New York is Like a Lava, I Say!


The corner of Canal and Baxter is in the heart of China Town. There are a million reasons to travel own to this area of NYC. The best and worst of the past, the present, and the future are all here!

If you are a Scorsese fan, and what real fan of New York City isn’t?, then you will be happy to know that this area of NYC wasn’t always China Town. The real “gangs of New York” used to run these streets back before the Civil War when floods of poor Irish immigrants clashed with poor gangs of nativists and Free African Americans. This is even before it was little Italy. Good Old Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall gained wealth and power by using these gangs to “influence” elections. Some pretty rough stuff went down on these streets, I mean Charles Dickens basically said it was the worst neighborhood he ever saw and this is the “please sir could I have some more” guy.

All these tenement buildings you see still standing used to operate without heat or plumbing and these streets used to be filled with horse turds, garbage, and giant rats. You probably shouldn’t complain about the smells you may smell today in this area. As much as these areas saw violence and drunkenness and whoring. It was the first area in America where groups of various immigrants with backgrounds that differs from each other learned to be American and yeah I know it is dramatic to say, but the families of guys like JFK got their starts in America in places like this.

Ok so, besides touching history why go down here? Well, of course for the wacky fun of a Chinese New Year, dim sum, or my personal favorite, buying knock off sunglasses, watches, and belts. There are stores and stores and with the same kinda cheap jewelry, perfumes, and handbags. Go on in and have fun bargaining. Usually there is no place in America where you bargain, but this is like Honk Kong ladies’ market on the Hudson. You ask the price they say something, you say a half or a quarter of what the price is and the dance begins. If you don’t like the final price then just go to the next store, who cares? Oh and some stores are more high class, usually if there is a price tag then you shouldn’t bargain, just an unwritten rule.

Chinese New Year is obviously only once a year and usually in February but it is fun to go on down for this. There are parades with bands, old Chinese guys blowing off confetti tubes, and little kids throwing noise poppers on the ground. Oh, and my favorite part is the white guys who have married Asian ladies and have Asian kids, who are wearing the big paper mache dragons on their heads, the dads are wearing these I mean, or sometimes you’ll see two white gay dads wearing these dragon hats and holding their adopted Chinese kids, too cute! Go down a side street and get some roasted duck or whatever you like, don’t worry you can see it hanging in the window of about a million Chinese restaurants and markets.

The future you ask? You see all the sudden the signs for Vietnamese food? Ah the next wave of immigration my friend. But what is really next you see is Sudan. How you can tell is these groups of Sudanese men standing around on the corners with suitcases. These are the guys who are here without their families, guys who are happy to be away from the decades of civil war in Africa. The suitcases are filled with knock off purses, watches, and bootleg DVDs. All of these products are illegal of course and the secrecy and portability of the suitcases tell that tale. So who knows what the future will bring for these guys in this place or how they will get there but you know when you are down here, that it is like a volcano dropping lava into the ocean or something. It is like New York growing and changing in front of your eyes…lava.

Here is how to get there on the subway:

written by kylethefrench on 2010-02-27 in #world #locations #china-town #sunglasses #knock-offs #confetti #parades #chinese-new-year


  1. ilovemydiana
    ilovemydiana ·

    6 is a lot of fun, i have not yet been to NY

  2. adbigmilk
    adbigmilk ·

    A nice story. But have you done to your supersampler ? It's got a brighter frame ..?

  3. stouf
    stouf ·

    Sweet shots ! Nice atmosphere !

More Interesting Articles

  • Nixon Surf Challenge 2015 Photo Exhibition Opening NYC

    written by mike_mytnick on 2015-09-02 in #world #news #events
    Nixon Surf Challenge 2015 Photo Exhibition Opening NYC

    Lomography and Nixon are proud to present the worldwide opening of the Surf Challenge 2015 Photo Exhibition in the West Village of New York City. Come join us for drinks, live music, prizes, and stunning photographs taken with Lomography cameras from the 2015 Nixon Surf Challenge.

  • 5 Hidden Gems in South Korea

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-07 in #world #locations
    5 Hidden Gems in South Korea

    Speak of South Korea and, chances are, the bustling capital city Seoul and the charming island of Jeju would be the first destinations to come to mind—and for very good reasons. But while these top tourist draws are definitely worth the visit, the rest of the country is dotted with many more gems often unheard of to outsiders. Here are a few of them.

