Theyre American now, and doing their best to fit in. They have the same needs as everyone else: cooling down, playing games, eating, hanging out with family or friends. They gave up a lot to get here: Their wrenching stories tell of running from political oppressors, searching for economic prosperity, leaving behind everything and everyone familiar. Life can be hard here, too, with obstacles including a new language and the universal pang of loneliness.
But on a sweltering August day, everybody just wants to beat the heat. North Beach provides a refuge in more ways than one.