After a couple of weeks or so on the farm…I found the need to explore somewhere totally different and decided on an area that I rarely go to…Chinatown. I must admit, Chinatown is not my favorite part of the city, but once I get there I always ask myself why I don’t go more often. Perhaps a love/hate relationship? As much as I love grunge…Chinatown is more gritty than grunge…well…at least that’s my thinking. The overwhelming smell of fish, the pushiness of the people, the constant loud irritating chatter…is why I tend to look for vacant streets and empty alleyways off of Mott Street. Here you’ll find the real deal and a touch quieter. Small markets selling tons of lychees, jackfruit, and durian as well as street vendors selling coconut milk, oh…and individuals with buckets of things one could never begin to identify. Chinatown bakeries are always interesting too…you may find cookies beside a jiggly mango rice ball beside a steamed pork bun…there’s never rhyme nor reason as to how they present their goods which is interesting in itself. July is also time for rainier cherries…and my oh my…what deals you can find on those big plump morsels of sweetness, as well as bargains for all kinds of produce. Speaking of produce, half of what I see I can never identify. I keep telling myself I must buy some of these unknown things and bring them home to photograph, so I’ve put that on my “to do” list for later.
Besides meandering for a couple of hours in the coolness (well kinda…it’s all relative) of the early morning…as well as shopping for one almond cookie, a steamed pork bun and a bunch of cherries…a visit to Columbus Park in Chinatown is a must too. You have people of all ages practicing Tai Chi, playing chess, lovely dresses, chatting and listening to music. There’s no doubt…if you just close your eyes and listen…you would never dream you were in the middle of New York City.
So…I’m heading to the desert to take a break from the sweltering humidity that hits the city this time of year. Yes, the desert…remember it’s a dry heat there! A couple of weeks of working on some projects and enjoying those amazing Arizona sunsets…before I head back to the city for a week long photography course hosted by an American-born photojournalist whose work has graced the cover of Newsweek more than forty times. Yep, you’ll be hearing more about that when the time comes!
Once again…thanks for all your beautiful notes from my last post…so helpful…
Have a great weekend! gg