  • The Lomo LC-A+ Goes To Hong Kong

    written by candilsw on 2015-04-06 in #world #locations
    The Lomo LC-A+ Goes To Hong Kong

    The Lomo LC-A+ is always the best companion for traveling and wandering around. Hong Kong lies on the southern coast of China and is well known as a metropolitan city and where the Eastern and Western cultures meet and mix. Let the LC-A+ take you around and feel the hustle and bustle of one of the world's busiest cities!

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • LomoLocations: Reno, Nevada

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-09-03 in #world #locations
    LomoLocations: Reno, Nevada

    In prime areas of New York and San Francisco, the phrase ‘rush hour’ is always on the menu. Drive up to Reno, and the same expression fizzles. Many roads are framed by mountains and shrubbery, a picture of calm in the city. But the night makes up for the day’s stilly mood. Casinos flaunt LED signs and marquees, a treat for urban photographers.

  • The Lomo LC-A Goes to New York City

    written by givesmehell on 2015-03-12 in #world #locations
    The Lomo LC-A Goes to New York City

    New York City is the busiest and most populous city in the USA. Home to 8.5 million people, it is a massive melting pot. The city embraces many different cultures, which makes it home to many immigrants, too. Let's take a look at NYC through the lens of the Lomo LC-A!

  • Photographers On Why They Shoot Film (Part I)

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-04-11 in #people #lifestyle
    Photographers On Why They Shoot Film (Part I)

    On this day and age when many are incorporating digital gear into their workflows, whether fully or partly, there still are photographers who remain rooted to their analog roots and continue to shoot with film cameras. In commemoration of Film Photography Day happening tomorrow, we have scoured through our past interviews to highlight the reasons these photographers choose to still shoot film.

  • Shop News



    The most incredible lightpainting tool is here! Consists of 200 full color RGB LEDs in a lightweight aluminium housing will color your analogue world in different way! Create and animate different shades and shapes with the Pixelstick!

  • Captain Linnaeus Tripe's Work to be Exhibited at The Met

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-02-13 in #world #news
    Captain Linnaeus Tripe's Work to be Exhibited at The Met

    The traveling exhibit, "Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1852–1860" is set to make a stop at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from February to May this year.

  • Top 5 Travel Tips for the Lomo'Instant

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-07-29 in #gear #lifestyle
    Top 5 Travel Tips for the Lomo'Instant

    It helps for regular travelers to be mindful archivists. They tend to be the best storytellers, supplying every turn with accurate names and vivid descriptions. The Lomo'Instant offers a wildly fun and efficient way to transfer these memories to paper, plus the nostalgic colors and ready-to-write-on frames are a major bonus. Read up on these great tips for capturing your travels in truly Lomo'Instant fashion!

  • The Aesthetics of the New Russar+: Five Shooting Tips

    written by lomography on 2015-10-24 in #gear #tipster
    The Aesthetics of the New Russar+: Five Shooting Tips

    With exceptional craftsmanship and features, the New Russar+ is indeed a fine piece of photographic gear. It's then only but right to photograph only the best images with this lens. That being said, here are a few tips to help you not only find the appropriate subjects, but also properly frame and capture them.

  • Shop News

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    The latest addition to the Lomo’Instant family! Inspired by the Icelandic midnight sky, Get endless creativity, take multiple exposed instant snapshots, experiment with long exposure and light painting shots!

  • Join Us For a Day of Fun This Film Photography Day 2015 at NYC!

    written by givesmehell on 2015-03-30 in #people #events
    Join Us For a Day of Fun This Film Photography Day 2015 at NYC!

    Lomography NYC is celebrating Film Photography Day for the third consecutive year. We are inviting all lomographers and analog enthusiasts to mark your calendars and come join us on Saturday, April 11. To commemorate this day, we have organized an exciting line-up of events including live music and drinks!

  • The Lomo LC-A Goes to Berlin

    written by petit_loir on 2015-03-10 in #world #locations
    The Lomo LC-A Goes to Berlin

    Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany. With its 3.5 million residents, it is also the second largest city in the European Union. Berlin has a lot to offer when it comes to culture as there are so many people from many different countries living and working together. Of course, Berlin is also home of Lomography Germany!

  • Photo London at Somerset House

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-05-18 in #world #news #lifestyle
    Photo London at Somerset House

    From May 21 to 24, Somerset House will be hosting Photo London 2015, bringing together 72 of the most well respected galleries from all over globe. Each gallery will be presented in six areas, showing a mixture of vintage, modern and contemporary photography. There will be an extensive program of talks and events which are supported by the LUMA foundation.