Passing through Chinatown, in NYC, you get the impression that everyone there hustles.
This is true. That's New York. Period.
There are a few certain somethings about Chinatown however, that I find quite intriguing...
It starts with the smell.
First thing in the morning, before the cleaning trucks arrive, and some conscientious store owners rinse out their store fronts, the stench of refuse pilled along the sidewalks is incredible. Distinct. Fishy, meaty, milky, distinct... Reminds me of shopping in the markets in Lagos, Nigeria.
Next, is the milky waters that collect into multiple puddles lining almost every cracked street corner. Yes, they smell too :)
Then the noise. The unmistakable noise of Chinatown. Loud honks from cars blocking the box, Canal Street, Holland tunnel traffic (though that may be considered a bit further up from the main area...) A cacophony of dialects, accents, languages - people haggling over prices of handbags, watches, perfumes, iPhones and studded iPhone cases, etc, etc, etc...
Interupting all this, is the beep, beep, beep of the armoured truck or police bus shuttling prisoners in and out of the jail house... This, only a stone throw away from numerous bond houses and a mirade of ethnic restuarants offering good lunch deals. Then you stumble into an oasis... An elevated park, in the middle of all this, that actually feels quiet.
It's amazing, the things we fail to notice during our day to day hustle. If you can, try this - Next time to find yourself in the middle of a ridiculous loud, maybe hot and busy day, in middle of anywhere 'metropolitan', stop and notice one thing unusual but maybe beautiful or simply interesting around you.
My internship at DCTV in Chinatown, gave me the oportunity to take some Chinatown in, on days when I worked, and during a workshop I took during my term...
Below is a (rough) 4min. collage of the Chinatown I came to know.