Thursday, December 11, 2008

TRIP TO PHILLY

I just returned from my trip to Philly (aka Home of the Cheesesteak). What was really cool about my trip was taking the bus from our NYC's Chinatown to Phillly's Chinatown. I got a round trip ticket for $20 bucks! That's the price of a cab ride from Chinatown to the UWS.

I've known about the buses to Philly for a long time now, but never realized how convenient it is. They leave almost every half hour and the trip is oh so smooth.

My good buddy recently moved out there, so I ventured to find out more information. Before this visit, I haven't been to Philly since 4th grade.

Now that I realize that the bus is so affordable and reliable, I will be visiting Philadelphia much more often.

Also note that these buses also go to Ohio, Richmond, and other cities. The location of the bus office is on Division and Market Street.

Sunday, December 07, 2008



Yello

Last night we I had some good food and drinks with lovely friends. These people also happen to be APA advocates from around the city. It was nice to bring them into Chinatown and chit chat about politics in the city.

I don't much alcohol but I do love the food at Yello
. For a bar or even for a restaurant, the food is surprisingly good. I am a huge fan of their chicken wings and Belgium fries. My friends are also lovers of their quesadillas.

In this picture: Andy Woo (John Liu's
Office, Brooklyn APA Advocate), Bonnie Duen (John Liu's Office), Me, Margaret Li (from Assemblywoman Ellen Young's Office, Kendra Lee (Executive Director Of the Greater Chinatown Community Association)

I'm super lucky to have such fabulous friends who are super involved in the community! We all love Chinatown!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Construction Plans in Chatham Square
Jan who has been a long time customer and fan of CICF is also a well known community activist. He has always kept me in the loop of what is going on. So the latest news now is that there are plans demolish Chatham Square and complete redirect traffic flow on almost all the streets coming into the square. Why is this a big deal? Because the city wants to push through plans without getting consent of the people in the neighborhood. Many Chinatown organizations feel that the public hearings on the plans are being held so close to the release of the information and during the Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation times for many people, that there is not possibly enough time to review the data. In Jan's words, "The way the information is being released is almost to keep people out of the loop of what is going on." Construction in Chinatown is usually always terrible unless it is very well planned out. For the businesses as well as for the residents. As is, Chinatown has an overwhelming population with narrow streets. Many of our busiest streets are one lane. Several businesses in lower Manhattan, particularly around Ground Zero constructiuon sites have gone out of business because of prolonged street construction. Many waited for years for LMDC compensation which came too late, or was not enough to sustain them.


The businesses here suffer when it is difficult to receive or complete their deliveries. When the streets are hard to navigate, customers stay away from the Chinatown area all together.

Another problem is that Chinatown has a large elderly population. It is hard for ambulances and emergency vehicles to navigate with ease. These people are our family members, friends, and neighbors. We would like to them to be cared for as soon as possible in the event of an emergency.

During 1999, there was construction done on the water main in which they had to dig up the street. When it is unpleasant to commute to the area because roads are under construction, businesses go out. During this time many businesses had gone under.

Right now we are in midst of postponing construction until the public has been notified about all the details.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chinatown Neighboring Businesses


The restaurant Yee Li on the corner on Bayard and Elizabeth street had a gas fire a couple of weeks ago. The noise was so loud that it woke up everyone in the neighborhood. A good portion of the restaurant was burned out and renovations are currently taking place. This restaurant is owned by the same people who own Hsin Wong mid block.


Today, I went to Hsin Wong for my regular "som bow fan," where you get 3 dishes over rice. The owner insisted on treating me to dinner because I had treated him to ice cream on occasion a few months before. I was very touched by the gesture. Even though one of his restaurants just burned to a crisp, he chose to offer me a free meal.


Chinatown is beautiful in that way. It is a real community that cares about each other. Even though not all of us physically live in the area, the space connects us all.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Best Date Spot In Chinatown!

A couple of weeks ago, Time Out NY called me. They were researching an article and wanted to know my opinion on the best date spots in Chinatown. With the economic slump in NY, guys are looking for new, cool and inexpensive places to take their dates on.

I may have already blogged about this in the past, but I think Chinatown is a fabulous place for a date!You can get a good meal at a restaurant for $5 and up. Also, Chinatown is nice and quiet in the evenings, great for walking and exploring the different streets.

If I had to name my favorite restaurant in Chinatown, it would probably be Hsin Wong which is located across the street from me. I eat there at least 3 times a week and always get a delicious and hearty meal for $5-$6.

Hsin Wong is especially good for non-Chinese guys to take their date to. They can order dishes that is unique to Chinese cuisine. Chicks dig guys who are cultured about food.

HSIN WONG RESTAURANT, 72 Bayard St, NYC, 212-925-6526

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CUPCAKES FOR AAWW

The Asian American Writer's Workshop is having their Literary Awards Reception today and they requested for some of my CICF cakes.

My friend, Ken Chen is the Executive Director of the workshop. Ken has been making efforts to be more involved in the Chinatown community so when he asked for 200 cupcakes, I couldn't turn him down. ( I think it could also be the fact that in his past career, he was a lawyer and convinced me without me knowing?) Just kidding...

