Chinatown by john cheng

Something that I wrote up a couple years back and never published. Better late than never right?

I went on a photo walk through Chinatown at night with a friend. The plan was to see what interesting street shots we could find in the evening when Chinatown is practically deserted.  

Three shots stood out to me that night. The first is Burgerlords with the man waiting for his burger. I find myself relating with him in that there are time where I just want to go somewhere at night and sit in silence in attempts to escape my current realities. I wondered who he was, what he was thinking about and why he chose to be there in that moment staring off into the distance rather than into his phone like so many of us do. 


The other two are very similar. Both were images of men working in the kitchen of a restaurant. The first man was on his break I assume, sitting near the back door searching for a moment of privacy. Of course, that was before he caught me invading his personal time. 

The second man was diligently either washing dishes or cooking. I couldn't tell from where I was standing but both of these men made me think of my uncles. I grew up hearing stories of how my uncles worked tirelessly in the kitchen as busboys, working thier way up the ladder when they first came to America.  

Seeing these two men in present day brought these stories of my uncles to life. It was if I was Ebenezer Scrooge peering into the past to see what life was like for my elders. It made me appreciate more what my present day circumstances are. My life as it is now is not the result of my own doing, but the fruits of my family's labor. 

The question now is how can I follow in thier footsteps in present day context to provide for the generation that follows me. Am I really up for the task or will I find myself trying to escape to a nearby burger joint?