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Chinatown in New York
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A celebration of Chinatown shops and restaurants is happening this weekend

An effort to help the struggling neighborhood recover from xenophobia and low foot traffic.

Written by
André Wheeler

This weekend, a celebration of the diverse shops, residents, and cultural contributions that can be found in Chinatown will take place. There will be a conceptual interactive art piece! A scavenger hunt! And even the chance to score a free t-shirt from the Pharrell-founded brand Billionaire Boys Club (if you spend $50 or more dollars at select shops). The goal of the extravaganza is simple: To get people to visit Chinatown again. 

That’s because while much of New York has enjoyed an uptick in business this summer, thanks to relaxed Covid measures, Chinatown is struggling to rebound. The trend is national unfortunately—Chinatowns across America are struggling to combat the sharp rise of xenophobia and misguided fear towards the Asian and AAPI community that arose during Covid. With “Meet Chinatown,” taking place Sept 18-19, there is a chance for shoppers to combat prejudice and hate through economic support. 

The meaningful weekend comes from Welcome to Chinatown, which was founded in 2020 and describes itself as “a grassroots initiative to support Chinatown businesses and amplify community voices that generates much needed momentum to preserve one of New York City's most vibrant neighborhoods.” 

Here is some of what will be offered this weekend: 

  • Get to know gems of the neighborhood through Welcome to Chinatown’s digital directory
  • Explore and learn through immersive videos and interactive exhibits
  • Go on a self-guided scavenger hunt to win prizes
  • All to meet and honor the people and businesses that have shaped the past, present and future of Chinatown

One standout will be the interactive exhibit The Shadow Wall: Stories from Chinatown, by artist Cy Kim and creative developer Carlos Santos, on view at Lanterne Lab (69 Mulberry Street). Through various body poses performed for a body scanner, viewers uncover various stories that tell the generational stories of the residents on a screen.

And for the foodies there are over 103 food establishments Welcome to Chinatown has rounded up in its online directory, which also lists women-owned business, retail shops, and street vendors. 

Meet Chinatown takes place Sept 18-19. You can find out more information here

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