The northeast Anchorage neighborhood of Mountain View is the most diverse in the nation by census information according to some sociologists, but while the area is rich with culture, according to the last census 19% of households are living below the poverty line. As with most areas experiencing poverty, Mountain View experiences more crime than more affluent neighborhoods in the city.
(Originally shot for Aljazeera America)
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The Sunday service at the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa in Alaska on Mountain View Drive lets out.
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The Mountain View Car Wash in Anchorage, Alaska.
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The ice cream truck is a regular character in the neighborhood of Mountain View. During the warmer months, its tinny songs an be heard making rounds throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
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Omima Adam steps outside of her truck Sultan Shawarma in Mountain View. Serving homemade falafel, kebabs, shawarma and other savory delights, the truck has already accrued a following in its first 6 months of operation. Adam says she didn’t plan on this—she was a civil engineer in her previous home of Sudan. But when the opportunity arose, she and her husband decided to jump on it. She says she likes Mountain View. “You can make a good living here, and this is good work.”
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Children playing in Mountain View. The northeast Anchorage neighborhood of Mountain View has been recently named the most diverse in the nation by census information, but while the area is rich with culture, according to the last census 19% of households are living below the poverty line. As with most areas experiencing poverty, Mountain View experiences more crime than more affluent neighborhoods in the city.
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Hmong attire and jasmine rice are just some of the offerings at New Asian Market in Mountain View.
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The nightly volley ball game at the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa in Alaska on Mountain View Drive. "It's good for the community to keep the kids busy out here," says Jerome, one of the attendees.
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Nick Carltkoff, whose family is from the Dillingham area of Alaska, displays his switch blade and jokes that although he can't always spell his Eskimo name, it means "warrior." Carltkoff lives in Mountain View and works as a construction worker.
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Wayne Rodriguez, 10, tosses a yo-yo into the air while family and friends prepare for his uncle's birthday party in Mountain View.
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Theresa Tunley grills food for her family on a warm night in the neighborhood of Mountain View in Anchorage, AK. “If you look on my birth certificate, it says Hoyt Street,” she says. “I’ve lived here my whole life. People talk about the crime here, but I love it--I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”
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An apartment building at sunset in Mountain View.
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Abigail Evon, originally from Bethel, Alaska, smokes a cigarette outside of her home in Mountain View. “I hate Mountain View,” she says. “Too much shooting, too much violence.” Evon lived in Mountain View for most of the 1990’s, but she and her family left in 1998 when she says the neighborhood had become too violent. She moved back a year ago when she says she needed to get out of an unhealthy living situation. "I needed a place, and the first place that became available that I could afford was in Mountain View."
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Alofa Lolo (second to right) sits outside with her children, nieces, and nephews in Mountain View. Lolo came to Alaska from Samoa, and has eight children who have all been born in the U.S.. Her oldest, Nicole Lolo (right), 18, is disabled, and her youngest will be 3 this month. “I sit outside with the children because of the cars,” she says. “They drive by so fast and do not see the children.”
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Rozalynn, 3, holds out a handful of bongos, a traditional snack food of Samoa that's available in Mountain View's main grocery store, Red Apple.
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Ioaue Lotu comforts his grandson Lima Tapeni after the 2-year-old took a tumble on his scooter. Lotu moved from Samoa to Anchorage in 2012 for open heart surgery, and now lives with his children and grandchildren in Mountain View. According to his daughter, Alofa Lolo, he is the favorite among the grandchildren. “Nobody makes things better like Grandpa,” she says.
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The Anchorage neighborhood of Mountain View is the most diverse neighborhood in the U.S. according to social scientists.