Bodega Dreams Setting

Ernesto Quinonez
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Spanish Harlem/El Barrio

Spanish Harlem, also known as East Harlem and El Barrio is located just north of Manhattan's Upper East Side in New York City. All of the main characters of the novel live in Spanish Harlem and most of the novel takes place here. (It is unclear what year the novel is set in, but one might infer it is the late 1990s.) Chino explains that fires are common in the neighborhood and that "burned-down buildings would then house junkies who made them into shooting galleries...After a few months, the City of New York would send a crane with a ball and chain to wreck the gutted tenements. A few weeks later a bulldozer would arrive and turn the block into a vacant lot" (5). At one point, he refers to Spanish Harlem as a "slum" (13). Many walls in the neighborhood are decorated with graffiti murals...

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This section contains 988 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bodega Dreams Study Guide
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