Apparently, Hollywood Thinks All Chinese Restaurants Look Like This
Ever watched a movie set in New York City that had a scene in a Chinese restaurant? Most of us have, and chances are it looked something like this:
Lots of dragons, paper lanterns, intricate woodwork, red wallpaper: The quintessential Chinese restaurant experience. The only problem? Those restaurants don’t exist. At least not in New York City.
That’s according to Nick Carr, a New York movie location scout who’s tired of directors demanding that he show them some “really over-the-top Chinese decor” for them to use while filming in Manhattan. Carr doesn’t dispute that there’s a ton of Chinese restaurants in New York City, but none of them look like what the directors are envisioning when they tell Carr to “be on the lookout for dragons. Golden dragons would be awesome.” Instead, the average Chinese eatery in Manhattan looks something like this:
This makes a certain amount of sense; the abundance of Chinese restaurants in the area means that individual businesses focus on elevating the quality of their food to attract customers, rather than playing into stereotypes of ”orientalism on steroids” for revenue. Thanks to Hollywood’s refusal to see Chinese restaurants as anything but dragons and red wallpaper, however, “orientalism on steroids” is all we get to see.
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