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tv   Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown  CNN  May 5, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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♪ ♪
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♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha la la la la sha la la la la la ♪ ♪ sha la la la la sha la la la la la la ♪ >> man wearing cam vest: good morning, my friend. how are you? this mine? >> man wearing white hoodie: yes.
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>> man wearing cam vest: i start my day i wake up at 2:00, come to the garage around 3:00 to get ready to go on my way to take the queens borough bridge. ♪ >> man wearing cam vest: okay, showtime. >> anthony: just across the east river from manhattan where i live just over there is an enchanted wonderland.
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an international crossroads, a stew pot of neighborhoods filled with the languages, cultures, traditions and flavors of many lands. >> anthony: hey, how you doing? >> man wearing cam vest: morning. >> anthony: my morning ritual goes something like this, regular coffee and a donut. maybe a cruller if i'm feeling wild and crazy. but just across the river the options are endless. ♪ >> anthony: the seven train winds over and through queens like a main cable. every stop can seem like another
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country, another region. get off at roosevelt avenue and you're going to eat well for sure. example, this cart sells ecuadorian food. hernado, roast pork with sublime crispy skin straight from heaven. >> anthony: crunch, that's the sound of victory right there. morcilla, blood sausage with potato cakes. oh, man, that's looking really good. this is a working-class neighborhood with people coming to and from work. >> shawn: yeah. >> anthony: how often do you think the average person eats at one of these things? >> shawn: a lot of the day laborers, a lot of the men that are here that might live in these tiny apartments with these tiny shared kitchens, they can't cook. >> anthony: right. >> shawn: they're not going to go into the restaurants. they don't have time for that. so it's for them it might be even more that they're eating on the streets. >> anthony: shawn bazinski is the director of the street vendor project. prior to going to law school, he
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built a pushcart and sold burritos on the corner of 52nd and park. he founded svp with a small grant from yale university law school. he lives in a tenement walk up apartment in manhattan with a bathtub in the kitchen. you know, like most lawyers. >> anthony: so within like a mile from here -- >> matt: yeah. >> anthony: what would my options be nationality wise? >> matt: it's incredible. i mean, you have tibetan street food, then there's colombian arepas. you go up into flushing and there's the chinese bbq parts. i don't know of any place in new york, maybe even the world or the country where you can have such diversity on the street. >> anthony: matt shapiro is another lawyer who represents street vendors when they need legal help, which in our nanny state current reality is all too often. >> anthony: now, generally speaking, to open up a cart on the street you need a license. >> matt: you have to have a license for yourself and then you have to have a permit for the cart itself. that's the problem. >> anthony: in any spot?
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>> matt: generally speaking, yes, although there's lots of restrictions. >> anthony: manhattan is very much the "not in my backyard neighborhood" in a lot of ways. i mean, for this reason manhattan in my view is less interesting than queens. this is a wonderland. >> matt: yeah. >> anthony: i mean, look at what we've got here. >> shawn: you know they're trying to change it though, and the more it does change, the more the vendors are threatened, you know? >> matt: there's all this talk about cleaning up roosevelt avenue, you know, what that means. >> anthony: if you get higher rents, nicer buildings, they're not going to want a street cart out in front. >> matt: that's sometimes the problem that vendors face. even if the spot is completely legal. and we see it all the time where there's building managers that come out and say, "hey, you've got to move. you can't be here." they even call the police. >> anthony: so what happens if that happens -- when that occurs? >> shawn: when it was me, the young kid out of college, i was ready for that. but if you're an immigrant that doesn't speak any english and is realistically scared, and they tell you to move, well, you're going to move.
