What Could Be More New York?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a strong and moving tribute yesterday to his predecessor, Ed Koch. Among the many lines that caught my ear was this:

“As you know, Ed will be buried at Trinity Cemetery in Upper Manhattan. Just think about it: a Polish Jew in an Episcopal graveyard in a largely Dominican neighborhood. What could be more New York – or even more Ed Koch.

It reminded me of some notes I made several years ago while writing a story about Astoria’s Greek community for One magazine. On a single block of 30th Avenue, between 34th and 35th streets, I observed the following businesses, each with its own ethnic roots:

Go Wasabi, Alexandria Jewelers, Cyprus Deli, Thai Angel Kitchen, Aladdin Sweets and Delicatessen, Gandhi Haute Cuisine of India, Casablanca Hair Salon, Zen Nails, Flemings Pub, and the Law Offices of Latos, Latos and DiPippo.

Again, what could be more New York?

More on Astoria, one of my favorite neighborhoods for grocery shopping, in a future post.

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