• Chinatown Fair Closes Its Doors

        Mott Street will never be the same.

        After 30 years, Chinatown Fair officially closed its doors last Sunday afternoon. The news came as a shock to many in the fighting game community when Henry Cen posted an update on his Facebook account last week.

        I remember spending hours down in Times Square, hopping between Playland and Broadway Arcade with OG players like Akuma Hokoru, Derrick Rudder, Valentino Ventura, Devon, and many, many others. I think the salt levels were a lot bigger back then, especially when it came to throws. People used to get beat down for abusing that type of tactic. All day.

        Chinatown Fair definitely holds more memories for me though. The competition level was a lot higher and consistent, but more importantly, it forced everyone to get better (or go home and, well, you know). The arcade also gave birth to some of East Coast's greatest players, including but not limited to Sanford Kelly, Arturo Sanchez, Justin Wong, Micheal "Yipes" Mendoza, Jeron Grayson, Josh Wigfall, John "Flash" Gordon, and many, many more. In short, it sparked an unprecedented wave of talent for years to come.

        Last Friday, dozens of the arcade's longtime players, including members of Empire Arcadia and Team Spooky, gathered together in the bittersweet conclusion of their beloved hotspot. Some feared the absence of CF would dynamically impact the quality of the scene since players would no longer have a central location to regularly hone and maintain their skills.

        Fortunately, all is not lost. According to various reports, plans are underway to relocate CF to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY. Many speculate that the arcade's new destination will be bigger and better than before. My visit to New York has been long overdue, so I am looking forward to seeing what's to come.

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