Monday, November 23, 2009


Chinatown is full of restaurnt supply stores. You don't actually have to own a restaurant or buy in bulk at these places.

It's really shi-shi to buy things from these upscale stores in Manhattan, but in reality a lot of their cookware is not all it's cracked up to be.

At the restaurant supply stores, you're getting restaurant grade equipment which is really study at the cheapest costs.

I love cooking and baking so this is pure heaven for me. The items in these stores, don't have the fancy labels and packaging but they also don't have the fancy prices. HOORAH!

The place I visited today is on 110 Bowery Street. Even though I wasn't buying in bulk, the staff was extremely attentive and kind. Check it out for some holiday shopping!


This restaurant used to be Moonhouse. It got taken over by their chef and now has a new name.

The food is more or less the same since they have the same chef. Some people say that they can taste more Cantonese influence over their Shanghai menu after the transition of the restaurant. I think the changes are quite subtle.

The soup dumplings here still remain one of my favorites. I read Time Out NY about these foo fah new places with their dumplings but my #1 picks remain constant.

I had eaten dinner already when a friend had asked me to join him for dumplings. How could I refuse? I love their dumplings if you can't already tell but my picture.


NEW YORK, NY 10013

Saturday, November 21, 2009


People usually would not think the words "Thanksgiving" and "Chinatown" go together. I beg to differ...

Chinatown is one of the liveliest places in the city during the holidays. Many of the restaurants and shops are closed on Thanksgiving whereas, Chinatown is the real city that never sleeps.

NYC is full of singles, away from their families. Many of them living in small apartments don't have room to cook the traditional Thanksgiving meals. What better alternative than to go to Chinatown for great Chinese food with friends? (and finish with some pumpkin pie ice cream at CICF!)

*Another cool thing to know: If you don't want to cook your own turkey; bring it to a Chinese restaurant a few days beforehand. Many of the places that have the chickens and the ducks hanging in the window, will cook your holiday bird for about 10 bucks. It winds up tasting amazing, with a bit of the Chinatown flava!*


The trials for 9/11's Khalid Sheik Mohmmed are being held across from Columbus Park. This sucks for all New Yorkers, especially Chinatown-ers.

Many locals are worried that the increased security will turn the area into an armed area and drive out businesses and residents.

Chinatown has been through so much with the proximity being so close to the 9/11 site. It doesn't seem sensible to me to have the trial in the area that it devastated. Our community is fighting to bounce back form 9/11 and now the recession

Friday, November 20, 2009


From my commute in from Queens, I have to make this turn off
Delancy onto Allen street. This turn has gotten worse and worse.

This morning I especially hated this turn and hated life, when I got into a minor "accident".

This is a very busy turn. First it went from being two left turning lanes to one. Then they decided to put a bike lane there with picnic tables. It's really the strangest and most dangerous thing ever.

Another thing that I found out today is that the traffic cops alternate their locations. This means that they are (A) often not used to the current location (B) not used to working with the other traffic cops that they are put with.

This morning one traffic cop was directing 2-3 lanes to turn quickly as the opposite street turned to a quick green. Ongoing traffic was coming fast.

I felt really bad that I tapped the car in front of me. I felt even worse that the traffic cop estimated that the "bump" on his car would at most cost $100 but that the guy wanted to file through my insurance company and give both me and himself hell.

After beating myself up over it, I found out that I was already the 2nd accident where the same thing had happened just this morning. I sought solace in that, and the fact that my Daddy still loves me...

I hope the city reconsiders the design of this turn.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


This man plays beautiful music on his erwu at the Grand Street stop in Chinatown. Both the B and the D run here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In this picture:
The new street sign co-naming Cortland Alley, Hon. Thomas Tam Way.

This is only one of 2 streets named after an Asian American in NYC.

Pictures of good friends in the APA community
From Top to Bottom, Left to Right

1. Gloria Lam with Alice Wong

2. Me with Bonnie
Duen (representative from John Liu's Office-Comptroller Elect)

3. Me sporting my beautiful Peony Red dress!

4. The Crash Hunter Group

5. People mingling at Jing Fong


Last week, the Asian American /Asian Research Institute (AAARI) had their gala in Jing Fong Restaurant.

AAARI is a city university-wide resource center on topics and policies that interest and affect the Asian American community through its lecture series, conferences, and workshops.

They did a great workshop series on Chinatown. Check it out:

It was a great evening of celebrating the achievements of amazing people in the APA community. Also a great gathering for friends involved!

For more information on AAARI or to make a donation; please visit;


Apotheke is one of two posh underground bars that I know in Chinatown. (The other one is Milk and Honey.) They have quite the hipster following.

The old Golden Flower sign on Pell Street still hangs. The place looks abandoned.

Inside lies a apothecary decor. The waitresses are dress in speakeasy attire.

The drink menu is pretty cool. I like their "Lychee Three Ways". The drink is made of lychee-infused Vodka, fresh lychees and house-made lychee sour essence. DELISH!

Other drink favs include the Five Points, Saffron Sazerac, and House Absinthe.

When I'm driving, they make me a non alcoholic berry drink. That's yummy too but it's missing that kick.

The drinks here are definitely not cheap. A drink will run you about $15 not including a tip.

Their bartenders like to set drinks on fire at the bar which keeps their customers entertained while they wait.

