When you exit the elevated number 7 subway at the 74th Street station in the Jackson Heights section of New York City, a walk northward immediately puts you in a Little India. Bhangra music blares and shop windows display saris, while a halal restaurant features beef ribs, fried chicken and daal.
Head east from the same station, however, and within a few blocks, signs of South Asia give way to Mexican taco stands, Colombian, Peruvian and Ecuadoran restaurants, and the rhythms of Latin music.
Jackson Heights, Queens is one of the most diverse places in the nation. Half of the neighborhood’s residents speak Spanish. Others speak Chinese, Urdu, Hindi, Russian, Portuguese, Greek or Korean. Altogether, the neighborhood is said to be the home of 167 languages.