The Ballarò neighborhood of Palermo is where Mario Barwuah Balotelli—Super Mario, the football striker and new Italian icon—was born. His parents, Ghanian immigrants who moved to Brescia in the north of Italy when he was still an infant, eventually gave Mario up for adoption, and he was raised in Lombardy by the white Italian Balotelli family. But Balotelli hasn’t forgotten his roots here in Ballarò

- Nathan Thronburgh, The Beautiful Game of Ballaro
 ·  1 notes

13th June 2014

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13th June 2014

World Cup 2014. Cameroon 0 - Mexico 1  
13 June 2014, 12:00 pm. The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cameroon to the United Nations, Upper East Side
As there are no Cameroonian restaurants in NYC, we headed to the Cameroonian Mission to the UN for the 2014 World Cup’s second match to watch the country take on Mexico.
Alongside Cameroon’s diplomatic corps, Cameroonians living in NYC, and a few random others who may have read our article tipping them off to this viewing opportunity, we all cheered for a lackluster Indomitable Lions team unable to maintain possession against a technically superior Mexico. 
With a large framed photo of President Paul Biya between the UN and Cameroon flags hovering over us in an opulent Upper East Side townhouse, this was not a typical World Cup viewing environment. This point was driven home further when the Mission’s extremely hospitable staff passed out officially-branded bottles of water featuring a picture of one lion eating another.
Mexico’s two first half goals were called back, leading to heated debate between a diplomat and a man clutching a flag on the merits of FIFA referees. Then, collective groans and French profanities were unleashed after Mexico pulled ahead with Herrera’s scrappy rebound in the 61st minute. 
Guillermo Ochoa’s last minute heroics ensured a Mexico victory and we said our goodbyes, thanked the Mission’s staff, and headed back to work ourselves. 
World Cup 2014. Cameroon 0 - Mexico 1  
13 June 2014, 12:00 pm. The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cameroon to the United Nations, Upper East Side
As there are no Cameroonian restaurants in NYC, we headed to the Cameroonian Mission to the UN for the 2014 World Cup’s second match to watch the country take on Mexico.
Alongside Cameroon’s diplomatic corps, Cameroonians living in NYC, and a few random others who may have read our article tipping them off to this viewing opportunity, we all cheered for a lackluster Indomitable Lions team unable to maintain possession against a technically superior Mexico. 
With a large framed photo of President Paul Biya between the UN and Cameroon flags hovering over us in an opulent Upper East Side townhouse, this was not a typical World Cup viewing environment. This point was driven home further when the Mission’s extremely hospitable staff passed out officially-branded bottles of water featuring a picture of one lion eating another.
Mexico’s two first half goals were called back, leading to heated debate between a diplomat and a man clutching a flag on the merits of FIFA referees. Then, collective groans and French profanities were unleashed after Mexico pulled ahead with Herrera’s scrappy rebound in the 61st minute. 
Guillermo Ochoa’s last minute heroics ensured a Mexico victory and we said our goodbyes, thanked the Mission’s staff, and headed back to work ourselves. 
World Cup 2014. Cameroon 0 - Mexico 1  
13 June 2014, 12:00 pm. The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cameroon to the United Nations, Upper East Side
As there are no Cameroonian restaurants in NYC, we headed to the Cameroonian Mission to the UN for the 2014 World Cup’s second match to watch the country take on Mexico.
Alongside Cameroon’s diplomatic corps, Cameroonians living in NYC, and a few random others who may have read our article tipping them off to this viewing opportunity, we all cheered for a lackluster Indomitable Lions team unable to maintain possession against a technically superior Mexico. 
With a large framed photo of President Paul Biya between the UN and Cameroon flags hovering over us in an opulent Upper East Side townhouse, this was not a typical World Cup viewing environment. This point was driven home further when the Mission’s extremely hospitable staff passed out officially-branded bottles of water featuring a picture of one lion eating another.
Mexico’s two first half goals were called back, leading to heated debate between a diplomat and a man clutching a flag on the merits of FIFA referees. Then, collective groans and French profanities were unleashed after Mexico pulled ahead with Herrera’s scrappy rebound in the 61st minute. 
Guillermo Ochoa’s last minute heroics ensured a Mexico victory and we said our goodbyes, thanked the Mission’s staff, and headed back to work ourselves. 

World Cup 2014. Cameroon 0 - Mexico 1  

13 June 2014, 12:00 pm. The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cameroon to the United Nations, Upper East Side

As there are no Cameroonian restaurants in NYC, we headed to the Cameroonian Mission to the UN for the 2014 World Cup’s second match to watch the country take on Mexico.

Alongside Cameroon’s diplomatic corps, Cameroonians living in NYC, and a few random others who may have read our article tipping them off to this viewing opportunity, we all cheered for a lackluster Indomitable Lions team unable to maintain possession against a technically superior Mexico. 

With a large framed photo of President Paul Biya between the UN and Cameroon flags hovering over us in an opulent Upper East Side townhouse, this was not a typical World Cup viewing environment. This point was driven home further when the Mission’s extremely hospitable staff passed out officially-branded bottles of water featuring a picture of one lion eating another.

Mexico’s two first half goals were called back, leading to heated debate between a diplomat and a man clutching a flag on the merits of FIFA referees. Then, collective groans and French profanities were unleashed after Mexico pulled ahead with Herrera’s scrappy rebound in the 61st minute. 

Guillermo Ochoa’s last minute heroics ensured a Mexico victory and we said our goodbyes, thanked the Mission’s staff, and headed back to work ourselves. 

