3 February, 2009. Astoria, Queens, NY. Marco Silva de Paula, 39, sits on a shoe shine chair at the Global Shoe Repair of Geraldo de Silva, where he drops off his clients' shoes he collects for repair. He also shines shoes in office buildings and at car dealers around Astoria. Mr. de Paula, an immigrant that came to Astoria from Brazil in 1998, had several jobs for the past 11 years and as a shoe shine for the past 2 years. Mr. de Paula plans to go back to Brazil in November because of the bad economy. "I've been here for 11 years and I'm a bit afraid of going back, but things here are not as good as they used to be", Mr. de Paula says.
©2009 Gianni Cipriano for The New York Times
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