There have been a few flattering write-ups of New York City's Chinatown Fair in recent years, but there's a great new photo set of "the last arcade in Chinatown" at Scouting NY, which gives viewers a tour of the location's machines (a mix of modern and classic cabinets) and atmosphere. 

The photos are accompanied by comments that really give you a feel of the place: "Like a storybook magic store that’s larger inside than appears possible from the street, the arcade seems to stretch farther back than it should – and then takes a left hand turn to go even deeper into the bowels of Chinatown."

My favorite bit is the story explaining the random photos of farm animals you'll find in the old arcade, which Scouting NY traces back to that strange line on the arcade's marquee: "WORLD FAMO S DANCING & TIC-TAC-TOE":

"Since the 1950s, you could watch a chicken dance at Chinatown Fair for a few coins. Except, it wasn’t exactly dancing. Rather, it was hopping to avoid the electric jolts that were sent into the grate it stood on. Later, the chicken was placed in a tic-tac-toe machine of similar design, in which jolts caused the chicken to correctly select boxes on a tic-tac-toe board.

Chinatown Fair went through dozens of chickens over the decades until 1998, when a sympathetic poultry lover convinced owner Mr. Samuel to give up the game once and for all. ... Pictures were later sent of Lily the chicken in her new home to Mr. Samuel, who hung them over his booth."

It's a very sad story for the chickens that weren't as lucky as Lily, but at least there was a happy ending for one of them! You can check out a few photos of the arcade and chickens after the break:

[Via @giantroboteric]