 ·  1 notes

28th May 2014

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28th May 2014

World Cup Panini Sticker Pandemonium in Queens
The global Panini World Cup sticker collecting craze is flourishing in New York City, with over 150 people of all ages trading stickers on a single block in Jackson Heights this past Sunday before the NYPD moved in to break up the massive gathering. 
Sold for $1 a pack and $2 a book, filling each teams’ stickers has been a world wide tradition for kids and adults alike since 1970 when the Italian company launched their first World Cup product.
An analog throwback in the digital age, global Panini hysteria has recently led to 300,000 sticker packs being taken in an armed robbery in Rio, a teacher getting in trouble for stealing his students’ stickers in Colombia in an attempt to complete his book, and wealthy bankers buying up scores of packs in London. 
In the past few weeks Manhattan has witnessed Panini Brazil 2014 stickers infiltrate Modell’s stores, Duane Reade pharmacies, and some in-the-know corner bodegas. But in the outer boroughs, Queens particularly, Panini sticker trading has swept the larger city, captivating whole families and even spurring entire secondary markets.   
Sticker packets and books can be bought in innumerable Colombian bakeries from Sunnyside to Corona. Grown men sit at Irish pubs on Queens Boulevard tipping back pints and swapping stickers. And spontaneous trading gatherings appear on the streets when one person sees a visible book in a stranger’s arms. Within minutes, others join in too.
Collecting spans all ages. In the last few days we traded with an enthusiastic eight year old sporting an intricate clipboard listing her doubles accompanied by her 13 year old sister, an octogenarian Uruguayan man desperately in need of missing Croatian players, and a Colombian-American who was so determined to get a Falcao sticker at the outset that he bought multiple boxes and ended up with an insane amount of doubles. 
We completed a giant 17 sticker trade with him (picking up much needed Pirlo and Falcao stickers), said our goodbyes, and then saw him running back towards us 10 minutes later to inquire about more stickers— the last two his mother needed to complete her book.  
"I’ve been here for nineteen years," Ernesto a Jackson Heights resident from Quito told me during Sunday’s massive Panini trade outside of Chivito De Oro restaurant on 37th Avenue and 84th street. "Now it’s so much safer than it was in the 90s, families are out here on the street— Ecuadorian, Colombian, American, Uruguayan, Mexican, Argentinian— and we all trade the stickers. It’s fun and it really kicks off the World Cup in the neighborhood." 
Others even drove in to trade in Jackson Heights from as far away as Connecticut. “It’s the World Cup! We can’t trade like this in Connecticut; we heard about this and had to come,” one man enthusiastically exclaimed as his son flipped through a large stack of doubles.  
In addition to trading and selling (25 cents each or 5 for a dollar) double stickers, we also witnessed a thriving secondary Panini substructure with black market dealers seemingly everywhere. One man in an Argentina jersey who we had met at a music store in Sunnyside hawking completed books for $150 the week before, was also present at the gargantuan Jackson Heights street trade selling discounted boxes and Panini t-shirts out of a shady looking duffel bag. Another elderly woman on Greenpoint Avenue was hording hundreds of individual bought stickers to sell back, at a small markup, to collectors trying to finish up the remaining slots in their books. 
Indeed, according to the Economist, “the market for the stickers is not just for kids, however; it is also for micro-economists. Getting every slot filled delivers an early lesson in probability; the value of statistical tests; the laws of supply and demand; and the importance of liquidity.” 
As Panini Brazil 2014 sticker trading reaches a global fever pitch, it is only appropriate that Queens serves as New York City’s epicenter of local/global trading. 
(Please contact us ASAP if anyone has the Brazil hologram crest #32, or Japan’s Uchida #246 to trade). 
World Cup Panini Sticker Pandemonium in Queens
The global Panini World Cup sticker collecting craze is flourishing in New York City, with over 150 people of all ages trading stickers on a single block in Jackson Heights this past Sunday before the NYPD moved in to break up the massive gathering. 
Sold for $1 a pack and $2 a book, filling each teams’ stickers has been a world wide tradition for kids and adults alike since 1970 when the Italian company launched their first World Cup product.
An analog throwback in the digital age, global Panini hysteria has recently led to 300,000 sticker packs being taken in an armed robbery in Rio, a teacher getting in trouble for stealing his students’ stickers in Colombia in an attempt to complete his book, and wealthy bankers buying up scores of packs in London. 
In the past few weeks Manhattan has witnessed Panini Brazil 2014 stickers infiltrate Modell’s stores, Duane Reade pharmacies, and some in-the-know corner bodegas. But in the outer boroughs, Queens particularly, Panini sticker trading has swept the larger city, captivating whole families and even spurring entire secondary markets.   
Sticker packets and books can be bought in innumerable Colombian bakeries from Sunnyside to Corona. Grown men sit at Irish pubs on Queens Boulevard tipping back pints and swapping stickers. And spontaneous trading gatherings appear on the streets when one person sees a visible book in a stranger’s arms. Within minutes, others join in too.
Collecting spans all ages. In the last few days we traded with an enthusiastic eight year old sporting an intricate clipboard listing her doubles accompanied by her 13 year old sister, an octogenarian Uruguayan man desperately in need of missing Croatian players, and a Colombian-American who was so determined to get a Falcao sticker at the outset that he bought multiple boxes and ended up with an insane amount of doubles. 
We completed a giant 17 sticker trade with him (picking up much needed Pirlo and Falcao stickers), said our goodbyes, and then saw him running back towards us 10 minutes later to inquire about more stickers— the last two his mother needed to complete her book.  
"I’ve been here for nineteen years," Ernesto a Jackson Heights resident from Quito told me during Sunday’s massive Panini trade outside of Chivito De Oro restaurant on 37th Avenue and 84th street. "Now it’s so much safer than it was in the 90s, families are out here on the street— Ecuadorian, Colombian, American, Uruguayan, Mexican, Argentinian— and we all trade the stickers. It’s fun and it really kicks off the World Cup in the neighborhood." 
Others even drove in to trade in Jackson Heights from as far away as Connecticut. “It’s the World Cup! We can’t trade like this in Connecticut; we heard about this and had to come,” one man enthusiastically exclaimed as his son flipped through a large stack of doubles.  
In addition to trading and selling (25 cents each or 5 for a dollar) double stickers, we also witnessed a thriving secondary Panini substructure with black market dealers seemingly everywhere. One man in an Argentina jersey who we had met at a music store in Sunnyside hawking completed books for $150 the week before, was also present at the gargantuan Jackson Heights street trade selling discounted boxes and Panini t-shirts out of a shady looking duffel bag. Another elderly woman on Greenpoint Avenue was hording hundreds of individual bought stickers to sell back, at a small markup, to collectors trying to finish up the remaining slots in their books. 
Indeed, according to the Economist, “the market for the stickers is not just for kids, however; it is also for micro-economists. Getting every slot filled delivers an early lesson in probability; the value of statistical tests; the laws of supply and demand; and the importance of liquidity.” 
As Panini Brazil 2014 sticker trading reaches a global fever pitch, it is only appropriate that Queens serves as New York City’s epicenter of local/global trading. 
(Please contact us ASAP if anyone has the Brazil hologram crest #32, or Japan’s Uchida #246 to trade). 
World Cup Panini Sticker Pandemonium in Queens
The global Panini World Cup sticker collecting craze is flourishing in New York City, with over 150 people of all ages trading stickers on a single block in Jackson Heights this past Sunday before the NYPD moved in to break up the massive gathering. 
Sold for $1 a pack and $2 a book, filling each teams’ stickers has been a world wide tradition for kids and adults alike since 1970 when the Italian company launched their first World Cup product.
An analog throwback in the digital age, global Panini hysteria has recently led to 300,000 sticker packs being taken in an armed robbery in Rio, a teacher getting in trouble for stealing his students’ stickers in Colombia in an attempt to complete his book, and wealthy bankers buying up scores of packs in London. 
In the past few weeks Manhattan has witnessed Panini Brazil 2014 stickers infiltrate Modell’s stores, Duane Reade pharmacies, and some in-the-know corner bodegas. But in the outer boroughs, Queens particularly, Panini sticker trading has swept the larger city, captivating whole families and even spurring entire secondary markets.   
Sticker packets and books can be bought in innumerable Colombian bakeries from Sunnyside to Corona. Grown men sit at Irish pubs on Queens Boulevard tipping back pints and swapping stickers. And spontaneous trading gatherings appear on the streets when one person sees a visible book in a stranger’s arms. Within minutes, others join in too.
Collecting spans all ages. In the last few days we traded with an enthusiastic eight year old sporting an intricate clipboard listing her doubles accompanied by her 13 year old sister, an octogenarian Uruguayan man desperately in need of missing Croatian players, and a Colombian-American who was so determined to get a Falcao sticker at the outset that he bought multiple boxes and ended up with an insane amount of doubles. 
We completed a giant 17 sticker trade with him (picking up much needed Pirlo and Falcao stickers), said our goodbyes, and then saw him running back towards us 10 minutes later to inquire about more stickers— the last two his mother needed to complete her book.  
"I’ve been here for nineteen years," Ernesto a Jackson Heights resident from Quito told me during Sunday’s massive Panini trade outside of Chivito De Oro restaurant on 37th Avenue and 84th street. "Now it’s so much safer than it was in the 90s, families are out here on the street— Ecuadorian, Colombian, American, Uruguayan, Mexican, Argentinian— and we all trade the stickers. It’s fun and it really kicks off the World Cup in the neighborhood." 
Others even drove in to trade in Jackson Heights from as far away as Connecticut. “It’s the World Cup! We can’t trade like this in Connecticut; we heard about this and had to come,” one man enthusiastically exclaimed as his son flipped through a large stack of doubles.  
In addition to trading and selling (25 cents each or 5 for a dollar) double stickers, we also witnessed a thriving secondary Panini substructure with black market dealers seemingly everywhere. One man in an Argentina jersey who we had met at a music store in Sunnyside hawking completed books for $150 the week before, was also present at the gargantuan Jackson Heights street trade selling discounted boxes and Panini t-shirts out of a shady looking duffel bag. Another elderly woman on Greenpoint Avenue was hording hundreds of individual bought stickers to sell back, at a small markup, to collectors trying to finish up the remaining slots in their books. 
Indeed, according to the Economist, “the market for the stickers is not just for kids, however; it is also for micro-economists. Getting every slot filled delivers an early lesson in probability; the value of statistical tests; the laws of supply and demand; and the importance of liquidity.” 
As Panini Brazil 2014 sticker trading reaches a global fever pitch, it is only appropriate that Queens serves as New York City’s epicenter of local/global trading. 
(Please contact us ASAP if anyone has the Brazil hologram crest #32, or Japan’s Uchida #246 to trade). 
World Cup Panini Sticker Pandemonium in Queens
The global Panini World Cup sticker collecting craze is flourishing in New York City, with over 150 people of all ages trading stickers on a single block in Jackson Heights this past Sunday before the NYPD moved in to break up the massive gathering. 
Sold for $1 a pack and $2 a book, filling each teams’ stickers has been a world wide tradition for kids and adults alike since 1970 when the Italian company launched their first World Cup product.
An analog throwback in the digital age, global Panini hysteria has recently led to 300,000 sticker packs being taken in an armed robbery in Rio, a teacher getting in trouble for stealing his students’ stickers in Colombia in an attempt to complete his book, and wealthy bankers buying up scores of packs in London. 
In the past few weeks Manhattan has witnessed Panini Brazil 2014 stickers infiltrate Modell’s stores, Duane Reade pharmacies, and some in-the-know corner bodegas. But in the outer boroughs, Queens particularly, Panini sticker trading has swept the larger city, captivating whole families and even spurring entire secondary markets.   
Sticker packets and books can be bought in innumerable Colombian bakeries from Sunnyside to Corona. Grown men sit at Irish pubs on Queens Boulevard tipping back pints and swapping stickers. And spontaneous trading gatherings appear on the streets when one person sees a visible book in a stranger’s arms. Within minutes, others join in too.
Collecting spans all ages. In the last few days we traded with an enthusiastic eight year old sporting an intricate clipboard listing her doubles accompanied by her 13 year old sister, an octogenarian Uruguayan man desperately in need of missing Croatian players, and a Colombian-American who was so determined to get a Falcao sticker at the outset that he bought multiple boxes and ended up with an insane amount of doubles. 
We completed a giant 17 sticker trade with him (picking up much needed Pirlo and Falcao stickers), said our goodbyes, and then saw him running back towards us 10 minutes later to inquire about more stickers— the last two his mother needed to complete her book.  
"I’ve been here for nineteen years," Ernesto a Jackson Heights resident from Quito told me during Sunday’s massive Panini trade outside of Chivito De Oro restaurant on 37th Avenue and 84th street. "Now it’s so much safer than it was in the 90s, families are out here on the street— Ecuadorian, Colombian, American, Uruguayan, Mexican, Argentinian— and we all trade the stickers. It’s fun and it really kicks off the World Cup in the neighborhood." 
Others even drove in to trade in Jackson Heights from as far away as Connecticut. “It’s the World Cup! We can’t trade like this in Connecticut; we heard about this and had to come,” one man enthusiastically exclaimed as his son flipped through a large stack of doubles.  
In addition to trading and selling (25 cents each or 5 for a dollar) double stickers, we also witnessed a thriving secondary Panini substructure with black market dealers seemingly everywhere. One man in an Argentina jersey who we had met at a music store in Sunnyside hawking completed books for $150 the week before, was also present at the gargantuan Jackson Heights street trade selling discounted boxes and Panini t-shirts out of a shady looking duffel bag. Another elderly woman on Greenpoint Avenue was hording hundreds of individual bought stickers to sell back, at a small markup, to collectors trying to finish up the remaining slots in their books. 
Indeed, according to the Economist, “the market for the stickers is not just for kids, however; it is also for micro-economists. Getting every slot filled delivers an early lesson in probability; the value of statistical tests; the laws of supply and demand; and the importance of liquidity.” 
As Panini Brazil 2014 sticker trading reaches a global fever pitch, it is only appropriate that Queens serves as New York City’s epicenter of local/global trading. 
(Please contact us ASAP if anyone has the Brazil hologram crest #32, or Japan’s Uchida #246 to trade). 
World Cup Panini Sticker Pandemonium in Queens
The global Panini World Cup sticker collecting craze is flourishing in New York City, with over 150 people of all ages trading stickers on a single block in Jackson Heights this past Sunday before the NYPD moved in to break up the massive gathering. 
Sold for $1 a pack and $2 a book, filling each teams’ stickers has been a world wide tradition for kids and adults alike since 1970 when the Italian company launched their first World Cup product.
An analog throwback in the digital age, global Panini hysteria has recently led to 300,000 sticker packs being taken in an armed robbery in Rio, a teacher getting in trouble for stealing his students’ stickers in Colombia in an attempt to complete his book, and wealthy bankers buying up scores of packs in London. 
In the past few weeks Manhattan has witnessed Panini Brazil 2014 stickers infiltrate Modell’s stores, Duane Reade pharmacies, and some in-the-know corner bodegas. But in the outer boroughs, Queens particularly, Panini sticker trading has swept the larger city, captivating whole families and even spurring entire secondary markets.   
Sticker packets and books can be bought in innumerable Colombian bakeries from Sunnyside to Corona. Grown men sit at Irish pubs on Queens Boulevard tipping back pints and swapping stickers. And spontaneous trading gatherings appear on the streets when one person sees a visible book in a stranger’s arms. Within minutes, others join in too.
Collecting spans all ages. In the last few days we traded with an enthusiastic eight year old sporting an intricate clipboard listing her doubles accompanied by her 13 year old sister, an octogenarian Uruguayan man desperately in need of missing Croatian players, and a Colombian-American who was so determined to get a Falcao sticker at the outset that he bought multiple boxes and ended up with an insane amount of doubles. 
We completed a giant 17 sticker trade with him (picking up much needed Pirlo and Falcao stickers), said our goodbyes, and then saw him running back towards us 10 minutes later to inquire about more stickers— the last two his mother needed to complete her book.  
"I’ve been here for nineteen years," Ernesto a Jackson Heights resident from Quito told me during Sunday’s massive Panini trade outside of Chivito De Oro restaurant on 37th Avenue and 84th street. "Now it’s so much safer than it was in the 90s, families are out here on the street— Ecuadorian, Colombian, American, Uruguayan, Mexican, Argentinian— and we all trade the stickers. It’s fun and it really kicks off the World Cup in the neighborhood." 
Others even drove in to trade in Jackson Heights from as far away as Connecticut. “It’s the World Cup! We can’t trade like this in Connecticut; we heard about this and had to come,” one man enthusiastically exclaimed as his son flipped through a large stack of doubles.  
In addition to trading and selling (25 cents each or 5 for a dollar) double stickers, we also witnessed a thriving secondary Panini substructure with black market dealers seemingly everywhere. One man in an Argentina jersey who we had met at a music store in Sunnyside hawking completed books for $150 the week before, was also present at the gargantuan Jackson Heights street trade selling discounted boxes and Panini t-shirts out of a shady looking duffel bag. Another elderly woman on Greenpoint Avenue was hording hundreds of individual bought stickers to sell back, at a small markup, to collectors trying to finish up the remaining slots in their books. 
Indeed, according to the Economist, “the market for the stickers is not just for kids, however; it is also for micro-economists. Getting every slot filled delivers an early lesson in probability; the value of statistical tests; the laws of supply and demand; and the importance of liquidity.” 
As Panini Brazil 2014 sticker trading reaches a global fever pitch, it is only appropriate that Queens serves as New York City’s epicenter of local/global trading. 
(Please contact us ASAP if anyone has the Brazil hologram crest #32, or Japan’s Uchida #246 to trade). 
World Cup Panini Sticker Pandemonium in Queens
The global Panini World Cup sticker collecting craze is flourishing in New York City, with over 150 people of all ages trading stickers on a single block in Jackson Heights this past Sunday before the NYPD moved in to break up the massive gathering. 
Sold for $1 a pack and $2 a book, filling each teams’ stickers has been a world wide tradition for kids and adults alike since 1970 when the Italian company launched their first World Cup product.
An analog throwback in the digital age, global Panini hysteria has recently led to 300,000 sticker packs being taken in an armed robbery in Rio, a teacher getting in trouble for stealing his students’ stickers in Colombia in an attempt to complete his book, and wealthy bankers buying up scores of packs in London. 
In the past few weeks Manhattan has witnessed Panini Brazil 2014 stickers infiltrate Modell’s stores, Duane Reade pharmacies, and some in-the-know corner bodegas. But in the outer boroughs, Queens particularly, Panini sticker trading has swept the larger city, captivating whole families and even spurring entire secondary markets.   
Sticker packets and books can be bought in innumerable Colombian bakeries from Sunnyside to Corona. Grown men sit at Irish pubs on Queens Boulevard tipping back pints and swapping stickers. And spontaneous trading gatherings appear on the streets when one person sees a visible book in a stranger’s arms. Within minutes, others join in too.
Collecting spans all ages. In the last few days we traded with an enthusiastic eight year old sporting an intricate clipboard listing her doubles accompanied by her 13 year old sister, an octogenarian Uruguayan man desperately in need of missing Croatian players, and a Colombian-American who was so determined to get a Falcao sticker at the outset that he bought multiple boxes and ended up with an insane amount of doubles. 
We completed a giant 17 sticker trade with him (picking up much needed Pirlo and Falcao stickers), said our goodbyes, and then saw him running back towards us 10 minutes later to inquire about more stickers— the last two his mother needed to complete her book.  
"I’ve been here for nineteen years," Ernesto a Jackson Heights resident from Quito told me during Sunday’s massive Panini trade outside of Chivito De Oro restaurant on 37th Avenue and 84th street. "Now it’s so much safer than it was in the 90s, families are out here on the street— Ecuadorian, Colombian, American, Uruguayan, Mexican, Argentinian— and we all trade the stickers. It’s fun and it really kicks off the World Cup in the neighborhood." 
Others even drove in to trade in Jackson Heights from as far away as Connecticut. “It’s the World Cup! We can’t trade like this in Connecticut; we heard about this and had to come,” one man enthusiastically exclaimed as his son flipped through a large stack of doubles.  
In addition to trading and selling (25 cents each or 5 for a dollar) double stickers, we also witnessed a thriving secondary Panini substructure with black market dealers seemingly everywhere. One man in an Argentina jersey who we had met at a music store in Sunnyside hawking completed books for $150 the week before, was also present at the gargantuan Jackson Heights street trade selling discounted boxes and Panini t-shirts out of a shady looking duffel bag. Another elderly woman on Greenpoint Avenue was hording hundreds of individual bought stickers to sell back, at a small markup, to collectors trying to finish up the remaining slots in their books. 
Indeed, according to the Economist, “the market for the stickers is not just for kids, however; it is also for micro-economists. Getting every slot filled delivers an early lesson in probability; the value of statistical tests; the laws of supply and demand; and the importance of liquidity.” 
As Panini Brazil 2014 sticker trading reaches a global fever pitch, it is only appropriate that Queens serves as New York City’s epicenter of local/global trading. 
(Please contact us ASAP if anyone has the Brazil hologram crest #32, or Japan’s Uchida #246 to trade). 
World Cup Panini Sticker Pandemonium in Queens
The global Panini World Cup sticker collecting craze is flourishing in New York City, with over 150 people of all ages trading stickers on a single block in Jackson Heights this past Sunday before the NYPD moved in to break up the massive gathering. 
Sold for $1 a pack and $2 a book, filling each teams’ stickers has been a world wide tradition for kids and adults alike since 1970 when the Italian company launched their first World Cup product.
An analog throwback in the digital age, global Panini hysteria has recently led to 300,000 sticker packs being taken in an armed robbery in Rio, a teacher getting in trouble for stealing his students’ stickers in Colombia in an attempt to complete his book, and wealthy bankers buying up scores of packs in London. 
In the past few weeks Manhattan has witnessed Panini Brazil 2014 stickers infiltrate Modell’s stores, Duane Reade pharmacies, and some in-the-know corner bodegas. But in the outer boroughs, Queens particularly, Panini sticker trading has swept the larger city, captivating whole families and even spurring entire secondary markets.   
Sticker packets and books can be bought in innumerable Colombian bakeries from Sunnyside to Corona. Grown men sit at Irish pubs on Queens Boulevard tipping back pints and swapping stickers. And spontaneous trading gatherings appear on the streets when one person sees a visible book in a stranger’s arms. Within minutes, others join in too.
Collecting spans all ages. In the last few days we traded with an enthusiastic eight year old sporting an intricate clipboard listing her doubles accompanied by her 13 year old sister, an octogenarian Uruguayan man desperately in need of missing Croatian players, and a Colombian-American who was so determined to get a Falcao sticker at the outset that he bought multiple boxes and ended up with an insane amount of doubles. 
We completed a giant 17 sticker trade with him (picking up much needed Pirlo and Falcao stickers), said our goodbyes, and then saw him running back towards us 10 minutes later to inquire about more stickers— the last two his mother needed to complete her book.  
"I’ve been here for nineteen years," Ernesto a Jackson Heights resident from Quito told me during Sunday’s massive Panini trade outside of Chivito De Oro restaurant on 37th Avenue and 84th street. "Now it’s so much safer than it was in the 90s, families are out here on the street— Ecuadorian, Colombian, American, Uruguayan, Mexican, Argentinian— and we all trade the stickers. It’s fun and it really kicks off the World Cup in the neighborhood." 
Others even drove in to trade in Jackson Heights from as far away as Connecticut. “It’s the World Cup! We can’t trade like this in Connecticut; we heard about this and had to come,” one man enthusiastically exclaimed as his son flipped through a large stack of doubles.  
In addition to trading and selling (25 cents each or 5 for a dollar) double stickers, we also witnessed a thriving secondary Panini substructure with black market dealers seemingly everywhere. One man in an Argentina jersey who we had met at a music store in Sunnyside hawking completed books for $150 the week before, was also present at the gargantuan Jackson Heights street trade selling discounted boxes and Panini t-shirts out of a shady looking duffel bag. Another elderly woman on Greenpoint Avenue was hording hundreds of individual bought stickers to sell back, at a small markup, to collectors trying to finish up the remaining slots in their books. 
Indeed, according to the Economist, “the market for the stickers is not just for kids, however; it is also for micro-economists. Getting every slot filled delivers an early lesson in probability; the value of statistical tests; the laws of supply and demand; and the importance of liquidity.” 
As Panini Brazil 2014 sticker trading reaches a global fever pitch, it is only appropriate that Queens serves as New York City’s epicenter of local/global trading. 
(Please contact us ASAP if anyone has the Brazil hologram crest #32, or Japan’s Uchida #246 to trade). 
World Cup Panini Sticker Pandemonium in Queens
The global Panini World Cup sticker collecting craze is flourishing in New York City, with over 150 people of all ages trading stickers on a single block in Jackson Heights this past Sunday before the NYPD moved in to break up the massive gathering. 
Sold for $1 a pack and $2 a book, filling each teams’ stickers has been a world wide tradition for kids and adults alike since 1970 when the Italian company launched their first World Cup product.
An analog throwback in the digital age, global Panini hysteria has recently led to 300,000 sticker packs being taken in an armed robbery in Rio, a teacher getting in trouble for stealing his students’ stickers in Colombia in an attempt to complete his book, and wealthy bankers buying up scores of packs in London. 
In the past few weeks Manhattan has witnessed Panini Brazil 2014 stickers infiltrate Modell’s stores, Duane Reade pharmacies, and some in-the-know corner bodegas. But in the outer boroughs, Queens particularly, Panini sticker trading has swept the larger city, captivating whole families and even spurring entire secondary markets.   
Sticker packets and books can be bought in innumerable Colombian bakeries from Sunnyside to Corona. Grown men sit at Irish pubs on Queens Boulevard tipping back pints and swapping stickers. And spontaneous trading gatherings appear on the streets when one person sees a visible book in a stranger’s arms. Within minutes, others join in too.
Collecting spans all ages. In the last few days we traded with an enthusiastic eight year old sporting an intricate clipboard listing her doubles accompanied by her 13 year old sister, an octogenarian Uruguayan man desperately in need of missing Croatian players, and a Colombian-American who was so determined to get a Falcao sticker at the outset that he bought multiple boxes and ended up with an insane amount of doubles. 
We completed a giant 17 sticker trade with him (picking up much needed Pirlo and Falcao stickers), said our goodbyes, and then saw him running back towards us 10 minutes later to inquire about more stickers— the last two his mother needed to complete her book.  
"I’ve been here for nineteen years," Ernesto a Jackson Heights resident from Quito told me during Sunday’s massive Panini trade outside of Chivito De Oro restaurant on 37th Avenue and 84th street. "Now it’s so much safer than it was in the 90s, families are out here on the street— Ecuadorian, Colombian, American, Uruguayan, Mexican, Argentinian— and we all trade the stickers. It’s fun and it really kicks off the World Cup in the neighborhood." 
Others even drove in to trade in Jackson Heights from as far away as Connecticut. “It’s the World Cup! We can’t trade like this in Connecticut; we heard about this and had to come,” one man enthusiastically exclaimed as his son flipped through a large stack of doubles.  
In addition to trading and selling (25 cents each or 5 for a dollar) double stickers, we also witnessed a thriving secondary Panini substructure with black market dealers seemingly everywhere. One man in an Argentina jersey who we had met at a music store in Sunnyside hawking completed books for $150 the week before, was also present at the gargantuan Jackson Heights street trade selling discounted boxes and Panini t-shirts out of a shady looking duffel bag. Another elderly woman on Greenpoint Avenue was hording hundreds of individual bought stickers to sell back, at a small markup, to collectors trying to finish up the remaining slots in their books. 
Indeed, according to the Economist, “the market for the stickers is not just for kids, however; it is also for micro-economists. Getting every slot filled delivers an early lesson in probability; the value of statistical tests; the laws of supply and demand; and the importance of liquidity.” 
As Panini Brazil 2014 sticker trading reaches a global fever pitch, it is only appropriate that Queens serves as New York City’s epicenter of local/global trading. 
(Please contact us ASAP if anyone has the Brazil hologram crest #32, or Japan’s Uchida #246 to trade). 

