Chinatown

A walk with my great-grandfather through the last foreign country in New York City

 
 
 
 

Mott Street is like the spine of a dragon. Its head lies on Canal, at the pagoda-roofed headquarters of a secretive tong society; its back curves down beyond Bayard, past restaurants and trinket salesmen; its forked tail whips through Chatham Square and loops back around the Bowery to reach toward Mott again as two tiny lanes called Pell and Doyers.

 
 
 
 
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Lets Eat Chinese Tonight

Americans have been doing just that since the days of the California gold rush—and we’re still not full

A photograph taken in New York’s Chinatown in 1933 seems to sum up the special place of Chinese restaurants in American culture. The windows of a storefront are hung with Chinese characters, but there is also a large vertical sign, edged in neon, that proudly proclaims CHOP SUEY. REAL CHINESE CUISINE. Although chop suey is no more Chinese than succotash, it is this mix of the exotic and the familiar that has made the Chinese restaurant a ubiquitous national fixture. Read more »