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06      Represent Queens Raised Down in the City

Fighting again for a stand-up spot on the #7 train, just to get to the Seventy-Fourth stop which is not even half-way through the day destination for yet another weekly pay cheque. It is that guy, right at the end of the car, shouting “Not one, not two but three for a dollar”. He has been selling those 3-pack batteries for months now. Pondering how many packs he has to sell before sending some cash back to his hometown to build his dreamland. One of the immigrants’ dreams while living overseas.

Oh no! It’s that woman again! Rushing herself into the train as if there were no tomorrow. Push! C’mon, there is more space in the middle. No way, Jose. Just give it up! Put your hands up if you think Queens is over-populated. The population in Queens county alone is 2,224,516. Pretty jammed, if you compare to a much less populated country such as Iceland with an estimated population of 280,000 people only.

Departing the train in Manhattan is quite a story. Left or right for an exit way. To the North, Radio City Music Hall, awaiting for more musical shows. More toward Rockefeller Center, a magnificent bronze statue of Atlas. It is optimistic. Its confidence makes anybody walk even faster to face the day. A day where people act like real people. A day when everyone expresses themselves liberately.

Down one block, a yellow cab driver yelling for a wide-turn. He does not look local. But of course, he is an Afghan-American who came from Atlanta. At the 48th corner, a pretzel vendor guy who is a Californian-born New Yorker. To the left, a Hispanic security guard gives a headnod. But up to this day, they never feel they are Californians or Iowans or even Philadelphians. They are as true as any indigenous New Yorkers who would do whatever it takes to defend the City. Even true when more than two months ago, the nation was declared at an Orange Alert Level 2.

It's five o’clock. Are you up from some live sports game? Back onto the #7 train, off we are at Shea. Hot dog, a six-pack, Mike Piazza, what more can one ask for? After the game, standing on a stretch of burrito vendors in Corona, there is no way to hide a hunger for a Santa Fe. Craving for a Bubble tea afterwards? Let’s go to Flushing.

Another 10-activity day in the city that never sleeps.
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.