A friend of mine helped correct some of the mistakes I made in my last posts. That John Henry actually owns the Globe, not the times, and also gave me some insight on the three Chinese homeless people in Chinatown.
Last time the young man that approached me was actually from New York and African American. I din't write that last post very coherently. I might revisit that incident at a later time.
But a common theme for Chinatown, for anywhere, is that you can feel like something is happening one way, and it isn't necessarily what is actually happening, but the "feeling" has so much power has so much repeated visceral emotion that it becomes true to the point of say winning elections or defining how the future perceives the past.
They are talking about it all the time in terms of the elections.
But let's just talk about the feeling that Chinatown is getting gentrified by money from Mainland China.
I don't know the details of reality, but I do know wrong stories that people have told me and I have had to correct them... that such and such a restaurant is owned by a billionaire from China. But, it turns out that that restaurant was started up by your most local guy you can think of. I mean he may be well off now because of his business, but the reality isn;t some tycoon swooping in and opening up a restaurant. Maybe there was some investment there or whatever, but a lot of the fancy new places opening in Chinatown are really grounded in local boys busting there ass to get their slice of the American dream through hard work and kick ass math skills. Really.
The other is that all the old places are closing down and that old Chinatown feel is gone. First of all, the new fancy places are just going with what most people like. But the other day I got some baos from Mei Sum, and if you are looking for that old old feel, the conversation of old Chinese men talking about restaurant gossip and the tiled floor and you know a kind of third world feel, not the new third world feel that is covered in glitz and marble, but the old one. The one that if they made movies about the Chinese instead of the Italians would have you reminiscing about the old country and the Godfather music would start playing.
I mean I had felt a disconnect with that old Chinatown feel too, but then eavesdropping on these old guys, it all came back. It's still here, old Chinatown, right inside new Chinatown. In fact its like Chinatown has become a conglomerate of many communities all rolled into one.