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Video Tour of Chinatown


adrober
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Dear eGullet,

How are you? I need some help!

Every now and then I'll do a video tour of a place for my website. A couple of months ago, you helped me plot out my video tour of the Lower East Side and that was incredibly helpful. Tomorrow I'm hitting Chinatown and I need help!

Honestly, I've never really "done" Chinatown. Where should I start? Specific streets and locations and vendors and things to try would be much appreciated. And of course I'll link to the finished product here for all your enjoyment.

Thanks so much,

Adrober

The Amateur Gourmet

www.amateurgourmet.com

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Here are some threads that may give you ideas:

Think Quick! Chinatown

Chinatown: Restaurants & Shops, Walking Tour

Some specific recommendations:

Get permission to videotape inside the gigantic food store between Mott & Elizabeth between Hester and Grand (I keep forgetting its name).

Videotape on East Broadway between Chatham Square and Pike. That's where crowds go to buy vegetables (several stores), and there are street vendors of duck heads and wings and so forth near the Manhattan Bridge overpass. End up at the Hong Kong Supermarket, where you should have a look at what they're selling outside and at the fish/meat and supermarket sections. They sell a wide variety of Chinese and other East and Southeast Asian products.

Videotape the fish markets and other establishments on Grand St. between the Bowery and Christie St., another big shopping area. There's also a vendor of tofu and sugar syrup near the northwest corner of Grand and Christie. I don't know how much English she speaks, but it would be nice to interview someone like that (any possibility of an interpreter?).

Visit the Thai store on Mosco St. near Mulberry and interview the proprietor.

Or there's Udon's Thai-Indonesian and the Vietnamese store on the west side of Mulberry just a bit north of Bayard St. Something to emphasize the increasing presence of Southeast Asians (both Chinese and non-Chinese) in Chinatown.

Go to really longstanding places like Mei Lai Wah or Wo Hop and get some stories from the owners, staff, or customers. Another possibility is a place like New York Noodle Town, which is not nearly so old but has been successful for quite some time, catering to both Chinese and non-Chinese people.

Go to Aji-Ichiban, the popular Japanese candy store on Mott St.

Stop in at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Ask them which flavors are their best sellers; I'd be curious to know the answer.

Go to a dim sum eating hall like Jing Fong or Harmony Palace.

You have to visit a bubble tea place; they are so popular. My favorite is Tea & Tea on Mott just south of Bayard, but there are many.

Visit the internet cafe somewhat further south on Mott. In a short time, it's become a popular hangout.

I'm sure others will have more suggestions for you.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Malaysian Jerky store on Elizabeth. Veggie stands on the street. Go to Fay Da bakery and film the gorgeous colors on display in the baked goods section. Film some of the "dai pai dong" (street hawkers) places that sell chicken legs for 2 bucks and fried noodles. Go into a Chinese herbal medicine shop.

On an unrelated food note, check out the bling bling on Canal - the jewlery stores are the best I've seen Stateside. (Heaven help my future spouse...) Huge difference between Chinese jewlers and non-Chinese jewlers. The styles and designs are unique. I don't know if they'll let you film it, though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Pan, Yes we did. You can watch it here---make sure to turn down your speakers, though, it's a little loud. Also, you'll need QuickTime to view it. (I didn't post it up, originally, because I don't feel like we were as gastronomically adventurous as we should have been...) Anyway, thanks everyone for your help!

The Amateur Gourmet

www.amateurgourmet.com

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