Thursday, July 9

Why Did Mechanics In New York's Worst Neighborhood Go On Hunger Strike?

"Sergio Aguirre is weak, pale. Sometimes he fumbles for words, and it’s not because English isn’t his first language. He’d been on a hunger strike, and hadn’t had anything besides water and tea in four days. We’re standing in the middle of his garage in Willets Point, an almost surreal corner of Queens. Most people, even some New Yorkers, have never heard of the neighborhood or are aware that it exists as a mass of dilapidated auto shops near the entrance to one of the city’s newest sports stadiums. When you show them pictures, on first glance they often ask if it’s in Brazil. They see the garbage-strewn streets – more rutted, soggy dirt pathways than anything else – and the corrugated metal buildings, more reminiscent of a favela than anything people tend to see in an American city. ..."