Seeking Good Fortunes In Chinatown: Three Businesses On A Quiet New Year

The beginning of Lunar New Year is a time for renewal. For Chinatown businesses hanging on by a thread, will it be enough?

Manhattan’s Chinatown is one of the jewels of New York City, and it usually shines brightest on Lunar New Year. The holiday has been a time to get together with family and friends, eat and share wealth, or maybe watch the lion dance in a parade.

Now, after a disastrous year that has seen landmarks close, xenophobia in the streets, and a virus that has devastated its older community, struggling businesses are mustering optimism to wash away the old year.

Grace Young, a cookbook author and advocate for Chinatown businesses, visited the neighborhood with photographer Julia Wang as street fruit vendors and brick-and-mortar businesses alike prepared for Lunar New Year, which begins Feb. 12.

Chinese decorations are seen in the street and hands paying for oranges

Julia Wang for BuzzFeed News

Decorations in Chinatown in February, and people buying citrus ahead of the new year.

A man on the phone and a prepared dish of food at an empty table

Julia Wang for BuzzFeed News

Johhny Mui takes a call for an order. On the right, the lobster Cantonese is one of Hop Lee’s specialty dishes.

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