In short, I was up all night making pandan cupcakes. For those of you who are unaware of what pandan is, it's a Malaysian leaf used to flavor a lot of desserts. If you ever go to a Malaysian bakery and wonder why all their pastries are green, it is probably because they are pandan flavored. This cupcake I created was inspired by our pandan ice cream that has been a big seller at our shop.

For more details on the Literary Awards Reception, visit http://www.aaww.org/




Sunday, November 09, 2008

CICF CUPCAKES FOR EL MAESTRO

CICF recently donated cupcakes and copies of “Saturdays in Chinatown” to the El Maestro Cultural Center in the South Bronx. They celebrated the renovation of their space with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

My friend, Mabel helped her friends with the renovations. They raised money and renovated in under 10 days! I am glad to see that people are supporting non-profits.

El Maestro was founded by two brothers, Ponce and Pedro. A real grassroots organization, they do not receive any government funding. Their goal is to provide the community with a place for sports (boxing) and education for adults and children.

I hope to continue to connect children in different neighborhoods across the city through children's literature.



Taylor Poarch with a copy of "Saturdays in Chinatown"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

VOTING IN CHINATOWN

Eddie Chiu from Chinatown has been making headlines.  Mr Chiu is in charge of the Lin Association which is a 108 year old standing institution.  As a retired business owner, he has been making it his mission to get the Chinatown community up and voting!  

By encouraging members in the community to vote, he has been getting more attention from politicians.  All the politicians that he had supported this year have won.  Daniel Squadron, Sheldon Silver, and Grace Meng.   Two of three of these politicians are new elects and have defeated their incumbents.  

I'm glad to see people active and passionate about our community.  Chinatown is such a special place but often our issues are overlooked because we are not considered an important voting block.  Politicians help those who can help to get them elected.  I hope in the future more people in our community start to realize the power of voting.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

EDCORA JEWELERS INC

The U.S. economy is tanking. It's depressing reading the newspapers. From stocks to real estate, it all seems a big mess.

Surprisingly enough, gold and precious metals has soared. The jewelry store Edcora Jewelers actually sells those gold bars and coins for investment purposes. I am sure that they are doing a lot better than I have been doing in the stock market!

They also have beautiful pieces of jewelery. What is very unique about this shop is that you can design your own jewelry. Eddie who owns Edcora will help you to create anything that you can imagine...

EDCORA JEWELRY INC, 26A Elizabeth Street, NYC
2120274-8099
Red Egg Restaurant

The other evening I went to at tasting event and I was so happy to see something from Chinatown! Red Egg is a new restaurant that had caught my eye weeks ago. I had been meaning to try it out but work gets oh so hectic.

So I had the chance to try the food and it was GOOOOOD! I know the word "fusion" is out so it would be best described as a "blend" of Chinese, American, and Peruvian cuisines. The owner from the restaurant was surprisingly young for a Chinatown business owner...

So me, being the business geek I am, I wanted to find out more about the restaurant and looked it up on the web. They have gotten a lot of good reviews for a restaurant that hasn't been around for a long time. Nice to also find out that Darren who is the gentlemen that I had met at the event is running the business with his Father.

That is absolutely rocking to see young Chinese American entrepreneurs running businesses in Chinatown! I hope to see more of us in the future.

FYI, they look like they serve some good drinks over there! When work gets stressful, I guess I can head over. =P

Red Egg, 212-966-1123, 202 Centre Street
www.redeggnyc.com

Friday, September 26, 2008



BIRTHDAY CHINATOWN STYLE

Yesterday I was able to celebrate my birthday Chinatown Style!

I started off by getting my haircut at Sunny's new location. (11 Pell Street) This guy has been cutting my hair, as well as a lot of my friends for years. I told him, "Sunny, I feel old!" He was a real sweetie and gave me a new hair do. Felt and looked like a million bucks!

Then my friends threw me a party at Chinatown newest undiscovered bar. Apotheke which is located on 9 Doyers street. This was previously Golden Flower Bar and Karaoke. The old sign still hangs. I have oh so many memories at the old location! I guess it was however time for a change...

Apotheke is very posh inside and not many people know it exists (probably because they haven't hung up the sign yet!). Inside the bartenders dress like back in the old days of speakeasies. I recommend the drink with vodka and pepper in it. The official name of the cocktail at this moment escapes me.

My friends also bought me a cake. I love our CICF ice cream cakes more than anything, but of course, my friends cannot go and buy a cake from my own store! I got this fab cake from Fay Dah Bakery. umm mmm good.

Yes... it was a very happy birthday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

MAGNETIC NORTH

I recently reconnected with this band that I became absolutely addicted to.  Magnetic North is an Asian American hip hop band that has awesome beats, as well as inspirational lyrics.  My favorite songs on their CD are "So Long" and the "Price of Perfection".

Randomly, I stumbled upon their information on Facebook.  I'm not a huge fan of music videos, but I found theirs to be extremely creative.  Definitely check them out.  One of their music videos has given me a new interest in anime. I might actually have to check out Haruto anime on the internet.

Tonight, I actually had the honor of hanging out with Theresa and Derek who make up Magnetic North.  (And the answer is "no", I did not bribe them with free ice cream! )  They are both extremely cool, good looking, and down to earth. 