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>> anthony: in a perfect world, how many of these would there be? >> matt: i think the more diverse street food we can have the better, the more pathways that we can provide for people to come and start a business and hopefully after five or ten years, maybe they'll have a restaurant. i mean, we don't say there are too many restaurants do we? so why too many food vendors? >> anthony: too many affordable restaurants, damn it. >> heems: hey, what's up new york city how yall doing? ♪ inshallah, mashallah hopefully no martial law hail allah, yo yallah let's rock a show in ramallah kick it with my homie when i'm out in haifa kick it with muhammed when i'm out in
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jaffa oh no, we're in trouble tsa always want to burst my bubble always get a random check when i rock the stubble. ♪
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>> anthony: heemanshu suri is better known as heems, half of the rap duo known as the sweatshop boys. he was born and raised in queens, a living breathing example of the glorious mash up that is this borough. so it seems just right that a first generation indian dude takes me to a chinese dumplings spot close to his hindu temple. hew garden dumplings is everything you need in life. so born and raised in queens? >> heems: yeah. >> anthony: in what neighborhood? >> heems: most of my life i've been in glen oaks and belrose which is like further east. >> anthony: largely or mostly indian? >> heems: our neighborhood is mostly punjabi, and then there was the christians from kerala, malayala, and pakistani's those three. >> anthony: and the next non-indian neighborhood over? >> heems: more like guyanese, instant indo-caribbean. >> anthony: right. >> heems: and then the other neighborhoods like whiter but still indian.
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it's hard to escape us in queens, which is why i like it here. >> anthony: spicy beef and tripes, boiled pig tongue and tripe marinated in sugar and soy, served cold in chile oil. >> anthony: traditional indian food at home, what about outside the house for you? >> heems: because the foods so good at home, we don't really go out to eat indian food because it was just be my mom going "i can make better dal than this." so its new york. so it's like lo mein and pizza when we weren't eating indian food. >> anthony: lions head meatballs. pork, ginger, soy. >> heems: so we used to come through flushing even when we moved out further east because they didn't have grocery stores there, my temple is over here and so even as we moved further out to long island we always ended up coming back to here or jackson heights, which are like these first places you come. sometimes i joke because queens is so great and diverse but its also because the airport is right here. so it's just like you get off of this 16 hour flight with no money in your pocket from india and like where am i going to live? well, i'm already here so let's start with this place. ♪
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>> anthony: soup dumplings, piping hot and filled with ground pork in near boiling broth. >> heems: this is why i come here. >> anthony: yeah this is dumplings. so when you were growing up what was the international breakdown of typical class at school? >> heems: my high school is a public high school, but was maybe 70 percent east and south asian, mostly chinese and korean, and all of those kids end up going to harvard. all of those kids end up going to nyu and those types of schools, and you know if the american dream is alive i think it's alive in places like queens. >> anthony: what do you mean by that? >> heems: that there are still a lot of people coming here with nothing and making something out of it. and as i kind of lose hope and the idea of diversity is a positive thing or the idea of that america is an open place, i think in a place with so much race and diversity it gets in the way less here than it does in other places. >> anthony: will america look
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sooner or later like queens? >> heems: i guess 2042 is the year that people of color become the majority in this country seems like a long, long time away, but yeah that is the hope. ♪ (vo) what if this didn't have to happen? i didn't see it. (vo) what if we could go back? what if our car... could stop itself? in iihs front-end crash prevention testing, nobody beats the subaru impreza. not toyota. not honda. not ford. the subaru impreza. more than a car, it's a subaru. i'm your phone,istle text alert. stuck down here between your seat and your console, playing a little hide-n-seek. cold... warmer... warmer... ah boiling.
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♪ ♪ >> anthony: get lost in flushing
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for a while and behold the awesomeness. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> anthony: if you're looking
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for amazing chinese food or korean just like home, well flushing is the place. this joint is high on the list, geo si gi. cheers. josh smookler and cosme aguillar are both chef's and restaurateurs operating in queens. josh, a korean man who was adopted and raised by a jewish family, owns the wildly popular long island city restaurant mu ramen. >> anthony: did you take off right away? it was successful right away? >> joshua: yes, pretty much immediately. you know i was cooking out of my house, then we transported onto this bagel shop. we served from 7 o'clock to 9:30, ten seats at a time. it was me in the kitchen and my wife out in front and one day somebody text me he goes, "congratulations." i go "for what?" they go pete reynolds just gave you number one ramen in new york city. >> anthony: so "new york times" loves you? >> joshua: yeah, and i saw the article and i started crying.
