I purchased a book some time ago called Micronations. I was very intrigued yet disappointed. The book was entertaining but somehow did not fulfill the dreams I had as an armchair traveler. Perhaps I needed to look closer to home.
The newsstand in today's photo, taken in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, is not an uncommon sight in New York City, particularly in the boroughs such as Brooklyn or Queens, where there are large concentrations of ethnic groups. Bay Ridge has a population which is 11% Arab and 5% Greek.
On May 12, 2009, I wrote Salad Bowl about the failure of the metaphor of New York City as a melting pot to accurately describe the discreet ethnic groups. There are many people in New York who get along speaking virtually no English, who are so prevalent here. Chinatown is a good example of a very insular neighborhood, with so many services and products catering to the Chinese community that many residents never have to leave or learn another language.
These ethnic enclaves have places of worship, books, periodicals, schools, parades, festivals, restaurants, markets, and foods and products imported from their homeland. Doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals have established businesses in these communities, providing services and working in the native languages of the residents. There are often tiny pockets of immigrants of ethnicities rarely seen in the United States. No need to leave the Big Apple when looking for Micro Nations :)