Sunset Park is home to Brooklyn’s rapidly growing (and largely invisible to the rest of us) Mexican community. About 30 blocks along Fifth Avenue, once home to a Scandinavian colony, seem to have been transplated directly from south of the border.
Spanish music spills out of shops and car windows, travel agencies advertise special fares to Chihuahua, Mexico City and Guadalajara, campaign posters for candidates named Ferrar and Gonsalez are tacked to the lamp posts, and the awning of nearly every shop is a riot of red, white and green (the colors of the Mexican flag).
There seems to be as much business conducted at curbside as there is inside the shops. Stroll along the street past the taquerias (taco shops) and panderias (bakeries), try on a sombrero and a pair of hurraches, buy a steaming tamale fresh from a cart, sip some homemade horchata and a flip through a stack of Thalia CDs. You’ll never think that you are in the US.
While I was taking photos, a well-meaning man approached, asking what I was going to do with the pictures. He then warned me to avoid photographing the adults who crowded the streets. “They wouldn’t like it,” he explained. “They might think you are … how do you say it? With the border patrol.”
Me? La migra? Hardly. But I know good advice when I hear it and after receiving the warning I stuck to simply taking pictures of the kids in the sunny streets of Sunset Park.