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>> anthony: cosme is the owner of casa enrique also in long island city. it's the only mexican restaurant in new york with a michelin star. >> anthony: you didn't even do the smart thing, the smart thing of course being to make shitty mexican food because you know americans will always buy shitty mexican food. you started making really associated interesting mexican food, why? >> cosme: my brother come up with the idea to open a mexican restaurant, and i told my brother come on, i've never cooked mexican food like for a restaurant. so i started cooking for six months at home every single day trying to do different things and finally we opened a mexican restaurant. >> anthony: and then you got a michelin star? >> cosme: yeah, for three years in a row. >> anthony: nice. both are fantastic, but tonight we're eating korean. gamjatang, pork neck bone soup with rice cakes, pork belly, kimchi, and spicy radish, and kimchi and oysters. >> joshua: so this dish right here the gamjatang was the dish that i'd buy three years ago.
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it literally transplanted me back to korea. >> anthony: yeah, but how old were you when you left? >> joshua: i came to america at 6. >> anthony: were you raised observant jew? >> joshua: orthodox. >> anthony: you were raised orthodox. you still with the program? >> joshua: no not at all. i'm eating pork right now. >> anthony: that's tough, i mean because koreans are pork crazy. >> joshua: korean food, but i didn't have much of it growing up at all. in fact kimchi was like shun from our household because it stunk up the whole house. >> anthony: well it's just not kosher too. >> joshua: and it's not kosher either so they -- >> anthony: with the shell fish in there. >> joshua: yeah, but now i still make korean style ramen, and now i have the matzah ball ramen. being raised jewish i can't help it. i think as cooks we always go gravitate towards to what our dna is. >> anthony: so when are you opening a korean restaurant? >> joshua: i don't know anything about korean food. i just know i like it, i gravitate towards those flavors. ♪ >> anthony: galbi, short ribs marinated in soy garlic and sesame oil, then grilled.
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meat candy. >> anthony: you ever investigate other neighborhoods? the number of immigrants from all over the world i mean it's, you know, extraordinary. >> joshua: the funny thing now i have caucasians working the line. >> anthony: yeah. >> joshua: and the asians come in and they go "oh this isn't good they got a bunch of white guys working" i'm like what. >> anthony: i'm racist like that too. >> joshua: really? >> anthony: yeah, i'm totally like that. if i walk into a sushi restaurant i make racist assumptions about the place if they're not japanese. >> joshua: you do the same thing if you go to a restaurant and you see, like let's say a korean restaurant, and if you only see white people what you think? it's not legit? >> anthony: eating at the korean restaurant? >> joshua: yeah. >> anthony: you want the truth? >> joshua: of course i want the truth. ♪
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♪ ♪ >> loy: some people say it's the most famous place you've never heard of. that's where we are. well, when you start getting down to the detail of it this is historic neirs tavern. >> anthony: back in the 1820s when queens was still moly
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farmland and livestock rather than the seven tra washa rumbled down what became jamaica avenue. the manager of a racetrack called the union course opened a nearby tavern to accommodate the gamblers and lay-abouts who frequented his track. it was called the blue pump room. in later iterations it became the old abbey the union course tavern and finally neirs tavern. the neirs family, german immigrants added a bowling alley a ballroom and a hotel after the racetrack closed in 1898 and renamed the place neirs social hall. today it's owned by this man lt. loy gordon of the fdny. you were born in jamaica? >> loy: it's a funny thing. i'm from the island of jamaica and i moved to jamaica, queens. >> anthony: why jamaica, queens? >> loy: well, my mom was here. >> anthony: what did your mom do for a living? what kind of work did she doing? >> loy: you know she didn't have all the education in the world. so you had to do all the odds and ends she had to clean floors and just do whatever she had to
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do just to get things going. i think it's pretty much the similar story of immigrants that come to the united states. they come and work hard because it's the land of opportunity and they find a way to make it out of the rut. or at least using that platform to have someone like me their offspring to become a little bit more, right? than they were. >> anthony: ordinarily the story is, i'm a regular beer drinker at this joint and the thought of it disappearing is unbearable for me, where am i going to drink now? but that's not your story. >> loy: i knew that this place was important you know? i just felt something special and being someone that's from queens, something that's special like this shouldn't disappear. it was three days from closing down when i walked into the place. >> anthony: wow. the way it's located, someone has to tell you about neirs tavern. someone has to say, you know, it's around the corner to the left to the right and if someone tells you about it i think they
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think you're worthy enough to discover such a historic and cool little place. >> anthony: now historic for a lot of reasons, at least in my mind the greatest american film ever made was shot here. a lot of it was shot here right? >> loy: about 15 percent. >> anthony: okay so which scenes were shot here? >> loy: it was a very pivotal moment of the movie. >> anthony: okay so that's the moment wait, wait, wait. let me remember it. is he right there or is he right here. >> loy: he's right there. >> anthony: he's right here and he looks over at moorie and you know he's decided moorie's going. >> loy: moorie's going, you might as well just knock everybody else off. >> anthony: well no, moorie was a problem from the beginning. i think any reasonable businessman would've -- you know, here's a question it doesn't have nothing to do with anything. you're working for the mob and you've been having some disagreements with your business partners, why would you ever get in the front passenger seat when someone else is sitting in the back? i mean paulie made the same mistake in the godfather. it's always like, you know, that's a bad seat to sit in.
