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ED CRUCI

T

he neighborhood of Hunts Point, in the South Bronx, is forbidding in the early morning hours. Lodged beneath a knot of expressways, river on all sides, its dark industrial streets are lined with low barbed wire-edged buildings. A non-stop stream of long-haul trucks rumbles in from all over, with fresh edible cargo, billions of pounds each year— vegetables, meat, fish. That’s why we’re here. Where the Bronx and East Rivers meet sits the New Fulton Fish Market, the oldest in the U.S., and the second largest on the planet after Tokyo. The action starts early at the New Fulton Fish Market: Monday through Friday at one a.m. Outside, in a fog lit by the sprawling warehouse, trucks park higgledy-piggledy. They make a maze that hi-lo forklifts whiz around, beeping. Men in hoodies huddle over wet cardboard boxes. They argue. They smoke. One guy starts jumping rope. And here comes a young dude waving a heavy steel hook, as big as his face, asking for our parking ticket. That’s the first thing you notice at the market, all the guys have hooks. As in Captain Hook: big and sharp, with wooden butts. They use them like extensions of their arms, like second nature. “I’ve never once used it as a weapon,” says Ed Cruci, one of the first fish sellers we stop to talk with. “I couldn’t work without it. I wouldn’t even come onto the floor without it. The only thing we don’t do with our hooks is masturbate. Just to show you how versatile this tool is.”

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Profile for LatinLover Magazine

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