Bodega Dreams – Book I, Rounds 5-9 Summary & Analysis

Ernesto Quinonez

Bodega Dreams

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Bodega Dreams – Book I, Rounds 5-9 Summary & Analysis

Round 5 Summary: We Needed More Space 

Before returning home to Blanca, Chino takes a walk down Fifth Avenue to 96thStreet, remembering how he and Sapo used to skip school to sneak into museums. El Museo del Barrio was the only museum where they could walk around freely, without being followed by a guard. When they wandered past some of the fancy apartments on Fifth Avenue, noting the doormen and the air conditioning units in every window, Chino saw the “difference between those that had and those that didn’t” (44).

Back in their apartment, he and Blanca talk about naming the baby—either Julio for a boy or Deborah for a girl, after Blanca’s sister. Remembering what Sapo said to him, Chino suggests the name Vera, after Blanca’s aunt. Blanca is against the idea, informing Chino that Veronica (who now calls herself Vera), lives in Miami, is married to a rich Cuban man, and has basically severed all ties with Spanish Harlem. When Blanca says, “Supposedly she was going to marry this guy she was in love with, some street activist or something, but her mother made her marry the Cuban” (46), Chino makes the connection. He realizes that Bodega is renovating the neighborhood not just because he believes in the community, but because he wants to impress Vera and win her back.

Blanca also informs Chino about a special service at her church in two weeks, where a seventeen-year-old “anointed”—a boy who the church believes will rule with Christ in heaven for one thousand years after his death—will be the guest speaker.

Before he falls asleep, Chino takes an assessment of his life—the small apartment, the high rent, the increased cost of tuition and their baby on the way. He comes back to the idea of “basic, simple street politics” (47); if he does Bodega a favor, he will be able to ask for something from Bodega in return. 

Round 6 Summary: Que Viva Changó 

After work at the market the next day, Chino spots Sapo at La Reyna Bakery and Sapo offers him a ride to school. Chino asks Sapo about Bodega’s intentions—did Bodega…

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