Soundwalk Chinatown

A response to Chinatown Soundwalk.

Despite a few glitches—like some stops being closed because I went on an off hour, and my steps being much smaller than the narrator’s—I really enjoyed this walk.

I’ve lived in New York for more than a decade. I even lived and worked within ten minutes of Chinatown for several years, yet this walk brought me to new places and taught me things I never knew about Chinatown.

I especially enjoyed the walk down East Broadway—the description of the Chinatown within each building. I felt like I was walking down a street in a foreign city. The bridal shops, which I somehow never noticed, were surreal with the audio soundtrack.

I also appreciated the author’s frankness about the good and the bad in his culture. The gambling, “women,” and opium are all aspects of Chinatown culture of which I’ve heard very little.

I was sorry that the Buddhist temple was closed during my walk. I’ll make sure to stop in and pick up a fortune the next time that I’m passing through.

All in all it was a great experience. It’s easy to forget how complex NYC culture is. It’d be great if there were an app that would automatically play me short audio stories of places I pass on my bike throughout the day.