Chinatown, NYC

It’s a staple of many major cities.  It’s a tourist magnet.  A landmark recognizable by it’s overcrowded and clausterphobic intensity.  It’s colorful, sometimes ostentatiously decorated.  It’s tacky and brilliant at the same time.  My first one was in Los Angeles.  There’s one in San Francisco.  Heck there’s even one in London!  It’s Chinatown.

Chinatown, NYC

New York City’s Chinatown lying on the lower eastern portion of Manhattan is accessible via mass transit or the Manhattan Bridge which merges onto Canal Street, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare.

Sign to the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown, NYC

View of the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown, NYC

View of Canal Street and Bowery in Chinatown from the tip of Man

Just as popcorn is a must have when going to the movies, dim sum is a must do when visiting Chinatown.  A ritual that should be enjoyed not only for it’s taste sensations, but also for it’s hustle and bustle vibe, a characteristic not unfamiliar to the city, dim sum are small portioned dishes, kind of like tapas or appetizers, served as main dishes.  They can be ordered off the menu in Chinese restaurants, but the best ones are the eateries that have little Asian woman pushing around carts while shouting out, in Cantonese or Mandarin, names of the dishes, mainly dumplings, that they are serving.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak Chinese.  Just wave them over to your sometimes-shared table.  Once they lift the cover off the first dish, you will automatically hand over your order card for her to stamp.  You will then proceed to ask her what’s under the other cover, and the other one, and that one, and that one too.  Dim sum is an event to be enjoyed in the company of friends and family, not alone.

Jing Fong Restaurant in Chinatown, NYC

One of my favorite dim sum places is Jing Fong’s on 20 Elizabeth Street, south of Canal Street.  The wait some days can be over 30 minutes, but on this rainy day, there was no waiting.

After satiating a dim sum craving with shrimp, pork, chicken, and jasmine tea, it’s time for some shopping and sightseeing.

Chinatown, NYCThis store is suffering from a power cuteage.

Scarves for sale, Chinatown, NYCBright and vibrant scarves in a variety of colors.  Tres chic.

I LOVE NY bags for sale, Chinatown, NYCYour search for that I HEART NY bag ends here.

Most will walk the crowded streets of Canal, but for the impatient and short of temper, like yours truly, the smaller winding side streets are a better alternative.  One can still find great bargains for those typical touristy souvenirs, but without the aggravation of weaving out and around the brightly colored, sidewalk-hoarding, awestruck tourist family.

Bayard at Elizabeth Street in Chinatown, NYC

Bayard at Elizabeth Street in Chinatown, NYC

Elizabeth and Bayard Street Sign, Chinatown, NYC

Mott Street, Chinatown, NYC

Ducks for display, Chinatown, NYC
Apologies to my vegetarian friends, but boy do I miss duck!

Umbrella hanging from street sign, Chinatown, NYC

Pell Street, Chinatown, NYCI wonder if this hanging umbrella is anything like shoes flung over power lines.

Pell Street, Chinatown, NYC

Pell Street, Chinatown, NYC

Alot of barber shops around here.  Go down Pell (above) and make a right on Catherine and you will reach what I like to call “Barbershop Row”.

Good Fortune Gifts, Inc., Chinatown, NYCFor you young at heart, stop by Good Fortune Gifts on 32 Mott Street.

Good Fortune Gifts, Inc., Chinatown, NYCDo you feel like a kid in a candy store here?  You’re going to Comic-Con aren’t you?

Good Fortune Gifts, Inc., Chinatown, NYCYIKES!

Golden Carriage Bakery on Centre Street, Chinatown, NYCFrom Broadway, head east on Canal and make a right on Centre street and you will reach Golden Carriage bakery.  You can get some great bbq pork buns here for under $2.  I also  picked up a bag of mini muffins that tasted like pound cake from here for under $5.  They were excellent!

Street artist, Chinatown, NYCGet your name printed by a street artist.  I see a Taylor in the background.  I should’ve picked that up for my nephew…DOH!

Hop Lee Restaurant, Chinatown, NYCThis restaurant on Mott Street was highly recommended by my friend and her mother.  Will definitely have to check this place out one of these days.

Ping Seafood Restaurant, Chinatown, NYCI just want to try this place out because I like the name of the restaurant.

So after a few hours, your feet are swollen, your stomach is growling, and your mouth is dry, what do you do?  You do another ritual…the Starbucks.  Sure you hate it, but after a long and exhausting day of shopping and sightseeing, Corporate America never tasted so good.

Starbucks, Chinatown, NYC

Chinatown, NYCWhy stand when there’s so much to do in NYC?  I’m up for another adventure in Manhattan.  Or maybe…outside.


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