East 22nd Street takes a glimpse into the lives of two people on a small back street in fast-changing urban China. After months in the city, construction worker Li Xiaobing decides to phone his wife back home in their little village in another province. The call doesn't turn out as he imagines it will. The other character is a new teacher just hired at the elementary school he graduated from. Teacher Fang Zhimin's first day in the classroom includes an unexpected lesson.