New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Salad Bowl

Some argue that the view of America and even New York City as a melting pot is largely a myth and outmoded idea. Immigrants do not settle across the country or the city in a uniformly distributed way. What we have would be better described as cultural pluralism and multiculturalism - and that a salad bowl is a better analogy than a melting pot.
New York City is remarkably diverse, but on close examination, a walk through the many neighborhoods of this city will reveal segregation based on ethnicity and social class/income. Remove students and visitors from the equation and you will find some areas quite homogeneous as far as actual residents.
I leave it to you to sort out the details and make judgements regarding melting pots, salad bowls, demographics and the census. If you want to see the best New York City (and some say the world) has to offer as far as ethnic diversity is concerned, head to Jackson Heights, Queens. I wrote a number of articles about this area in 2007 - see the links at the bottom of this article.
The most striking thing about a visit to this neighborhood is the extraordinary numbers of people who are wearing traditional non-western dress. Turbans, Saris, Burqas and other unusual dress dominate the streets and shops, which themselves are a menagerie of merchants featuring products and foods catering to these varied cultural groups. Food alone is enough reason to visit Jackson Heights.
As I worked on the numerous photos for today's collage, I found myself battling and attempting to crop out one thing in many of the photos. The common and unifying element in this multi-cultural extravaganza? The universal constant appears not to be the speed of light, but an item to carry ingredients of a salad bowl - the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag ...

Related Postings: Jackson Diner, Jackson Heights, Indian Gold, The Patel Brothers.


Laurent said...

It could be New Delhi.

Brian Dubé said...

Laurent - After you leave the area, you really feel like you left the country. It's full immersion in another world(s).

An Honest Man said...

That top right photo looks like a homage to Marilyn Munro.