Brazil on the Boulevard

Northeast Philadelphia is home to a fast-growing Brazilian community.

By Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 6 | Posted Aug. 30, 2006

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Santos says the community has been reeling from the anti-immigration forces they see operating in Riverside.

"We're scared. We're really scared," Santos says, adding that he does have a green card.

The Riverside conflict has been on the front page of Brazilian News Week for the past several issues, and he receives frequent calls from readers seeking advice. "I have a thousand calls every day," he says.

More established immigrants like Salgado, who expects to receive her green card soon, continue to make plans for a future in the United States. In a typical day Salgado opens her store, reviews business at Copacabana, sells ads for 100% Brazil and works on She also cares for her two sons, ages 3 and 4, and is pregnant with a third, due in December.

Meanwhile, illegal immigrants and others whose status may be in jeopardy bide their time.

"I know so many people who'd love to buy a house, but they don't do it because they don't know what's going to happen," says Menegati, who's now an American citizen. "It's that whole feeling of insecurity. You don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."

For now, Santos tells others in his community to calm down and wait. "The community's still strong. We just have to wait a little bit," he says. "Everyone waits for the good news."

Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein ( is a sophomore at Columbia University.

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Comments 1 - 6 of 6
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1. james said... on Jun 8, 2008 at 03:32PM

“thats a very talented report! Wow, I lived here for 20 years and knew nothing!!”

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2. José said... on Nov 29, 2009 at 06:43PM

“The Brazilian population here in Philadelphia has been a positive. Whether it's their restaurants with their delicious food, or their beautiful women, they are one immigrant group that has many positive things to offer the region. Riverside's loss is our gain...”

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3. kiro said... on Dec 10, 2009 at 09:31AM

“This is cool”

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4. Pamlea said... on Aug 6, 2010 at 11:19AM

“Hi im an Au pair leaving in Wilmington delaware and im new to the area so i would like to learn a bit more about it....i've been looking for brazilian stores around here and i can't find any!
I whould like to know the address of at leat one brazilian store in philly where i could buy some brazilian suplies!!!
thanks pam”

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5. Christine said... on Dec 15, 2010 at 02:35PM

“I am looking for hair sallon where have Brazilian people working. And also, I love to drink chimarrao, where I can find erva mate, please help me......If someone knows please inform....”

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6. Anonymous said... on Jul 22, 2015 at 02:48PM

“Hair salons in Riverside, NJ. D&D Prima Donnas”


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