Discussion Post #3

Noticing how attitudes towards Asians have changed I decided to go to a place I have never been before: Chinatown. Specifically, I went to Columbus Park around 5 PM where I noticed I could find a seat with no trouble despite online sources saying I wouldn’t be able to. I credited this to the time of day, and went on with my observance which included the stores around the park as well. Another thing I noticed was there were two sections within the park, one full of adults and one mixed with kids and adults. For the former, adults were smoking and young adults smoked weed while throwing their head back, with eyes to the sky as they laughed at the nonsensical thing of life. This made me miss my old high school years where I used to do the same with my friends, and it caused me to dread growing any older. Nonetheless, even the adult section was segregated between Asians and other races, but even then not all Asian people were banded together and one man performed Tai Chi in a balcony. But of course, we all band together with our friends and people who speak our dialect or language, so I couldn’t attribute people’s racism with this division of groups. While at the kids’ section I noticed something a tad different, parents yelling at telephones, children playing indiscriminately with some kids being in solitude (maybe newcomers?) and just doing their own thing. It almost seemed as though race were unimportant to kids who were just trying to have fun, one group of kids consisted of black, white, Hispanic, and Asian but the thing that connected them was the want to play and the ability to speak the same language. So, within these sections, there were subsections and it was interesting to see that even children’s lives are complex without them even knowing it. Moving onto the stores around the park there were bare, a few had one to two customers inside of them with three waiters just lounging around looking bored. I had a craving for an iced matcha with boba, and of course, I didn’t bring cash to a cash-only store but when I went to chase I noticed it had both English and Mandarin characters displaying its name. When inside I saw employees furnished their cubicles with Chinese lanterns galore, I found this interesting since not a lot of Americans do this with their own cultures (but then again what culture do they have to display?). Once I got the cash I went back to the store and paid for my stuff, and watched as the store owner took over the self-serve pastries to prevent the spread of the disease (based on my assumption). All in all, today felt productive and I didn’t see any racist attacks towards Asians as I’ve seen on Twitter, so I hope one day New Yorkers feel safe enough to take the train because they are missing a lot from not going to Chinatown which endorses all, if not most, Asian cultures.

Comments ( 2 )

  1. Sara Sanchez
    Though the goal was to see if there was a certain atmosphere within Chinatown due to the racism asian people have received over the outbreak of coronavirus, I respect that you emphasized the error in this behavior through the children playing together. It expresses their innocence in my opinion. Also appreciate the comedic touches here & there, giving the assignment your individual voice.
  2. Marieme Jiddou
    I like how in this observation assignment you did not just observe but you also assumed logical reasoning for the things you were seeing. It was cool that you told it in a story form, incorporating your own thoughts and feelings. I agree with you on the kids' part, kids live in a complex world of racism that they often ignore because in their minds it's as simple as "I want to play with whoever is around me".

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