Brazil on the Boulevard by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein
Excerpt from "Brazil on the Boulevard: Northeast Philadelphia is home to a fast-growing Brazilian community" By Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein, Philadelphia Weekly, Aug. 30, 2006
Take a short drive down Castor Avenue from Rhawnhurst to Oxford Circle with a slight detour on Cottman and Bustleton avenues, and you'll find Brazil's national colors of green, yellow and blue bursting from signs offering cell phones, pizza and bikinis. Discreetly advertised Brazilian evangelical churches also peek out from abandoned-looking storefronts.
"The Brazilian community here has grown really fast," says Aiton Santos, 41, the editor in chief of Brazilian News Week, the Portuguese-language newspaper he founded four years ago. He's also the editor in chief of 100% Brazil, a bimonthly magazine launched this year for Brazilians in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
When Santos arrived in Philadelphia in 1999, there was one Brazilian store and one Brazilian restaurant. Now there are some 10 Brazilian food establishments--restaurants, bakeries, a supermarket--and at least 15 Brazilian stores, which in addition to selling everything from soccer jerseys to evangelical books, also assist with money transfers. There are seven Brazilian evangelical churches and a Catholic church with a Brazilian pastor.
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