I know that you’ve had some tough times the past few years. People have called to ban you, to oust you from the kitchen…
About a decade ago, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH) began to puzzle over a strange and disturbing sight: whole, roasted ducks, hanging by their necks in the windows of Manhattan’s Chinatown.
The gate, the window guards (all seven of them), the railings leading up to the door, the door itself — all bright stainless steel, and sparkling even on this cloudy day.
“When times are good, people might go for the Absolut, when they’re bad it’s Smirnoff or Georgi,” says Anil, who runs 1-2-3 Liquors on Jamaica Avenue…
Crown Heights-based activist DJ Ushka talks about growing up in Thailand, gentrification, global bass, and Edward Said.
The drummers were dressed in black and white tunics with colorful sashes and played traditional instruments…
It’s Sunday morning and there’s a debate underway at the Richmond Hill Flea Market in Queens. At issue: a pair of bejeweled, costume earrings made of faux diamonds and rubies.
In 2012, over half a million stop and frisks took place citywide. Half of these involved persons of color—young men like Nilesh, who are constantly on the lookout for patrolling officers.
“He could’ve walked into Harlem and everybody knew ‘im. He could walk into Spanish Harlem, everybody knew him. The gangsters knew him and respected him because he stood up to them…”
…there was one piece of equipment that made it all possible: a SONY tape player that kept them in operation as if they were 24-hour newsroom. The machine would play ten cassettes one after the other.
Visitors to the address would have found an entirely different scene ten or fifteen years ago. Before it was a fashion headquarters, the building was a garment factory…
In Queens to “clash,” Japanese dancehall kings Mighty Crown talk old-school Brooklyn and dub plates
“…the union guys were really worried. They were literally pissing in their pants…15 minutes later, it seemed like 15,000 women came out of the woodwork. Literally. From the buildings in Soho. They just couldn’t believe it.”
“We had tried Thanksgiving food at work and at church…a little bland…Then we just kept doing it each year and we got better each year, we learned how to cook more things- cranberry and marshmallow, ham, biscuits, and we made other stuff too, that’s not American food.”
…incoming donations were piled up two and three boxes deep on the sidewalk.
“The typhoon really hit me hard,” she said. “I live in New York, but I’m still Filipino.”
“Once we printed Chinese upside-down and nobody knew it. That was embarrassing!”
A set of wind chimes hangs on a thin board, a short-wave radio emits bursts of Morse code, thin sheets of metal rustle on a crate.
“You really can’t get weird on a dehydrated noodle. You really can’t get weird on a canned sardine. Snacks, yeah you can get a little weird.”
We set up a table with hot cider to stave off the chill, and little by little, over the course of three hours, 20 participants came by to strut their stuff…
“We are not known to the mainstream disabled communities. We’ve been here for 20 years.”
“Manhattan gets everything. No more, no more…Our next mayor is going to be from Brooklyn no matter who wins.”
“Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg before it is broken.”
–MFK Fisher, “How to Cook a Wolf”
As pure Tibetans, they seem to have a more direct connection to whatever their cause is…But in my case, I would be there thinking, I don’t have the genuine drive in a way. I was supporting the cause, but at the same time, I saw myself differently.
The shorter woman said, “You have such a good insang인상!” The other pressed, “But you do go to church, don’t you?”
As I studied my surroundings, I found things that defied explanation. For some matters, the closer I looked, the more elusive any resolution became.
One Saturday afternoon in Sunset Park, I was sitting on the cement rim of a drained wading pool, watching elderly Chinese couples foxtrot to staticky melodies playing from a beat-up cassette player.
When working with the 12 to 19 year old set, she goes by two simple rules: 1.) Don’t disrespect them and 2.) Stand your ground.
We both remembered the fashion house’s Van Gogh jacket with its exquisite hand-embroidered jewel toned flowers, but it was Mary, who, without a heartbeat, recalled the year, telling the archivist to pull from the 1988 collection.
In the center of the plaza stands a bronze, 15-foot statue of the Chinese sage…In its shadow, a woman with a visor and clipboard is selling shuttle tickets to Foxwoods Casino.
Suran Song turned a laundromat in Jackson Heights into a space for private reflection. Now she’s inviting her neighborhood to practice yoga in her living room.
A Conversation with Albert “Prodigy” Johnson, Queens Author and Rapper
“We need a new superhero that will not depend on the tropes of past heroes,” says Anand who copyrighted Laserman in 1985 at the age of 12.
The clinking coins were saved for two reasons – to feed the neighborhood parking meters and to pay for kiddie rides outside the supermarket where my family shopped.
In the same way that K-Town serves as a rough rendition of Seoul, these plastic replicas dutifully represent their edible counterparts.
Afrika Bambaataa recently crowned Lasker the “Indian Bambaataa” for his efforts spreading hip-hop in India.
It’s like wearing a swagger on your face. If you’ve got a mustache, you’re someone to be taken seriously.
