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Sunnyside’s Invisible Poor

Sunnyside, NY–A middle-aged Hispanic woman lifted two gigantic bags of cans out of her grocery trolley on Monday and began to unload them into a recepticle outside of the Associated store on 45th Street.

The pile of cans represented a day’s work, the woman said in broken English. At 5 cents per can, the woman said she had probably accumulated about “veinticinco dólares” ($25:00). The woman was talking to other collectors who had gathered around the recepticle– and who had got to know one other over time. There was a young girl helping her disheveled mother.

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There are also a number of people living under the LIRR underpass at the end of 43rd st. That number has been increasing over the past year to two years.


That being said, thanks SP for shedding some light on this matter and for giving the woman the dignity of concealing her identity.


I’d have to partly agree with Patrick. Though in the five years that I’ve lived in the nabe it’s never been this bad. Last week, I saw I mom and kid pushing a shopping cart up 42nd St (btw 43rd Ave & Skillman) and accepted a bottle of water and what looked like a sandwich from a woman walking by. Peeps in the hood are definitely suffering.


Invisible, where do you live in Sunnyside? I suggest that there might be a disconnect between your Sunnyside perspective and the reality on the ground. And John, why would you insinuate that if she wasn’t collecting bottles she would be a thief? You guys need to get out more, Sunnyside has a wide range of cultures and incomes, believe it or not.


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