Chinatown, New York City
Buildings in NY have to have a fire escape according to the security code, and some of them are not only useful (we could debate whether they're also useful to thieves or not) but they make the buildings beautiful. Some designers have taken advantage of fire escapes to create beautiful and/or colorful things. Here are some of the ones I liked the most in Chinatown and Little Italy.
I am not sure if these quick pictures capture the spirit and energy of New York but I wanted to provide some pictures of people in New York. But in any event there is an attitude about New York. You may find it concerning, you may find it refreshing. The frankness of others will either make you pull in like a turtle or you will find the inner voice within you in a hurry!
I distinctly remember many nice New Yorkers, many others that walked on like your never acknowledged them and then there are the ones that scolded me in Chinatown and the drivers that gave our driver the middle finger sign language.
In any event make your own observations and enjoy it because New York has a very distinct culture to its own.
You will here reference to this, you will see t-shirts with slogans and you will experience it, I am not sure if it’s a way of survival but it exists in New York, you sense it as part of the culture.
I remember a couple of exchanges in Chinatown where vendors didn’t appreciate by bargaining and on the bus our driver got the finger on a couple of occasions. So when it happens to you consider it a cultural experience!
As in every large metropolitan area NYC has a ChinaTown, actually we have 3 one in Brooklyn and a very authentic community in Flushing Queens. This tip takes place in the earlier of the three, Manhattan. With the New Year that I celebrated I'm already sitting over the hump of 2005. In Chinese tradition I would still be in the year of the Monkey 2004. In my mind I think I want to still be in 2004 so this house I am buying could make it onto my 2004 tax return. The year of the Rooster has to be a year of travelling for me so I don't want to start that year till I am settled into the new home. The year of the Rooster starts, I think, correct me if I'm wrong, 2/9 so I still have a little time to think of maybe getting back to ChinaTown this year for the festivities. Last time I went, I can't remember the Year of WHAT, but the streets were jam packed and only allowed you to move an inch a minute. I thought I would see dragons and fireworks and hear lots of song and dance but instead i was stuck in a tourist block-up in a tranversing of two roads.
If you are a culture-lover you can have fun in NYC. Every area has its own culture. In Manhattan there is Chinatown, Little Italy, Harlem, Spanish Harlem (El Barrio) and so on. If you have a metrocard you should check out some neighbourhoods outside Manhattan. There are for example chinatowns in Queens and in Brooklyn. Jackson Heights in Queens has a lot of Indian and Pakistani people.
In Brooklyn is a Russian/Eastern European neighbourhood called Brighton Beach (or 'little Odessa by the sea') and a predominantly Polish neighbourhood called Greenpoint. To the east, vibrant Fort Greene, along DeKalb Ave., is the hub of black artistic and cultural activity.
Borough Park is the largest Hassidic Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn also has Flatbush, once a middle income Jewish neighbourhood, now a vibrant Caribbean neighbourhood.
This is a must to see, Chinatown I saw in Chicago, San Francisco and now New York. I felt like I was in China. Big, big district there.
MY tip is to shop for souvenirs here, very cheap. (and no tax -just cash at the shop I was at?)
In memory of Americans of Chinese ancestry men who lost their lives in defense of freedom and democracy.