World Cup Panini Sticker Pandemonium in Queens

The global Panini World Cup sticker collecting craze is flourishing in New York City, with over 150 people of all ages trading stickers on a single block in Jackson Heights this past Sunday before the NYPD moved in to break up the massive gathering. 

Sold for $1 a pack and $2 a book, filling each teams’ stickers has been a world wide tradition for kids and adults alike since 1970 when the Italian company launched their first World Cup product.

An analog throwback in the digital age, global Panini hysteria has recently led to 300,000 sticker packs being taken in an armed robbery in Rio, a teacher getting in trouble for stealing his students’ stickers in Colombia in an attempt to complete his book, and wealthy bankers buying up scores of packs in London. 

In the past few weeks Manhattan has witnessed Panini Brazil 2014 stickers infiltrate Modell’s stores, Duane Reade pharmacies, and some in-the-know corner bodegas. But in the outer boroughs, Queens particularly, Panini sticker trading has swept the larger city, captivating whole families and even spurring entire secondary markets.   

Sticker packets and books can be bought in innumerable Colombian bakeries from Sunnyside to Corona. Grown men sit at Irish pubs on Queens Boulevard tipping back pints and swapping stickers. And spontaneous trading gatherings appear on the streets when one person sees a visible book in a stranger’s arms. Within minutes, others join in too.

Collecting spans all ages. In the last few days we traded with an enthusiastic eight year old sporting an intricate clipboard listing her doubles accompanied by her 13 year old sister, an octogenarian Uruguayan man desperately in need of missing Croatian players, and a Colombian-American who was so determined to get a Falcao sticker at the outset that he bought multiple boxes and ended up with an insane amount of doubles. 

We completed a giant 17 sticker trade with him (picking up much needed Pirlo and Falcao stickers), said our goodbyes, and then saw him running back towards us 10 minutes later to inquire about more stickers— the last two his mother needed to complete her book.  

"I’ve been here for nineteen years," Ernesto a Jackson Heights resident from Quito told me during Sunday’s massive Panini trade outside of Chivito De Oro restaurant on 37th Avenue and 84th street. "Now it’s so much safer than it was in the 90s, families are out here on the street— Ecuadorian, Colombian, American, Uruguayan, Mexican, Argentinian— and we all trade the stickers. It’s fun and it really kicks off the World Cup in the neighborhood." 

Others even drove in to trade in Jackson Heights from as far away as Connecticut. “It’s the World Cup! We can’t trade like this in Connecticut; we heard about this and had to come,” one man enthusiastically exclaimed as his son flipped through a large stack of doubles.  

In addition to trading and selling (25 cents each or 5 for a dollar) double stickers, we also witnessed a thriving secondary Panini substructure with black market dealers seemingly everywhere. One man in an Argentina jersey who we had met at a music store in Sunnyside hawking completed books for $150 the week before, was also present at the gargantuan Jackson Heights street trade selling discounted boxes and Panini t-shirts out of a shady looking duffel bag. Another elderly woman on Greenpoint Avenue was hording hundreds of individual bought stickers to sell back, at a small markup, to collectors trying to finish up the remaining slots in their books. 

Indeed, according to the Economist, “the market for the stickers is not just for kids, however; it is also for micro-economists. Getting every slot filled delivers an early lesson in probability; the value of statistical tests; the laws of supply and demand; and the importance of liquidity.” 

As Panini Brazil 2014 sticker trading reaches a global fever pitch, it is only appropriate that Queens serves as New York City’s epicenter of local/global trading. 

(Please contact us ASAP if anyone has the Brazil hologram crest #32, or Japan’s Uchida #246 to trade). 

