My official excuse was a ‘pork bun’ supply run to a small joint I sadly didn’t photograph but which will definitely have to make it in here at some point – because their buns simply rock.

The photo gear had been logged from home to work in the morning and back out into the twilight once I’d freed myself from a desk’s gravitational pull.

Going into the evening, a look back at daylight

The real drive, however, had been a mood. A deep, unspoken, underlying sorrow. Berce mon coeur d’une langueur monotone. I was feeling lonely, my main reason for being a New Yorker having gone on a much needed – and deserved – pilgrimage towards the southern tip of Africa.

So I carried my beloved Canon 7D on the right shoulder (the creative one) and walked, and walked.

All the following were shot handheld in the failing light of an early winter afternoon. They mean to portray the other face of Chinatown, lively, colorful and yet, desperately down-to-earth. Once you get past the glitter, the lanterns and the smells, you are left with nothing more than a mob, ever-growing, who feels homesick and displaced. So home is brought forth from abroad and painted in tones of familiar sights and crouching tigers.

But who, in the end, really is fooled? Home is where the heart is, and the ocean between is vast and relentless, unforgiving. An NYC driver’s license, a misunderstood oath sworn as rehearsed, the language barely spoken, will have to suffice. For now any way, in order to face the daily struggle.

Some day, a feeling of belonging might creep in. This was, after all, built upon the timeless principles of freedom and democracy.