Hebrew School

A walk through Brooklyn’s Chinatown
March 18, 2008, 6:25 am
Filed under: brooklyn, sunset park | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This past Saturday was sunny and mild. We went for a walk in Brooklyn’s Chinatown in Sunset Park. Centered along Eighth Avenue, roughly between 40th and 60th streets, it’s home to a bustling community that had its start in the ’80s, becoming New York’s “third Chinatown” along with lower Manhattan and Flushing, Queens. According to what I read, Chinese-Americans may have been attracted to 8th Avenue in Brooklyn because the number eight is similar to a word in Chinese for prosperity (發, fā), making it an auspicious number in Chinese culture. Or, it could have been that it’s a direct ride from the city on the N train, providing an express link to Manhattan’s Chinatown (much as the D train links Boro Park with the Diamond District, but that’s the subject of another post).

Me, I’ve always found it interesting that there are several Chinese neighborhoods around the world with sunny names: There’s the Sunset District in San Francisco (which seems to have followed a similar pattern in its formation as an alternate Chinatown), and Sunnybank, Brisbane in Australia, yet another offshoot to a larger Chinatown community.


Live frogs are $3.99 a pound at this seafood shop.






More Sunset Park:   donuts  *  pork  *  beer


3 Comments so far
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Beautiful post, David.

I once walked through Manhattan’s Chinatown on acid, until I came to a booth where a guy was killing catfish with single sharp blows with a mallet on a wooden block. It was like seeing Shiva dancing and destroying whole universes. :)

Comment by Steve Silberman

That’s hornpout, Steve. Hohn-pout.

Comment by David

OMG! I walked through Chinatown on acid too!!!! I felt I was in Bladerunner. It was in the 80’s and i bought one of those huge rectangular digital watches that were popular at the time on the street…lovely photos…and i’ve calmed down a little bit since then!!

Comment by lisanne

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