NYC, it’s a big place. You’ve got tons of people from all over the world, all spread out among different neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods are rich in a certain group, every street infused with their spice, their culture. Some neighborhoods look a bit rundown, yet oh so full of life. Others are busy, full of expensive name-brand stores, yet devoid of life. Sometimes, two different worlds are just a short walk across.
This week, I joined some friends on a little project. They were tasked with surveying two different neighborhoods. The key was to find two neighborhoods with different socio-economic situations. They chose Chinatown/Lower East Side, one of the neighborhoods with the lowest average household income, and Soho, the second-highest. They were to note differences in the neighborhoods and make certain inductions about the neighborhood. I decided to join them after they pleaded with me to accompany them (Fine, I went along for fun). I thought it would be fun to go around and take some pictures and look at NYC through a more “scrutinizing lens.
The similarities and differences were pretty apparent. Take a second to look through the above two photos and see what you note. Of course, you’re welcome to keep scrolling for more. NYC is what it is, a melting pot. No matter where you go, you’ll see all kinds of people. BUT, I did notice a bit more white people in the Soho area. Things like people selling counterfeit merchandise and fruit stands were common walking through Chinatown. These things are rare in more affluent neighborhoods.
Chinatown looked dirty, sometimes smelly, and not very well kept in some places. But, it felt more alive. It seemed like a more comfortable place to be in. Soho was generally cleaner and there were ongoing renovations, but it seemed cold. All the fruit stands and fake clothing were replaced with boutique stores and name-brand clothing.
All these things we noticed were super interesting to me. I hope you found them interesting too. My goal for this blog has always been to go do something interesting, something I normally wouldn’t do. Surveying some neighborhoods is definitely something I don’t tend to do very often. So, go out and look around your own city. Understand the history, and make it this week’s #onethingoneweek.