Home Business News Aging and Alone in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Cont’d

Aging and Alone in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Cont’d

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One of the most popular videos we featured this summer was a 10-minute documentary by Mantai Chow profiling an 80-year-old woman named King-Sim Ng. Ng’s husband died in 1985 and she has been living alone in Manhattan’s Chinatown for 15 years. Here’s a snapshot of her life, as seen by Mantai:

“This is just so sad and disturbing,” says reader JT. Another one, Ben, also got emotional over Ng’s story:

I think a lot of people can relate to the woman in the video, especially people coming from immigrant families. I almost cried watching this video because Ng, like my mother, also worked in the garment industry and her husband, my father, had also passed away. My mother is in a different living situation, but I can imagine the hardship this woman must have gone through as an immigrant and now alone living in Chinatown.

Do you live alone in your old age and want to share your feelings about it—positive, negative, or somewhere in between? Do you enjoy your independence or wish you still lived with loved ones? Please send us a note at hello@theatlantic.com.

At the end of Mantai’s film, Ng disappears after being hit by a car, leaving the audience in angst. One reader pleaded in the comments section, “Do you have an update on her?? I would like to know whether she lived or not.” Mantai replied:

I got in touch with Ng finally in June after the film is done. She is back in her apartment safe and sound. She seems to be fine but her legs are still a bit weak. [Her friend] Tay visits Ng in her apartment almost every day now to give her food and stuff. Her children also are helping out! I hope things will get better for her.

A few days ago, after I got a hold of Mantai, he went to see Ng at her apartment and filmed a short update for her fans:

Such a sweet lady! Thanks to Mantai for the followup and happy ending.

Back when the documentary first aired, one reader created a commenting account (ChinatownGirl) just to share this remarkable coincidence:

I came across on the street the lady who “disappeared” in the video moments after she was hit by the car. So here’s what really happened:

On a drizzly night, Feb 4 around 10pm, I was walking down Mulberry St. to the subway. I saw a little old lady on the curb, next to her shopping cart. There was a big Italian guy on the phone with 911/ambulance dispatch. Apparently he had swiped her with his car and she had fallen.

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