I ended the night, coming back to my shop with a bunch of their CDs.  Right about when I was about to pop one into our stereo, the kids at the shop mobbed me.  Apparently, everyone knows and loves this group.  

Ah....my kids are hard workers, so I couldn't  help but give them the copies I purchased....  Ehhh...them kids =X  

I hope that a huge record label signs them soon!  They are way too talented to go without something big being sprung upon them.

For more information on them, visit http://www.magnetichiphop.com/

FYI: It was also good to find out that they were both also fans of CICF's ginger and almond cookie ice cream!

Friday, September 12, 2008

AARI TALK ON CHINATOWN BUSINESSES

Winnie Tam who has been a long time friend of mine is giving a talk tonight at
the Asian American/ Asian Institute. Winnie is PhD candidate for UC Davis in Asian American Studies. She is a member of the GCCA's Executive Team. She has been doing pioneering research in Chinatown which has often been a neglected area of research.

Her lecture is titled: "It's So Much Quieter Now":
Post-9/11 Chinatown Small Business

by Winnie Tam Hung
[September 12, 2008]

In this talk, Hung focuses on Chinatown small businesses to analyze the impact of the post-9/11 decline in garment factories and the increase in Fuzhounese migration on ethnic businesses. Based on in-depth interviews with Chinatown small business owners and non-profit organizations, she finds that the events of 9/11 are part of a chain leading to increased luxury development and displacement of the area’s historically working-class residents.

Time: Fridays, 6PM to 8PM

Place: 25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000,
between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan

Free Admission
Light refreshments are served.

Please register at least a week in advance so that we may
anticipate the number of guests to accommodate.

For more information, you can visit www.aari.info

Friday, August 29, 2008


ICE CREAM ARTS

Yesterday was my Ice Cream Arts event at the Children's Museum of the Arts (CMA). I did a demo on how to make homemade ice cream and did a reading of my book Saturdays in Chinatown.   The event was a huge success and everyone was amazed at the turnout.

We made ice cream together in Ziploc bags.  You need milk, sugar, and vanilla in one bag sealed.  Then you put that bag into another larger bag filled with ice and salt.  Then we shake everything together.  The ice freezes the product while the shaking is incorporating air which is the largest ingredient in ice cream.  In a nutshell...its a whole bunch of fun for kids because they like shaking things and making a mess.  In the end they also come out with a finished product that they can eat.

Whew...after all that work the kids deserved a good story to listen to while eating the fruits of their labor.  Good times. =)

Although it was lots of fun; I am glad it's over. Over 130 children came to the event and that can be overwhelming!

For those of you that don't know about the CMA, it's a great museum that lies just on the border of Chinatown and Soho.  It's a great place for kids to do a variety of art projects.  I secretly wanted to stay later so I could paint and make my own princess hat...  Unfortunately when you're an adult it's unacceptable to wear things like that in public unless its Halloween.    =X 
Oh well... Halloween is next month!

For more information, you can visit www.cmany.org

Thursday, August 21, 2008


GEMWORKS

So I was wondering around Chinatown with my buddy Athena trying to find things for AWIB's silent auction....

Then we came across this super cute place on Lafayette street called Gemworks. This shop specializes in crystals and stones. Chinese are big lovers of gems like these which are believed to bring certain good things like luck, love, energy, and tranquility into your life. (I think I need to buy some of these crystals! =) )

Their speciality item are these beautiful crystal trees that sit on an amethyst geode. They are absolutely breathtaking!

What's great about this place is that they have something for everyone's budget. You can get some beautiful for just a few dollars. On the other hand, if you wanted something very expensive and ornate for your home, could spend a small fortune.

I definitely have to go back and find out her recommendation for what kind of crystals I need in my life. Check it out!


GEMWORKS
138 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013
(212) 219-8391


A Week In Review

Looking back in the past week, there was a lot going on in Chinatown!

Last Thursday, The Chinese Planning Council (CPC) on Division Street had their Chinese Cultural Performance to mark the end of summer. The kids were so talented and so adorable! The performances ranged from lion dancing to hip hop. For a summer camp performance, they reallly knew how to entertain an audience!

Then after running back from the CPC performance, I had a radio interview with BBC's Peter Franklin. His radio show is based in NYC but is broadcasted internationally. Peter interviews cool people that he's met during his time in NYC. People that he's interviewed besides me, include Sarah Molton and Scott Stringer. I'm flattered that he took the time out to talk to me about CICF and the Chinatown community. Peter's a real riot and he cracks a lot of jokes. He's very fun and entertaining. You can listen to interviews at http://www.gabbyattic.com/bbc . Keep an hear open for my interview coming up in the next month.

I also went around Chinatown, soliciting items for Asian Women in Business' silent auction. Their gala is coming up and I'm part of their benefit committee. It was a good experience because I got to meet and talk to a lot of the people in our community that I might not have ordinarily have met. I was touched by the generosity of many members in our community. Also had haphazardly stumbled upon a lot of very cool stores!

And to end this blog entry...this week we also have DURIAN ice cream in the house! I know a lot of people were waiting for it to return!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

MEI LAI WAH REOPENS!

