There are many Chinatowns, but New York's Chinatown is the largest in the United States. NYC's Chinatown is also, according to its website, "the site of the largest concentration of Chinese in the western hemisphere." It is bordered by Delancy St. to the north, East Broadway to the east, Broadway to the west, and Chambers St. to the south.
Steamed tiny buns!
Our next stop was directly across the street at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Pam and I were on a quest for good ice cream and the CICF is supposed to have some of the best in town.
I was intruiged by the fact that the list of flavors had things like durian, ginger, green tea, and lychee, but then it had a separate catagory called, "exotic flavors" such as strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. One of the shop's regular flavors was something called, "pandan." Pam and I jokingly referred to it just as "panda." I asked the woman who was serving us what pandan was. She said, "it's a green leaf that people use in Malasia in desserts." Almost two seconds after I asked her, I notice that underneath the flavor name in the display it read, "Pandan: a green leaf used in Malaysian desserts." I my face red?
I ordered a cone of chocolate pandan ice cream, partially out of embarressment, and partially because I wanted to be able to say that I eat pandas. And hey, if you're offered the opportunity to order pandan flavored ice cream, you have to take it, right? I can report that the ice cream was delicious. And for those wondering, panda(n) tastes kind of minty.
After the ice cream, Pam and I further explored the neighborhood. We saw a couple of interesting sights...
This must be where they make "White Diamonds."
A Christmas present for my mother.
The ant show is in town!
A golden Chuck E. Cheese
Everwhere we walked, people would come up to us and secretively try to sell us "designer" handbags. "Gucci! Prada!" They would hiss. One guy just showed us a piece of paper with pictures of purses on it. It made Pam and I wonder why the hush hush? It was as if the people were trying to sell us heroin! Purses must be contraband south of Canal Street.
After walking around for a while, we stopped into the Kam Man market on Canal St. We had a lot of fun looking at all the interesting food and knick knacks the place had for sale. For example:
Preserved duck eggs. Now lead free!
All kinds of tea! These pictured here are "pearls." They had fantastic names like, "Juliet's Kiss," "Lover's Blossom," and, "Gunpowder Green Tea."
Massage paddles...in the kitchen appliance section
I came really close to buying a mug with "lucky cats" all over it, but I chickened out after I saw a sticker on a bowl mentioning lead paint. I'd have better luck with those duck eggs.
Shortly after we left Kam Man, Pam and I left Chinatown. I can't believe I waited this long to visit this exotic and colorful neighborhood. I had a great time and I plan on making many future trips for steamed tiny buns and panda ice cream.