Monday, July 9

Lower East Side

Katie and I find our way to Chinatown, home to the largest enclave of Chinese in the Western hemisphere. We eat some Chinese food.

Afterwards I am drawn to Columbus Park, at the end of Mulberry St, by the sound of Chinese ceremonial gongs; confusingly there are four 'orchastras' performing ancestral music with men and women singing (to my ear) off-beat . (Katie: "Maybe they are telling a story") The green is completely unexpected surrounded by toy shops, vegetable stalls, an uninviting hotel, tenements and restaurants. I spy this clever dude gambling.

The park built on Five Points’ "height," famous in the 19th century for its population density, disease, infant and child mortality, unemployment, prostitution, violent crime, and urban destitution . It's only rival : certain neighbourhoods of London's East End. I find about everything in NY beyond human scale.