Lin Ze Xu welcomes you to the south end of Chinatown, but not your opium. His 19th-century version of the War on Drugs happened long before Nancy Reagan taught us all to just say no.
[The very special miniseries continues! See Part One for the official intro and context.]
Chinatown was like nothing we’d ever stepped into before — block after block of overpacked mom-‘n’-pop shops, restaurants with all-paper signage, dingy dives with no English names out front, and respectable businesses stacked atop businesses with even more businesses crammed under and between them, their streets teeming with life and bootleg lady-shopper bait (useless against my wife, who’s not into fashion shopping) and the worst smells we hope we’ll ever know, whether from the deadliest spices known to man or from all the endless displays of fresh-slaughtered seafood, some of it still writhing. My son wanted to see every single block of it, even the blocks ruled by Vietnamese or Thai shopkeepers instead of Chinese.
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