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grand street.

24 Jan 2011

I stepped out into the cold night air from the subway stairs at the B/D Grand Street Station stop last night, hat pulled down and jacket zipped right up to the top.  As I do pretty much every time I exit that station, I looked over to my left, at the soccer fields in Sara Roosevelt Park, to see what matches might be unfolding.  But last night, what an odd and unexpected sight to behold — it was just past 7pm, so the fields were dark, but there, in the center, were two fellows, kicking around a soccer ball.  In 12 degree weather.  In shorts, with leggings underneath.  The snow had been cleared from the field, but remained piled high along the sidelines.   The soccer guys appeared oblivious to the icebox in which they were playing.

In warmer weather, I like to take in some of the soccer matches at Sara Roosevelt Park, especially in late summer, as the shadows start to get a wee bit shorter but the late afternoons no longer take on hothouse-like humidity and people no longer look like they’re melting into puddles on the sidewalk.   It’s around 6pm or so when the action is best — not only on the fields, but on the sidelines as well, where dozens of old Chinese men congregate — mostly to socialize, it seems, but occasionally to take in the matches, muttering occasional words of approval at a particularly well-placed goal, or nodding at fancy footwork making its way down the field.  One afternoon back in early September 2009, I brought Pony, my Yashica, and snapped a few photos of some folks peering in from behind the fence.  When I turned around to see what might be happening away from the fields, I saw a diminutive older Chinese woman, surveying an entirely different scene.

Looking at these photographs now, I’m struck by how quiet and still Chinatown feels here, almost as if I have my headphones on and all of the bustle and ambient horn honking is on some sort of strange version of the mute or pause button.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Daniel permalink
    26 Jan 2011 3:31 pm

    This is how I feel about Chinatown all the time, with my rose-tinged memories of living there. It’s so easy to forget the smells, so easy to let different languages wash over you and let your eyes pick out what you want to remember. For me, at least.

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