Filtering by Category: The New York Times

Do not pet me, I am working

Added on by Annie Ling.

The sign is pretty straightforward. The policies with keeping service dogs, however, for tenants claiming disability are not so simple. "A Tussle Over Service Dogs" with an accompanying NYT article digs a little deeper into the issue and gave me the opportunity to meet some exceptional canines and their advocates. Below are some outtakes from the shoot.

Conversations w/ Asian American Writers' Workshop

Added on by Annie Ling.

So often, we don't take enough time to discuss our process or share openly what we've learned through all the ups and downs. Few weeks ago, I was "cornered" by some friendly folks from Asian American Writers' Workshop (AAWW).
Ashok Kondabolu of Das Racist visited me on my home turf and we had a good long conversation about photography, justice, Chinatown, roots, and fires. Read the interview on The Margins.

Coincidently, Kyla Cheung from Open City Magazine published a cohesive article online about my work with tenement dwellers and Chinese immigrant workers, bringing to light past histories, the present, and the uncertain future of my friends at 81 Bowery.

81 Bowery has been the subject of coverage by the Village Voice, the New York Times and CNN. The segment aired by CNN this past March on living conditions there led a concerned viewer from Arizona to call the FDNY, which then issued a vacate order citing “fire egress” and “sprinkler issues.” Ten minutes of interviews and footage left the approximately fifty residents of 81 Bowery scrambling to find a bed with friends, relatives, the Red Cross, or the Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Most were Chinese immigrant workers, some undocumented.

The New York Times have been a great supporter of my personal work in Chinatown, featuring 81 Bowery in 2011 and most recently, in March on the New York Times LENS blog. On March 7th, long-time tenants of 81 Bowery were ordered to vacate the premises due to safety violations.   

It is with greatest disappointment that my friends at 81 Bowery are still in limbo, unable to return to their homes on the Bowery, with no promise of change or improvements made on living conditions in the near future. Meanwhile, I'd run into some of the former 81 Bowery residents hanging around Chinatown, and he/she would offer a warm hello followed by a question: "Do you know when I can go home?" I would shake my head and tell them that I do not have an answer, but that their advocates at CAAAV are working diligently on their behalf.

Sharing another one's story is a privilege that must be handled delicately. As storytellers, we must be vulnerable as well – to express our motivations and engage in conversations to better understand who we are and where we stand, especially if we find ourselves in the position of being a voice for those in need of a voice. 

 Chin Tu Yu in cubicle #6 at 81 Bowery packed a few possessions in the final minutes before vacating the building the evening of March 7th. Tu Yu Chin just arrived in US one month ago to join her husband who she hasn't seen in eight years. Chin currently works long hours at a laundromat in Chinatown. ©Annie Ling

Chin Tu Yu in cubicle #6 at 81 Bowery packed a few possessions in the final minutes before vacating the building the evening of March 7th. Tu Yu Chin just arrived in US one month ago to join her husband who she hasn't seen in eight years. Chin currently works long hours at a laundromat in Chinatown. ©Annie Ling

Picnics in the park, with ancestors

Added on by Annie Ling.

Early last Easter Sunday morning, I had the pleasure to witness masses of Chinese families descending upon their ancestors' graves at Kensico Cemetery in Westchester County with writer Sarah Kramer for the New York Times. The resulting essay "Chinese Families Celebrate Qingming Festival in New York" was published today in the Sunday Metropolitan section of the paper. 

Aside from being a beautiful ceremony, it was also a deeply nostalgic experience as it brought me back to my early childhood memories in Taiwan, participating in the Qing Ming Festival and in funerals of my grandfather and lost loved ones.

When I first moved to New York nearly five years ago, I lived by Chatham Square in Chinatown - a key intersection of major arteries and streets in the neighborhood. One such street is lined with traditional Chinese funeral homes, tomb engravers and Buddhist funeral supplies stores. The constant flow of funeral processions juxtaposed with a park teeming with youth across the street dramatizes the ephemeral like a chorus with perpetual rises and falls.

I often visited and eventually befriended a small business owner on this Mulberry Street who would spend his days building mansions and dolls out of paper. Cars, clothing, jewelry, Rolex watches, electronics, games, snacks, even dentures and floss - all made out of cardboard, are sold in colorful array along with joss paper money to families to burn and send up to their departed loved ones.

At Kensico cemetery, one family of five generations came together to feast with their ancestors. A mother and son pair visited their family's grave with humble home-cooked offerings. New memories were made as young and old congregated for hours at the cemetery amidst the aroma of roast pigs while popping firecrackers and ashes filled the air.

A false identity conviction

Added on by Annie Ling.

Today's cover story for the Sunday Metropolitan section in The New York Times features a sorted academic tale that ends in false identity conviction. Read the full article here. It's quite a fascinating read. Also, great reporting by John Leland.

I met the convicted Raphael Golb in his cluttered West Village apartment a week after the state supreme court handed down a decision to sentence Golb to six months in prison. A week later, I photographed Lawrence H. Schiffman, the prime target of Golb’s online activities, in Schiffman's office at Yeshiva University.

Below are published images and selected outtakes from both shoots.