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Monday, January 30, 2006

Melina visits Chinese New Year

This weekend's expedition was to Flushing, Queens, which is New York's second great Chinatown. We wanted to see the New Years parade.

The parade started off as one might expect, with the politicians:

Then, there were a lot of corporate-sponsored delegations, and after that, a lot of non-profit delegations and community groups, such as the local all-Asian chapter of the Kiwanis club, and the Korean-American Beautician Federation:

Then there was a gigantic, hundred-member marching band that played Western marching-band music and that was somehow affiliated with the always-PR-savvy Falun Dafa movement:

Indeed there were some folks who put some actual effort into their costumes:

The Korean honor guard I thought was extremely impressive:

And bringing up the rear of the parade were such mystifying delegations as:

The Flushing Mall:

The African-American cowboys:

and my personal favorite, The Giant Dog and Cat On A Truck:

We found this to be an excellent cultural experience. We marveled at the health of this immigrant community, and we were impressed by its ability to obtain corporate sponsorships, spawn non-profits and business alliances, and even to adopt hoary American institutions such as the Kiwanis Club for its own betterment.

If you're wondering, as I was, the largest single ethnic group in NYC is African-Americans at 11.5%, then Puerto Ricans at 9.8%. (then: 8.7% Italian, 5.3% Irish, 5.1% Dominican, 4.5% Chinese, 2.1% Asian Indian, 1.8% Filipino and 1.6% Korean.)

If you just look at foreign-born New Yorkers, the largest group from a single country of origin are from Dominican Republic, followed by China, Jamaica, and Russia. Or so sayeth Wikipedia.

After the parade ended, we had a big lunch, went shopping for tapioca pearls and cheap ginger candy in the Flushing grocery store, and headed home completely satisfied.

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