chapter  9
Awe and order: Ethno-architecture in everyday life
ByArijit Sen
Pages 14

Devon Avenue is a bustling retail street on the northern edge of the city of Chicago in the United States of America. A section of this street is known for its Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic stores (Figure 9.1). Chicago locals call it ‘Little India’. Among the few original immigrant-owned businesses is Patel Brothers. The business patriarch, Mafatbhai Patel, recounts the difficult yet determined early days when the store opened at 2034 Devon Avenue in 1974, ‘my brother was handling daytime [business], because we … [worked in] shifts. … My brother … and his wife, Aruna … were working from 10 [am]. … I was coming 4 o’clock after work and Tulasibhai [his brother] was going after 4 pm to job [his second job in addition to managing the store]’ (Mafat Patel 2013).