I'll blog about Milk and Honey another time.... =)

NEW YORK, NY 10013

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Today I passed by the Straw Man. He's the man who has been at the corner of Canal and Mott for many years. He makes beautiful animals and shapes out of straw. Many of us have stopped and watched as he weaves his straw into art. In all of my passings, I've never witnessed a person actually buying anything from him...

Last year, the Chinese newspaper interviewed me, the Straw Man, and others in the community. The theme of the article was "What I hoped for in the new year". I had replied that I hope that my new children's book takes off. I wished for lots of new ice cream flavors and happy things....

Because I can't read Chinese, I thought all the other people in the pictures had similar responses. Until I recently had the article translated I didn't know what the Straw Man's response was...

He said that he was homeless and had sought refugee in a local church. His Mother had also passed that year. Life had been hard on him. His hopes for the new year was that he would sell more of his straw art so he would have a home.

Now his location has changed his location to a slightly off location. He hides a bit behind some scaffolding along Canal Street between Mott and Mulberry.

Let's all wish him a better year this year.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Yanna Luo (Owner of Peony Red) and Christina Seid (CICF) finish an interview with Asian Fusion Magazine

Thursday, November 12, 2009


My Boo has been sick, so I've been buying lots of soup dishes. Yes, I am a very good girlfriend. (BIG PAT ON THE BACK)

Anyway...NY Noodle Town is one of my favorites when it comes to anything with wonton, noodles, or soups.

The lady that runs the place has been there for ages. She has a bit of a reputation of being rude. I feel like if one day she wasn't there, it would ruin it for me. She's part of the NY Noodle Town experience in a funny way.

My recommendations are the Vegtable Dumplings in Soup with Noodles and the Fish Congee. When I'm starving I get the Wonton Noodle Soup with Roast Pork.

This place is an awesome late night spot. They are open till 4 am. Many memories of coming here after partying.

NEW YORK, NY 10013

Love this place!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


It's been sad in Chinatown recently. I've been seeing my neighbors leaving left and right.

Here's some old school pictures from a lil over a year ago. It's the last day Moonhouse Restaurant was opened.

The businesses here in Chinatown are more than just the food and items we sell. Our shops are our homes and our neighbors are our family...

Me and my good friend Jeanie have been slaves to our businesses for many years. Monday evenings have historically been our Girls' Night. Our friends would come to her restaurant next door to CICF. I'd be able to sneak out of my shop for bits of my so called social life.

We'd bond over xiao long bow and rice cakes. (Quite notably some of the best food.) I have many memories of talking about the boys in or out of our lives. We'd celebrate new beginnings and engagements. And soothe broken hearts over ice cream.

Missing Moonhouse!

The AAAC, has been located above Mc Donald's on the Bowery for 33 years. Executive Director Robert Lee has been a very active member our community and it will be sad when he leaves our block.

Their new space will be in an office space in the Asian American For Equality (AAFE) outpost on 111 Norfolk Street. This move will force AAAC to give up their exhibition space.

Chinatown is drastically changing. It seems as if every week, it's a goodbye to another long time neighbor.


Monday, November 09, 2009


Yesterday was the closing day of Sinotique on Mott Street. Sinotique is one of the many shops who have closed within the last few years.

Until recently, the head of Mott Street has been the prime real estate in Chinatown. Now this area is filled with vacant stores.

Most of us Chinatown locals think that this happened for a combination of reasons...

(1) KEY BUSINESSES GO OUT- The restaurant that sat on the corner of Mulberry and Mott occupied a huge space for many years. After their lease was up, they have had a hard time getting a tenant. Rumor has it that they have been very difficult negotiating the rent. When the space first became vacant, I heard that the space was going for 40 G,not including water or taxes.
Other businesses that have also went out are the walk down Vietnamese Restaurant and the Hair Dresser.

(2) CLOSING OF PARK ROW- The closing of Park Row has been terrible for the Chinatown Community. It has made it hard for people to travel into our neighborhood. Bad for businesses.

(3) BAD ECONOMY- Despite low prices for meals and goods in Chinatown, the community has still been hit. People are just not coming into the city. Tourism is also down.

(4) CONSTRUCTION- There is some bad construction that is making it hard for us to walk on our sidewalks.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Jan Lee's Facebook status today was

Jan Lee well, it's official, in less than a week I will be closing Sinotique at the Mott St. location and moving it to DUMBO Brooklyn. a new and different Sinotique will reopen in my Brooklyn location at a later date My former space will be converted into an sales office for a health insurance company. Looking forward to having a single location for a change.

Seeing this, I had to email him. OMG, this is really sad. Times are tough in NYC and Chinatown has been hit especially hard.

Sinotique isn't just about the furniture they sell/rent. Jan Lee's family is one of the oldest in Chinatown. They have owned businesses and have been very active in the community.

Chinatown is changing. Businesses are dying out and my neighbors are moving. =(
*Jan was also part of my NPR segment on the effects of 9-11 on Chinatown*

We will miss Sinotique...


Sunday, November 01, 2009


Yesterday night was all about the fine dining experience. At the end of the meal, they brought out a dessert that looked just like Dan San. (Dan San is a fried dough, coated in honey that they have been selling at Mei Lai Wah for years.)

My date saw me playing with my food. I examined the fancy plated pastry... and then took a bite. OMG it's dan san with a little sprinkled sugar.

Huge portions of dan san are available at Mei Lai Wah for about a dollar. Everything is a bargain in Chinatown. Sometimes I wonder why I venture outside!