Nancy Chuang/Invisible Hands that Feed New York: Samia

20160816_samia_carcustomer1_txD76mgivdk12.jpg
20160816_samia_carcustomer1_txD76mgivdk12.jpg

Nancy Chuang/Invisible Hands that Feed New York: Samia

150.00

Gelatin silver print, 13.5 x 9.5 matted 16x20.

SAMIA

Samia used to enjoy the freedom of street vending, but 2016 was tough. She pays 30% of her profits to the Moroccan permit-owner, who left the business once he obtained a coveted Taxi and Limousine Commission license. But with decreased customers citywide, and increased police crackdowns, her sales have dropped so low that he’s threatened to fire her. Her husband’s heart problems prevents him from difficult work, so she’s had to borrow money to pay her apartment rent. She failed to get a Green Cart permit—a 2008 initiative by Mayor Bloomberg designating 1000 new permits to increase fruit & vegetable stands in food deserts—which she thought would be easier on her husband. Samia worked for 35 years with an Egyptian school district, but left abruptly when she won the green card lottery. Their children were over 18 so they couldn’t join, but now she hopes to sponsor them. Other than immediate family, she hasn’t let anyone else in Egypt know she works as a street vendor.

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