Chinatown in New York (20SB Blog Swap)

Once again I participated in the 20SB Blog Swap. This is not my fifth time, but it is the second time. My partner and the guest writer will be reveal…like right NOW! Mallory from Self-indulgent Ramblings was paired with me in this Blog Swap. Our theme for the posts is based on travel and culture. You can read the her post below and you can also head over to her blog to visit the post that I wrote. As usually leave comments and appreciation on both posts! And so it begins....

When Kipling famously wrote, “East is East and West is West, and ne’er the twain shall meet,” it is obvious that he never imagined the existence of New York City’s Chinatown.

There is much debate about ethnic enclaves within cities among scholars. Culturally exclusive communities can exist in the same city as means to forge and maintain one’s identity. Simultaneously, these communities can also puzzle those outside their comfort zone.

The criss-crossed streets are littered with stores selling fuzzy slippers wrapped loosely in crinkled plastic, glittery hair clips and Hello Kitty headbands, and tiny jade Buddha key chains. Solicitors hiss promises of designer handbags at every corner.

The fact is: Chinatown can be quite intimidating.

There is a distinct stench of fish and cleaning products that lead to the spine of Chinatown. These fish are not the colorful, graceful koi found in the ponds of Japanese gardens. No, these are brutally fresh, heavy silver bodies, with blank, beady eyes Yet there is still familiarity to be found, even in the most metallic, lifeless form of a fish that just had its last breath beaten out of it by the blunt side of a tenderizing mallet

If you look carefully, you will notice the hybrid of cultures: people selling both peanut butter and soy sauce. Among the shrimp flavored chips and soy pea crisps sold next to Pringles, the East can, in fact, meet the West.