"I came to D.C. 24 years ago. I am originally from Eritrea. I own this food stand and have been in this same place for seventeen years. Always on 4th and E Street Northwest and always selling the same things: hot dogs, chips, soda and candy. I decided on this space because my family used to run another food business here. When I was ready, they gave this to me so I could run my own business.
"After all of this time, I have a nice relationship with the people here. When I need to use the bathroom, I can go use the building across the street. I lock the door and the other vendors and people on the street look after my stand. I have been here so long that we all know each other.
"I am here five days a week, no matter the weather. In the winter, it is very cold and there is not much business because people don't want to come outside. But still, I have to be here. It is difficult to be your own boss, but I like that no one tells me what to do. I decide whether the business is open or not. I am out here to earn money for me and my family. That makes me work harder."