Mindful of the winter storm slush and barricades, the throngs patiently waited at the intersection for the light to change as the cars on Canal St. slowly passed by, tangled up in the usual traffic. Members of New York's finest were on hand to regulate the flow of pedestrians crossing onto Mott St. As the newly-arrived descended upon the area, they found themselves jostling with yet even more visitors on the confetti-laden streets, most of whom had their digital cameras or camcorders held high up in the air, trying to capture every scene from the Chinese New Year festivities.
Two feisty looking dragons, accompanied by drum beats and squealing trumpets, strutted their way down Mott St. followed by a huge crowd that virtually made the street impassable. After performing a brief mambo in front of each establishment, the dragons would then make their way inside to better ward off the evil spirits. After all, who doesn't want a fresh start to the New Year? Numerous celebrants held long, thin noise makers - as they are wound, a loud pop guaranteed to scare the living daylights out of unwitting passers-by is released, while simultaneously a shower of colorful confetti shoots out of the tube. Some couldn't quite grasp how to work the noise maker though, eliciting much giggling among their family members. A crowd pleaser, indeed.
After a few minutes of loitering and watching the festivities, I took a circuitous route along the parallel side streets and arrived at my destination, Mr. Tang, for the true purpose of my foray into Chinatown on this crowded day - a sumptuous banquet with friends. What could me more appropriate to celebrate the Year of the Pig than by pigging out on an eight-course meal, including succulent peking duck? As expected, the assorted meat, poultry and seafood dishes were demolished in due time - so, to all my readers, Kung Hei Fat Choy!