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New Flophouses: Chinatown’s Internet Cafes 

Amid a housing crisis, the Lower Manhattan businesses serve as an unlikely safety net, where people pay as little as $7 a night for a roof over their heads.

“It’s like a prison. You have to be high to sleep.”

— Harry Jumonji

At the beginning of the millennium, the internet cafe was a beacon of the future. But now, amid a lack of affordable housing and a surge in homelessness in New York City, these vestiges of the dot-com boom have become an unlikely safety net, where people pay as little as $7 a night for a roof over their heads. On any given evening in the few remaining 24-hour cybercafes in Manhattan’s Chinatown, chairs are filled with the exhausted bodies of those who have lived there for weeks or months — or by some accounts, even years.

A man tried to get some rest at Freedom Zone Internet Cafe while others surfed the web and played games through the night.

A man tried to get some rest at Freedom Zone Internet Cafe while others surfed the web and played games through the night. Niko Koppel

“It’s like prison,” said Harry Jumonji, describing the tense environment of Freedom Zone on Eldridge Street, where he had been staying with his girlfriend for months. “You got to be high to sleep.” Read the rest of this entry »

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NYC: Assistant Chief Gerard A. Barbara Looks Up at the Burning Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001

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Assistant Chief Gerard A. Barbara looks up at the burning towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Moments later he would go in, never to return. (Photo by David Handschuh/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


Unafraid: New York City Skyline

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