The House at the Epicenter

The Setting

As I entered the yard with a high white fence and a big front yard, I observed a bundle of small Hindu non secular flags on the corner of the 2 story family residence on 87th Road nestled among Parsons 자동차담보대출 Boulevard and 150th Street with its lower back to Hillside Avenue. I changed into in the heart of New York’s second largest Indo-Guyanese community positioned in Jamaica, Queens. (The largest Indo-Guyanese community is positioned in Richmond Hill, Queens).

Southern Queens is one of the epicenters of the housing bubble crisis which caused the Great Recession that shattered or setback the American dream for plenty in the Caribbean network. I got here to this house at some point of the tax season to survey how the distinctive socioeconomic classes (operating elegance and middle elegance) have been tormented by the Housing Bubble Aftermath and the American public coverage that tarnished the American dream for this community.

The house owner – a widowed Indo-Guyanese immigrant bought it in 2000. Before buying the house with cash, she and her daughter lived along with her father for 14 years as she saved the cash for the acquisition. She and her daughter immigrated to the USA in 1986 after she misplaced her husband in a car coincidence.

The house serves multiple functions. The house owner maintains a tax getting ready and immigration carrier domestic commercial enterprise on the primary ground at the same time as she operates a mandir (i.E., Hindu temple) in the basement.

However, the mandir is administered by using two pandits – one elder and a younger – in a totally huge basement with a low ceiling. You entered the basement from the side of the house off a concrete driveway. A series of shoe racks greet you at the door. As you descend a steep stairwell being mindful of your head rubbing against the ceiling if you’re way over 6 toes tall, you’re greeted by means of different greeters – incense, the sounds of musical gadgets and making a song, dimmed lights, and the tender rugs below your toes. The incense is very appealing to the nostrils amidst the harmonious sounds of singing, clapping, guitars, cymbals, tambourines and drums, and out of the dimmed lighting fixtures you can see an arrangement of vibrant pix. The first picture to greet you -embedded in an opposing wall – is a huge brazen picture of Ganesha – the elephant-headed Hindu god of fulfillment. The huge brazen picture is very awesome due to the flickering light of the adjacent candles snuggled amongst fruit services and burning incenses in the front of a pantheon of Hindu gods’ statuettes. Kali – the multi-armed Hindu god of demise – stands inside the front row. Standing inside the back row is a big statuette of Krishna – a blue skinned Hindu god – the writer of the Hindu holy ebook, the Bhagavad Gita. A institution of woman teenagers attending to the meals services take a seat in front of the pantheon of the Hindu gods. To the right, the pandits are seated at the same time as more than one elderly girls are seated to the left. The congregation consists of Indo-Guyanese Hindu worshippers who are professionals, executives, small business owners, students from a socioeconomic spectrum of center magnificence to working elegance history. As households wearing traditional garb queued down the stairway, they clasp their palms and bow as they enter the basement to join a carefully knit large network. The majority of the network is living in Queens and Long Island who meet every Sunday morning to festively sing, play contraptions, pray and reward in the underground mandir.

As I exited the basement, the property owner’s grandson escorted me to the backyard. It is a massive backyard in which small housing devices are built. One of the housing units is a converted fitness center wherein I met the homeowner’s son-in-regulation who is a physical therapist. I shook his hand as he took a smash from his exercise to talk to me.

Next, the home owner’s granddaughter escorted me to the upstairs residence. The house owner’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren are living on the second one ground. The property owner’s daughter gave me a tour of a totally huge attic above the second one ground. She advised me that she owns a residence in Florida but she and her family reside upstairs in New York City (NYC). However, the property owner’s, the helper’s (i.E., stay-in maid) and the visitor bedrooms are positioned on the first ground.

Introducing the Subjects (from Both Sides of the Tracks)
As I entered the immaculately saved and stylish essential floor, I changed into greeted on the door where I took my shoes off in the lobby and I changed into led into the dwelling room where clients (submitting earnings and small commercial enterprise company taxes) waited to see the house owner (warrior caste – 2nd ranking caste inside the Hindu faith; immigrated to the US in 1986) who specialized in tax and immigration guidance offerings.

On this precise day, I did not survey any small commercial enterprise proprietors – who are generally inside the center magnificence with a family (i.E., family of 4) earnings on or above a hundred and fifty,000 USD (Perry and Perry, 2010) – within the ready customers. As a count of truth, the ready purchasers specifically consisted of the operating elegance – a home helper, an car-mechanic (component-time pupil) and different blue-collar employees with household incomes from 30,000 USD to 80,000 USD. Not all were from Guyana – one became from Antigua at the same time as any other was from Surinam. Most were ladies and the elderly.

During the interviews, they informed me that the bursting of the housing bubble brought about their real estate homes to distinctly decline and left shuttered homes inside the community. They said that the USA is reverting to a third world usa and that there’s no difference among Guyana (currently located oil) and America. As a remember of truth, a registered nurse (a single mom and divorcee; first immigrated to the US in 1987; lives in Cambria Heights, Queens) informed me that one in all her sisters and a nephew decided to return to Surinam (neighboring Guyana) after she filed their papers (everlasting residency) for them. They agree with that Surinam gives a higher fine of existence and socioeconomic conditions.

In order to interview the center elegance clients, I went returned to the house on the company tax deadline – March 15th. The owner of a house reserved the day for mainly small business proprietors. One interviewee (warrior caste; first immigrated to the USA in 1978) who lives in Floral Park, Queens stated that except the property cost of his home. He changed into no longer without a doubt affected tons by using the crisis. Nonetheless, he knows of those who are hurting, he works for the Metropolitan Transit Authority (union consultant) and his spouse is a small business proprietor. Like the working magnificence taxpayers, he blamed George W. Bush and the Republicans’ home and overseas guidelines and politics that ends in struggle at the center elegance and wars abroad. As a be counted of truth, he instructed me that he these days led a union protest in Albany, New York. He argued that the union contributed substantially to his middle class repute.

I concept perhaps I ought to spread my internet a bit bit wider to see if I may want to find a middle elegance patron who may mirror a exclusive perspective from the opposite interviewees up to now. Therefore, I traveled to see Eddie who owns Eddie’s Furniture on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, Queens on account that he’s center elegance and a business proprietor. Perhaps, he might be more conservative. Eddie (warrior caste; immigrated to america in 1987) has been a client of the homeowner for almost 25 years. Eddie shared the emotions of the alternative interviewees. He said that his enterprise has declining revenues due to the fact a number of his customers lost their jobs or are underemployed. Additionally, maximum within the community very own two own family houses that depend on the rent in their tenants to pay their mortgages. When the tenants lose their jobs and cannot come up with the money for the lease, the house owners lose their homes due to the fact they cannot have the funds for the loan considering the fact that most of the family profits is from hire – a non-exertions profits. Surprisingly, he pointed out to me that he knows of own family members living in Guyana who’re sending remittances to family individuals in New York to make ends meet instead of the alternative way round. The forex charge is two hundred Guyanese bucks to one American greenback and the Guyanese median profits is 3,900 USD. Like the others, he blamed public rules/economic guidelines orchestrated through George W. Bush and the Republicans.