Wednesday, September 7

Wyckoff Avenue

When exiting the Dekalb Avenue subway station from Stanhope Street and Wyckoff Street, a group of people, which includes my superintendent and his father, sit down and hang out around the corner near the restaurant franchise, Subway. Other Bushwick residents make up the rest, with a large golden retriever also partaking in the everyday event.Visually speaking, the scene looks like it could be a family past time, like a suburban household sitting outside their porch on rocking chairs. If you past by them, they would gently nod and wave. They are just one prime example of the close-knit community seen throughout the neighborhood. 
Apartment buildings, delis, restaurants, and stores occupy the small block of Wyckoff Avenue, nestled in between Stanhope Street and Stockholm Street. Its frequent customers include those that live on the block, and those who live around it. Most of the residents are Latinos, from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Honduras, just to name a few. Since nearly 80 percent of Bushwick’s population is Hispanic, many small businesses in the area were created to support the various traditions. But, with the rise of real estate prices in Manhattan, Bushwick has attracted artists and young professionals to the neighborhood, slowly changing the area, which can be seen through the commercial businesses throughout the neighborhood. 
The 24-hour Subway attracts nearly, if not everyone. During the day, men and women in medical uniforms grab a 6-inch or foot long sub sandwich while on their lunch break from working at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center across the street. During the evening, couples and small families occupy the establishment, as they were most likely not in the mood to eat at Inca Chicken or the Claribel's Mexican deli restaurant just a few doors down. From midnight and on, college students grab a late night snack to help them get through a long night of studying, or maybe cure the munchies they developed after a few hours of drinking and smoking. No matter what the case is, the men who seem to always be behind the counter, welcome everyone with open arms, in their monotone voices, which can sometimes cause people to turn their backs and diagonally walk across the street to the 24-hour Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins.
At the corner of Wyckoff Avenue and Stockholm Street, the newly renovated New Way Supermarket has everything anyone could ask for. A deli and a small market selling fruits, vegetables, and packaged goods, the family-run establishment is the place to go for quick pick-me-up. Here you will see anyone and everyone. From children buying a 20 ounce soda to grandfathers drinking a cup of coffee as they sit on the seats facing the glass window. The friendly atmosphere unconsciously makes everyone create small talk as we wait in line to order a sandwich, or even the cashier asking how our day has been as we pay for our items. Everyone probably leaves with a smile, or at least, a small grin on their face.
In all honesty, there is not much to see here. You won’t be running into any tourists, but rather a slew of families and students, comfortably living and socializing with one another, like one big happy family.

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