I believe that yesterday was the first day of the reopening of the long standing bakery, Mei Lai Wah. For a couple of months now they have been closed. They left many of us wondering if they would ever come back.

Yesterday a woman came into my store and only asked for half a scoop of ice cream. I told her that the smallest size that we offered was one scoop. She said that she would pay for the whole thing but she just couldn't eat anymore. Before coming in for ice cream cone, she had just scarfed down 4 bows from Mei Lai Wah! She was a skinny chick and that is way too many bows for her own good. I guess she was really excited about it reopening!

I haven't yet been inside myself. I'm wondering if it's the same owners. If it's not...it's really just not the same business. The old men who ran the business for many years were really the heart and soul of the business. I always get the langlui (pretty girl) discount. It's something like 15 cents off of my 60 cents pork buns or coffee. Hahaa...those old men are always a riot!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


LUCKY CAKES

CICF is proud to announce that it is now offering cupcakes for delivery within Manhattan and certain areas of Brooklyn. We are kicking off our line with the first of our Asian inspired cupcakes with more to come.

Lucky Cakes...

The color red in both ancient and modern Chinese culture has signified luck. Lucky cakes are inspired by red velvet cake and are topped off with a pink cream cheese frosting.

Got Luck? Well, at least now you have cupcakes. That's lucky and yummy enough.

Great for birthdays, anniversaries, or just for people who like eating cupcakes.

A portion of the profits of this item will be donated to supporting a variety of Asian Non Profit Organizations. For a list, please visit our Community section of the site.

Delivery available in Manhattan and certain areas of Brooklyn. $36 includes a dozen cupcakes, delivery, taxes and tips. Please place your orders 48 hours in advance.


Visit http://chinatownicecreamfactory.com/node/248 for more information.
SINGAPORE CAFE

I really like to eat at Singapore Cafe every now and then. I was always confused about why they called it Singapore Cafe when they served Malaysian food. I just recently figured out that it considers itself a fusion of Singapore, Malay and Chinese cuisines.

Everything is very reasonably priced; just like everything else in Chinatown. I like how the portions here aren't overwhelmingly huge. They aren't quite tapas style, but the smaller portions allow you to try a variety of different things.

The CICF kids just recently had their graduation party there. Their favorites include the chicken satay, honey glazed roast pork, and golden crispy calamari for appetizers. For main courses, they loved their pad thai and singapore chow mine fun.

Check it out one of these nights.
Singapore Cafe: 69 Mott Street (Between Canal & Bayard Streets)
(212)964-3476

Monday, July 28, 2008

WHERE'S THE MILK IN CHINATOWN

Recently someone who had just moved to the neighborhood asked me where it was possible to buy milk because it was nowhere to be found. I decided today to blog about this...

Of course I would know the answer to this question because I need to buy milk for my store because I am after all in the ice cream business. It recently has been a challenge for myself as well.

Because of all of the ridiculous increases in Manhattan along with runaway inflation many local markets have decided not to carry milk and certain types of dairy. I have read that NYC's regulations have gotten quite strict and for many markets it's just not worth it for them to carry regular milk.

It's really no surprise to me when all the big supermarkets are suffering in Manhattan besides Wholefoods. I read a lot of business magazines so I can understand why we are seeing this trend in Chinatown as well.

So to answer the question: Where is it possible to buy milk in Chinatown?

(1) Duane Reade on the Bowery (Btw Bayard and Canal)
(2) Dynasty Supermarket (Btw Hester and Grand)

DOLLAR DUMPLINGS

For those of you who don't know about the $1 dumplings are missing out in life. In the middle of little old Mosco street sits a shop that will sell you 5 dumplings for a dollar. The dumplings are all made on the premises and are hand rolled in front of you.

They also offer a few other yummy things that I love. Sweet and sour soup is a must. Soy drinks are also good to cool off during a hot day.

The dumplings are super yummy and it's a bargain that you can't beat! Try them out!

Dollar Dumplings -Mosco Street (Cross streets: Mott and Mulberry)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fong In Too

This Chinatown business is celebrating its 75th year. Whoa...that is hella long! I thought that the CICF being here for its 30th year was a big deal but that blows us out of the water!

Founded by Eng Bing Sun in June 29th 1933 , orig. located at 43 Mott. They moved to their present location in early 60’s. It's been in the same family since the 1930's.

Fong In Too sells tofu both retail and wholesale. Retail and wholesale:include freshly made tofu, rice cakes, ho fun, rice noodles, soy milk (tofu fah,). All the restaurants I know of in Chinatown get their tofu from this neighborhood establishment.

There are 3 of the original owners sons running it now; David , Joe , Kivin. Joe is an ex NY police officer

David is very an Asian American Advocate. He is extremely active in the Chinatown Community issues. His heart is in the fight to preserve Chinatown small business and culture.

Try the law bak gau. (Taro cake) That's my favorite to make at home in the morning.

Fong In Too, 46 Mott Street; (btw Bayard and Pell Streets)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Rebuilding the Bridge with the Jabbawockeez

Sichuan Earthquake Charity Event

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is proud to be an in-kind sponsor to this great fundraising event. It will be a good time, raising money for a good cause. What better way to spend a Saturday night? The performances will be excellent! My friend and I have already bought our tickets and I encourage you to do the same!