 ·  5 notes

25th May 2014

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25th May 2014

Champions League Final. Real Madrid 4 - Atletico Madrid 1
24 May 2014, 2:45 pm. The Spanish Benevolent Society of New York, Chelsea
If one can resist or simply did not arrive early enough for both the match and tapas consisting of seafood paella, glazed Pincho Moruno skewers, or heavenly dates stuffed with almonds, blue cheese, and wrapped in bacon at La Nacional, there is always the upstairs of the establishment’s owner, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York.  
During the Champions League Final in Lisbon, Atletico Madrid stood toe to toe with its cross-town, more illustrious rival Real Madrid and who better to host the match locally than the Spanish Benevolent Society Of New York (SBS).    
The SBS was established in 1868 with the first flood of Spaniard emigrants, who sought to establish themselves in the rapidly increasing pan-American city of New York as merchants, cigar makers, longshoreman, and dockworkers. Founded as a social club that develops educational programs, promotes exchange programs with Spanish youth, and hosts social events, their history is old and their vast photographic archive is testament to their preserved culture and identity in NYC. Presently, Spain is dealing with an unemployment rate of 54 percent of people less than 25 years of age. The SBS is still a critical resource for the contemporary Spaniard emigrant seeking to build a career, live abroad, or have a New York City adventure.  
The SBS, Real, and Atletico were all formed before the Second World War, but all three truly gained their identity in the post WWII era, where Spanish emigrants became exiles, Real became Franco’s “precious team” and Atletico one of the “rebels” of the state like the Basque and Catalan clubs (Atletico was founded by Basque students) at first, but then at times veered far to the right. However, at the SBS, all is one and the tense history of el derbi Madrileño was barely noticed. On second thought, this simply may have been due to the sheer domination of Real supporters. However tame the atmosphere was inside in the SBS, on the pitch was a different story.  
It was 1 pm and we were already late for the 2:45 kick off. The stairs up to the SBS reception room, where the big screens were housed, were packed and we knew our chances at a decent photo or two were gone. However, all was not lost as the line was merely waiting for a wedding reception to finish so the red and white clad wait staff could enter and soon empty the remaining cervezas de Estrella Galicia and pitchers of sangria. We rushed in, tables were shifted into place and dismantled the stadium seating of loose chairs from the wedding party, and umbrellas, scarves and flags were used as placeholders for late arrivals.  
Atletico started strong and with Real’s keeper, Casillas over zealously coming forward on a goal kick, misjudging the ball, and being caught out and at fault of the 1-0 Atletico lead. The SBS was eerily quiet and if we had not known who the dominant team was in the room, we did now. The match continued in a stalemate of Atletico’s more than aggressive play, where Ronaldo was the focal point of obstruction. However, as Real took the pitch in the second half, they did so with increased attack and focused aggression, dominating possession and shots on goal.  
It was club icon Sergio Ramos who ended up saving the day for Real, keeping them alive at 1-1 in the 93 minute and forcing extra time with a textbook header. Soon after the break, the Welshman Gareth Bale set the scoring momentum with another goal and Atletico soon unraveled, allowing one more to go in and then a final dagger after a penalty shot from Ronaldo, who could not resist immediately removing his shirt and flexing. This showmanship increased the already agitated Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who ran on to the field for the second time, conjuring up the image of a teleovela villain, dressed all in black, making a last stand for his family in this brutally dramatic Champions League Final.    
The final was 4-1 Real.  La decima was realized. The majority of the fans in the SBS were ecstatic and in song, but we couldn’t help but feel for the tireless yet exhausted Atletico supporters. Upon leaving the SBS, there did not seem to be any hard feelings in the room and this can be attributed to and perhaps subsided by the shared experience of Spanish identity as experienced in NYC, especially at Little Spain’s premier landmark in the city     
Champions League Final. Real Madrid 4 - Atletico Madrid 1
24 May 2014, 2:45 pm. The Spanish Benevolent Society of New York, Chelsea
If one can resist or simply did not arrive early enough for both the match and tapas consisting of seafood paella, glazed Pincho Moruno skewers, or heavenly dates stuffed with almonds, blue cheese, and wrapped in bacon at La Nacional, there is always the upstairs of the establishment’s owner, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York.  
During the Champions League Final in Lisbon, Atletico Madrid stood toe to toe with its cross-town, more illustrious rival Real Madrid and who better to host the match locally than the Spanish Benevolent Society Of New York (SBS).    
The SBS was established in 1868 with the first flood of Spaniard emigrants, who sought to establish themselves in the rapidly increasing pan-American city of New York as merchants, cigar makers, longshoreman, and dockworkers. Founded as a social club that develops educational programs, promotes exchange programs with Spanish youth, and hosts social events, their history is old and their vast photographic archive is testament to their preserved culture and identity in NYC. Presently, Spain is dealing with an unemployment rate of 54 percent of people less than 25 years of age. The SBS is still a critical resource for the contemporary Spaniard emigrant seeking to build a career, live abroad, or have a New York City adventure.  
The SBS, Real, and Atletico were all formed before the Second World War, but all three truly gained their identity in the post WWII era, where Spanish emigrants became exiles, Real became Franco’s “precious team” and Atletico one of the “rebels” of the state like the Basque and Catalan clubs (Atletico was founded by Basque students) at first, but then at times veered far to the right. However, at the SBS, all is one and the tense history of el derbi Madrileño was barely noticed. On second thought, this simply may have been due to the sheer domination of Real supporters. However tame the atmosphere was inside in the SBS, on the pitch was a different story.  
It was 1 pm and we were already late for the 2:45 kick off. The stairs up to the SBS reception room, where the big screens were housed, were packed and we knew our chances at a decent photo or two were gone. However, all was not lost as the line was merely waiting for a wedding reception to finish so the red and white clad wait staff could enter and soon empty the remaining cervezas de Estrella Galicia and pitchers of sangria. We rushed in, tables were shifted into place and dismantled the stadium seating of loose chairs from the wedding party, and umbrellas, scarves and flags were used as placeholders for late arrivals.  
Atletico started strong and with Real’s keeper, Casillas over zealously coming forward on a goal kick, misjudging the ball, and being caught out and at fault of the 1-0 Atletico lead. The SBS was eerily quiet and if we had not known who the dominant team was in the room, we did now. The match continued in a stalemate of Atletico’s more than aggressive play, where Ronaldo was the focal point of obstruction. However, as Real took the pitch in the second half, they did so with increased attack and focused aggression, dominating possession and shots on goal.  
It was club icon Sergio Ramos who ended up saving the day for Real, keeping them alive at 1-1 in the 93 minute and forcing extra time with a textbook header. Soon after the break, the Welshman Gareth Bale set the scoring momentum with another goal and Atletico soon unraveled, allowing one more to go in and then a final dagger after a penalty shot from Ronaldo, who could not resist immediately removing his shirt and flexing. This showmanship increased the already agitated Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who ran on to the field for the second time, conjuring up the image of a teleovela villain, dressed all in black, making a last stand for his family in this brutally dramatic Champions League Final.    
The final was 4-1 Real.  La decima was realized. The majority of the fans in the SBS were ecstatic and in song, but we couldn’t help but feel for the tireless yet exhausted Atletico supporters. Upon leaving the SBS, there did not seem to be any hard feelings in the room and this can be attributed to and perhaps subsided by the shared experience of Spanish identity as experienced in NYC, especially at Little Spain’s premier landmark in the city     
Champions League Final. Real Madrid 4 - Atletico Madrid 1
24 May 2014, 2:45 pm. The Spanish Benevolent Society of New York, Chelsea
If one can resist or simply did not arrive early enough for both the match and tapas consisting of seafood paella, glazed Pincho Moruno skewers, or heavenly dates stuffed with almonds, blue cheese, and wrapped in bacon at La Nacional, there is always the upstairs of the establishment’s owner, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York.  
During the Champions League Final in Lisbon, Atletico Madrid stood toe to toe with its cross-town, more illustrious rival Real Madrid and who better to host the match locally than the Spanish Benevolent Society Of New York (SBS).    
The SBS was established in 1868 with the first flood of Spaniard emigrants, who sought to establish themselves in the rapidly increasing pan-American city of New York as merchants, cigar makers, longshoreman, and dockworkers. Founded as a social club that develops educational programs, promotes exchange programs with Spanish youth, and hosts social events, their history is old and their vast photographic archive is testament to their preserved culture and identity in NYC. Presently, Spain is dealing with an unemployment rate of 54 percent of people less than 25 years of age. The SBS is still a critical resource for the contemporary Spaniard emigrant seeking to build a career, live abroad, or have a New York City adventure.  
The SBS, Real, and Atletico were all formed before the Second World War, but all three truly gained their identity in the post WWII era, where Spanish emigrants became exiles, Real became Franco’s “precious team” and Atletico one of the “rebels” of the state like the Basque and Catalan clubs (Atletico was founded by Basque students) at first, but then at times veered far to the right. However, at the SBS, all is one and the tense history of el derbi Madrileño was barely noticed. On second thought, this simply may have been due to the sheer domination of Real supporters. However tame the atmosphere was inside in the SBS, on the pitch was a different story.  
It was 1 pm and we were already late for the 2:45 kick off. The stairs up to the SBS reception room, where the big screens were housed, were packed and we knew our chances at a decent photo or two were gone. However, all was not lost as the line was merely waiting for a wedding reception to finish so the red and white clad wait staff could enter and soon empty the remaining cervezas de Estrella Galicia and pitchers of sangria. We rushed in, tables were shifted into place and dismantled the stadium seating of loose chairs from the wedding party, and umbrellas, scarves and flags were used as placeholders for late arrivals.  
Atletico started strong and with Real’s keeper, Casillas over zealously coming forward on a goal kick, misjudging the ball, and being caught out and at fault of the 1-0 Atletico lead. The SBS was eerily quiet and if we had not known who the dominant team was in the room, we did now. The match continued in a stalemate of Atletico’s more than aggressive play, where Ronaldo was the focal point of obstruction. However, as Real took the pitch in the second half, they did so with increased attack and focused aggression, dominating possession and shots on goal.  
It was club icon Sergio Ramos who ended up saving the day for Real, keeping them alive at 1-1 in the 93 minute and forcing extra time with a textbook header. Soon after the break, the Welshman Gareth Bale set the scoring momentum with another goal and Atletico soon unraveled, allowing one more to go in and then a final dagger after a penalty shot from Ronaldo, who could not resist immediately removing his shirt and flexing. This showmanship increased the already agitated Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who ran on to the field for the second time, conjuring up the image of a teleovela villain, dressed all in black, making a last stand for his family in this brutally dramatic Champions League Final.    
The final was 4-1 Real.  La decima was realized. The majority of the fans in the SBS were ecstatic and in song, but we couldn’t help but feel for the tireless yet exhausted Atletico supporters. Upon leaving the SBS, there did not seem to be any hard feelings in the room and this can be attributed to and perhaps subsided by the shared experience of Spanish identity as experienced in NYC, especially at Little Spain’s premier landmark in the city     
Champions League Final. Real Madrid 4 - Atletico Madrid 1
24 May 2014, 2:45 pm. The Spanish Benevolent Society of New York, Chelsea
If one can resist or simply did not arrive early enough for both the match and tapas consisting of seafood paella, glazed Pincho Moruno skewers, or heavenly dates stuffed with almonds, blue cheese, and wrapped in bacon at La Nacional, there is always the upstairs of the establishment’s owner, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York.  
During the Champions League Final in Lisbon, Atletico Madrid stood toe to toe with its cross-town, more illustrious rival Real Madrid and who better to host the match locally than the Spanish Benevolent Society Of New York (SBS).    
The SBS was established in 1868 with the first flood of Spaniard emigrants, who sought to establish themselves in the rapidly increasing pan-American city of New York as merchants, cigar makers, longshoreman, and dockworkers. Founded as a social club that develops educational programs, promotes exchange programs with Spanish youth, and hosts social events, their history is old and their vast photographic archive is testament to their preserved culture and identity in NYC. Presently, Spain is dealing with an unemployment rate of 54 percent of people less than 25 years of age. The SBS is still a critical resource for the contemporary Spaniard emigrant seeking to build a career, live abroad, or have a New York City adventure.  
The SBS, Real, and Atletico were all formed before the Second World War, but all three truly gained their identity in the post WWII era, where Spanish emigrants became exiles, Real became Franco’s “precious team” and Atletico one of the “rebels” of the state like the Basque and Catalan clubs (Atletico was founded by Basque students) at first, but then at times veered far to the right. However, at the SBS, all is one and the tense history of el derbi Madrileño was barely noticed. On second thought, this simply may have been due to the sheer domination of Real supporters. However tame the atmosphere was inside in the SBS, on the pitch was a different story.  
It was 1 pm and we were already late for the 2:45 kick off. The stairs up to the SBS reception room, where the big screens were housed, were packed and we knew our chances at a decent photo or two were gone. However, all was not lost as the line was merely waiting for a wedding reception to finish so the red and white clad wait staff could enter and soon empty the remaining cervezas de Estrella Galicia and pitchers of sangria. We rushed in, tables were shifted into place and dismantled the stadium seating of loose chairs from the wedding party, and umbrellas, scarves and flags were used as placeholders for late arrivals.  
Atletico started strong and with Real’s keeper, Casillas over zealously coming forward on a goal kick, misjudging the ball, and being caught out and at fault of the 1-0 Atletico lead. The SBS was eerily quiet and if we had not known who the dominant team was in the room, we did now. The match continued in a stalemate of Atletico’s more than aggressive play, where Ronaldo was the focal point of obstruction. However, as Real took the pitch in the second half, they did so with increased attack and focused aggression, dominating possession and shots on goal.  
It was club icon Sergio Ramos who ended up saving the day for Real, keeping them alive at 1-1 in the 93 minute and forcing extra time with a textbook header. Soon after the break, the Welshman Gareth Bale set the scoring momentum with another goal and Atletico soon unraveled, allowing one more to go in and then a final dagger after a penalty shot from Ronaldo, who could not resist immediately removing his shirt and flexing. This showmanship increased the already agitated Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who ran on to the field for the second time, conjuring up the image of a teleovela villain, dressed all in black, making a last stand for his family in this brutally dramatic Champions League Final.    
The final was 4-1 Real.  La decima was realized. The majority of the fans in the SBS were ecstatic and in song, but we couldn’t help but feel for the tireless yet exhausted Atletico supporters. Upon leaving the SBS, there did not seem to be any hard feelings in the room and this can be attributed to and perhaps subsided by the shared experience of Spanish identity as experienced in NYC, especially at Little Spain’s premier landmark in the city     
Champions League Final. Real Madrid 4 - Atletico Madrid 1
24 May 2014, 2:45 pm. The Spanish Benevolent Society of New York, Chelsea
If one can resist or simply did not arrive early enough for both the match and tapas consisting of seafood paella, glazed Pincho Moruno skewers, or heavenly dates stuffed with almonds, blue cheese, and wrapped in bacon at La Nacional, there is always the upstairs of the establishment’s owner, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York.  
During the Champions League Final in Lisbon, Atletico Madrid stood toe to toe with its cross-town, more illustrious rival Real Madrid and who better to host the match locally than the Spanish Benevolent Society Of New York (SBS).    
The SBS was established in 1868 with the first flood of Spaniard emigrants, who sought to establish themselves in the rapidly increasing pan-American city of New York as merchants, cigar makers, longshoreman, and dockworkers. Founded as a social club that develops educational programs, promotes exchange programs with Spanish youth, and hosts social events, their history is old and their vast photographic archive is testament to their preserved culture and identity in NYC. Presently, Spain is dealing with an unemployment rate of 54 percent of people less than 25 years of age. The SBS is still a critical resource for the contemporary Spaniard emigrant seeking to build a career, live abroad, or have a New York City adventure.  
The SBS, Real, and Atletico were all formed before the Second World War, but all three truly gained their identity in the post WWII era, where Spanish emigrants became exiles, Real became Franco’s “precious team” and Atletico one of the “rebels” of the state like the Basque and Catalan clubs (Atletico was founded by Basque students) at first, but then at times veered far to the right. However, at the SBS, all is one and the tense history of el derbi Madrileño was barely noticed. On second thought, this simply may have been due to the sheer domination of Real supporters. However tame the atmosphere was inside in the SBS, on the pitch was a different story.  
It was 1 pm and we were already late for the 2:45 kick off. The stairs up to the SBS reception room, where the big screens were housed, were packed and we knew our chances at a decent photo or two were gone. However, all was not lost as the line was merely waiting for a wedding reception to finish so the red and white clad wait staff could enter and soon empty the remaining cervezas de Estrella Galicia and pitchers of sangria. We rushed in, tables were shifted into place and dismantled the stadium seating of loose chairs from the wedding party, and umbrellas, scarves and flags were used as placeholders for late arrivals.  
Atletico started strong and with Real’s keeper, Casillas over zealously coming forward on a goal kick, misjudging the ball, and being caught out and at fault of the 1-0 Atletico lead. The SBS was eerily quiet and if we had not known who the dominant team was in the room, we did now. The match continued in a stalemate of Atletico’s more than aggressive play, where Ronaldo was the focal point of obstruction. However, as Real took the pitch in the second half, they did so with increased attack and focused aggression, dominating possession and shots on goal.  
It was club icon Sergio Ramos who ended up saving the day for Real, keeping them alive at 1-1 in the 93 minute and forcing extra time with a textbook header. Soon after the break, the Welshman Gareth Bale set the scoring momentum with another goal and Atletico soon unraveled, allowing one more to go in and then a final dagger after a penalty shot from Ronaldo, who could not resist immediately removing his shirt and flexing. This showmanship increased the already agitated Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who ran on to the field for the second time, conjuring up the image of a teleovela villain, dressed all in black, making a last stand for his family in this brutally dramatic Champions League Final.    
The final was 4-1 Real.  La decima was realized. The majority of the fans in the SBS were ecstatic and in song, but we couldn’t help but feel for the tireless yet exhausted Atletico supporters. Upon leaving the SBS, there did not seem to be any hard feelings in the room and this can be attributed to and perhaps subsided by the shared experience of Spanish identity as experienced in NYC, especially at Little Spain’s premier landmark in the city     
Champions League Final. Real Madrid 4 - Atletico Madrid 1
24 May 2014, 2:45 pm. The Spanish Benevolent Society of New York, Chelsea
If one can resist or simply did not arrive early enough for both the match and tapas consisting of seafood paella, glazed Pincho Moruno skewers, or heavenly dates stuffed with almonds, blue cheese, and wrapped in bacon at La Nacional, there is always the upstairs of the establishment’s owner, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York.  
During the Champions League Final in Lisbon, Atletico Madrid stood toe to toe with its cross-town, more illustrious rival Real Madrid and who better to host the match locally than the Spanish Benevolent Society Of New York (SBS).    
The SBS was established in 1868 with the first flood of Spaniard emigrants, who sought to establish themselves in the rapidly increasing pan-American city of New York as merchants, cigar makers, longshoreman, and dockworkers. Founded as a social club that develops educational programs, promotes exchange programs with Spanish youth, and hosts social events, their history is old and their vast photographic archive is testament to their preserved culture and identity in NYC. Presently, Spain is dealing with an unemployment rate of 54 percent of people less than 25 years of age. The SBS is still a critical resource for the contemporary Spaniard emigrant seeking to build a career, live abroad, or have a New York City adventure.  
The SBS, Real, and Atletico were all formed before the Second World War, but all three truly gained their identity in the post WWII era, where Spanish emigrants became exiles, Real became Franco’s “precious team” and Atletico one of the “rebels” of the state like the Basque and Catalan clubs (Atletico was founded by Basque students) at first, but then at times veered far to the right. However, at the SBS, all is one and the tense history of el derbi Madrileño was barely noticed. On second thought, this simply may have been due to the sheer domination of Real supporters. However tame the atmosphere was inside in the SBS, on the pitch was a different story.  
It was 1 pm and we were already late for the 2:45 kick off. The stairs up to the SBS reception room, where the big screens were housed, were packed and we knew our chances at a decent photo or two were gone. However, all was not lost as the line was merely waiting for a wedding reception to finish so the red and white clad wait staff could enter and soon empty the remaining cervezas de Estrella Galicia and pitchers of sangria. We rushed in, tables were shifted into place and dismantled the stadium seating of loose chairs from the wedding party, and umbrellas, scarves and flags were used as placeholders for late arrivals.  
Atletico started strong and with Real’s keeper, Casillas over zealously coming forward on a goal kick, misjudging the ball, and being caught out and at fault of the 1-0 Atletico lead. The SBS was eerily quiet and if we had not known who the dominant team was in the room, we did now. The match continued in a stalemate of Atletico’s more than aggressive play, where Ronaldo was the focal point of obstruction. However, as Real took the pitch in the second half, they did so with increased attack and focused aggression, dominating possession and shots on goal.  
It was club icon Sergio Ramos who ended up saving the day for Real, keeping them alive at 1-1 in the 93 minute and forcing extra time with a textbook header. Soon after the break, the Welshman Gareth Bale set the scoring momentum with another goal and Atletico soon unraveled, allowing one more to go in and then a final dagger after a penalty shot from Ronaldo, who could not resist immediately removing his shirt and flexing. This showmanship increased the already agitated Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who ran on to the field for the second time, conjuring up the image of a teleovela villain, dressed all in black, making a last stand for his family in this brutally dramatic Champions League Final.    
The final was 4-1 Real.  La decima was realized. The majority of the fans in the SBS were ecstatic and in song, but we couldn’t help but feel for the tireless yet exhausted Atletico supporters. Upon leaving the SBS, there did not seem to be any hard feelings in the room and this can be attributed to and perhaps subsided by the shared experience of Spanish identity as experienced in NYC, especially at Little Spain’s premier landmark in the city     
Champions League Final. Real Madrid 4 - Atletico Madrid 1
24 May 2014, 2:45 pm. The Spanish Benevolent Society of New York, Chelsea
If one can resist or simply did not arrive early enough for both the match and tapas consisting of seafood paella, glazed Pincho Moruno skewers, or heavenly dates stuffed with almonds, blue cheese, and wrapped in bacon at La Nacional, there is always the upstairs of the establishment’s owner, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York.  
During the Champions League Final in Lisbon, Atletico Madrid stood toe to toe with its cross-town, more illustrious rival Real Madrid and who better to host the match locally than the Spanish Benevolent Society Of New York (SBS).    
The SBS was established in 1868 with the first flood of Spaniard emigrants, who sought to establish themselves in the rapidly increasing pan-American city of New York as merchants, cigar makers, longshoreman, and dockworkers. Founded as a social club that develops educational programs, promotes exchange programs with Spanish youth, and hosts social events, their history is old and their vast photographic archive is testament to their preserved culture and identity in NYC. Presently, Spain is dealing with an unemployment rate of 54 percent of people less than 25 years of age. The SBS is still a critical resource for the contemporary Spaniard emigrant seeking to build a career, live abroad, or have a New York City adventure.  
The SBS, Real, and Atletico were all formed before the Second World War, but all three truly gained their identity in the post WWII era, where Spanish emigrants became exiles, Real became Franco’s “precious team” and Atletico one of the “rebels” of the state like the Basque and Catalan clubs (Atletico was founded by Basque students) at first, but then at times veered far to the right. However, at the SBS, all is one and the tense history of el derbi Madrileño was barely noticed. On second thought, this simply may have been due to the sheer domination of Real supporters. However tame the atmosphere was inside in the SBS, on the pitch was a different story.  
It was 1 pm and we were already late for the 2:45 kick off. The stairs up to the SBS reception room, where the big screens were housed, were packed and we knew our chances at a decent photo or two were gone. However, all was not lost as the line was merely waiting for a wedding reception to finish so the red and white clad wait staff could enter and soon empty the remaining cervezas de Estrella Galicia and pitchers of sangria. We rushed in, tables were shifted into place and dismantled the stadium seating of loose chairs from the wedding party, and umbrellas, scarves and flags were used as placeholders for late arrivals.  
Atletico started strong and with Real’s keeper, Casillas over zealously coming forward on a goal kick, misjudging the ball, and being caught out and at fault of the 1-0 Atletico lead. The SBS was eerily quiet and if we had not known who the dominant team was in the room, we did now. The match continued in a stalemate of Atletico’s more than aggressive play, where Ronaldo was the focal point of obstruction. However, as Real took the pitch in the second half, they did so with increased attack and focused aggression, dominating possession and shots on goal.  
It was club icon Sergio Ramos who ended up saving the day for Real, keeping them alive at 1-1 in the 93 minute and forcing extra time with a textbook header. Soon after the break, the Welshman Gareth Bale set the scoring momentum with another goal and Atletico soon unraveled, allowing one more to go in and then a final dagger after a penalty shot from Ronaldo, who could not resist immediately removing his shirt and flexing. This showmanship increased the already agitated Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who ran on to the field for the second time, conjuring up the image of a teleovela villain, dressed all in black, making a last stand for his family in this brutally dramatic Champions League Final.    
The final was 4-1 Real.  La decima was realized. The majority of the fans in the SBS were ecstatic and in song, but we couldn’t help but feel for the tireless yet exhausted Atletico supporters. Upon leaving the SBS, there did not seem to be any hard feelings in the room and this can be attributed to and perhaps subsided by the shared experience of Spanish identity as experienced in NYC, especially at Little Spain’s premier landmark in the city     
Champions League Final. Real Madrid 4 - Atletico Madrid 1
24 May 2014, 2:45 pm. The Spanish Benevolent Society of New York, Chelsea
If one can resist or simply did not arrive early enough for both the match and tapas consisting of seafood paella, glazed Pincho Moruno skewers, or heavenly dates stuffed with almonds, blue cheese, and wrapped in bacon at La Nacional, there is always the upstairs of the establishment’s owner, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York.  
During the Champions League Final in Lisbon, Atletico Madrid stood toe to toe with its cross-town, more illustrious rival Real Madrid and who better to host the match locally than the Spanish Benevolent Society Of New York (SBS).    
The SBS was established in 1868 with the first flood of Spaniard emigrants, who sought to establish themselves in the rapidly increasing pan-American city of New York as merchants, cigar makers, longshoreman, and dockworkers. Founded as a social club that develops educational programs, promotes exchange programs with Spanish youth, and hosts social events, their history is old and their vast photographic archive is testament to their preserved culture and identity in NYC. Presently, Spain is dealing with an unemployment rate of 54 percent of people less than 25 years of age. The SBS is still a critical resource for the contemporary Spaniard emigrant seeking to build a career, live abroad, or have a New York City adventure.  
The SBS, Real, and Atletico were all formed before the Second World War, but all three truly gained their identity in the post WWII era, where Spanish emigrants became exiles, Real became Franco’s “precious team” and Atletico one of the “rebels” of the state like the Basque and Catalan clubs (Atletico was founded by Basque students) at first, but then at times veered far to the right. However, at the SBS, all is one and the tense history of el derbi Madrileño was barely noticed. On second thought, this simply may have been due to the sheer domination of Real supporters. However tame the atmosphere was inside in the SBS, on the pitch was a different story.  
It was 1 pm and we were already late for the 2:45 kick off. The stairs up to the SBS reception room, where the big screens were housed, were packed and we knew our chances at a decent photo or two were gone. However, all was not lost as the line was merely waiting for a wedding reception to finish so the red and white clad wait staff could enter and soon empty the remaining cervezas de Estrella Galicia and pitchers of sangria. We rushed in, tables were shifted into place and dismantled the stadium seating of loose chairs from the wedding party, and umbrellas, scarves and flags were used as placeholders for late arrivals.  
Atletico started strong and with Real’s keeper, Casillas over zealously coming forward on a goal kick, misjudging the ball, and being caught out and at fault of the 1-0 Atletico lead. The SBS was eerily quiet and if we had not known who the dominant team was in the room, we did now. The match continued in a stalemate of Atletico’s more than aggressive play, where Ronaldo was the focal point of obstruction. However, as Real took the pitch in the second half, they did so with increased attack and focused aggression, dominating possession and shots on goal.  
It was club icon Sergio Ramos who ended up saving the day for Real, keeping them alive at 1-1 in the 93 minute and forcing extra time with a textbook header. Soon after the break, the Welshman Gareth Bale set the scoring momentum with another goal and Atletico soon unraveled, allowing one more to go in and then a final dagger after a penalty shot from Ronaldo, who could not resist immediately removing his shirt and flexing. This showmanship increased the already agitated Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who ran on to the field for the second time, conjuring up the image of a teleovela villain, dressed all in black, making a last stand for his family in this brutally dramatic Champions League Final.    
The final was 4-1 Real.  La decima was realized. The majority of the fans in the SBS were ecstatic and in song, but we couldn’t help but feel for the tireless yet exhausted Atletico supporters. Upon leaving the SBS, there did not seem to be any hard feelings in the room and this can be attributed to and perhaps subsided by the shared experience of Spanish identity as experienced in NYC, especially at Little Spain’s premier landmark in the city     

Champions League Final. Real Madrid 4 - Atletico Madrid 1

24 May 2014, 2:45 pm. The Spanish Benevolent Society of New York, Chelsea

If one can resist or simply did not arrive early enough for both the match and tapas consisting of seafood paella, glazed Pincho Moruno skewers, or heavenly dates stuffed with almonds, blue cheese, and wrapped in bacon at La Nacional, there is always the upstairs of the establishment’s owner, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York.  

