Is the idea of an "authentic neighborhood" in Manhattan outdated? Chinatown is one of the few places in Manhattan that actually feels like one to me. Although Canal Street is always packed with tourists, its bustling parks, winding blocks, and sidewalk shops and restaurants are all full of locals living and working. Its historic walkups are still intact (for better or worse) and rent-controlled, resisting displacement by the dull luxury condos and affected boutiques that have transformed so many other once-"authentic" neighborhoods. Sure, it's changing and evolving, but unlike schlocky Little Italy, with a demographic of zero Italians and theme park vibe, Chinatown appears to have retained at least some of the original identity that earned it charm in the first place, at least for the time being.
I never tire of shooting here. Here are some stills across the seasons.
More photos from my Chinatown shoots live in the Chinatown neighborhood guide.