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(New York Times) — Leah Abraham opened her cafe on Lenox Avenue in 2001 with a track record in business and a determination to chalk up another success. It never occurred to her to court the local elected officials and business and church leaders — the Harlem establishment — and get their blessing before she opened her door.  “I never felt that I had to ask for permission or that I had to wait my turn,” said Ms. Abraham, owner of Settepani, a cafe and restaurant on Lenox Avenue near West 120th Street. “I have done whatever I wanted to do despite anyone’s blessing.”

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