Saturday, October 04, 2014

The originals

Richard Price's history of the NYC Housing Authority:
In most housing projects these days, a hard-times hidden economy thrives, what Mark Jacobson and others call the gray market, consisting of improvised and in some cases ingenious ways of making ends meet—apartments doubling as daycare centers, some licensed, some not; takeaway lunches sold out the door or lowered from the window; a legion of bootleg car mechanics whose garage is the street; come-to-your-house handymen, plumbers, carpenters, computer programmers, and repairmen; just-text-me drivers for hire; CD and DVD duplicators leaving for the commercial strips of Fordham Road, Harlem, and elsewhere; wholesale candy hustlers, kids mostly, heading out to Grand Central Station, Penn Station, and tourist-centric Times Square, introducing themselves as grassroots fundraisers in order to sell ten-cent chocolate bars for two dollars a pop, a 2,000 percent markup.

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