It's good to see all these Asian Not For Profits bond together to do something for efforts to rebuild the Sichuan area after the earthquake. Details are below:

Please join a ground breaking coalition of Asian American performers and not-for-profit organizations as we raise awareness and dollars to help rebuild China's Sichuan region after one the most devastating natural disasters in recent memory. Appearances include Planet B-Boy, Ryan Leslie, Beau Sia, Andrew Choi, Park Jin Young (JYP), Ken Leung (ABC's Lost), Councilman John C. Liu, DJ Cipha Sounds and DJ Delinger. Tickets available here: web: http://www.rebuildingthebridge.com email: nbulalacao@mocanyc.org There's a $10 discount for buying online and seating is limited! 100% of your ticket purchase is tax deductible since it all goes to charity. Mainstream media and people in general are starting to forget that a major earthquake hit China leaving tens of millions of homeless and in need of help for many years to come. So even if people can't attend, we still want them to remember. So besides raising money, we're looking to maintain awareness of the earthquake victims in China.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Yello

Today got together with buddies Kendra and Margaret and headed down to Mulberry Street for a drink.

Margaret, a local New Yorker and familiar with Chinatown was surprised to see a young posh after work crowd in the neighborhood. Often growing up, many of us associate Chinatown as a place to only run our family's errands and have family events.

Yello is a really cute bar that serves yummy drinks. You can find Lychee Martinis as well as whatever beer suits your fancy.

The food here is surprisingly very good for a bar. They have quite an extensive menu; ranging from calamari to chicken wings. All three of us girls are huge fans of their chicken wings. Even my tiny friend Margaret somehow managed to down a round herself!

We're excited to hit up the karaoke that they have downstairs that we recently discovered is free! I can't sing for my life, but it's all in good fun.

Yello-Mulberry Street (Btw Mosco and Bayard Streets)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

July is NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!!!

What cooler month than July?? Literally!! Yes, it is National Ice Cream Month. Celebrate with us by coming in for some new flavors on it's way at the CICF. Also keep your eyes peeled for some of the old favorites making their reappearances (durian, rice, etc).

I think Ronald Reagan definitely was my favorite President of all time. Besides for the fact that he had some killer good looks in his young days as an actor, he established National Ice Cream Month. National Ice Cream Day falls on the 3rd Sunday of July.

President Reagan realized that ice cream was a dessert that is fun and nutritious on top of being absolutely delicious! What a smart man. I think we would've really got along if we'd had a chance to meet.

Ice cream is definitely the #1 food category in my life!

Friday, June 27, 2008

FUZHOUNESE STUDY

My very good friend Winnie is currently doing a research project on the Fuzhonese youth of Chinatown. Winnie is doing some pioneering research. Not much has been written on the Fuzhou population because they are considered a more recent immigrant population.

Though NYC's Chinatown has historically been a Cantonese speaking neighborhood, we have recently seen huge changes in the language and food being served here.

I'll keep you posted on what her findings are in the near future. If you are a Fuzhounese Youth and you would like to participate, please find more information below:

Researcher: Winnie Tam Hung Cultural Studies Graduate Group, University of California, Davis, Cell: 845-234-2078, wintam@ucdavis.edu

Title of Study: Chinatown Rim: Chinese Subjectivities and the Cultural Politics of an Ethnic Space

Protocol #: HC-02081053

ARE YOU FUZHOUNESE?


You are being asked to participate in a study about your experiences growing up in the U.S. and your feelings about your life in the U.S., New York, and Chinatown. Interviews will last on average one (1) hour, but can last as long as necessary and the researcher expects to conduct 50 interviews. All information is voluntary. Participants must be 18-30 years old and legal residents of the U.S.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

GCCA'S NEW Young Adult Leadership Team Kickoff

This Thursday, June 26th from 6:00-8:00, the Greater Chinatown Community Association (GCCA) will launch their new Young Adult Leadership Team (YALT). Whew...that was a mouthful! It's much easier to work with abbreviations when talking about associations that have way too many words!

Recently, my buddy Kendra Lee who is the Executive Director of the GCCA asked if I would chair a committee that helped to bring youth into the Chinatown to patron our businesses and become aware of issues that are going on in our community.
How could I pass up the offer? I LOVE Chinatown!

Our first event will be at Silk Road Mocha which is on 30 Mott Street (btw Mosco and Pell Streets). It will be an evening of FREE food and networking with young adults who are interested in learning about the Chinatown community.

For more information on the GCCA, visit www.gccanyc.org


Special thanks to the Coalition of the Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA) who is our Co-Sponsor.

Committe Members:
Winnie Hung Tam (PHD Candidate UC Davis, Hunter Faculty Member)
Ken Chen (Executive Director of the Asian American Writer's Workshop)
Mabel Cheah (Corocan Group)
Angela Wen (Kyowa Hakko USA)
David Chu (National Urban Fellows)

Monday, June 02, 2008

NEW SHANGHAI KITCHEN

Moonhouse's old location, reopened today as the New Shanghai Kitchen. The chefs from Moonhouse reopened the restaurant as being not only the chefs, but as business owners.