Amid a national conversation about preschool and poverty, low-income New Yorkers are fighting for dignified welfare-to-work and and child care. But will they succeed?
Lynne Sachs talks about her film on immigrant experiences in Chinatown shift-bed houses.
“81 Bowery is their home and their only choice for a place to live.”
There are 42,000 cab drivers in New York City–and 82% of them are immigrants. Many from them from white collars jobs back in their home country.
Writer Katie Salisbury goes on a quest to Mission Chinese to check out the monster success of Asian hipster cuisine.
Kyla Cheung talks to Ashok Rajamani about his uniquely humor-filled memoir recovering from an aneurysm at the age of 25.
There are lists of some slave uprisings in the late 1600s. There were gallows next to Beaver Pond.
A river of dark, red fluids frothed and pooled over drains. Men in green T-shirts scrubbed the floor with brooms as wave after wave of water washed away the sacrificial blood.
Carolyn Sun explores the journey of how kimchi has found its place in America at the tables of Koreans and non-Koreans alike.
Sahar Muradi and Zohra Saed are two Afghan American poets. This is a lyrical conversation between Sahar, who returned to retrace footsteps in Afghanistan and Zohra, who remained ensconced in longing for mythic cities of her birth.
Part one of a two-part series on local Asian-American engagement in electoral politics in New York City.
The Basement Bhangra deejay revisits the neighborhood of a legendary Hollis nightclub that flourished in the 90s.
The costs of ‘hecho en China.’
From Abu Dhabi to the East Coast, a temporary resident negotiates the urban spaces that built him.
In conversation with solitude.
Sisters Deanna Fei and Jessica Fei capture the many faces of Flushing: a home, a place of transit, a new territory.
Formed in Iran—and influenced by Joy Division—the indie band had to high-tail out of the Islamic Republic for fear of reprisals. Why the band wound up in Brooklyn.
After the family saw this photo, ‘they couldn’t sleep.’
Remaining unnoticed is not a new thing for Staten Island.
I recall the monkey god’s gaze at the Ganapati Temple and my own impulsive desire to offer him a coconut.
An illustrated dispatch.
From Libya to Liberty Avenue, Hess was making a killing.
Wah-Ming Chang talks to the author about reading, writing, and Hari Kunzru’s voice.
In Jersey City’s India Square, the Hindu holiday is tempered and celebrated privately.
“My strength is writing about Chinese people and dirtbags, and Chinese dirtbags.”
“Romney is very hostile.”
Dispatch from Far Rockaway and Jamaica in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Community organizers distributed supplies and canvassed buildings for two days before FEMA showed up to offer aid.
New York will survive Sandy, but so will the city’s persistent inequalities and environmental precarity.
For outer borough residents and the linguistically isolated, the future is less clear.
If the grocery store is going to be saved, it will need to happen now.
Meet Carmine Morales, the Lower East Side’s last everyman.
Amrit Singh, Vijay Iyer, and Ashok Kondabolu on how to eat (and dip!)
A handful of books provide vivid details on the rap that grew out of Queens.
In a way, Curtis Jackson is a link to the era of black American immigration to South Jamaica, the violence that befell those who came, and the strange marriage of drugs and music that followed. He may be the last.
He-e-e-e-ey sexy lungi!
The best French-pressed coffee in town is brewed in Elmhurst. No, really.
This Sunset Park eatery is known for dishing up the best dumplings in New York City. So why is its owner, Mr. Chen, barely breaking even?
“What makes it halal is the meat.”
“My parents never hid the fact that I was undocumented.”
It’s the second largest park in New York City, and it hosts the U.S. Open. But when the world isn’t watching, what lies beneath the park’s borders—and what does it say about Queens?
How the retail behemoth’s bid to establish its footing downtown is raising questions about the future of Chinatown and the city as a whole.
Back in 1830, Richmond Hill was a farm.
Same place, different time.
Viral vid ‘Gangnam Style’ critiques Korea’s extreme inequality.
For their health and yours, restaurant workers demand paid sick days.
John Clang’s “Beijing New York” is a product of some good old-fashioned cut and paste.
A defender of traditional Korean arts refuses to give up.
“In the Pakistan I grew up in, women prayed at home. Mosques were the kingdom of men.”
If vacation represents the absence of stress and consequential decision making, then isn’t an overmanaged tour just the thing?
“In Guyana, your faith is not held against you.”
The creator of Crack Pie shares her fave outer borough eats.
“We’re offering a valuable public cervix.”
A zesty cocktail of lime juice and water.
A compendium of responses from video store clerks in Jackson Heights.
The scarlet tonic is often portrayed as the city’s modern-day moonshine. The reality? It barely counts as booze.
A photo essay.
After 45 years as a parking lot, the Seward Park Extension Urban Renewal Area will be developed to include mixed-income housing. So why are some advocates crying foul?
“Surah Rahman and Surah Yasin. Very, very powerful!”
In her new memoir, the famed documentarian writes about coping with grief after losing her husband of 30 years.