A book vendor and intersection at the busy intersection of eighth street, He is a sturdy and stocky 5"7"" african american, 42 years old. He reads at least one book a week: he doesn"t just name titles, but he knows contents. He first used to sell what he called black books . After becoming romantically involved with a filipina book vendor named alice, who carried paperback classics and new york times bestsellers, the variety of books he sold expanded. Local residents, workers, and visitors come to hakim to discuss topics of all kinds, whereas alice tended to be about business . After he met with the author (mitchell duneier), hakim was asked about how he saw his role: he responded that he was a public character . the death and life of great american cities: a book about a classic study of modern urban life published in 1961, it is about the author"s observations in her own neighbourhood, greenwich.