I haven't personally tried the food there yet but I imagine that the food would be quite comparable.

New Shanghai Kitchen is located at 67 Bayard Street.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


REMEMBER THE EGG CAKE LADY?

Remember that Egg Cake Lady on Mosco Street? Well back a couple of years ago, her shop closed on Mosco street.

Her shop was very memorable because she worked it all alone and there used to be lines that would span to Columbus Park. She used to limit people to only 2 bags of egg cakes each. She was also known for closing abruptly although she had a whole line of customers. Story has it that she put all of her children through college selling those $1 bag of cakes.

I haven't heard what the reason for her closing was. Maybe she just didn't need the money anymore?

Well now, in it's place sits a kiosk that sells candy and cold drinks. It's not the egg cake lady, but it's nice to see that the space has reopened.

For those of you who don't know where Mosco Street is; it's that tiny street that runs perpendicular to Mott Street. It's literally half a block long. Most people go a lifetime without ever going down there. It's a really cool street though!
THE NEW FLOWER SHOP

There's a new flower shop on Pell Street. What's news about this shop, is that it took over the location of what was previously May May for many years. Although the shop is very pretty, it'll take some getting used to for me and other locals. For two generations, we have been so used to seeing May May's there. Signs of a changing Chinatown.

The flower shop is very pretty. They also sell indoor, outdoor, and bamboo plants there. The fresh cut flowers are also breathtaking. I bought some lovely flowers the other day to dress up my dining room table. My family loved them!

Located on Pell Street, btw Mott and Bowery (Closer to Mott).
SUNSET CINEMA SERIES

There's going to be a series of films that are going to be put up in Columbus Park. Sunset Cinema Series is going to start Saturday, June 7th at 6:30-8 pm, and continue on each Saturday till the end of the month. The series consists of a series of different Asian American films from the last decade.


It's a spinoff of what Lunar Stages had done in previous years. It's a great event to attend to enjoy the summer in Chinatown. All the movies are free, and they will be accompanied by a variety of performances and free events.

It's great for a family event, a group of friends, or a cheap date! Columbus Park is located on 67 Mulberry Street.

Check out http://www.aaari.info/2008sunsetchinatown.htm for more info!

Friday, May 09, 2008

RICE INCREASES IN PRICE

I really don't know how these businesses in Chinatown survive. Today I bought duck over rice and it was $3.75. Right now rice is at a super high price and they say there's a shortage. The other day I went to Costco, and I noticed that they limited all the shoppers to 3 bags max for their purchase of rice.

The food is really really good in Chinatown. I think the marketing of some of the restaurants here is too old school. I had this conversation with someone and we came to the conclusion that maybe back in certain areas in China, food was valued more than marketing.

Competition in Asia is also fierce. In my opinion the Chinatown businesses should charge what their meals are worth because they are just cheating themselves. Often the customers just see the food as being low quality because of their low prices.

I would easily pay $10-$15 for that meal.
THE SKADDEN ARPS SIGNING

I thought I was pretty prepared for the signing at Skadden, but I was actually much more nervous there than I was at Macy's. I felt slightly out of my element.

The kids were great of course; but I guess I wasn't used to being in the presence of so many prestigious lawyers who were there to hear me speak. I'm great around kids and demoing food but when it comes to speaking in front of these super lawyers, I get the jitters in my knees. Oh well...did my best.

Overall it went very well. Glad that big companies like Skadden are not only recognizing but celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. I'm glad that I could introduce them and their children to my book and introduce them to Chinatown. Everyone knows how I love C-Town!

One of the lawyers there was actually studying and practicing speaking, reading, and writing Chinese in Chinatown. She was just as excited as the kids about my new book! Glad I could make their days.

I really love being in the food industry. Food is a very comfortable medium to introduce someone to your culture because everyone has to eat. And everyone eats ice cream! In the end, whether you're a big shot lawyer or a young child, ice cream can always bring a smile to your face.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


SATURDAY AT MACY'S

So today is Sunday and I'm still pooped from Saturday. Some days, I have to pinch myself that I'm alive. I really love my job and what I do varies from one day to the next. Very exciting...

So yesterday was the second time where I was invited to do a demonstration in Macy's at Herald Square. For me it's one of the most nerve racking experiences. Not only are you demonstrating in front of a crowd of 50 people, but they also have 3 plasma televisions in the store showing your demo.


The last time I was invited, my Father and I demonstrated how to make red bean ice cream. Yesterday since we were short handed at the shop, I had to go alone and demo our ice cream sheet cake.

Everything turned out really well. The audience was very shy when I asked for participants, not many people wanted to come up. I thought that meant that my demo was a flop.

To my surprise, after my demo was over, I was mobbed by people who wanted to talk to me in person. The crowd even wanted me all to autograph their Macy's recipes.

One woman was so cute. She gave me a hug and she told me that I was special and to marry wealthy. hahaha...words of wisdom, I guess.

So I went back to my shop after the Macy's demo and my kids (my workers) told me that I just missed Tyra Banks. I heard she came in with sunglasses and that she's as beautiful in person as she is on TV. Tyra got 3 scoops of ice cream! Whoa baby!