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♪ >> anthony: it's tempting to think when reflecting on jackson heights of indian, but queens is always changing, always in flux, a landing spot for people from all over the world. new arrivals from tibet being an example. sandwiched in between two cell
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phone stores and a couple of jewelry shops is lhasa fast food. >> ali: this particular neighborhood that we are in now, jan heights, has storically been the first stop for the newest immigrants. it's a big latino neighborhood but the south asian's community's presence is pretty well known and i think it's very fitting that now this huge tibetan community which is very new looking for a home where are they going to go? they're going to go near the indians right? >> anthony: so you guys grew up together? >> ali: yeah we grew up in queens. >> heems: i remember we were in the same little league. >> anthony: what position did you play in little league? >> heems: oh, they put me in the outfield. i was terrible. >> anthony: which outfield? that matters. >> heems: i would usually go to the right side. >> ali: the right field. >> anthony: yeah, yeah. >> anthony: heems joins me for dinner along with his friend and neighborhood advocate ali najmi. >> man on podium: i now would like to call up a close friend of mine mr. ali najmi. [ applause ] >> ali: i'm really involved in politics, local elections, and empowering new voters and then advocating for particular issues that come up.
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>> ali: mr. president-elect i know you're not too good at listening, but you're going to have to hear us now. muslim americans are not going anywhere. latino americans are not going anywhere and we contribute to this country. it turns out we pay more taxes than you do. >> anthony: why give a [ bleep]? >> ali: i have sense of what i think is right, and what needs to be done, and i can't sit back and let people who are being underserved continue to be underserved. >> anthony: you're going to have your work cut out for you for the next four years. >> ali: we are but you know what? we have to organize. there is no other way to do it. america wouldn't be as great as it is right now if people didn't organize. >> ali: it's both unique and disturbing that you're also from queens, because the values that you have been running on are not the queens values we know and i guarantee you one thing we -- all of us, will make sure you don't forget where you came from. >> anthony: how much traction
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are you getting within the community? is there a hunger for that, or is it taking some convincing? >> ali: definitely a lot of people, that because it's such a new community they're just trying to make it in america. they're trying to maximize whatever they have, even space. we have a cell phone store, a phone card store, we have a little bit of space let's put a restaurant here and maximize everything we can, but then there are other people that get it, that believe in the promise of america that believe in their rights. >> anthony: thin thuk, hand torn noodle soup with chili's and ginger. >> anthony: do you think it's only a matter of time till were replaced by either another incoming group or you know hipster apocalypse. >> ali: you know the story of new york is that neighborhoods are constantly changing you know everything's in flux nothing is
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static and even all our communities that have come in. you know, we've transformed these neighborhoods that we've moved into. >> heems: it's hard to make a claim for ownership when my parents moved here too, you know? there's this constant i don't want this neighborhood to be gentrified but am i gentrifying it. >> anthony: shaptra, or chili fried beef, thin panes of beef with chili oil and soy and sichuan pepper corns. sha momo, steamed dumplings stuffed with beef. there are a lot of people that you'll see in this community and for them its like the nightmare scenario. what's the best thing about queens other than diversity just as a everyday practical matter? >> ali: you wake up in queens everyday and you're allowed to be who you are. you can't say that in every place. maybe not even the places where our parents come from. i just want to find a used car without getting ripped off. start at the new carfax.com show me used trucks with one owner. pretty cool. [laughs] ah... ahem... show me the carfax. start your used car search at the all-new carfax.com.
