Lanterns on Mott Street

Light Up Chinatown: How This Festive Lantern Installation Came to Life

The holidays might be over but it's always a good time to support Chinatown.

This season was especially busy for us. Not only did we have an unprecedented number of online orders (thanks to our customers for their support!), we were busy bringing the Light Up Chinatown installation to life.

As the result of several frenzied weeks of planning and the hard work, dedication, and generosity of many, 250 beautiful hand-painted lanterns illuminate Mott Street in Manhattan Chinatown. The brainchild of Patrick Mock, the manager of 46 Mott, the project involved a small yet mighty team: New York City Council District 1, Jenny Lam Low; Pearl River President Joanne Kwong; charitable initiative Send Chinatown Love; chef and entrepreneur Winston Chiu; and our tireless captain, political organization consultant Chung Seto.

Nor would the installation have been possible without the generous donors, especially the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Asian Americans for Equality, Con Ed, and (surprise!) actor Will Smith, who wanted to reward Patrick for his contributions to the community.

A design team was also integral to quickly creating a meaningful and eye-catching installation. Led by our own Joanne Kwong, this group was composed of both efficient organizers and talented artists (Sarula Bao, Angela Lai, Xinmei Liu, LuLu Meng, and Rose Wong) recruited by Pearl River longtime friends Think!Chinatown and the New York Chinese Cultural Center (NYCCC). Special thanks also to the wonderful volunteers including Grayson Chin, Corky Lee, Edward Cheng, Melissa Ip, Kevin Hsi, and James Hsi, and to Lynlia Tso and Yin Kong at Think!Chinatown and Ying Yen and Nico Li at NYCCC for endless coordination over phone, email and text!

Finally many thanks to The New York Times, ABC, Time Out New York, and Next Shark for their coverage of the project.

If you haven’t already seen the lanterns, be sure to head down to Mott Street, feast your eyes on the lights and, while you’re there, your bellies on some tasty food!

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