Exterior of Pearl River Mart on Canal Street in the 1980s

Feet in Two Worlds Podcast: Saving Pearl River Mart, A Personal History of NYC’s Legendary Chinese Department Store

Michelle Chen, the daughter of Pearl River owners Mr. and Mrs. Chen, relates the history of the store, from its opening in 1971 in Chinatown, to its move to fashionable SoHo, to its much grieved closing in 2016, and finally to its reopening under the leadership of daughter-in-law Joanne just six months later and the opening of a second store in Chelsea Market the following year.

With commentary from longtime employee Wilkie Wong, famed photographer and historian Corky Lee, and Mr. and Mrs. Chen themselves, Michelle discusses, how the store brought China closer to Chinatown and Chinatown closer to the rest of America, all against the backdrop of evolving China-U.S. relations and the evolution of Chinatown itself.

Listen to the podcast.

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