Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Cash and Curry

March 23, 2005 from washington
By Jennifer Barger

...Turns out Jackson Heights isn't just a Little India these days. Arguably the most ethnically diverse section of New York's most ethnically diverse borough, it hosts significant populations from South America, Asia, even Russia -- a true example of the cliched melting pot. "Traditionally, Jackson Heights is where Indian women come to shop for clothing and jewelry before they get married, but the neighborhood has grown to something beyond that," said Lurie. "This really is a crossroads for Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Chinese and South Americans."

Jackson Heights, located east of Astoria and south of LaGuardia Airport, began in the early 20th century as the first planned garden apartment community in the United States. In the past several decades, the neighborhood has morphed into a latter-day Lower East Side, a multi-culti mixing bowl where new immigrants live, work, shop and eat. "Nobody walks down the streets here feeling like a minority, because there isn't any dominant ethnic group," says K.C. Williams of the Jackson Heights Office of the Forest Hills Community House, which provides English classes and housing services to immigrants. "When you get off the train, you think, 'I'm in India!' Turn the corner, and you're in Ecuador, Peru or Mexico. There's such an international mix."
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