During the Champions League Final in Lisbon, Atletico Madrid stood toe to toe with its cross-town, more illustrious rival Real Madrid and who better to host the match locally than the Spanish Benevolent Society Of New York (SBS).    

The SBS was established in 1868 with the first flood of Spaniard emigrants, who sought to establish themselves in the rapidly increasing pan-American city of New York as merchants, cigar makers, longshoreman, and dockworkers. Founded as a social club that develops educational programs, promotes exchange programs with Spanish youth, and hosts social events, their history is old and their vast photographic archive is testament to their preserved culture and identity in NYC. Presently, Spain is dealing with an unemployment rate of 54 percent of people less than 25 years of age. The SBS is still a critical resource for the contemporary Spaniard emigrant seeking to build a career, live abroad, or have a New York City adventure.  

The SBS, Real, and Atletico were all formed before the Second World War, but all three truly gained their identity in the post WWII era, where Spanish emigrants became exiles, Real became Franco’s “precious team” and Atletico one of the “rebels” of the state like the Basque and Catalan clubs (Atletico was founded by Basque students) at first, but then at times veered far to the right. However, at the SBS, all is one and the tense history of el derbi Madrileño was barely noticed. On second thought, this simply may have been due to the sheer domination of Real supporters. However tame the atmosphere was inside in the SBS, on the pitch was a different story.  

It was 1 pm and we were already late for the 2:45 kick off. The stairs up to the SBS reception room, where the big screens were housed, were packed and we knew our chances at a decent photo or two were gone. However, all was not lost as the line was merely waiting for a wedding reception to finish so the red and white clad wait staff could enter and soon empty the remaining cervezas de Estrella Galicia and pitchers of sangria. We rushed in, tables were shifted into place and dismantled the stadium seating of loose chairs from the wedding party, and umbrellas, scarves and flags were used as placeholders for late arrivals.  

Atletico started strong and with Real’s keeper, Casillas over zealously coming forward on a goal kick, misjudging the ball, and being caught out and at fault of the 1-0 Atletico lead. The SBS was eerily quiet and if we had not known who the dominant team was in the room, we did now. The match continued in a stalemate of Atletico’s more than aggressive play, where Ronaldo was the focal point of obstruction. However, as Real took the pitch in the second half, they did so with increased attack and focused aggression, dominating possession and shots on goal.  

It was club icon Sergio Ramos who ended up saving the day for Real, keeping them alive at 1-1 in the 93 minute and forcing extra time with a textbook header. Soon after the break, the Welshman Gareth Bale set the scoring momentum with another goal and Atletico soon unraveled, allowing one more to go in and then a final dagger after a penalty shot from Ronaldo, who could not resist immediately removing his shirt and flexing. This showmanship increased the already agitated Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who ran on to the field for the second time, conjuring up the image of a teleovela villain, dressed all in black, making a last stand for his family in this brutally dramatic Champions League Final.    

The final was 4-1 Real.  La decima was realized. The majority of the fans in the SBS were ecstatic and in song, but we couldn’t help but feel for the tireless yet exhausted Atletico supporters. Upon leaving the SBS, there did not seem to be any hard feelings in the room and this can be attributed to and perhaps subsided by the shared experience of Spanish identity as experienced in NYC, especially at Little Spain’s premier landmark in the city     

 ·  1 notes

27th March 2014


Aside from going to Brazil this summer, New York City might well be the best place on earth to experience the passion and diversity of the sport during the World Cup. This includes, of course, the overflowing, beer-soaked soccer pubs that host many of the NYC-based European supporters clubs. But locations like Nevada Smiths, Legends, and Smithfield, while institutions in their own right, tell only a small part of the story of soccer fans in 2014’s New York City, where 37 percent of its residents are foreign-born. 

In the outer boroughs and uptown, it is the community centers, social clubs, bakeries, grocery stores, bars, cafes, and juice stands that represent NYC fan culture in its principal form. Particularly during the World Cup, these locations harness and re-articulate national identity for immigrant communities in the city.
In my time chasing global soccer around the city as a fan, journalist, player, and student, I’ve seen septuagenarian Spanish men spill glasses of rioja on their bemused wives as they jumped on tables at a member’s only social club in Astoria; Ivorian cooks emerge teary-eyed from behind Harlem kitchens after a Yaya Touré belter; Argentinean fans in Elmhurst dance en masse while twirling umbrellas and singing at the top of their lungs; and Algerian supporters block traffic on Steinway Street while blasting Khaled out of flag-adorned SUV’s — to the chagrin of their Egyptian neighbors.
A yellow-clad woman kissed me at a Brazilian nightclub seconds after Il Fenomeno Ronaldo’s 79th-minute winner during the 2002 World Cup final. Her rather intimidating-looking significant other, who I had been standing next to all match, shrugged as he victoriously fist-pumped at the heavens. This made perfect sense to all three of us at the time.
I’ve seen high-ranking UN diplomats blow off important Security Council meetings to watch their teams play against each other. I have seen atheists turn deeply religious and back again during three minute stoppage time periods. I once saw a Senegalese Imam high-five early morning beer-drinkers on East 116th Street after Papa Bouba Diop’s stunner against France. I have witnessed so many contrasting emotions and mood swings played out over multiple 90-minute periods watching international soccer in NYC that they could warrant their own section in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
I have also seen firsthand what historian Eric Hobsbawm meant when he said that “The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of 11 named people.” Watching their national teams play, immigrant communities in NYC not only feel an acute connection to home, but also a sense of pride that their existence is recognized, albeit for a fleeting moment, both on the international and local stages.
Check out our piece on watching the World Cup in NYC as part of Roads & Kingdoms and Sports Illustrated’s The Far Post series.  
 We have also updated our match itinerary with upcoming fixtures we plan to cover, so stay tuned for new Global Soccer, Global NYC content in the coming weeks.  

Aside from going to Brazil this summer, New York City might well be the best place on earth to experience the passion and diversity of the sport during the World Cup. This includes, of course, the overflowing, beer-soaked soccer pubs that host many of the NYC-based European supporters clubs. But locations like Nevada Smiths, Legends, and Smithfield, while institutions in their own right, tell only a small part of the story of soccer fans in 2014’s New York City, where 37 percent of its residents are foreign-born. 

In the outer boroughs and uptown, it is the community centers, social clubs, bakeries, grocery stores, bars, cafes, and juice stands that represent NYC fan culture in its principal form. Particularly during the World Cup, these locations harness and re-articulate national identity for immigrant communities in the city.
In my time chasing global soccer around the city as a fan, journalist, player, and student, I’ve seen septuagenarian Spanish men spill glasses of rioja on their bemused wives as they jumped on tables at a member’s only social club in Astoria; Ivorian cooks emerge teary-eyed from behind Harlem kitchens after a Yaya Touré belter; Argentinean fans in Elmhurst dance en masse while twirling umbrellas and singing at the top of their lungs; and Algerian supporters block traffic on Steinway Street while blasting Khaled out of flag-adorned SUV’s — to the chagrin of their Egyptian neighbors.
A yellow-clad woman kissed me at a Brazilian nightclub seconds after Il Fenomeno Ronaldo’s 79th-minute winner during the 2002 World Cup final. Her rather intimidating-looking significant other, who I had been standing next to all match, shrugged as he victoriously fist-pumped at the heavens. This made perfect sense to all three of us at the time.
I’ve seen high-ranking UN diplomats blow off important Security Council meetings to watch their teams play against each other. I have seen atheists turn deeply religious and back again during three minute stoppage time periods. I once saw a Senegalese Imam high-five early morning beer-drinkers on East 116th Street after Papa Bouba Diop’s stunner against France. I have witnessed so many contrasting emotions and mood swings played out over multiple 90-minute periods watching international soccer in NYC that they could warrant their own section in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
I have also seen firsthand what historian Eric Hobsbawm meant when he said that “The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of 11 named people.” Watching their national teams play, immigrant communities in NYC not only feel an acute connection to home, but also a sense of pride that their existence is recognized, albeit for a fleeting moment, both on the international and local stages.
Check out our piece on watching the World Cup in NYC as part of Roads & Kingdoms and Sports Illustrated’s The Far Post series.  
 We have also updated our match itinerary with upcoming fixtures we plan to cover, so stay tuned for new Global Soccer, Global NYC content in the coming weeks.  

Aside from going to Brazil this summer, New York City might well be the best place on earth to experience the passion and diversity of the sport during the World Cup. This includes, of course, the overflowing, beer-soaked soccer pubs that host many of the NYC-based European supporters clubs. But locations like Nevada Smiths, Legends, and Smithfield, while institutions in their own right, tell only a small part of the story of soccer fans in 2014’s New York City, where 37 percent of its residents are foreign-born. 

In the outer boroughs and uptown, it is the community centers, social clubs, bakeries, grocery stores, bars, cafes, and juice stands that represent NYC fan culture in its principal form. Particularly during the World Cup, these locations harness and re-articulate national identity for immigrant communities in the city.

In my time chasing global soccer around the city as a fan, journalist, player, and student, I’ve seen septuagenarian Spanish men spill glasses of rioja on their bemused wives as they jumped on tables at a member’s only social club in Astoria; Ivorian cooks emerge teary-eyed from behind Harlem kitchens after a Yaya Touré belter; Argentinean fans in Elmhurst dance en masse while twirling umbrellas and singing at the top of their lungs; and Algerian supporters block traffic on Steinway Street while blasting Khaled out of flag-adorned SUV’s — to the chagrin of their Egyptian neighbors.

A yellow-clad woman kissed me at a Brazilian nightclub seconds after Il Fenomeno Ronaldo’s 79th-minute winner during the 2002 World Cup final. Her rather intimidating-looking significant other, who I had been standing next to all match, shrugged as he victoriously fist-pumped at the heavens. This made perfect sense to all three of us at the time.

I’ve seen high-ranking UN diplomats blow off important Security Council meetings to watch their teams play against each other. I have seen atheists turn deeply religious and back again during three minute stoppage time periods. I once saw a Senegalese Imam high-five early morning beer-drinkers on East 116th Street after Papa Bouba Diop’s stunner against France. I have witnessed so many contrasting emotions and mood swings played out over multiple 90-minute periods watching international soccer in NYC that they could warrant their own section in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

I have also seen firsthand what historian Eric Hobsbawm meant when he said that “The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of 11 named people.” Watching their national teams play, immigrant communities in NYC not only feel an acute connection to home, but also a sense of pride that their existence is recognized, albeit for a fleeting moment, both on the international and local stages.

Check out our piece on watching the World Cup in NYC as part of Roads & Kingdoms and Sports Illustrated’s The Far Post series. 

We have also updated our match itinerary with upcoming fixtures we plan to cover, so stay tuned for new Global Soccer, Global NYC content in the coming weeks.  

