Chinatown View from the Manhattan Bridge

Chinatown View from the Manhattan Bridge (2016)

Chinatown in New York is one of the oldest and biggest in the world outside of Asia. While many Chinatowns in North America have seen substantial change in recent years from gentrification, New York’s Chinatown has kept much of its culture thriving. On any given day you can find Columbus Park packed with people from around the neighborhood, with the older generation playing cards (Big Two) or Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) and the younger generation partaking in basketball or soccer. Chinatown is home to many of my favorite cheap eats in the city such as Lam Zhou or Big Wong King and one of the best cocktail joints in the city in Apotheke, which is housed in a former opium den.

The view depicted is of East Broadway looking westward from the pedestrian path on the Manhattan Bridge. When I heard there was a strategically placed hole in the chain-link fence along the pedestrian path, I had kept it in the back of my mind to visit the location for scouting photos. I visited the Manhattan Bridge on July 28, 2015 at 9:30pm after grabbing a quick dinner at Breakroom. I originally had planned to take some daytime shots, but upon recalling my plans to visit the hole in the fence, I decided to walk the bridge that night.

This is one of the few nighttime paintings I have done so far and I am very pleased with the result. It was interesting to see how the various light sources scattered throughout affected different parts of the scene. In the middle of the painting, it appears as if one of the “snowflake” lights is missing, but it was actually burned out or off at the time. There is a thin outline of the unlighted “snowflake” painted in to show this. In the far distance, the top of the One World Trade Center building and its spire can be seen.