Friday, May 02, 2008

ICE CREAM FOR APA MONTH

CICF is involved with so many events this APA month! It seems so surreal that we've been invited to so many great events.

May 1st-Our ice cream is served at Gracie Mansion for the Mayor's APA Celebration. Our ice cream was a hit!

May 3rd-Christina Seid does an ice cream sheet cake demonstration at Macy's Herald's Square.

May 8th-Book signing for Saturdays in Chinatown at Skadden Arps.

May 10th-CICF will be participating in the CAPA Festival.

May12th-Christina Seid gives a talk at Hunter College on second generation businesses.

May 13th-Our ice cream is being served at the Rapture Gala which will be held at the IAC Headquarters, newly designed by
Gehry. The Gala will celebrate Gehry's new building. Noteworthy participants in the project include Frank
Gehry, Diane von Furstenberg, Feist, Barry Diller and Robert Wilson.
Me and my sister Kathy will be there at the after party if you'd like to join us!

May17th-CICF will partcipate in the
Macy's APA Children's Day. (Not confirmed)

May 20-Book signing for Saturdays in Chinatown at
Hamilton Madison

Thursday, May 01, 2008


GRACIE MANSION

Today is May 1st which marks the beginning of Asian Pacific Awareness (APA) Month. CICF has the honor having its ice cream served at the Mayor's reception tonight at Gracie Mansion. Our ice cream is that good! =)

I haven't been blogging as much as I should because CICF will be participating in a whole bunch of great things for APA Month. I'll post the information up on this blog shortly.

Although great things have been happening, I have also been pretty sad the last day. Yesterday was the last day for my dear neighbors who own Moonhouse restaurant. The closing of their restaurant made me feel like I was losing a member of my family. As silly as it seems, it was a very emotional day for me. I told Jeanie to hold me and tell me that it wasn't over. And yes...I cried. Couldn't help it. =(

Off to eat ice cream at the Mayors! Will blog back later!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

THE TRAVEL CHANNEL

Today, I got to be part of the Travel Channel's piece on the different Chinatowns across the U.S. The Chinatowns that were visited include Chinatowns in San Fran, Philadelphia, Portland, & Boston.

I think that I've visited most of the other Chinatown and I don't think any of them compare to our NY Chinatown.

I'll keep you posted on when the segment will air. I still of course think that our Chinatown is #1!

MAMA CAFE

There's this relatively new cafe that's across the street from Columbus Park on Mulberry Street. I've actually been meaning to go for awhile and today I finally had the chance to step out.

It's a really cute little shop with an eclectic mix of Eastern and Western style snacks. Kinda like a mix of Komba's and Cosi mixed together. They offer salads, wraps, burger, sandwiches and juices.

I like that it's not too busy in there. It's a relaxing place if you need to step out and grab a cup of Joe. It's a quiet atmosphere to study or to chat with good friends.

Mama Cafe
46 Mulberry St, New York 10013 (Btwn Mosco & Bayard St)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

MOONHOUSE ANNOUNCES THAT IT IS CLOSING

My longtime neighbor of 10 years has publicly announced that it is closing at the end of this month. I'm pretty devastated about it because of love their food and love my neighbors.

The neighboring businesses are more than just the services and goods they provide. The businesses in our community are about the people. The people who run the businesses are at their shops for so many hours, that their stores become their home. The neighboring businesses become your family.

I see the closing of Moonhouse as more than just the mere inconvenience of having to go to another restaurant for my siu long bow. It symbolizes a changing Chinatown where the little businesses can no longer survive. I wonder what the future holds for our community.

Its a bittersweet ending for Moonhouse. Although it's the end of their business run, it is also the end of the long hours of toil. Mrs. Sun will take some time off before finding another job and her daughter has already secured her own career. Because of a family's efforts to come together to run their business, they are able to advance. So in some ways, I guess this story does have a happy ending.

For all you long time customers, don't forget to get your last meal there before it closes. And for you guys haven't tried it yet, try to get your taste now while you can.

Come eat at Moonhouse- 67 Bayard Street

Thursday, April 03, 2008

THE CHINATOWN YMCA'S SUMMER CAMPS

Summer is right around the corner. Many parents need to figure out how to keep their kids occupied since they'll be out of school for for a few months.

The Chinatown
YMCAs are offering their summer camps.

The newly
renovated Chinatown YMCA Houston Street Center is offering a sports and a swim camp for children ages 5-12. Session 1: June 30-July 11; Session 2: July 14-25; Session 3: July 28th-August 8th; Session 4: August 11th-August 22nd.

They will be holding an Open House on Saturday 3/15, Saturday 4/12, Saturday 5/17, from 10am-4pm; as well as every Friday during camp.

For more information on the summer camp
athe Chinatown YMCA Houston Street Center, you can call Jill Dowd at 212-912-2460. It is located at 273 Bowery. Their web address is www.ymcanyc.org/chinatown.


The other location for the
Chinatown YMCA is located at their Hester Street Center.
Their summer camp is offered to children between the ages of 4-11 years of age. Their specialities include computer, tutoring, dance, karate, and basketball. Session 1: June 30-July 11; Session 2: July 14-25; Session 3: July 28-August 8; Session 4: August 11-August 22 and Post Camp: August 25-29.