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♪ >> anthony: further out in queens the somewhat forlorn looking but still beautiful, the rockaways. >> josmar: this is rockaway park further down you call it far rockaway there's also rockaway beach. that's why they call it the rockaways and not just rockaway sometimes. >> anthony: right. >> josmar: there's a lot of
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different parts to it. >> anthony: josmar trujillo, a writer and local activist. >> anthony: you from queens originally? >> josmar: i was raised in the city but i lived in queens for most of my adult life now. >> anthony: and rockaway now? >> josmar: no i so i left here a little, about a year after hurricane sandy, 'cause the way sandy hit and the way that it kind of you know shook people out of where. you didn't want to put your family through that again, the risk of that. >> anthony: how bad did it get hit out here? >> josmar: this was like something out of a movie. >> anthony: hurricane sandy pounded the east coast in 2012 and many communities suffered, but the rockaways were hit with a particular ferocity. >> anthony: how was the response? >> josmar: you know, the response from everyday people was good, like one of the best things about what happened right afterwards was the way a lot of people came together who lived here, but also how a lot of people kind of came in, pitched in, brought food, brought generators, but officially with like government the semi-governmental groups, they dropped the ball. >> anthony: what was the
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problem? >> josmar: they weren't ready for it. the rockaways by design was never a place where there was a lot of good investment, or infrastructure anyway to begin with. >> anthony: why? look, this is what you would call prime oceanfront property, not far from new york city, what's going on? >> josmar: this is a place where historically, the city and robert moses in particular, really used as a dumping ground for undesirable groups that they didn't necessarily want to deal with. >> anthony: back in the day the rockaways was a summer destination for middle class new yorkers until better roads and an improved rail system lured them to the beaches of long island. >> josmar: they threw a bunch of public housing projects in here. they sent a lot of people of the low income city out here and it just wasn't a place that historically the city took care of seriously. you know since then we've also had a lot of working class whites move into more of the western end and so what you've kind of seen in the rockaways is this shape out along race and class lines and the one dynamic
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that's changed after sandy was we got a lot more young urban professional types like really coming out here. you know looking to maybe intentionally or not to "brooklynify" the rockaways, gentrify the rockaways. rockaways is called the brooklyn riviera, the williamsburg riviera. >> anthony: who gets the shaft in a situation like that? >> josmar: if you're a person who's not a homeowner, or if you're a person who is struggling to pay rent. the plans are generally history has told is, we're going to leave you behind. it's interesting because i don't think a lot of people thought that would happen. when you're on rockaway, you have this kind of sense of security that you clown around in this lazy beach town and you're like i would love to come out here and walk on the beach and it's just me and two other people for miles and miles and that was great. we wont have that anymore when there won't be a place in the city for you to be able to have that. you know, some people may be for it and i think that may be short sided because i think this might not necessarily involve the same people who are here. >> anthony: it never does. ♪
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>> anthony: what's the perfect day in the rockaways? >> josmar: oh the perfect day, obviously hit the beach but you don't want to find a place where there's you know no sand you know. >> anthony: right. >> josmar: you want to find a place that's off the beaten path, grab a bite to eat, maybe have a couple drinks at night and watch the waves crash, and we're near the airport so you watch some of the planes fly over, and it's just it's a different feel. you don't feel like you're in new york when you're out here. when i first came here i was a city kid. i was used to living the hustle and bustle the city that never sleeps. when i got here, there's like this tranquility. there's this feel that you're not in the city and it's great because it makes you feel like you can sit back and be with your thoughts. you know, as a city kid it gave me a lot of perspective. so, anytime you can come out here and get away and kind of be away from stuff and kind of be you know with the water and with your thoughts it's a great thing. hi!
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♪ >> laurie: is that a hundred dollar bill? >> anthony: yeah. i feel dead inside, laurie. this is going to bring me around. >> laurie: keep telling yourself that. >> anthony: hi, all of it on number two to win first. thank you. you've got to be in it to win it laurie. >> laurie: five dollars on number five to win please. >> anthony: it's the middle of winter there are only a few hardcore race enthusiast here, also me and friend and author laurie woolever. >> laurie: here they come.
