Hey Chinatown.

So the “R” train pulled into the 8th Street Station. The train stopped such that the doors were in front of me and I could see a bald black man who looked like he was preparing to get off. There was a young black lady standing by the door. The doors slid open and the bald black man was moving slowly towards the door. Our glances locked momentarily. As he approached and passed me, i could see from his eyes that he was about to say something to me. Something that I would probably post on www.hollabacknyc.bl0gspot.com. Instead, he addressed me with, “Hey, Chinatown.”

Now I’d like to think that he didn’t mean anything derogatory by it but I wonder how would he have reacted or how would he have responded if I had responded with, “Hey Harlem.” Or, “Hey Bed-Sty.”

The acknowledgement was for the most part very ignorant. I’m not from Chinatown. I don’t live in Chinatown. But apparently from his point of view and based on my mere physical appearance (as well as lack of worldly views) I am someone who is from that neighborhood.

By the way, he was a pan handler.


~ by thedailycommuter on Friday, March 27, 2009.

4 Responses to “Hey Chinatown.”

  1. Hello again,

    Sorry to hear about the fare increases.
    What’s a pan handler? I have never heard of this in Aus.


  2. Hey Adrian! Always good to hear from you. A panhandler is a person who begs for money.

  3. Thanks DC.
    Having an asian girlfriend, I think I would have had trouble not clocking this guy for his racist comment.

    On a brighter note, not sure if it made the news over there but Sydney CBD had a complete power failure Yesterday. 140 traffic lights went out, 34 building lifts had occupants stuck in them while about 100,000 people had to go down the fire stairs across the city. Surprisingly, no pedestrians were hit however the harbour tunnel was shut and all the city trains were stopped.

    Bit of a joke really that a supposed world city like Sydney came to a halt because of a blown power substation.

    Thankfully I live at Darling Harbour so a short walk home.

    Until next time mate

  4. We had a similar situation in NYC, a year or two after 9/11. But our power failure wasn’t an isolated incident. It spread down to NY, NJ, CT, and i think Pennsylvania. We were on the train coming back from a nice day at the Bronx Zoo. Our train was above ground and luckily when the power went out, we weren’t too far from the station where we had just departed. We were instructed to exit to the rear of the train where we were carefully walking along the tracks until we got to the station. It was a crazy day trying to get home. We were fortunate enough to get a bus into Mnahattan from the Bronx. It was a very slow ride and luckily we had seats. once in the city, we walked from uptown down close to the Chinatown where we were fortunate enough to hitch a ride with two guys entering the Holland Tunnel to New Jersey. I’ve never walked so much in a day (and it was the summer).

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