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Sound Walks

"A soundwalk is any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment." - Hildegard Westerkamp, 1974

A Sound Walk is a walk whose main purpose is to listen thoughtfully to any sound – near and far, pleasant and dissonant, soft and loud, continuous and fragmented. What do the sounds reveal?

Experience Chinatown in a new way. Renew your sense of place and physical environment through mindful listening and walking. Decode the undertones of urban life and connect them to larger community concerns. Rediscover Chinatown’s unexpected soundscapes – what do you hear in Chinatown? We will ask you to reflect on how sound and noise influences this historic neighborhood and the people who live, work and visit Chinatown.

Sound Walk 1: Heart of Chinatown

This SoundWalk focuses on what is commonly thought of as “the heart of Chinatown” and will take you past historical landmarks, parks, places of worship and the Manhattan Detention Center. Chinatown is shaped by its geography – bisected by Canal Street, the main thoroughfare between the Holland Tunnel and the Manhattan Bridge, squeezed up against civic and federal buildings in Tribeca, and bound by the East River on its eastern flank.

Sound Walk 2: Little Fuzhou

This SoundWalk takes you east of Bowery into what is now known as “Little Fuzhou”. Starting in the 1980s, immigrants from Fuzhou, China began to move into the neighborhood, forming a Mandarin and Fuzhounese-speaking enclave centered around East Broadway. This “enclave-within-an-enclave” extends from the Bowery to the East River, with the Manhattan Bridge providing an unescapable and often cacophonous backdrop.

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