a young firm, since most of the partners retired in their late forties or early fifties with money to bum. He would make partner in this firm. With a six-figure income guaranteed for the rest of his life, Lamar could enjoy the twelve-hundred-dollar tailored suits that hung so comfortably from his tall, athletic frame. He strolled nonchalantly across the thousand-dollar-a-day suite and poured another cup of decaf. He checked his watch. He glanced at the two partners sitting at the small conference table near the windows.
Precisely at two-thirty someone knocked on the door. Lamar looked at the parmers, who slid the resume and dossier into an open briefcase. All three reached for their jackets. Immar buttoned his top button and opened the door.