They will be holding their Open House Saturday 3/15, Saturday 4/12, Saturday 5/17 from 11am-2pm. Their Summer Bazaar will be July 20
th, and Summer Festival will be August 13th; and their Parents Night will be August 15th.


For more information on the
Chinatown YMCA Hester Street Center, you can contact Nilka Yau at 212-334-3945. It is located at 100 Hester Street. For more information, you can also visit the web at www.ymcanyc.org/chinatown.
THE EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE

Today, I was reading through the Grand Street News; which is a new free publication. They had an article about the art classes that the Educational Alliance offered to adults.

Although CICF has supported the Educational Alliance in the past with some of its fundraisers, I've always thought of it only as a senior center or a preschool facility. It's great to know that there still are places that are providing affordable art classes.

They offer art classes ranging from wielding and pottery and everything in between. You can even take a Chinese ink painting class for just $105. Now that's what I call a bargain in this crazy city!

I, myself will definitely be looking to take some classes there!

The Educational Alliance is located at 197 East Broadway (at Jefferson) which is across the street from Seward Park.

For more information, you can visit www.edalliance.org or call 212-780-2300.

Monday, March 31, 2008

SUNNY HAIR SALON CLOSING

Today was a dreary rainy day. Business was slow, so it gave me the opportunity to sneak out for a much needed hair cut.

As I sat down in the barber chair, Sunny told me that he had some bad news for me. He told me he could no longer afford the rent they were paying for their space and that he would be closing.

He'll be work as a hairdresser at Fashion Hair Design at 11 Mott Street. Sunny feels that it's a mixed blessing. Sunny won't have all the hassles of running a business. He'll be free to take vacation time and spend time with his children.

It's so hard for business owners in Chinatown; especially with this economy. People just aren't spending and the businesses are suffering.

Friday, March 14, 2008

69 REOPENS!!!

Hip hip hoorah!! I knew that they would reopen! I passed by yesterday night to find that all of the dollars that I have put up on the wall have been taken down. They however, do have a brand new interior.

After hitting up the clubs tonight, I will definitely have to drop by with friends for a late night snack! I hope they let us put some of our new dollar bills up on the wall. Hey...it's tradition!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

69 RESTAURANT CLOSES?

The restaurant
69 has been closed for about a week with a sign in the window that says "closed for renovations".

People in the community are saying that the long standing establishment is done for good. Most are saying that the landlord is asking for too much and will not renew their lease. Others are saying that the owners are tired of the business.

I will be heartbroken if the rumors are true. Love that place. I've had so many good memories of going there late at night with friends. While waiting for meals, we'd decorate our dollar bills and hang them up on their wall.

Chinatown is changing so quickly. First
Mei Mei, then Danny Ng's and now this? The long standing businesses have always been the heart of our community and I see them fading out ever so quickly.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Intercollegiate Women's Conference


On March 29th at 10am, I will be at Baruch giving a talk about how running a small business like CICF has given me opportunities to make change within my community.

My talk is titled "Say My Name: Making a Mark in This World as a Woman".

There is no doubt that balancing work life with your personal life is always a juggling act. I hope to give some helpful insights on how to balance work life with social life.

Help celebrate Women's History Month by attending. You can find more information at www.intercollegiatewomensconference.info

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

DOLLAR STORES

If Chinatown didn't have enough great deals, there are also our Dollar Stores. I'm actually not a fan of $1 stores because all it tends to be is junk. The Dollar Stores in Chinatown are way better and you can get a lot of really excellent deals.

Since today was raining, I took a walk to clear my head and did a good deal of shopping in the store that sits on Mulberry street (cross streets Bayard and Canal).

Today I bought a whole stack of really cool earrings from Claire's that were being sold there for 1/6 of the price. The store was also surprisingly well organized. Me and my sister love to venture there to get bargains.

Check it out next time you're in town!

Monday, February 25, 2008

C-Listing

C-Listing is a website that acts as a travel guide. It was formerly part of Focus NY and was founded by Tony Liu and Jenny Kin. Although they have branched out into reviewing other neighborhoods, they started off with just focusing on the Chinatown community.

By either viewing their website or their paper guide edition of their directory, you can navigate Chinatown with ease. Although some businesses do pay for advertising on their site and directory, many are listed free.

I think C-Listing is a great tool to help people inside or outside of our community navigate Chinatown a little easier.

Check out C-Listing at www.c-listing.com/index.asp

Friday, February 22, 2008


KOMBA RESTAURANT

Every now and then I like going to Komba. It's good if you sorta want something a little different than your normal Chinatown food.

You can get things like spaghetti and meat sauce. What's funny is that for some reason, these "American/Italian" dishes still taste a hint Chinese. It's still yummy though.

Komba also offers a variety of HK snacks and drinks. My afternoon favorites are the french toast with condensed milk and HK milk tea.

The colorful atmosphere makes you feel like you're in Hong Kong. The customers too, reflect that. It's cool to sit in there and people watch a bit because their customers tend to dress very HK and hip.


Komba Restaurant is located on 23 Pell Street.