El Barrio


Briefly away from Mexico City, let's continue with our tour of uptown New York. Harlem has, of course, a fabled history as the most important black neighborhood in the United States, although these days Manhattan real-estate prices are so high that some blacks are being edged out by whites. But that is in the central and west sides of town. The east side of Harlem became known as El Barrio, or Spanish Harlem, in the 1960s due to a huge influx of Puerto Rican residents. These days, the area is pan-Hispanic.

I happened to take a walk there the day before an unofficial New York holiday called Puerto Rican Day. Up and down Third Avenue, as a sort of warm-up to the big day, they held a street festival celebrating Puerto Rico. The characters pictured above are a tropical equivalent of the Three Stooges.


La dieta puertorriqueña, aka a heart attack waiting to happen.


The above is an outtake from the film Babe: A Pig in the City.


Fifteen or twenty years ago there were hardly any Mexicans in New York, but now it's become más mexicana que nunca.


This is where you can get your fix of Jarritos, jabón Ariel or cacahuates japoneses. The furtive body language of the man pictured above indicates some ambiguity as to whether he is a shopper or a shoplifter.