It may not look like it upon first glance, but this place is a temple. A temple commerce, a temple of hope and opportunity for an immigrant community who have managed to divvy the whole place up into a dozen closet-sized shops. There’s a jewelry store, a salon, a tailor, a grocer, several phone and tech shops, a woman who runs a business out of a 10x3 ft long hall with a plexiglass sliding door and whatever it is that she might do, it attracts a queue of people so eager to see her they will cram into that space all sitting patiently on a long pew that fills the entire office. In this little space there is an entire community, and at the very back, at the center of it all, there is a second temple, a temple of doom.
The Dalai Lama, Mr. 14, stares down at you while you wait. And wait you shall. His words framed on the walls reminding you to ponder death. “Free Tibet,” plastered onto the bottom of a TV screen, and a few wobbly tables and chairs, coveted by all and lightly slicked with spilled and splattered oil.
But that oil’s got chili in it, kiddo. And don’t you underestimate what it might do. Nor should one expect anything but the spiciest doom in all of Queens when ordering with abandon. Bring on the chilis, Lhasa, I need my medicine.
Lhasa Fast Food is but one of the many reasons Queens is the best borough. The people who own these shops and restaurants, they are my heroes. They have what it takes. I’m just a spectator and spice obsessed freak admiring their tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit from my capsaicin induced enlightened state.
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