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Sound walk to China Town

I just moved in Brooklyn this August and didn't travel over Manhetten yet. Still, the neighborhoods I visited except the Tisch building is China town, mostly for some errands, and I wasn't excited at all about this sound walk.

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Being as a Korean, China town is neither familiar nor exotic. It is filled with sounds and signs that I cannot read or understand, but their culture is pretty close to ours. I've never felt excited to go China town as well as for Korea town.

The walk took me a lot of time to set up. In 2017, I've never thought about navigating somewhere with a map, an actual map with out GPS. This sound walk was recorded in 2009, which means many things were changed since then. Even the first cafe that I should start the walk was closed and waited for rent.

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At the first time, the walk was more close to disability experience. The session you tried to navigate while a blindfold, ear plugs, or wheel chair. Being among loud, busy, live city looking at an image map and listening to the audio? I barely stepped forward. I was lost a couple of times. People on the street looked at me as a strange person.

The sound was so vivid, most of time I couldn't tell the sound is from the audio or the environment. I could understand why the sound walk was available only 10am-4pm Mon Fri. That walk was for daily lives in China town. Every mundane, common scenery looks so different, as historical, mystery, holding secretes inside. It was a really nice way of story telling. I felt I was standing on the historical space among crowds in daily routine.

After I got used to the rhythm of the step of the voice, amazing things started to happen. The voice knew exactly where I am, and every thing he was describing was what I see. When I said turn left, there was a ally, a big red door, and a tunnel. He knew whether I was hesitating, slowing down or crossing the street. Like he said at the beginning, he was a voice in my head and I was his a avatar. I got goose bumps a couple of times.

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 What ironical combination of a temple and a casino.

What ironical combination of a temple and a casino.

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Even though there were a lot of tourist who was at the same place. I felt special. I was being guided a born and raised china town man, and that experience was totally different traveling with a book. Also, I am a big video games lover, especially open-world adventure games. I enjoyed my journey to al the different worlds so far, but I can say this one was so live and vivid out of them.

 The bridge between guilty and innocence.

The bridge between guilty and innocence.

 People are spending time for the death, for their after life.

People are spending time for the death, for their after life.

The sound of Mah-jong. Entering the elderly center in a narrow alley required me a lot of courage.

 The very first antique Häagen-Dazs.

The very first antique Häagen-Dazs.

 The pharmacy for immortality was closed!!!

The pharmacy for immortality was closed!!!

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 I don't buy this.

I don't buy this.

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YOU JIN CHUNG