But for Chris, who declined to give her last name, and other dancers at the two strip clubs within three blocks of the World Trade Center site, the neighborhood is just where they go to work.

As supporters held signs extolling religious freedom at the site of the proposed Islamic center Wednesday, a stripper who gave her name as Cassandra was working the afternoon shift at New York Dolls on Murray Street — just around the corner. She worried that calls to prayer from the mosque at Park51 might wake up neighbors. But when she was told that the organizers aren’t planning loudspeakers, she said she didn’t have a problem with the project.

“I don’t know what the big deal is,” Cassandra said. “It’s freedom of religion, you know?”

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“First of all, this is real America,” said [Rep. Peter] King, sarcastically using Palin’s phrase for the homeland. “The people who detached themselves from New York are all of a sudden embracing New York.”…

His phone rang. Gov. Paterson was on the other end.

“Thanks, David,” King said after Paterson told him he had secured a meeting with Imam Rauf and the center’s developer later in the week.

King stepped out of the coffee shop and walked out into the busy traffic, the commercial tumult and hammering noise of Park Place.

“It’s New York hallowed ground,” King said. “Maybe you have to be here to fully understand it.”

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Via the Media Research Center.