12th February 2013

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12th February 2013

Africa Cup of Nations Final. Nigeria 1 – Burkina Faso 0
10 February 2013, 1:30 pm. The Shrine, Harlem
The Burkinabe and Nigerian expatriate communities were out in force for the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday afternoon in Harlem at the Burkinabe-owned music venue, The Shrine.
The Shrine was having a viewing party for the match, which couldn’t have been more appropriate for the West African dominated CAF final. The walls are festooned with Burkinabe traditional masks along with 1970s American Afro-centric LPs, which seemed to celebrate and exchange of not only music styles, but also American-African culture.
Despite preliminary worries about the viability of their Ghanaian satellite feed, The Shrine ended up drawing over a hundred fans that crowded around the packed, standing room-only bar to get a glimpse of the continent’s showpiece game on a large screen.
Nigeria came out very strong in the first half, going close on three occasions. Later, Burkina Faso found their rhythm through the omnipresent trickery and velcro-like first touch of player-of-the-tournament Jonathan Pitroipa.
In the 39th minute, a bit of magic from local boy Sunday Mba, who drilled home a golaso after flicking it up to himself on the run, broke the deadlock at Soccer City Stadium and ignited a chorus of cheers from the Super Eagles’ fans in Harlem. Two green-clad supporters even began taunting a dejected Burkina Faso fan by waving their scarves in his sad direction.
At halftime, a small stand near the front of the bar was doing brisk business hawking Burkina Faso football t-shirts as fans stocked up on beers for the final 45.
A Nigerian music promoter also took the opportunity to hop on stage and inform the crowd of an upcoming live performance by Naija artist 9ice at Buka Restaurant in Fort Greene.
After the break, Nigeria’s conservative lead-protectionist tactics gave Burkina Faso an opening as they pressed forward through some neat interplay between Pitroipa and Djakaridja Kone but Les Étalons’ final ball lacked the necessary quality.
Victor Moses’ strong hold-up play and runs for the Super Eagles were a constant threat on the counter, but Burkina Faso maintained their pressure— forcing a few fine saves from Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama.
Burkina Faso’s late forays into the Nigerian box continued to prove fruitless in the dying minutes as frustrated Burkinabe waiters and bartenders in Les Étalons kits cursed the screen under their breath in French while taking last-minute beer orders.
As the final whistle blew, the Nigerian fans began jumping up and down and waving green scarves, joyously yelling at the player celebrations on TV, and even hoisting small children up into the air. 
Though, a win by the underdog Burkina Faso would have been appropriate for their Cinderella-like ascension in the Cup, they have created a lasting name for themselves as strong competitors on the continent.
Instead, it was the Nigerians moment to bask in the glory. The Shrine even put on some carefully curated bass-heavy Naija hip-pop music over the very capable speakers and the crowd broke out into spontaneous dance to celebrate the Super Eagles’ third Afcon title and the long-awaited return of the trophy to West Africa for the first time in eleven years.
New York City certainly knows how to do the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations Final. Nigeria 1 – Burkina Faso 0
10 February 2013, 1:30 pm. The Shrine, Harlem
The Burkinabe and Nigerian expatriate communities were out in force for the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday afternoon in Harlem at the Burkinabe-owned music venue, The Shrine.
The Shrine was having a viewing party for the match, which couldn’t have been more appropriate for the West African dominated CAF final. The walls are festooned with Burkinabe traditional masks along with 1970s American Afro-centric LPs, which seemed to celebrate and exchange of not only music styles, but also American-African culture.
Despite preliminary worries about the viability of their Ghanaian satellite feed, The Shrine ended up drawing over a hundred fans that crowded around the packed, standing room-only bar to get a glimpse of the continent’s showpiece game on a large screen.
Nigeria came out very strong in the first half, going close on three occasions. Later, Burkina Faso found their rhythm through the omnipresent trickery and velcro-like first touch of player-of-the-tournament Jonathan Pitroipa.
In the 39th minute, a bit of magic from local boy Sunday Mba, who drilled home a golaso after flicking it up to himself on the run, broke the deadlock at Soccer City Stadium and ignited a chorus of cheers from the Super Eagles’ fans in Harlem. Two green-clad supporters even began taunting a dejected Burkina Faso fan by waving their scarves in his sad direction.
At halftime, a small stand near the front of the bar was doing brisk business hawking Burkina Faso football t-shirts as fans stocked up on beers for the final 45.
A Nigerian music promoter also took the opportunity to hop on stage and inform the crowd of an upcoming live performance by Naija artist 9ice at Buka Restaurant in Fort Greene.
After the break, Nigeria’s conservative lead-protectionist tactics gave Burkina Faso an opening as they pressed forward through some neat interplay between Pitroipa and Djakaridja Kone but Les Étalons’ final ball lacked the necessary quality.
Victor Moses’ strong hold-up play and runs for the Super Eagles were a constant threat on the counter, but Burkina Faso maintained their pressure— forcing a few fine saves from Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama.
Burkina Faso’s late forays into the Nigerian box continued to prove fruitless in the dying minutes as frustrated Burkinabe waiters and bartenders in Les Étalons kits cursed the screen under their breath in French while taking last-minute beer orders.
As the final whistle blew, the Nigerian fans began jumping up and down and waving green scarves, joyously yelling at the player celebrations on TV, and even hoisting small children up into the air. 
Though, a win by the underdog Burkina Faso would have been appropriate for their Cinderella-like ascension in the Cup, they have created a lasting name for themselves as strong competitors on the continent.
Instead, it was the Nigerians moment to bask in the glory. The Shrine even put on some carefully curated bass-heavy Naija hip-pop music over the very capable speakers and the crowd broke out into spontaneous dance to celebrate the Super Eagles’ third Afcon title and the long-awaited return of the trophy to West Africa for the first time in eleven years.
New York City certainly knows how to do the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations Final. Nigeria 1 – Burkina Faso 0
10 February 2013, 1:30 pm. The Shrine, Harlem
The Burkinabe and Nigerian expatriate communities were out in force for the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday afternoon in Harlem at the Burkinabe-owned music venue, The Shrine.
The Shrine was having a viewing party for the match, which couldn’t have been more appropriate for the West African dominated CAF final. The walls are festooned with Burkinabe traditional masks along with 1970s American Afro-centric LPs, which seemed to celebrate and exchange of not only music styles, but also American-African culture.
Despite preliminary worries about the viability of their Ghanaian satellite feed, The Shrine ended up drawing over a hundred fans that crowded around the packed, standing room-only bar to get a glimpse of the continent’s showpiece game on a large screen.
Nigeria came out very strong in the first half, going close on three occasions. Later, Burkina Faso found their rhythm through the omnipresent trickery and velcro-like first touch of player-of-the-tournament Jonathan Pitroipa.
In the 39th minute, a bit of magic from local boy Sunday Mba, who drilled home a golaso after flicking it up to himself on the run, broke the deadlock at Soccer City Stadium and ignited a chorus of cheers from the Super Eagles’ fans in Harlem. Two green-clad supporters even began taunting a dejected Burkina Faso fan by waving their scarves in his sad direction.
At halftime, a small stand near the front of the bar was doing brisk business hawking Burkina Faso football t-shirts as fans stocked up on beers for the final 45.
A Nigerian music promoter also took the opportunity to hop on stage and inform the crowd of an upcoming live performance by Naija artist 9ice at Buka Restaurant in Fort Greene.
After the break, Nigeria’s conservative lead-protectionist tactics gave Burkina Faso an opening as they pressed forward through some neat interplay between Pitroipa and Djakaridja Kone but Les Étalons’ final ball lacked the necessary quality.
Victor Moses’ strong hold-up play and runs for the Super Eagles were a constant threat on the counter, but Burkina Faso maintained their pressure— forcing a few fine saves from Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama.
Burkina Faso’s late forays into the Nigerian box continued to prove fruitless in the dying minutes as frustrated Burkinabe waiters and bartenders in Les Étalons kits cursed the screen under their breath in French while taking last-minute beer orders.
As the final whistle blew, the Nigerian fans began jumping up and down and waving green scarves, joyously yelling at the player celebrations on TV, and even hoisting small children up into the air. 
Though, a win by the underdog Burkina Faso would have been appropriate for their Cinderella-like ascension in the Cup, they have created a lasting name for themselves as strong competitors on the continent.
Instead, it was the Nigerians moment to bask in the glory. The Shrine even put on some carefully curated bass-heavy Naija hip-pop music over the very capable speakers and the crowd broke out into spontaneous dance to celebrate the Super Eagles’ third Afcon title and the long-awaited return of the trophy to West Africa for the first time in eleven years.
New York City certainly knows how to do the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations Final. Nigeria 1 – Burkina Faso 0
10 February 2013, 1:30 pm. The Shrine, Harlem
The Burkinabe and Nigerian expatriate communities were out in force for the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday afternoon in Harlem at the Burkinabe-owned music venue, The Shrine.
The Shrine was having a viewing party for the match, which couldn’t have been more appropriate for the West African dominated CAF final. The walls are festooned with Burkinabe traditional masks along with 1970s American Afro-centric LPs, which seemed to celebrate and exchange of not only music styles, but also American-African culture.
Despite preliminary worries about the viability of their Ghanaian satellite feed, The Shrine ended up drawing over a hundred fans that crowded around the packed, standing room-only bar to get a glimpse of the continent’s showpiece game on a large screen.
Nigeria came out very strong in the first half, going close on three occasions. Later, Burkina Faso found their rhythm through the omnipresent trickery and velcro-like first touch of player-of-the-tournament Jonathan Pitroipa.
In the 39th minute, a bit of magic from local boy Sunday Mba, who drilled home a golaso after flicking it up to himself on the run, broke the deadlock at Soccer City Stadium and ignited a chorus of cheers from the Super Eagles’ fans in Harlem. Two green-clad supporters even began taunting a dejected Burkina Faso fan by waving their scarves in his sad direction.
At halftime, a small stand near the front of the bar was doing brisk business hawking Burkina Faso football t-shirts as fans stocked up on beers for the final 45.
A Nigerian music promoter also took the opportunity to hop on stage and inform the crowd of an upcoming live performance by Naija artist 9ice at Buka Restaurant in Fort Greene.
After the break, Nigeria’s conservative lead-protectionist tactics gave Burkina Faso an opening as they pressed forward through some neat interplay between Pitroipa and Djakaridja Kone but Les Étalons’ final ball lacked the necessary quality.
Victor Moses’ strong hold-up play and runs for the Super Eagles were a constant threat on the counter, but Burkina Faso maintained their pressure— forcing a few fine saves from Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama.
Burkina Faso’s late forays into the Nigerian box continued to prove fruitless in the dying minutes as frustrated Burkinabe waiters and bartenders in Les Étalons kits cursed the screen under their breath in French while taking last-minute beer orders.
As the final whistle blew, the Nigerian fans began jumping up and down and waving green scarves, joyously yelling at the player celebrations on TV, and even hoisting small children up into the air. 
Though, a win by the underdog Burkina Faso would have been appropriate for their Cinderella-like ascension in the Cup, they have created a lasting name for themselves as strong competitors on the continent.
Instead, it was the Nigerians moment to bask in the glory. The Shrine even put on some carefully curated bass-heavy Naija hip-pop music over the very capable speakers and the crowd broke out into spontaneous dance to celebrate the Super Eagles’ third Afcon title and the long-awaited return of the trophy to West Africa for the first time in eleven years.
New York City certainly knows how to do the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations Final. Nigeria 1 – Burkina Faso 0
10 February 2013, 1:30 pm. The Shrine, Harlem
The Burkinabe and Nigerian expatriate communities were out in force for the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday afternoon in Harlem at the Burkinabe-owned music venue, The Shrine.
The Shrine was having a viewing party for the match, which couldn’t have been more appropriate for the West African dominated CAF final. The walls are festooned with Burkinabe traditional masks along with 1970s American Afro-centric LPs, which seemed to celebrate and exchange of not only music styles, but also American-African culture.
Despite preliminary worries about the viability of their Ghanaian satellite feed, The Shrine ended up drawing over a hundred fans that crowded around the packed, standing room-only bar to get a glimpse of the continent’s showpiece game on a large screen.
Nigeria came out very strong in the first half, going close on three occasions. Later, Burkina Faso found their rhythm through the omnipresent trickery and velcro-like first touch of player-of-the-tournament Jonathan Pitroipa.
In the 39th minute, a bit of magic from local boy Sunday Mba, who drilled home a golaso after flicking it up to himself on the run, broke the deadlock at Soccer City Stadium and ignited a chorus of cheers from the Super Eagles’ fans in Harlem. Two green-clad supporters even began taunting a dejected Burkina Faso fan by waving their scarves in his sad direction.
At halftime, a small stand near the front of the bar was doing brisk business hawking Burkina Faso football t-shirts as fans stocked up on beers for the final 45.
A Nigerian music promoter also took the opportunity to hop on stage and inform the crowd of an upcoming live performance by Naija artist 9ice at Buka Restaurant in Fort Greene.
After the break, Nigeria’s conservative lead-protectionist tactics gave Burkina Faso an opening as they pressed forward through some neat interplay between Pitroipa and Djakaridja Kone but Les Étalons’ final ball lacked the necessary quality.
Victor Moses’ strong hold-up play and runs for the Super Eagles were a constant threat on the counter, but Burkina Faso maintained their pressure— forcing a few fine saves from Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama.
Burkina Faso’s late forays into the Nigerian box continued to prove fruitless in the dying minutes as frustrated Burkinabe waiters and bartenders in Les Étalons kits cursed the screen under their breath in French while taking last-minute beer orders.
As the final whistle blew, the Nigerian fans began jumping up and down and waving green scarves, joyously yelling at the player celebrations on TV, and even hoisting small children up into the air. 
Though, a win by the underdog Burkina Faso would have been appropriate for their Cinderella-like ascension in the Cup, they have created a lasting name for themselves as strong competitors on the continent.
Instead, it was the Nigerians moment to bask in the glory. The Shrine even put on some carefully curated bass-heavy Naija hip-pop music over the very capable speakers and the crowd broke out into spontaneous dance to celebrate the Super Eagles’ third Afcon title and the long-awaited return of the trophy to West Africa for the first time in eleven years.
New York City certainly knows how to do the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations Final. Nigeria 1 – Burkina Faso 0
10 February 2013, 1:30 pm. The Shrine, Harlem
The Burkinabe and Nigerian expatriate communities were out in force for the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday afternoon in Harlem at the Burkinabe-owned music venue, The Shrine.
The Shrine was having a viewing party for the match, which couldn’t have been more appropriate for the West African dominated CAF final. The walls are festooned with Burkinabe traditional masks along with 1970s American Afro-centric LPs, which seemed to celebrate and exchange of not only music styles, but also American-African culture.
Despite preliminary worries about the viability of their Ghanaian satellite feed, The Shrine ended up drawing over a hundred fans that crowded around the packed, standing room-only bar to get a glimpse of the continent’s showpiece game on a large screen.
Nigeria came out very strong in the first half, going close on three occasions. Later, Burkina Faso found their rhythm through the omnipresent trickery and velcro-like first touch of player-of-the-tournament Jonathan Pitroipa.
In the 39th minute, a bit of magic from local boy Sunday Mba, who drilled home a golaso after flicking it up to himself on the run, broke the deadlock at Soccer City Stadium and ignited a chorus of cheers from the Super Eagles’ fans in Harlem. Two green-clad supporters even began taunting a dejected Burkina Faso fan by waving their scarves in his sad direction.
At halftime, a small stand near the front of the bar was doing brisk business hawking Burkina Faso football t-shirts as fans stocked up on beers for the final 45.
A Nigerian music promoter also took the opportunity to hop on stage and inform the crowd of an upcoming live performance by Naija artist 9ice at Buka Restaurant in Fort Greene.
After the break, Nigeria’s conservative lead-protectionist tactics gave Burkina Faso an opening as they pressed forward through some neat interplay between Pitroipa and Djakaridja Kone but Les Étalons’ final ball lacked the necessary quality.
Victor Moses’ strong hold-up play and runs for the Super Eagles were a constant threat on the counter, but Burkina Faso maintained their pressure— forcing a few fine saves from Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama.
Burkina Faso’s late forays into the Nigerian box continued to prove fruitless in the dying minutes as frustrated Burkinabe waiters and bartenders in Les Étalons kits cursed the screen under their breath in French while taking last-minute beer orders.
As the final whistle blew, the Nigerian fans began jumping up and down and waving green scarves, joyously yelling at the player celebrations on TV, and even hoisting small children up into the air. 
Though, a win by the underdog Burkina Faso would have been appropriate for their Cinderella-like ascension in the Cup, they have created a lasting name for themselves as strong competitors on the continent.
Instead, it was the Nigerians moment to bask in the glory. The Shrine even put on some carefully curated bass-heavy Naija hip-pop music over the very capable speakers and the crowd broke out into spontaneous dance to celebrate the Super Eagles’ third Afcon title and the long-awaited return of the trophy to West Africa for the first time in eleven years.
New York City certainly knows how to do the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations Final. Nigeria 1 – Burkina Faso 0
10 February 2013, 1:30 pm. The Shrine, Harlem
The Burkinabe and Nigerian expatriate communities were out in force for the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday afternoon in Harlem at the Burkinabe-owned music venue, The Shrine.
The Shrine was having a viewing party for the match, which couldn’t have been more appropriate for the West African dominated CAF final. The walls are festooned with Burkinabe traditional masks along with 1970s American Afro-centric LPs, which seemed to celebrate and exchange of not only music styles, but also American-African culture.
Despite preliminary worries about the viability of their Ghanaian satellite feed, The Shrine ended up drawing over a hundred fans that crowded around the packed, standing room-only bar to get a glimpse of the continent’s showpiece game on a large screen.
Nigeria came out very strong in the first half, going close on three occasions. Later, Burkina Faso found their rhythm through the omnipresent trickery and velcro-like first touch of player-of-the-tournament Jonathan Pitroipa.
In the 39th minute, a bit of magic from local boy Sunday Mba, who drilled home a golaso after flicking it up to himself on the run, broke the deadlock at Soccer City Stadium and ignited a chorus of cheers from the Super Eagles’ fans in Harlem. Two green-clad supporters even began taunting a dejected Burkina Faso fan by waving their scarves in his sad direction.
At halftime, a small stand near the front of the bar was doing brisk business hawking Burkina Faso football t-shirts as fans stocked up on beers for the final 45.
A Nigerian music promoter also took the opportunity to hop on stage and inform the crowd of an upcoming live performance by Naija artist 9ice at Buka Restaurant in Fort Greene.
After the break, Nigeria’s conservative lead-protectionist tactics gave Burkina Faso an opening as they pressed forward through some neat interplay between Pitroipa and Djakaridja Kone but Les Étalons’ final ball lacked the necessary quality.
Victor Moses’ strong hold-up play and runs for the Super Eagles were a constant threat on the counter, but Burkina Faso maintained their pressure— forcing a few fine saves from Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama.
Burkina Faso’s late forays into the Nigerian box continued to prove fruitless in the dying minutes as frustrated Burkinabe waiters and bartenders in Les Étalons kits cursed the screen under their breath in French while taking last-minute beer orders.
As the final whistle blew, the Nigerian fans began jumping up and down and waving green scarves, joyously yelling at the player celebrations on TV, and even hoisting small children up into the air. 
Though, a win by the underdog Burkina Faso would have been appropriate for their Cinderella-like ascension in the Cup, they have created a lasting name for themselves as strong competitors on the continent.
Instead, it was the Nigerians moment to bask in the glory. The Shrine even put on some carefully curated bass-heavy Naija hip-pop music over the very capable speakers and the crowd broke out into spontaneous dance to celebrate the Super Eagles’ third Afcon title and the long-awaited return of the trophy to West Africa for the first time in eleven years.
New York City certainly knows how to do the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations Final. Nigeria 1 – Burkina Faso 0
10 February 2013, 1:30 pm. The Shrine, Harlem
The Burkinabe and Nigerian expatriate communities were out in force for the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday afternoon in Harlem at the Burkinabe-owned music venue, The Shrine.
The Shrine was having a viewing party for the match, which couldn’t have been more appropriate for the West African dominated CAF final. The walls are festooned with Burkinabe traditional masks along with 1970s American Afro-centric LPs, which seemed to celebrate and exchange of not only music styles, but also American-African culture.
Despite preliminary worries about the viability of their Ghanaian satellite feed, The Shrine ended up drawing over a hundred fans that crowded around the packed, standing room-only bar to get a glimpse of the continent’s showpiece game on a large screen.
Nigeria came out very strong in the first half, going close on three occasions. Later, Burkina Faso found their rhythm through the omnipresent trickery and velcro-like first touch of player-of-the-tournament Jonathan Pitroipa.
In the 39th minute, a bit of magic from local boy Sunday Mba, who drilled home a golaso after flicking it up to himself on the run, broke the deadlock at Soccer City Stadium and ignited a chorus of cheers from the Super Eagles’ fans in Harlem. Two green-clad supporters even began taunting a dejected Burkina Faso fan by waving their scarves in his sad direction.
At halftime, a small stand near the front of the bar was doing brisk business hawking Burkina Faso football t-shirts as fans stocked up on beers for the final 45.
A Nigerian music promoter also took the opportunity to hop on stage and inform the crowd of an upcoming live performance by Naija artist 9ice at Buka Restaurant in Fort Greene.
After the break, Nigeria’s conservative lead-protectionist tactics gave Burkina Faso an opening as they pressed forward through some neat interplay between Pitroipa and Djakaridja Kone but Les Étalons’ final ball lacked the necessary quality.
Victor Moses’ strong hold-up play and runs for the Super Eagles were a constant threat on the counter, but Burkina Faso maintained their pressure— forcing a few fine saves from Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama.
Burkina Faso’s late forays into the Nigerian box continued to prove fruitless in the dying minutes as frustrated Burkinabe waiters and bartenders in Les Étalons kits cursed the screen under their breath in French while taking last-minute beer orders.
As the final whistle blew, the Nigerian fans began jumping up and down and waving green scarves, joyously yelling at the player celebrations on TV, and even hoisting small children up into the air. 
Though, a win by the underdog Burkina Faso would have been appropriate for their Cinderella-like ascension in the Cup, they have created a lasting name for themselves as strong competitors on the continent.
Instead, it was the Nigerians moment to bask in the glory. The Shrine even put on some carefully curated bass-heavy Naija hip-pop music over the very capable speakers and the crowd broke out into spontaneous dance to celebrate the Super Eagles’ third Afcon title and the long-awaited return of the trophy to West Africa for the first time in eleven years.
New York City certainly knows how to do the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country

Africa Cup of Nations Final. Nigeria 1 – Burkina Faso 0

10 February 2013, 1:30 pm. The Shrine, Harlem

The Burkinabe and Nigerian expatriate communities were out in force for the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday afternoon in Harlem at the Burkinabe-owned music venue, The Shrine.