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>> anthony: and a winner. all right you won your first race. >> laurie: you know in a way you didn't win anything but -- >> anthony: not quite good enough. i love this place. the ponies, the beer, the looming sense of despair and melancholy. did i mention they have jamaican beef patties. >> laurie: people like it here because you can get your emotional feel for the horses you can look down into the paddock and people like to sort of see sort of how the horse is behaving. >> anthony: all right i smell victory, or is that horse shit? fourth race number two to win. oh, no. ughh, smoked. i need to win on a long shot now. i need to get well. i need to come back. built on the side of a former
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conduit for brooklyn water works that brought water from eastern long island to the ridgewood reservoir, aqueduct racetrack opened in 1894. the glory days of horse racing are long gone, but for those few proud remaining degenerate gamblers with a few bucks and a dream, aqueduct is still there. it's a judgment free zone here though. >> laurie: totally. >> anthony: it's kind of a come as you are situation. >> laurie: yes, i think that's true of queens in general and you can kind of fly under the radar, you know? you have not been harassed too much today right? >> anthony: no, guy comes up to me he says "hey you look like anthony bourdain." i said yeah i wish i had his money, he says "you're right, that [ bleep ]." it was great. it was like the perfect encounter. >> laurie: that's queens. nobody gives a shit. ♪
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>> laurie: all right number two right up, up top. >> anthony: yes. >> laurie: come on number two keep it, keep it. >> anthony: it's a close race, it's a nail biter. >> laurie: are you kidding me? >> anthony: dropped like a stone. >> laurie: way to suck, so promising. >> anthony: no braces for my little girl. >> laurie: it's not over. there's always another race. ♪ it's your thing ♪ ♪ do what you want to do (whoosh, explosion)
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that's why he uses the chase mobile app, to pay practically anyone, at any bank. life, lived victor's way. chase. make more of what's yours. >> ray: i'm ray, i'm from guyana originally. my father raised birds so i ended up with the same hobby. it's called bird racing instead
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of like running races they can sing and race you know. the first bird to chirp to 50 won the prize. they're worth a lot of money, and if he become a champion he win a couple races, the price goes up 10,000, 8,000 dollars. ♪ you've got to be as gentle as possible. so i just hold it in my hand because if you hit bumps i rattle him you know? i want him to be as calm as possible. >> ray: i'll find parking as close as possible to where we're going so the birds don't be exposed to the cold weather. >> ray: right now we're trying to warm up the birds. sometimes you bring a bird today and he's not in the mood nothing
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happens we just get another day. alright you ready? ♪ >> anthony: the world is in queens and like the world as a whole, it is constantly changing. here in the jamaica neighborhood, a growing number of immigrants from african have put down roots and with them restaurants catering to their tastes. like here at africana. >> blessing: my name is blessing osagiede.
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i come from nigeria and this is a nigerian restaurant. we started in 2000. the first three years were really, really tough, but thank god we're still alive were here we're healthy. my mother had a restaurant in nigeria, for 20 years before i came here. i love to cook. when you come in here you feel at home you feel like it's the motherland, you know. >> anthony: this food is really good. >> sarah: it is very good and she was worried about it being too spicy, i don't think it's too spicy. >> anthony: no never a problem for me. sarah khan has made it her mission to find and write about some of these great little off the grid places throughout the borough. you're studying the intersection between food and culture. how did you get to that point? >> sarah: so i kind of cobbled together a way to travel, learn languages, and eat. >> anthony: and do you ever worry that by celebrating these communities you're helping destroy them? >> sarah: oh absolutely,
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absolutely.. >> anthony: i worry about it. >> sarah: but, you know, those stories need to be told, through what they do, though how they survive. ♪ >> anthony: every meal, every dish, has a story, often a very personal one, often a story of hardship, separation, difficult times, but when somebody cooks for you they are saying something. they are telling you something about themselves. where they come from, who they are, what makes them happy. >> anthony: a whole hell of a lot of people in queens, the people who make the borough what it is. who make it such a great place to eat and explore are very far from the places that they once called home. ♪ but queens is home now.
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