In that Mediterranean village on the East River called Astoria, located about 5000 miles west of the actual Mediterranean in the borough of Queens, is a stretch on Steinway street known as Little Egypt. There are several Egyptian restaurants there serving hardcore, no nonsense Egyptian food that, having sampled it a few times, is very delicious. There are also Egyptian specialty stores
And then there's the hookah lounges.
These are the places where Egyptians congregate, talk about the politics and their memories of the old country, and smoke hookah -- a hashish boiled in water, the fumes of which are then smoked through a big glass pipe.
This small article is about what is, allegedly, the first hookah store in the United States and how it captures a little bit of Egypt in NYC. I've never tried hookah myself but, if you're curious, you should check out Little Egypt in Astoria and take a small trip across the world via the subway.