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The immigrant soul of Central Avenue: A slide show

The stretch of Minneapolis' Central Avenue Northeast that runs from around 18th Avenue to a little past Lowry is a colorful collage of immigrant businesses: Hispanic, Arab, Afghan, Indian, Southeast Asian. The hard-working, risk-taking entrepreneurs who've established themselves on Central are both staking out new lives for themselves and memorializing the strong, venerable cultures that nurtured them. They're serving their own ethnic communities at the same time that they offer those of us who grew up in main-channel American culture opportunities to see and taste how wide the world is.

Managing editor Jon Spayde and managing photographer Bill Kelley took a walk north on Central, from the Little India grocery to the Almadina Restaurant and Bakery. At times, it seemed as if they were "no longer in Minnesota"--but of course they were right in the heart of the new Minnesota all the time.

Images 1-3: Little India, 1835 Central Ave NE
Faheem Uddin Khan at the checkout counter
Images of Ganesha, remover of obstacles, for sale
Ghee (clarified butter) is used for both cooking and Hindu worship.

Image 4: Almadina Middle Eastern Café, 2552 Central Avenue NE

Image 5: Salam Barber, 2215 Central Avenue NE

Image 6: Atena's Hair Salon and Paolita's Envios, 2415 Central Avenue NE

Image 7: Crescent Moon, 2339 Central Avenue NE: Home of the football-shaped Afghan pizza.

Images 8 and 9: Sen Yai Sen Lek, 2422 Central Avenue NE: The specialty here: Thai rice and noodle dishes.
Owners Joe and Holly Hatch-Surisook
A colorful Sen Yai spread

Image 10: Holy Land Bakery and Deli, 2513 Central Avenue NE: Deli worker Hossam Galal beside the bakery's well known Middle Eastern breads, which are sold throughout the Twin Cities.

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