02 February 2009

Chinese New Year in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Mott Street between Canal and Bayard streets. Photo: Elyaqim Mosheh Adam.

 I have been a little sick recently, so I wasn’t able to get to the Chinese new year festivities until around 15:00 when almost everything seemed to have finished. However, according to About.com’s article on the subject, “The parade is expected to conclude at 3:00 pm, at which time an outdoor cultural festival will take place on Bayard Street featuring more performances by musicians, dancers and martial artists.”1 In other words, I had missed the parade but was right on time for the cultural festival, but yet I never found it. In retrospect, the festival may have been closer to Mulberry and Baxter streets, possibly at Columbus Park, but, with the exception of my walks to and from the subway station, I spent my time in Chinatown entirely on or east of Mott Street.

Mott Street between Canal and Bayard streets. Photo: Elyaqim Mosheh Adam.

 I did, however bump right into a lion dance troupe, that of 金獅團 Golden Lion Club2, that I was able to follow around eastern Chinatown as they performed in front of various storefronts and collected their extortion donations from the management. The dancers would perform in front of businesses and even enter some of them. Most of the businesses were tiny, but others were not; the lions ascended the escalator into 金豐大酒樓 Jing Fong Restaurant, and the crowd of onlookers patiently waited on the street for them to finish dancing and then come back down and continue the tour.

De-escalating at 金豐大酒樓 Jing Fong Restaurant, 20 Elizabeth Street. Photo: Elyaqim Mosheh Adam.

 All my pictures of the day can be viewed in my Facebook photo albums “January 2009, part III” and “January 2009, part IV.” The route we took can be seen on the map I created.

In front of East Ocean, 53 Bayard Street. Photo: Elyaqim Mosheh Adam.


 1. Heather Cross, “Chinese Lunar New Year in New York City: 2009,” New York City Travel, About.com Web site, January 2009.
 2. There are also three Facebook groups devoted to the Golden Lion Club: Golden Lion Club [no. 1], GLC babyyy and Golden Lion Club [no. 2]. A private MySpace profile also exists with an accompanying video page.

A version of this article is reproduced at webcitation.org/5eHcH3KzK.

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