The Shrine was having a viewing party for the match, which couldn’t have been more appropriate for the West African dominated CAF final. The walls are festooned with Burkinabe traditional masks along with 1970s American Afro-centric LPs, which seemed to celebrate and exchange of not only music styles, but also American-African culture.

Despite preliminary worries about the viability of their Ghanaian satellite feed, The Shrine ended up drawing over a hundred fans that crowded around the packed, standing room-only bar to get a glimpse of the continent’s showpiece game on a large screen.

Nigeria came out very strong in the first half, going close on three occasions. Later, Burkina Faso found their rhythm through the omnipresent trickery and velcro-like first touch of player-of-the-tournament Jonathan Pitroipa.

In the 39th minute, a bit of magic from local boy Sunday Mba, who drilled home a golaso after flicking it up to himself on the run, broke the deadlock at Soccer City Stadium and ignited a chorus of cheers from the Super Eagles’ fans in Harlem. Two green-clad supporters even began taunting a dejected Burkina Faso fan by waving their scarves in his sad direction.

At halftime, a small stand near the front of the bar was doing brisk business hawking Burkina Faso football t-shirts as fans stocked up on beers for the final 45.

A Nigerian music promoter also took the opportunity to hop on stage and inform the crowd of an upcoming live performance by Naija artist 9ice at Buka Restaurant in Fort Greene.

After the break, Nigeria’s conservative lead-protectionist tactics gave Burkina Faso an opening as they pressed forward through some neat interplay between Pitroipa and Djakaridja Kone but Les Étalons’ final ball lacked the necessary quality.

Victor Moses’ strong hold-up play and runs for the Super Eagles were a constant threat on the counter, but Burkina Faso maintained their pressure— forcing a few fine saves from Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama.

Burkina Faso’s late forays into the Nigerian box continued to prove fruitless in the dying minutes as frustrated Burkinabe waiters and bartenders in Les Étalons kits cursed the screen under their breath in French while taking last-minute beer orders.

As the final whistle blew, the Nigerian fans began jumping up and down and waving green scarves, joyously yelling at the player celebrations on TV, and even hoisting small children up into the air. 

Though, a win by the underdog Burkina Faso would have been appropriate for their Cinderella-like ascension in the Cup, they have created a lasting name for themselves as strong competitors on the continent.

Instead, it was the Nigerians moment to bask in the glory. The Shrine even put on some carefully curated bass-heavy Naija hip-pop music over the very capable speakers and the crowd broke out into spontaneous dance to celebrate the Super Eagles’ third Afcon title and the long-awaited return of the trophy to West Africa for the first time in eleven years.

New York City certainly knows how to do the Africa Cup of Nations.

Cross-posted to Africa is a Country

Reblogged from Global Soccer, Global NYC

 ·  5 notes

6th February 2013

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6th February 2013

Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana 2 - Cape Verde 0
2 February 2013, 10:00 am. Meytex Cafe, Flatbush Brooklyn
While the Ghanaian migrant community in New York City is centered in the Bronx, there is a smaller, yet equally as Afcon-enthusiastic population of Ghanaians in the Flatbush/Crown Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Meytex Cafe on Flatbush Avenue is part social club, part Ghanaian restaurant, and part bar/party space that provides a social center for the Ghanaian community in Brooklyn and has been one of the premier locations to watch the Black Stars in New York City. 
Early on Saturday morning, fans crowded around the bar at Meytex next to framed photographs of noted Ghanaian and Pan-African luminaries such as Kwame Nkrumah, Haile Selassie, Kofi Annan, Bob Marley, Stephen Appiah, and William Jefferson Clinton to cheer on the Black Stars as they took on Cinderella-story Cape Verde while throwing back bottles of Guinness Foreign Extra.
Ghana’s defense looked shaky from the start but maintained its composure in the face of increasingly dangerous Cape Verdean attacks. After a rather uneventful first half, a controversial penalty kick was awarded when Asamoah Gyan went down in the box in the 51th minute and substitute Mubarak Wakaso coolly slotted it home.
The Ghanaians at Meytex cheered for Wakaso’s goal, but their enthusiasm was somewhat muted by their confidence, with at least forty vocal Brooklyn-based “assistant managers” jokingly offering tactical suggestions to the players and already talking up their chances for success in the final in a seamless blend of English and Twi.
The relaxed and jovial vibe of the crowd, perhaps facilitated by the early morning beers, was a fascinating counterpoint to the life-and-death seriousness of the Moroccans in Astoria and the Ivorians in Harlem from our Afcon-in-the-city travels last week.
After Ghana’s first goal, Cape Verde’s attack further grew in confidence as they threw numbers forward in hopes of an equalizer. Ghana’s defense again could barely keep up with the Blue Shark’s speedy wingers and were time and time again bailed out by man-of-the-match Ghanaian goalkeeper Dauda.
Then, with Cape Verde even sending their keeper forward on a corner in the dying minutes, Mubarak Wakaso found himself on a breakaway with an empty net and calmly put the match away to the victorious chanting of the Black Stars’ fans in Flatbush.
With the match settled, the live Ghanaian satellite feed immediately put on Obaa Yaa & Nana Perbi’s “Official Black Star Fire Song” (sponsored by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation) as the waitress selected Hiplife mix CDs to keep the afternoon celebrations going. We settled our spicy peanut soup and fufu tab, thanked the owners, and told them we might be back for their upcoming Ghana Independence Day party.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana 2 - Cape Verde 0
2 February 2013, 10:00 am. Meytex Cafe, Flatbush Brooklyn
While the Ghanaian migrant community in New York City is centered in the Bronx, there is a smaller, yet equally as Afcon-enthusiastic population of Ghanaians in the Flatbush/Crown Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Meytex Cafe on Flatbush Avenue is part social club, part Ghanaian restaurant, and part bar/party space that provides a social center for the Ghanaian community in Brooklyn and has been one of the premier locations to watch the Black Stars in New York City. 
Early on Saturday morning, fans crowded around the bar at Meytex next to framed photographs of noted Ghanaian and Pan-African luminaries such as Kwame Nkrumah, Haile Selassie, Kofi Annan, Bob Marley, Stephen Appiah, and William Jefferson Clinton to cheer on the Black Stars as they took on Cinderella-story Cape Verde while throwing back bottles of Guinness Foreign Extra.
Ghana’s defense looked shaky from the start but maintained its composure in the face of increasingly dangerous Cape Verdean attacks. After a rather uneventful first half, a controversial penalty kick was awarded when Asamoah Gyan went down in the box in the 51th minute and substitute Mubarak Wakaso coolly slotted it home.
The Ghanaians at Meytex cheered for Wakaso’s goal, but their enthusiasm was somewhat muted by their confidence, with at least forty vocal Brooklyn-based “assistant managers” jokingly offering tactical suggestions to the players and already talking up their chances for success in the final in a seamless blend of English and Twi.
The relaxed and jovial vibe of the crowd, perhaps facilitated by the early morning beers, was a fascinating counterpoint to the life-and-death seriousness of the Moroccans in Astoria and the Ivorians in Harlem from our Afcon-in-the-city travels last week.
After Ghana’s first goal, Cape Verde’s attack further grew in confidence as they threw numbers forward in hopes of an equalizer. Ghana’s defense again could barely keep up with the Blue Shark’s speedy wingers and were time and time again bailed out by man-of-the-match Ghanaian goalkeeper Dauda.
Then, with Cape Verde even sending their keeper forward on a corner in the dying minutes, Mubarak Wakaso found himself on a breakaway with an empty net and calmly put the match away to the victorious chanting of the Black Stars’ fans in Flatbush.
With the match settled, the live Ghanaian satellite feed immediately put on Obaa Yaa & Nana Perbi’s “Official Black Star Fire Song” (sponsored by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation) as the waitress selected Hiplife mix CDs to keep the afternoon celebrations going. We settled our spicy peanut soup and fufu tab, thanked the owners, and told them we might be back for their upcoming Ghana Independence Day party.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana 2 - Cape Verde 0
2 February 2013, 10:00 am. Meytex Cafe, Flatbush Brooklyn
While the Ghanaian migrant community in New York City is centered in the Bronx, there is a smaller, yet equally as Afcon-enthusiastic population of Ghanaians in the Flatbush/Crown Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Meytex Cafe on Flatbush Avenue is part social club, part Ghanaian restaurant, and part bar/party space that provides a social center for the Ghanaian community in Brooklyn and has been one of the premier locations to watch the Black Stars in New York City. 
Early on Saturday morning, fans crowded around the bar at Meytex next to framed photographs of noted Ghanaian and Pan-African luminaries such as Kwame Nkrumah, Haile Selassie, Kofi Annan, Bob Marley, Stephen Appiah, and William Jefferson Clinton to cheer on the Black Stars as they took on Cinderella-story Cape Verde while throwing back bottles of Guinness Foreign Extra.
Ghana’s defense looked shaky from the start but maintained its composure in the face of increasingly dangerous Cape Verdean attacks. After a rather uneventful first half, a controversial penalty kick was awarded when Asamoah Gyan went down in the box in the 51th minute and substitute Mubarak Wakaso coolly slotted it home.
The Ghanaians at Meytex cheered for Wakaso’s goal, but their enthusiasm was somewhat muted by their confidence, with at least forty vocal Brooklyn-based “assistant managers” jokingly offering tactical suggestions to the players and already talking up their chances for success in the final in a seamless blend of English and Twi.
The relaxed and jovial vibe of the crowd, perhaps facilitated by the early morning beers, was a fascinating counterpoint to the life-and-death seriousness of the Moroccans in Astoria and the Ivorians in Harlem from our Afcon-in-the-city travels last week.
After Ghana’s first goal, Cape Verde’s attack further grew in confidence as they threw numbers forward in hopes of an equalizer. Ghana’s defense again could barely keep up with the Blue Shark’s speedy wingers and were time and time again bailed out by man-of-the-match Ghanaian goalkeeper Dauda.
Then, with Cape Verde even sending their keeper forward on a corner in the dying minutes, Mubarak Wakaso found himself on a breakaway with an empty net and calmly put the match away to the victorious chanting of the Black Stars’ fans in Flatbush.
With the match settled, the live Ghanaian satellite feed immediately put on Obaa Yaa & Nana Perbi’s “Official Black Star Fire Song” (sponsored by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation) as the waitress selected Hiplife mix CDs to keep the afternoon celebrations going. We settled our spicy peanut soup and fufu tab, thanked the owners, and told them we might be back for their upcoming Ghana Independence Day party.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana 2 - Cape Verde 0
2 February 2013, 10:00 am. Meytex Cafe, Flatbush Brooklyn
While the Ghanaian migrant community in New York City is centered in the Bronx, there is a smaller, yet equally as Afcon-enthusiastic population of Ghanaians in the Flatbush/Crown Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Meytex Cafe on Flatbush Avenue is part social club, part Ghanaian restaurant, and part bar/party space that provides a social center for the Ghanaian community in Brooklyn and has been one of the premier locations to watch the Black Stars in New York City. 
Early on Saturday morning, fans crowded around the bar at Meytex next to framed photographs of noted Ghanaian and Pan-African luminaries such as Kwame Nkrumah, Haile Selassie, Kofi Annan, Bob Marley, Stephen Appiah, and William Jefferson Clinton to cheer on the Black Stars as they took on Cinderella-story Cape Verde while throwing back bottles of Guinness Foreign Extra.
Ghana’s defense looked shaky from the start but maintained its composure in the face of increasingly dangerous Cape Verdean attacks. After a rather uneventful first half, a controversial penalty kick was awarded when Asamoah Gyan went down in the box in the 51th minute and substitute Mubarak Wakaso coolly slotted it home.
The Ghanaians at Meytex cheered for Wakaso’s goal, but their enthusiasm was somewhat muted by their confidence, with at least forty vocal Brooklyn-based “assistant managers” jokingly offering tactical suggestions to the players and already talking up their chances for success in the final in a seamless blend of English and Twi.
The relaxed and jovial vibe of the crowd, perhaps facilitated by the early morning beers, was a fascinating counterpoint to the life-and-death seriousness of the Moroccans in Astoria and the Ivorians in Harlem from our Afcon-in-the-city travels last week.
After Ghana’s first goal, Cape Verde’s attack further grew in confidence as they threw numbers forward in hopes of an equalizer. Ghana’s defense again could barely keep up with the Blue Shark’s speedy wingers and were time and time again bailed out by man-of-the-match Ghanaian goalkeeper Dauda.
Then, with Cape Verde even sending their keeper forward on a corner in the dying minutes, Mubarak Wakaso found himself on a breakaway with an empty net and calmly put the match away to the victorious chanting of the Black Stars’ fans in Flatbush.
With the match settled, the live Ghanaian satellite feed immediately put on Obaa Yaa & Nana Perbi’s “Official Black Star Fire Song” (sponsored by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation) as the waitress selected Hiplife mix CDs to keep the afternoon celebrations going. We settled our spicy peanut soup and fufu tab, thanked the owners, and told them we might be back for their upcoming Ghana Independence Day party.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana 2 - Cape Verde 0
2 February 2013, 10:00 am. Meytex Cafe, Flatbush Brooklyn
While the Ghanaian migrant community in New York City is centered in the Bronx, there is a smaller, yet equally as Afcon-enthusiastic population of Ghanaians in the Flatbush/Crown Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Meytex Cafe on Flatbush Avenue is part social club, part Ghanaian restaurant, and part bar/party space that provides a social center for the Ghanaian community in Brooklyn and has been one of the premier locations to watch the Black Stars in New York City. 
Early on Saturday morning, fans crowded around the bar at Meytex next to framed photographs of noted Ghanaian and Pan-African luminaries such as Kwame Nkrumah, Haile Selassie, Kofi Annan, Bob Marley, Stephen Appiah, and William Jefferson Clinton to cheer on the Black Stars as they took on Cinderella-story Cape Verde while throwing back bottles of Guinness Foreign Extra.
Ghana’s defense looked shaky from the start but maintained its composure in the face of increasingly dangerous Cape Verdean attacks. After a rather uneventful first half, a controversial penalty kick was awarded when Asamoah Gyan went down in the box in the 51th minute and substitute Mubarak Wakaso coolly slotted it home.
The Ghanaians at Meytex cheered for Wakaso’s goal, but their enthusiasm was somewhat muted by their confidence, with at least forty vocal Brooklyn-based “assistant managers” jokingly offering tactical suggestions to the players and already talking up their chances for success in the final in a seamless blend of English and Twi.
The relaxed and jovial vibe of the crowd, perhaps facilitated by the early morning beers, was a fascinating counterpoint to the life-and-death seriousness of the Moroccans in Astoria and the Ivorians in Harlem from our Afcon-in-the-city travels last week.
After Ghana’s first goal, Cape Verde’s attack further grew in confidence as they threw numbers forward in hopes of an equalizer. Ghana’s defense again could barely keep up with the Blue Shark’s speedy wingers and were time and time again bailed out by man-of-the-match Ghanaian goalkeeper Dauda.
Then, with Cape Verde even sending their keeper forward on a corner in the dying minutes, Mubarak Wakaso found himself on a breakaway with an empty net and calmly put the match away to the victorious chanting of the Black Stars’ fans in Flatbush.
With the match settled, the live Ghanaian satellite feed immediately put on Obaa Yaa & Nana Perbi’s “Official Black Star Fire Song” (sponsored by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation) as the waitress selected Hiplife mix CDs to keep the afternoon celebrations going. We settled our spicy peanut soup and fufu tab, thanked the owners, and told them we might be back for their upcoming Ghana Independence Day party.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country

Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana 2 - Cape Verde 0

2 February 2013, 10:00 am. Meytex Cafe, Flatbush Brooklyn

While the Ghanaian migrant community in New York City is centered in the Bronx, there is a smaller, yet equally as Afcon-enthusiastic population of Ghanaians in the Flatbush/Crown Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Meytex Cafe on Flatbush Avenue is part social club, part Ghanaian restaurant, and part bar/party space that provides a social center for the Ghanaian community in Brooklyn and has been one of the premier locations to watch the Black Stars in New York City. 

