Light Wave

U.S. News

Sex Trade Overwhelms NYC Nabe - Police & Pols Appear Powerless

By Jake Beardslee · July 31, 2023

In brief…

  • A viral video showcasing the vibrant local prostitution trade on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens has sparked outrage among residents and politicians.
  • The video, posted on YouTube by a community group, features sex workers soliciting customers openly on the sidewalks.
  • Residents fear for the neighborhood' safety and reputation.
  • Councilman Francisco Maya called for a police crackdown on the roughly dozen brothels operating under the guise of massage parlors.
  • Despite media exposure, the prostitution trade continues to operate without unabated.

Sex workers continued soliciting customers openly on a Queens street a day after major media exposé sparked community outrage.  Ralfdix/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY SA-3.0

It was back to business for sex workers on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens yesterday after a bombshell video spotlighting the vibrant local prostitution trade went viral. Indeed, multitudes of street walkers appeared undeterred as they made their rounds soliciting customers in open view following yesterday’s front-page New York Post exposé. The story showcased the so-called “Market of Sweethearts” that has overwhelmed the Queens neighborhood of Corona.

Local residents and employees voiced outrage at the brazen displays. “I’ve lived here my entire life and I’ve never seen it get to this point, ” NYC City Councilman Francisco Maya vented to the New York Post. “You see that video where this is put on Facebook, YouTube, saying here’s a destination for you to come to learn how to negotiate with prostitutes.”

The story follows a YouTube video shot by a community group called “Comunidad Latina en USA” that features numerous sex workers propositioning passersby on the sidewalks along Roosevelt Avenue, a major Queens thoroughfare.

“Look, look, she’s taking one in, look. And I’ve captured it,” the cameraman in the video narrates as a man follows a prostitute into a building. When approached, one prostitute tells the cameraman, “We’re more than $60. It’s more money.” She directs him to speak to another sex worker about pricing. The second worker then quotes the man $200 for a “happy ending.”

Roughy a dozen brothels operating under the guise of massage parlors have sprung up along Roosevelt Avenue in recent years. Councilman Maya and other community leaders have called for a police clampdown. But for now, prostitution continues unabated despite widespread public outrage and media exposure, as residents worry over the impact the sex trade operation will have on their neighborhood’s quality of life and reputation.