If you walk the length of Roosevelt Avenue from 69th Street to 111th Street in the early morning, you may encounter up to two dozen tamale ladies, usually at the major intersections that correspond to the 7 train’s stops. Few have licensed carts; most vend from grocery carts. Many of these women are up at 3 a.m. cooking and packing their steaming goods and are on the street by 4 or 5 a.m. Licensed or not, their business is brisk, efficient and professional. The ladies feed their own and charge prices that day laborers can pay. Read more…

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