Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Top 5 List of Things I Like to Buy When I'm in Chinatown:

1) Dan Tot - Egg Tarts
2) Gao Zi - dumplings, a.k.a. potstickers
3) Zong - steamed Chinese dumpling made from sticky rice and wrapped bamboo leaves
4) Baby bok choy
5) Lai Cha - Hong Kong tea with milk

What are your favorites?

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Transportation to Chinatown


From Manhattan’s east side, take the 6 train to Canal Street station and the 4 or 5 train to Brooklyn Bridge. From Manhattan’s west side, take the B or the D train to Grand Street station. From Queens, take the Z train to Canal Street. From Brooklyn, the D, B, N, Q, R, J, M, and 6 trains all stop at the Grand Street or Canal Street stations.


The M-15 bus runs south on 2nd Avenue to Chatham Square. The M-102 and M-101 run south on Lexington Avenue to Bowery Street to Chatham Square. The M-6 bus runs south on Broadway to Canal Street.


From Long Island, take the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to Manhattan Bridge to Canal Street. From New Jersey, take the Holland Tunnel to Canal Street.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Love Barbeque Pork Buns?

A.K.A. Cha Siu Bao, these white, puffy, steamed delights are a classic dim sum favorite for many people.


1/3 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 pack dry yeast
2 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cup cake flour
4 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. shortening
1 1/4 cup low fat milk
16 pieces white wax paper two inches square


6 oz. Chinese BBQ pork, diced
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. water
1/2 tbsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tbsp. thin soy sauce
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. cornstarch
4 tbsp. cold water (for thickening)


Mix together the warm water, 1/2 tbsp. sugar and yeast in an 8 oz. measuring cup. Let stand until it rises to the 8 oz. level (about 20 minutes). Sift flour, cake flour, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add shortening, yeast mixture and milk. Knead mixture for five minutes to form dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set dough in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise for three hours. Heat wok, add oil and stir-fry pork for two minutes. Add two tablespoons water, salt, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and hoisin sauce. Bring it to a boil. Prepare thickening by mixing the cornstarch and four tablespoons cold water. Stir into the mixture and cook for one minute. Let cool before using. After three hours, when the dough has risen, shape into rolls about two inches in diameter. Cut each roll into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Shape each piece into a shallow bowl shape. Put one tablespoon filling in the center, close and twist dough to form a bun. Put the bun on a two-inch square of white paper (prevents the bun from becoming soggy while steaming).

Place eight buns in a pie pan and allow them to set and rest for 15 minutes in a warm place. Steam for 25 minutes.

Makes 16 servings.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Get Your Halloween Spirit ON by Trying the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory's Pumpkin Ice Cream!

One visit to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and you'll see that it's not hard to believe that the Chinese are indeed the inventors of ice cream. The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory has been around for almost three decades and is often referred to as an "unofficial landmark of Chinatown". Locals and tourists alike rave exotic flavors such as lychee, red bean and green tea ice cream. Its accolades include the Zagat Award of Distincition and The Best Ice Cream in NYC by Citysearch, along with many others.

What to Try: the Thanksgiving cakes at this shop have been a local tradition for many Chinese families as well as other New Yorkers.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Places to Visit in Chinatown

CHATHAM SQUARE (off Bowery and Worth Street), also known as Kim Lau Square is the site of the Kim Lau Memorial Arch found in the middle of the square. It was erected in 1962 in memory of the Chinese Americans who died during WWII. East of the square on Division Street is Confucius Plaza, where a statue of the philosopher stands.
FIRST SHEARITH ISRAEL CEMETARY is just south of Chatham Square. It is the oldest cemetery and artifact in New York City, dating back to 1683.
FUJIANESE EAST BROADWAY is the heart of the new Fujianese community. In this three-block area around the Manhattan Bridge there are Fujianese rice-noodle shops, herbal medicine shops, fresh markets and hair salons.
DOYERS STREET is a picturesque narrow elbow-shaped street just north of Chatham Square. It has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows.
MOTT STREET is where visitors can truly feel the hustle and bustle of Chinatown. A plethora of banners and signs with Chinese writing, some of Chinatown’s most popular restaurants and shops, and the rhythms of Mandarin and Cantonese dialects fill this narrow street. The oldest street in Chinatown inhabited by the Chinese, it is also the site of the Chinese Community Center and the Eastern States Buddhist Temple of America. The street is also home to 32 Mott Street (where the oldest shop in Chinatown used to stand – established in 1891), and 41 Mott Street (the only building that remains with a wooden pagoda roof).
FIVE POINTS (at the intersection of Mosco, Worth and Baxter Streets), it was named for the intersection of the five streets that converged at the south end of what is now Columbus Park. It is was also the site of the city’s first tenements built to accommodate immigrants from Germany and Ireland.
MUSEUM OF CHINESE IN THE AMERICAS offers special exhibitions on the history of the Chinese in the U.S. Exhibits feature personal stories, photographs, mementos, and poetry.
COLUMBUS PARK, situated just half a block south of the museum, is Chinatown’s major park. Created by Jacob Riis, a social reformer in the late 1890s, the public space is used by groups practicing tai chi, mahjong players, children and elderly men and their pet birds. On some weekends fortunetellers can be found here as well.
PELL STREET is nicknamed “Haircut Street” because of a multitude of barber and beauty shops found here. The headquarters of the Hip Sing Business Association is located on this street and a Buddhist Temple is just a stone’s throw away. This temple is mainly for visitors; worshipping Chinese opt for more secluded and quieter temples.
EDWARD MOONEY HOUSE is the oldest residence in New York and is found on at the corner of Bowery and Pell Street. Built in 1785 by Edward Mooney, an amateur butcher, today it houses the Summit Mortgage Bank.
CHURCH OF THE TRANSFIGURATION was erected in 1801 by the English Lutheran Church and sold to the Roman Catholic Church of the Transfiguration in 1853. It served as a place for new immigrants to become adjusted to their new lives and today offers services in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


The People of Chinatown

Chinatown is a surprisingly diverse neighborhood. Since the 1800’s the area today called Chinatown has been home to the highest number of immigrants in New York, representing a variety of ethnic groups. In the mid-1800’s, the Irish, Germans, and freed slaves resided here and by the late 1880’s and into early 1900’s the next wave of immigrants brought Eastern European Jews, Chinese, and Italians. Today, the majority of Chinatown's inhabitants are from the Guangdong, Toisan and Fujian Providences in China as well as Hong Kong. The Cantonese community today is well established in this area whereas the Fujianese people, who come from Fujian Province on the southern coast of mainland China, are considered the “new immigrants”. The neighborhood is also home to Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Burmese, Vietnamese, Filipinos and West Africans, among others.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Chinatown New York City

The Chinese first arrived in the US in the early 1800s. Many of these new immigrants worked during the gold rush in mining, manufacturing, and building railroads. The Chinese in the U.S., were largely self-supporting, with a growing internal structure of governing associations and businesses that provided jobs, economic aid, social services and protection. Life became more difficult with the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882-1943), limiting the growth of Chinatown.

Chinatown has been growing steadily since the elimination of the immigration quota in 1968. Today Chinatown is home to hundreds of garment factories that have an annual payroll bill of over $200 million, a jewelry district that rakes in approximately a $100 million in gold and diamond sales per year, over 200 restaurants that attract thousands of tourists, and 27 banks, by far the highest bank-per-capita ratio in the city.