The gray frame house on Marion Avenue in the East Bronx stands sandwiched in between two nearly identical white-and-yellow frame houses. A perfectly assimilated structure but for the bright, multistriped Cambodian Buddhist flag out front. The Jotanaram Temple has been a peculiar part of this solidly Hispanic neighborhood since 1985.
Once, many years ago, in its Jewish incarnation, this neighborhood was my neighborhood. The five- and six-story brick buildings that rub endlessly against one another, inflicting heinous boredom on me as a child, are still there. The Valentine Theatre, in which I saw Satyajit Ray’s The World of Apu, has gone. I find it has been replaced by Fino Men’s Wear.