The Muslim owner of the Dar-us-Salaam store on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn was polite, but he didn't want to talk.
At the Firdous cosmetics shop next door, a bearded young Moroccan was equally wary, when asked how things had changed for the city's Muslims since the September 11 terror attacks.
"We get so many people coming and asking questions about this. My boss says it's best to say nothing. We just want to move on," he explains.
Five years after the attacks, the mood on Atlantic Avenue is guarded. New York survived the aftermath of the attacks without any major outbreaks of violence against Muslims or Arabs. But on Atlantic Avenue, and in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst and Sunnyside, things are not as they were.