Nation: NEW YORK

Most of the 1.3 million Puerto Ricans in the greater New York City area live in the grim, crumbling tenements of Manhattan's East Harlem and Lower East Side, or in Brooklyn's Williamsburg ghetto, or in the burned-out wasteland of the South Bronx. For them, life is mostly a grinding struggle for survival.

But then there are the festivals, especially Puerto Rican Day in June, when some 250,000 members of the community parade up Fifth Avenue and turn Central Park into a joyous 840-acre cookout. It is then that Puerto Rican exuberance blossoms. Hotels and...

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