One City, Many Cultures


Global City NYC reporters explore religious, culinary and cultural traditions in the city’s ethnic neighborhoods.

By Samara Abramson – An American Tries Flamenco

Every Saturday, Jorge Navarro teaches a flamenco lesson in the basement of a church on Christopher Street in the Village. Navarro, a dashing Spaniard with curly black hair, teaches his students in a dance studio with three bare white walls and another wall covered floor to ceiling with mirror.

By Suzie Xie – Chinatown’s Second Story

Canal Street in Chinatown looks pretty much the same block after block: street vendors selling souvenirs, restaurants, store signs written in Chinese. That’s on the street level.
But above many of these businesses is another ubiquitous Chinatown enterprise: the massage parlor. These places are usually tucked into the second floor, with signs advertising their rates as the only evidence of their existence.

By Mantai Chow – Chinese Chess War

In a small park in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown, dozens of elderly men from the Chinese community gather each day. At first glance, it’s hard to see why they’re there; there’s little conversation and the main activity is the occasional movement of a hand and arm.

By Mary Kekatos – The Art of Making Phyllo

There’s a Greek bakery on Manhattan’s 9th Avenue that’s been making delicate, papery phyllo dough by hand since 1923. Almost no one does that anymore. It’s just too labor intensive, so most Greek bakeries buy factory-made phyllo. But not Poseidon Bakery.

By Ellen Chen – Sounds of Haiti

The CD player has gone the way of the Walkman and the record player before it. For several years, consumers have increasingly turned to their smartphones to listen to digital music, and the change has destroyed once-giant retailers like Virgin and Tower Records.

On a street in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood, Ellen Chen found one of New York City’s rare surviving CD retail stores.

By Zara Lockshin – Bargaining in Chinatown

New York City storefronts boast loud signs advertising discounts before and after the holidays — at least in most neighborhoods. An exception is Chinatown, which operates by its own economic rules. No corporate headquarters dictate the prices; instead, Chinatown shop owners handwrite their own prices. Rumor has it that those prices are negotiable. Zara Lockshin went to Chinatown to find out.



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