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The road to being demolished - Willets Point

Margo Ramirez | New Jersey, United States

On November of 2022 Mayor Eric Adams announced the development of Willets Point, with a 25,000 seat soccer stadium and a retricted housing complex to be constructed.  But in his speech, he made no mention as to what will happen to the 230 businesses that will be demolished.  "Willets Point" a Queens boro eye sore to many, a grimy and dirty pothole ridden area, has long been seen as a waste of prime New York City real estate.  But for the hundreds of immigrants that make their way on the 7 train to earn a days pay, this is more than a shantytown, it is a community of people, mostly Spanish speaking immigrants in search for their American dream.  A dream that is now haunted by the site of bulldozers and catapillers, wondering when will their businesses be demolished.  With the days numbered before these businesses are destroyed I wanted this collection of images to serve as testimony of the many people of Willets Point that live each day with uncertainty.   

The project began in 2018 after embarking on a quest to photograph the many boroughs of NYC. I wanted to capture the people, the energy of the city, and the pulse of the boroughs, that is home to the many neighborhoods that makes NYC so unique.

What I discoverd as I began to trek around the rugged untamed area of Willets was a community of hard working people taking care of one another is they live day by day with much uncertainty.  In my walks I also met many women that were there to earn a living or be of support to their signifcant other, that I was inspired to also photograph them and my second body of work was born,  Mujeres Del Triangulo De Hierro. 

As I jumped through puddles of dirty water and potholes I came across a landscape like I never seen in NYC.  Walls of tires, and the sounds of metal chirping, spanish music blasting on the radio, and loud voices of men haggling for a good price, I soon realize that their was a human story to be told that the city some how forgot to mention when they made their big announcement of the redevelopment of the area.  


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