Wednesday, October 31, 2007


This morning, I watched a whole trail of Chinese kids in their costumes walk across the Bowery to their elementary school. I felt like I didn't even need to venture to the village to see the wide array of superheroes and super scary characters.

It's so cute to see all the little kids (and the not so little kids) in their Halloween best. In NYC's Chinatown, kids can't go hopping house to house; ringing doorbells to trick or treat. Instead, ghouls, witches, Carebears and all come into the local shops screaming "trick or treat?" Shop merchants happily give candy or pennies.

Wishing everyone a very safe and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

MOCA-The Chinatown Film Project

The Museum of the Chinese in the Americas (MOCA) is collecting clips of the different Chinatown's across the world for it's film project.

You don't have to be a professional film maker to enter. They are collecting things in all formats; from camera phone videos to Super 8mm films.

The goal of this project is to collect clips that show the diversity of the Chinatown all over the world.

For more information visit

A Changing Pell Street

The old signs that once hung over the businesses of Pell street are slowly disappearing...

New restaurants are moving onto Pell. It saddened me to see that MayMay's gates are now closed. Mei Sun which is also a business that has lasted decades also appears to be under renovations.

Delight Restaurant now gleams in the place where Danny's Ng's Restaurant stood for many years. My favorite dish at Danny's restaurant was the lobster with the burnt cheese (something not very typical and not on the menu). It was their kinda off the menu secret dish that they offered.

Pell and Doyers streets were once the heart of Chinatown when it was first established. My father used to tell me stories about how when he was growing up, Chinatown was two blocks long.

The last of the the old standing businesses are dying off and it feels as a chapter in our history is now ending.


Friday, October 12, 2007


I finally had the chance to go to Elizabeth Center. Growing up, it used to be one of my favorite places to go!

It's definitely a big hang out place for children, teenagers, and Animae buffs. Elizabeth Center (aka EC) is composed of small shops that sell things like Hello Kitty items, origami supplies as well as Animae tapes and figures.

There were many reasons EC was one of my favorite places growing up. For starters, all of my friends in the C Town area hung out there. It was the "cool" place to hang out and meet up with your friends. Secondly, it was the place that I went to purchase my inventory to sell to my classmates in the burbs...

I grew up in Little Neck, NY and Asian items were always very in. The problem was that they were very hard to get unless your parents made a trip to Flushing or Chinatown. Back in those days, Flushing wasn't as developed as it is now, so the best place to buy Hello Kitty or Animae items definitely was Chinatown.

I used to buy things from Elizabeth Center and go back to my classmates and sell the items in school. Since my Dad put me to work at a young age, I made weekly trips to Chinatown. I had access to inventory that I could sell that was hard for everyone else to get.

Memories of an entrepreneurial childhood! =) Good times!

(Elizabeth Center is located on Elizabeth street btw. Bayard and Canal.)

In Chinatown, they are offering free Cantonese classes at MS 131 Sun Yat Sen School (100 Hester Street).

The schedule is as follows:

(1) Conversational Cantonese (no Chinese writing)- Every Saturday 12:30-1:30.

(2) Beginning/Introduction to Cantonese-Every Saturday 1:30-2:30 and Wednesdays 6:30 to 8:30.

(3) Intermediate Cantonese-Every Saturday 2:45-4pm and Mondays 7pm-8:30pm.

$5 donations are suggested. They plan on offering Toisan classes in the future as well.

Can't go wrong with free language classes.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


The bakeries in Chinatown are amazing. They offer such a wide selection of drinks, pastries (some sweet and some savory), and fresh breads.

I sometimes feel that because the prices of these goods are so cheap, that they are taken for granted. The food creations in Chinatown are just as time consuming and intricate to make.

Bakery owners wake up at the crack of dawn to bake their own breads and get the day started with their pastry making. These businesses often rely on high volume since their profit margin is so low.

I often start my mornings by going to the bakery to get a cup of light coffee and a pork bun (cha siu bow). I wind up spending around a buck and half. That's extremely cheap for anywhere in NYC or anywhere else in this country.

Favorites for savory items: Roast pork buns, ham and eggs sandwiches, hot dog buns.

Favorites for sweet items: Mooncakes, egg tarts, macaroons, sesame jelly, fresh baked raisin bread.