Every morning, Dina Leor opens her Mexican folk-art store the same way: by lighting sage, burning incense and scattering rose petals. “I feel it affects the store if I don’t,” she says.
With the approach of Cinco de Mayo, a flood of local restaurant owners and residents have been coming to La Sirena, in the East Village, looking for authentic, handcrafted decorations like papel picado banners and colorful ponchos. As I lingered over some painted shot glasses during a recent visit, Dina called over: “People in America associate Cinco de Mayo with getting drunk! I have no idea why!”