Four years ago, I came to New York for summer school. New York was the first and the only city I had been to at that time, when I was 18. Never had been away from home for so long, I could sense homesick, which pushed me to source out every possible way to get closer to my homeland. “Chinatown is the best option.” I thought. Then I took a trip to Flushing by taking train 7. 

Four years later, Flushing is exactly the same as the one in my memory. I took a photo of the merchants on Main Street and posted on my Instagram. One comment says “This looks exactly like Hong Kong.” Another comment says “This looks exactly like Shanghai.” As I stand right on the sidewalk of Main Street, there was a moment that I got really confused, is this really a part of New York? I could literally smell the special fragrance of Chinese dishes, as well as the smell of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

This place is vibrating with full energy every single day. Restaurants serving Chinese dishes, however, face fierce competition because there are so many of them on the same street. They are all great options for meals for both tourists and residents nearby.  As the area’s business is booming, infrastructure and city services have hardly kept pace with the growth. There’s a constant waste being produced. Piles of garbage with sticky juice leaking out are right there on the street, affecting both the city image and peoples’ living quality in the neighborhood. Many restaurants put the garbage on the sidewalk earlier than the pickup time because there’s nowhere to store it. 

The sidewalk is partly occupied by those litter that was thrown out by the businesses on Main Street. Vegetable markets throw out rotten vegetables and fruits; juices leak out through the black plastic bags.

Commercial garbages are affecting nearby residents’ life quality. Flushing is not only a tourism place where people stop by to catch a meal, but it is also home to many people who regard Flushing as their home in New York.

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~ by yongdanxu98 on February 17, 2019.