In honor of Chinese New Year, I'm sharing images from Chinatown, NYC. They're all from a collection that I hold quite dearly, never before seen by any other eyes but my own. I hope you all enjoy a little of the magic that inspires me a little more than often. This post will be a bit informal, just chatting away about why I captured what I did.
I am a Tiger. Well, born on the year of the Fire Tiger that is. I'm very much a cat lover, in fact there's doodles of me and cats that date as far back as elementary school. All the lights framing the little statue were purrfect (pun intended), when I shot this image - my heart skipped a beat a little.
There's something that I always find fascinating while in Chinatown, and it's how similar the elderly are to Latinx seniors. Elders are always so active, productive - running businesses, taking care of grandchildren and in some instances whole families - and so respected and loved. And they can be so brutally outspoken and blunt, speaking their minds and hearts to the fullest - with either kindness or anger. I feel both cultures share a deep passion for family and a connection to keep their roots alive in the next generation. Plus, I naturally gravitate to "viejitos" (that means seniors in Spanish) because I basically grew up in a retirement home.
There's a very picturesque corner on Doyers St. where a barber shop/beauty salon resides. Every time I come to Chinatown I always visit it, quietly photographing from the exterior, peeking in - the main barber (the one in the white coat) probably knows me by sight, he nods at me every single time, and I always nod back with a smile.
Another of my obsessions, people on bikes. Now, people on bikes in Chinatown - we got me a story to tell. To be honest, when I photograph, I tend to write my own little stories. In my mind this gentleman is a student/courier on his way to deliver sewage blueprints to a secret group of mice trying to take over the city, and then he'll have lunch - by himself of course. And of course, I'm kidding but the stories do help me shape the image and it's good exercise for my imagination.
All in all, I hope you all have a fantastic Saturday and if you're celebrating Chinese New Year, have a lovely one! I'm lucky enough to be celebrating with a dear blogger and friend (@sheelagoh) so I might post some cool updates on my Instastories - take a look there tonight. Many hugs!
Photography: Sofia Emm @itssofiaemm
Location: Chinatown, New York City