Friday, March 21, 2008

Another Interesting Find in the Local Public Library

New York City is made up of many neighborhoods with different ethnicities.  The jacket of the book above states that fifty years ago there were relatively few ethnic groups in the city compared to the situation today.  This book written by Joseph Berger, a columnist for the New York Times describes many neighborhoods through their dominate ethnicities.  Most books must be read in sequence, but the reader of this volume can pick and chose the chapters of interest.  When I got home I read the two chapters that are of the most interest to me.
To make a long story short I grew up in Rego Park, but left there in 1984.  Non religious Jews from Eastern Europe always dominated.  The chapter here describes Jews who emigrated to Rego Park since the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.  Most of them are from the Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.  They are popularly know as Bukharans.  Since the publication of this book there was a murder in Rego Park of a Bukharan dentist (who did not run a message board) by his ex-wife over custody of their child.
The second chapter that I read was about Flushing.  When I moved here in 1984 the neighborhood was predominantly Jewish.  It was a naturally occurring retirement communities since those most who moved their in the 1950s had passed away or moved to Florida by the 1990s.  When a Jew had moved out, a Korean likely moved in.  Today my neighborhood is almost all Korean.  This phenomenon was not discussed in the book.  It detailed the life of style of a small community of Afgans living in an area of Flushing about 3 miles south of my home.
I will read the rest of this book during my commute to NJIT.

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