Chinatown in pictures

Walking through Chinatown today made me feel extremely homesick. Hearing the familiar and excitable intonation of Mandarin, mixed with local dialects, reminded me of Singapore, where this is a common occurrence. Nostalgia aside, I was there for my second photo assignment – to photograph a city block. I chose a block between Mott Street and Hester Street because I liked the dichotomy of Chinatown and Little Italy, separated only by a narrow stretch of road and a traffic light.

With a rapidly growing Chinese population in New York, it wasn’t surprising to find the place absolutely packed with people. Navigating was a challenge, especially with a camera on me which earned me a mix of friendly and cautious looks. I spent about three hours circling that same stretch of block, meeting an old friend and his partner in between, clicking away at everything that caught my fancy. Because I went during day time, and since for this class we’re using a basic entry level lens with no additional filter or equipment, the bright light was a major problem. It was also a good learning experience through trial and error to know what kind of exposure, ISO, and shutter speed would be ideal for such conditions.

I went through the bunch I took and did some quick edits to make a mini photo essay of my own before tomorrow’s class.

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Between Mott Street and Hester Street

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3Dried shrimps, fish, and other items are commonly used in Chinese cuisine

4Bargaining – quite a common site in Chinatown

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There was an elderly lady handing out flyers by the streetwalk; she was sporting enough to pose.

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Waiting

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Dried “bok choy” is used in soups

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More dried ingredients

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Bargains everywhere

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This, in particular, made me miss home because Chili Crab is a national (and totally scrumptious) dish back in Singapore

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Roasted duck is also another delicacy in the Chinese cuisine back home

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And Durians! Not a big fan because of its overwhelming smell but Singapore is divided in its opinion on this – 50% love it, the other 50% loathe it.

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Round the block

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