Where I Stayed and My Visit to Chinatown New York

I have four sisters that live in New York, and three live in Queens, and this visit I stayed with my third sister that lives in Jamaica, Queens. Her family live in a town home; her husband is the one with the freak car accident, and he is doing much better now. She is the one that I wrote about the crying carpet, so I’m a bit curious to see for myself of what it looks like. She bought her house over 20 years ago at a very good price, and now it has more than quadrupled of what she had paid. She renovated her front yard, the kitchen, and bathroom several years back, so everything is in mint condition.

I think Chinatown is not what it used to be, since 911 many restaurants and small businesses folded, if you never lived in the area, you would not know the difference because it appears that it’s still bustling, and crowded as ever.

We walked so much that I thought my legs would fall off, and I wish that I thought to take the classic double-decker, hop-on, hop-off guided bus tour. This red double decker bus has lower level enclosed seating and open top, but then I wouldn’t be able to take some of these shots to share with you all.

We got lucky that we saw a live concert, as you can see that it’s so small, I’m not sure if it would qualify as a live band or concert. The group sang beautiful traditional Chinese music, I guess somewhat romantic to some (I just hope it’s his wife), and we stuck around to listen, a break from our walk.

I think since 911, things have changed tremendously, many restaurants closed down due to lack of business; this is because many offices in that area are no longer there. When I was living in Brooklyn in the early 80s, garment factories were everywhere in Chinatown, and most are no longer there. This happened even before 911; I believed rent has gotten to be so expensive that many factory owners were forced to move their business to Flushing, Queens. Chinatown is not just a place of business, but it is also home to over half of the city’s Chinese population, and many of the apartments in the neighborhood, above the stores, and restaurants are rent control.

As I looked around the Mulberry Bend Park, I saw Chinese men sitting around, gazing into emptiness, scary to think of the uncertainty of the future, and it shouldn’t be this way, this is America, the land of opportunity, but in reality, it’s not like that at all. Some of these people were once business owners, restaurant workers, or factory workers.

I love these tropical fruits, they’re very fresh and not as expensive, we brought some back home with us, but it didn’t last us very long.

When I lived here, fish market is not my favorite place to walk pass, more like I used to hold my breath, and run as fast as I could, but not this time. I want to show you what all they have in Chinatown New York. Since I’m not buying anything, I wasn’t greeted with a warm smile, more like ‘No Picture, No Picture!’, with a butcher knife in one hand, so I snapped as fast as I could, happy to say that I got out of there in one piece. As you can see that everything is so fresh, some of these I’m not sure what they are, especially the strange looking fury fish with big head.

Yes, the city still has an earthy/pungent odor (some might say, stinky in a good way,) and No I don’t smell the millions of people’s sweats, and if you ever in the area, don’t try to breath in the fresh air because it might take your breath away.

7 comments

  1. Ohhhhhhh Chinatown was an experience I would never forget while I was in NYC. The odor of trash still hurts my noise til this day. When it got to night time we got a bit scared. Due to the fact that when we crossed the street people with bombard us asking if we wanted fake Rolex watches of fake handbags.

    I really felt like an innocent country girl heading to the big city.

  2. Hi yane, Thanks. One of my co-workers asked me why do I have to take those gross pictures. Lol, I think she is referring to the fishes, and frogs. I didn’t think they look gross, just different.

    Hi Jey, when I was living there, I got beat up by a gangster once, and that prevented me from going into Chinatown for a while.

    As for the Louis Vuitton hand bags, my sister uses the real one and she kind of feel like it’s the real thing but they made extra and not telling the LV people and selling it as knock off on the street, she couldn’t tell the difference. This makes sense because they probably don’t make a lot of money making this, and if they could sell it for $20, $40 or $80, it’s probably way more than what they’re paid.

    They’d show you the pictures, or sample hand bags or purses, and if you’re interested, they’ll take you to where they have it, either in a warehouse nearby or in a van parked down the block. I sat in a van waiting for my sisters one evening, and I saw they took an American lady into the van, and she stayed there for a while, and came out with a plastic bag with stuff inside, and my brother in-law said that it’s the LV knock off.

    My oldest sister on the other hand went with an older lady into a warehouse, it’s very scary and she got me two wallets, and I told her not to do that again, it’s too risky. But the one selling on the street is really a knock off, you can tell by the cheap material and cheap imitation, but the ones that they solicitant, we feel it’s the real thing. The Rolex watches are fake.

  3. Ohhhhhh Nye, we had some lady come up to us and ask us what kind of handbags we wanted and she took us to an alley way and showed us pictures. We were getting scared and the price she was asking for a fake LV was too much so we loeft her and she was trying to lower the prices for us, but we kept on walking away.

    We went to this one store where they were selling handbags and in the back of the store they had knock offs. The room was like a hidden room. I would have to say NYC was an experience.

    I’m sorry to hear that you got beat up by gangsters. That was my worse fear going into the city. i was so scared that I would look at everyone crazy because I was afraid I would get mugged and there were 6 girls.. we were afraid we’d get kidnapped.

  4. Seeing those Lychee’s makes me very mad! I was in Florida this pass weekend, and wasn’t able to get any lychee b/c my butt work up so late on sunday morning, and my the time i got to the market it was all closed!! Went to the night market and they didn’t have any there! arghh!

  5. Jye, I sat in the van waiting for my sisters at one of the streets and watched 2 Chinese people, one showing the bags in the van on Friday night. At first I didn’t know what was going on, I thought the Chinese man was showing the American lady a good time, and the husband and sons were not allowed to go in, and had to stand across the street, and all of them looked very antsy.

    Then my brother in-law asked me if I want to go see, he motioned to the van. Then I said “see what? You must be kidding me.” Lol, then he told me they were selling hand bags and wallets. I didn’t have any extra spending money so I didn’t go and see. I’d if they’d let me take some pictures, but I don’t think I’ll get out of there alive.

    Mozemoua, I wish that I had bought more, it’s really good. My sisters bring them down every year on the week of July 4th, it’s a great summer treat.

Comments are closed.