Early on Saturday morning, fans crowded around the bar at Meytex next to framed photographs of noted Ghanaian and Pan-African luminaries such as Kwame Nkrumah, Haile Selassie, Kofi Annan, Bob Marley, Stephen Appiah, and William Jefferson Clinton to cheer on the Black Stars as they took on Cinderella-story Cape Verde while throwing back bottles of Guinness Foreign Extra.

Ghana’s defense looked shaky from the start but maintained its composure in the face of increasingly dangerous Cape Verdean attacks. After a rather uneventful first half, a controversial penalty kick was awarded when Asamoah Gyan went down in the box in the 51th minute and substitute Mubarak Wakaso coolly slotted it home.

The Ghanaians at Meytex cheered for Wakaso’s goal, but their enthusiasm was somewhat muted by their confidence, with at least forty vocal Brooklyn-based “assistant managers” jokingly offering tactical suggestions to the players and already talking up their chances for success in the final in a seamless blend of English and Twi.

The relaxed and jovial vibe of the crowd, perhaps facilitated by the early morning beers, was a fascinating counterpoint to the life-and-death seriousness of the Moroccans in Astoria and the Ivorians in Harlem from our Afcon-in-the-city travels last week.

After Ghana’s first goal, Cape Verde’s attack further grew in confidence as they threw numbers forward in hopes of an equalizer. Ghana’s defense again could barely keep up with the Blue Shark’s speedy wingers and were time and time again bailed out by man-of-the-match Ghanaian goalkeeper Dauda.

Then, with Cape Verde even sending their keeper forward on a corner in the dying minutes, Mubarak Wakaso found himself on a breakaway with an empty net and calmly put the match away to the victorious chanting of the Black Stars’ fans in Flatbush.

With the match settled, the live Ghanaian satellite feed immediately put on Obaa Yaa & Nana Perbi’s “Official Black Star Fire Song” (sponsored by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation) as the waitress selected Hiplife mix CDs to keep the afternoon celebrations going. We settled our spicy peanut soup and fufu tab, thanked the owners, and told them we might be back for their upcoming Ghana Independence Day party.

Cross-posted to Africa is a Country

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1st February 2013

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1st February 2013

Africa Cup of Nations. Morocco 2 - South Africa 
27 January 2013, 12:00 pm. Casa Lounge, Astoria Queens
Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens is home to the largest Moroccan population in New York City and Casa Lounge, a Moroccan-owned hookah spot, has been the undisputed destination in the neighborhood to catch Morocco’s Africa Cup of Nations matches this year.
Needing a win to progress out of a surprisingly competitive Group A, the Atlas Lions came out strong against a South African side needing at least a draw. Morocco opened the scoring after Issam El Adoua’s header capitalized on some sloppy South African defending in the 10th minute.
As it bounced over the line, the early goal seemed to catch the awestruck Moroccan fans in Queens, at least 75 strong, a bit off guard. Their joy was palpable immediately however, with national team kit-bedecked fans unfurling large red Morocco flags, chanting “wal Maghrib, wal Maghrib” and kissing each other while pointing to the heavens in gratitude.
Unfortunately, a bit of the celebratory momentum was lost when Casa Lounge’s Arabic satellite TV feed went down half way through the first half. A frustrating “channel error connection failed” message hovered ominously over the proceedings as concerned Moroccan fans took to their cell phones in hopes of not missing any of the action in between sips of extortionist-priced $5 mint teas.
Thankfully, the satellite feed came back a few minutes into the second half shortly before May Mahlangu’s composed curling finish from the top of the box in the 71st minute leveled the proceedings in Durban and scaled-up the blood pressure of the Moroccan fans in Queens.
Fate’s cruel twists continued for the Moroccans as they first went back ahead 2-1 after substitute Abdelilah Hafid’s late 82nd minute strike sent the fans on Steinway Street into a rapturous celebration just as the feeble Arabic satellite feed went out once again.
Only four minutes later, however, with many fans nervously pushed into the back of Casa Lounge hoping to catch a glimpse of the reserve internet feed, only available on one of the TVs by this point, South Africa tied the match with Siyabonga Sangweni’s clutch 86th minute bending effort.
The goal effectively sent South Africa through and broke Moroccan hearts. One man at Casa Lounge spiked his mint tea in disgust, and profanity-lanced Arabic diatribes filled the air in Queens as teary knocked-out Moroccan players collapsed on the pitch in Durban.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations. Morocco 2 - South Africa 
27 January 2013, 12:00 pm. Casa Lounge, Astoria Queens
Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens is home to the largest Moroccan population in New York City and Casa Lounge, a Moroccan-owned hookah spot, has been the undisputed destination in the neighborhood to catch Morocco’s Africa Cup of Nations matches this year.
Needing a win to progress out of a surprisingly competitive Group A, the Atlas Lions came out strong against a South African side needing at least a draw. Morocco opened the scoring after Issam El Adoua’s header capitalized on some sloppy South African defending in the 10th minute.
As it bounced over the line, the early goal seemed to catch the awestruck Moroccan fans in Queens, at least 75 strong, a bit off guard. Their joy was palpable immediately however, with national team kit-bedecked fans unfurling large red Morocco flags, chanting “wal Maghrib, wal Maghrib” and kissing each other while pointing to the heavens in gratitude.
Unfortunately, a bit of the celebratory momentum was lost when Casa Lounge’s Arabic satellite TV feed went down half way through the first half. A frustrating “channel error connection failed” message hovered ominously over the proceedings as concerned Moroccan fans took to their cell phones in hopes of not missing any of the action in between sips of extortionist-priced $5 mint teas.
Thankfully, the satellite feed came back a few minutes into the second half shortly before May Mahlangu’s composed curling finish from the top of the box in the 71st minute leveled the proceedings in Durban and scaled-up the blood pressure of the Moroccan fans in Queens.
Fate’s cruel twists continued for the Moroccans as they first went back ahead 2-1 after substitute Abdelilah Hafid’s late 82nd minute strike sent the fans on Steinway Street into a rapturous celebration just as the feeble Arabic satellite feed went out once again.
Only four minutes later, however, with many fans nervously pushed into the back of Casa Lounge hoping to catch a glimpse of the reserve internet feed, only available on one of the TVs by this point, South Africa tied the match with Siyabonga Sangweni’s clutch 86th minute bending effort.
The goal effectively sent South Africa through and broke Moroccan hearts. One man at Casa Lounge spiked his mint tea in disgust, and profanity-lanced Arabic diatribes filled the air in Queens as teary knocked-out Moroccan players collapsed on the pitch in Durban.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations. Morocco 2 - South Africa 
27 January 2013, 12:00 pm. Casa Lounge, Astoria Queens
Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens is home to the largest Moroccan population in New York City and Casa Lounge, a Moroccan-owned hookah spot, has been the undisputed destination in the neighborhood to catch Morocco’s Africa Cup of Nations matches this year.
Needing a win to progress out of a surprisingly competitive Group A, the Atlas Lions came out strong against a South African side needing at least a draw. Morocco opened the scoring after Issam El Adoua’s header capitalized on some sloppy South African defending in the 10th minute.
As it bounced over the line, the early goal seemed to catch the awestruck Moroccan fans in Queens, at least 75 strong, a bit off guard. Their joy was palpable immediately however, with national team kit-bedecked fans unfurling large red Morocco flags, chanting “wal Maghrib, wal Maghrib” and kissing each other while pointing to the heavens in gratitude.
Unfortunately, a bit of the celebratory momentum was lost when Casa Lounge’s Arabic satellite TV feed went down half way through the first half. A frustrating “channel error connection failed” message hovered ominously over the proceedings as concerned Moroccan fans took to their cell phones in hopes of not missing any of the action in between sips of extortionist-priced $5 mint teas.
Thankfully, the satellite feed came back a few minutes into the second half shortly before May Mahlangu’s composed curling finish from the top of the box in the 71st minute leveled the proceedings in Durban and scaled-up the blood pressure of the Moroccan fans in Queens.
Fate’s cruel twists continued for the Moroccans as they first went back ahead 2-1 after substitute Abdelilah Hafid’s late 82nd minute strike sent the fans on Steinway Street into a rapturous celebration just as the feeble Arabic satellite feed went out once again.
Only four minutes later, however, with many fans nervously pushed into the back of Casa Lounge hoping to catch a glimpse of the reserve internet feed, only available on one of the TVs by this point, South Africa tied the match with Siyabonga Sangweni’s clutch 86th minute bending effort.
The goal effectively sent South Africa through and broke Moroccan hearts. One man at Casa Lounge spiked his mint tea in disgust, and profanity-lanced Arabic diatribes filled the air in Queens as teary knocked-out Moroccan players collapsed on the pitch in Durban.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations. Morocco 2 - South Africa 
27 January 2013, 12:00 pm. Casa Lounge, Astoria Queens
Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens is home to the largest Moroccan population in New York City and Casa Lounge, a Moroccan-owned hookah spot, has been the undisputed destination in the neighborhood to catch Morocco’s Africa Cup of Nations matches this year.
Needing a win to progress out of a surprisingly competitive Group A, the Atlas Lions came out strong against a South African side needing at least a draw. Morocco opened the scoring after Issam El Adoua’s header capitalized on some sloppy South African defending in the 10th minute.
As it bounced over the line, the early goal seemed to catch the awestruck Moroccan fans in Queens, at least 75 strong, a bit off guard. Their joy was palpable immediately however, with national team kit-bedecked fans unfurling large red Morocco flags, chanting “wal Maghrib, wal Maghrib” and kissing each other while pointing to the heavens in gratitude.
Unfortunately, a bit of the celebratory momentum was lost when Casa Lounge’s Arabic satellite TV feed went down half way through the first half. A frustrating “channel error connection failed” message hovered ominously over the proceedings as concerned Moroccan fans took to their cell phones in hopes of not missing any of the action in between sips of extortionist-priced $5 mint teas.
Thankfully, the satellite feed came back a few minutes into the second half shortly before May Mahlangu’s composed curling finish from the top of the box in the 71st minute leveled the proceedings in Durban and scaled-up the blood pressure of the Moroccan fans in Queens.
Fate’s cruel twists continued for the Moroccans as they first went back ahead 2-1 after substitute Abdelilah Hafid’s late 82nd minute strike sent the fans on Steinway Street into a rapturous celebration just as the feeble Arabic satellite feed went out once again.
Only four minutes later, however, with many fans nervously pushed into the back of Casa Lounge hoping to catch a glimpse of the reserve internet feed, only available on one of the TVs by this point, South Africa tied the match with Siyabonga Sangweni’s clutch 86th minute bending effort.
The goal effectively sent South Africa through and broke Moroccan hearts. One man at Casa Lounge spiked his mint tea in disgust, and profanity-lanced Arabic diatribes filled the air in Queens as teary knocked-out Moroccan players collapsed on the pitch in Durban.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country
Africa Cup of Nations. Morocco 2 - South Africa 
27 January 2013, 12:00 pm. Casa Lounge, Astoria Queens
Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens is home to the largest Moroccan population in New York City and Casa Lounge, a Moroccan-owned hookah spot, has been the undisputed destination in the neighborhood to catch Morocco’s Africa Cup of Nations matches this year.
Needing a win to progress out of a surprisingly competitive Group A, the Atlas Lions came out strong against a South African side needing at least a draw. Morocco opened the scoring after Issam El Adoua’s header capitalized on some sloppy South African defending in the 10th minute.
As it bounced over the line, the early goal seemed to catch the awestruck Moroccan fans in Queens, at least 75 strong, a bit off guard. Their joy was palpable immediately however, with national team kit-bedecked fans unfurling large red Morocco flags, chanting “wal Maghrib, wal Maghrib” and kissing each other while pointing to the heavens in gratitude.
Unfortunately, a bit of the celebratory momentum was lost when Casa Lounge’s Arabic satellite TV feed went down half way through the first half. A frustrating “channel error connection failed” message hovered ominously over the proceedings as concerned Moroccan fans took to their cell phones in hopes of not missing any of the action in between sips of extortionist-priced $5 mint teas.
Thankfully, the satellite feed came back a few minutes into the second half shortly before May Mahlangu’s composed curling finish from the top of the box in the 71st minute leveled the proceedings in Durban and scaled-up the blood pressure of the Moroccan fans in Queens.
Fate’s cruel twists continued for the Moroccans as they first went back ahead 2-1 after substitute Abdelilah Hafid’s late 82nd minute strike sent the fans on Steinway Street into a rapturous celebration just as the feeble Arabic satellite feed went out once again.
Only four minutes later, however, with many fans nervously pushed into the back of Casa Lounge hoping to catch a glimpse of the reserve internet feed, only available on one of the TVs by this point, South Africa tied the match with Siyabonga Sangweni’s clutch 86th minute bending effort.
The goal effectively sent South Africa through and broke Moroccan hearts. One man at Casa Lounge spiked his mint tea in disgust, and profanity-lanced Arabic diatribes filled the air in Queens as teary knocked-out Moroccan players collapsed on the pitch in Durban.
Cross-posted to Africa is a Country

Africa Cup of Nations. Morocco 2 - South Africa 

27 January 2013, 12:00 pm. Casa Lounge, Astoria Queens

Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens is home to the largest Moroccan population in New York City and Casa Lounge, a Moroccan-owned hookah spot, has been the undisputed destination in the neighborhood to catch Morocco’s Africa Cup of Nations matches this year.

Needing a win to progress out of a surprisingly competitive Group A, the Atlas Lions came out strong against a South African side needing at least a draw. Morocco opened the scoring after Issam El Adoua’s header capitalized on some sloppy South African defending in the 10th minute.

As it bounced over the line, the early goal seemed to catch the awestruck Moroccan fans in Queens, at least 75 strong, a bit off guard. Their joy was palpable immediately however, with national team kit-bedecked fans unfurling large red Morocco flags, chanting “wal Maghrib, wal Maghrib” and kissing each other while pointing to the heavens in gratitude.

Unfortunately, a bit of the celebratory momentum was lost when Casa Lounge’s Arabic satellite TV feed went down half way through the first half. A frustrating “channel error connection failed” message hovered ominously over the proceedings as concerned Moroccan fans took to their cell phones in hopes of not missing any of the action in between sips of extortionist-priced $5 mint teas.

Thankfully, the satellite feed came back a few minutes into the second half shortly before May Mahlangu’s composed curling finish from the top of the box in the 71st minute leveled the proceedings in Durban and scaled-up the blood pressure of the Moroccan fans in Queens.

Fate’s cruel twists continued for the Moroccans as they first went back ahead 2-1 after substitute Abdelilah Hafid’s late 82nd minute strike sent the fans on Steinway Street into a rapturous celebration just as the feeble Arabic satellite feed went out once again.

Only four minutes later, however, with many fans nervously pushed into the back of Casa Lounge hoping to catch a glimpse of the reserve internet feed, only available on one of the TVs by this point, South Africa tied the match with Siyabonga Sangweni’s clutch 86th minute bending effort.

The goal effectively sent South Africa through and broke Moroccan hearts. One man at Casa Lounge spiked his mint tea in disgust, and profanity-lanced Arabic diatribes filled the air in Queens as teary knocked-out Moroccan players collapsed on the pitch in Durban.

Cross-posted to Africa is a Country

 ·  1 notes
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