The Bridge Between Worlds– Pearl River Mart

By Bonnie Chan

Faced with the overwhelming riot of color­ful objects presented by Pearl River Mart during a first visit, one hardly knows where to begin. Nowhere else is the term “em­barrassment of riches” so fitting but in this mas­sive 30,000-square-foot store, where shelves seems to be stacked with nearly every Asian or Asian-themed knick-knack imaginable.

On the main floor, giant intricate papier-mâché lion heads and a red-and-golden cloth dragon for the Chinese New Year are suspended from above. Below them, a large variety of nov­elty items, clothing, and stationery are arranged in organized chaos on tables and along shelves. Items that would particularly attract the sensi­bility of the hip, ironic Urban-Outfitters-loving crowd are displayed near the front of the store: humorous soaps claim to be “better than your boyfriend,” tongue-in-cheek tin banks announce that you’re “saving up for plastic surgery!”, while popular recyclable shopping bags blare with col­orful, modern designs. The same floor also has a snack shop and a raised tea bar, where customers can select from over 200 varieties of loose teas during a relaxing reprieve from shopping.

Practical household items, such as kitchen­ware and porcelain vases, can be found on the basement level, a convenience for locals who regard Pearl River Mart as a one-stop place for their everyday needs. The second floor, the new­est addition to the store, contains furniture and decorations, any of which would make unique additions to the home. The beautiful selection includes vintage-looking wooden trunks, room dividers, terracotta statues, and stunningly painted tables and chairs.

The large quarters and the striking sheet metal waterfall on the stair level down to the basement are merely some of the new elements that mark this latest and most contemporary version of Pearl River Mart over the past thirty-nine years. According to manager Ching Yeh Chen, Pearl River Mart was first established in 1971 as a tiny store on 22 Catherine Street by her husband Ming Yi Chen and a group of overseas Chinese. United States, at President Nixon’s direction, had just lifted its 20-year trade embargo against China, making Pearl River Mart (then known as Chinese Native Products) the first store in the entire nation to begin openly selling Chinese goods. According to Mrs. Chen, the store was a byproduct of two desires: one, to provide Chi­nese immigrants with a familiar place where they could purchase authentic goods (items such as tea, mandarin jackets, and Guandong soy sauce); and two, to build a bridge between the nations by displaying pieces of Chinese identity and, in doing so, hopefully demystify the then-foreign culture to Americans.

Today, a customer base that was almost en­tirely made up of Chinese immigrants has largely been replaced by curious Americans and tour­ists from all over the world hunting for quirky finds. Listed as a must-visit destination in tourist guides, there is no question that Pearl River Mart has more than succeeded in its goal of bridging China to America.

For those of you who want to visit Pearl River Mart during a special day, the store will be hold­ing a lively event around Feb. 21st in honor of Chinese New Year. Accompanied by energetic drumming, the accomplished lion dance troupe Wen Guan will dance through all three levels of the store and onto the sidewalk — don’t miss this traditionally traffic-stopping performance! For time and more specific details, please check the website at www.pearlriver.com.

(ADVERTISING)

Recommended For You

About the Author: Rick Lin

734 Comments

  1. I have been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i’m happy to convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to do not forget this web site and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  2. Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  3. Thanks so much for giving everyone an extremely special chance to read from this web site. It’s always very gr?eat and as well , stuffed with a good time for me personally and my office peers to visit your blog minimum thrice in one week to read the latest guidance you will have. And definitely, I am also at all times fascinated concerning the special secrets you serve. Selected two points in this posting are rather the very best I have had.

  4. Also that you will find a lot of reproductions and ripoffs amongst on-line shoes stores, seasoned Internet users extensively verify the stores they will plan to seek out jeremy scott adidas provides, go through thoughts, critique the actual privileges utilised through the merchants, at the same time as in the summary identify trustworthy firms.

  5. retailer, you are able to contact the possible obtain, maintain the theory, try it on somebody, and after that evaluate if you would like to acquire it you aren’t, when you purchase that, you get this swiftly. You don’t require to wait till your brand-new jeremy scott adidas flip up to your entrance. You receive all of them right away, in case you purchase these men and women. These are the characteristics of normal shoes or boots stores. And several other men and women, who locate out about net sellers, even now carry on and obtain his / her footwear or boots at normal retailers, as being a results of these kinds of a lot of benefits. They’re probably the principal types. Individuals adore to purchase on-line, simply because related with probably not

  6. Coming from my observation, shopping for electronic devices online may be easily expensive, however there are some how-to’s that you can use to acquire the best bargains. There are usually ways to discover discount offers that could make one to come across the best electronic devices products at the cheapest prices. Great blog post.

Comments are closed.