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The Mary Poppins Returns star chooses the former co-stars she would hire. He runs an illegal numbers racket in uptown Manhattan, writes poetry, and prays each night to his particular gods: Charlie Parker and El Quijote. In the Dominican Republic, Antonio has lost all hope.

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He decides to leave his country behind, risking his life and defying sharks in pursuit of entering the United States illegally and setting foot in the Big Apple. Inside my little apartment in Washington Heights, it was the Dominican Republic; Mami ruled, Merengue played and mangu eaten, but outside of it, New York City and its accoutrements; Hip-Hop, graffiti and pizza beckoned.

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My mom has only a few words in her English language repertoire and while my dad has a more extensive vocabulary, the words he knows are usually curses and only uttered when he is inebriated. I still recall with horror the one incident that encapsulated our different and divergent worldviews. On this particular day, when I was about 10 years old, my dad came home from the vivero with a guinea fowl. Called simply a guinea in Spanish, this bird is nothing like a chicken.

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After my dad had his fill of laughing at me, he took the guinea to the bathroom. After the deed was done, my mom promptly took the guinea, cooked it and served it with the de jure rice and beans. Vasquez said he has witnessed first-hand the struggles immigrant families as they adjust to life in New York City.

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Juan Rodriguez Way gives immigrants a sense of belonging particularly at a time when anti-immigrant sentiment make some of his students feel unwelcome. We were here before the Irish, we were here before the Italians," Vasquez said.

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A former social studies teacher for 13 years, New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez spearheaded legislation that paved the way for the street renaming after Rodriguez. But success only came with the weight of two years worth of research into Dutch, American and Dominican records conducted by the Dominican Studies Institute of the City College of New York. As new waves of immigrants continue to come into New York City, and as gentrification brought on in part by rising rent costs, Louis Then, 50, said the renamed stretch of Broadway will leave a lasting legacy.

For Fedeas Berroja, walking up Juan Rodriguez Way aided by a cane, Wednesday marked a culmination of her own journey, which began when she arrived to New York City some 43 years ago.