Chinatown is the beating heart of Grand Street – its grandest bazaar and marketplace, and also its most colourful and unexpected stretch. Here’s where most Chinese immigrants in the last century have made their first port of call, upon arriving in the small island.
Chinatown is also the most multi-sensory of all the tribal lands here. It isn’t just the colour, it’s the sounds – of thousands of Chinese speaking in a dozen dialects, Cantonese, Mandarin, Shanghainese and so on – as well as the smells of the mind-boggling variety of foodstuff available for sale here. One could spend all day just cruising the butchers and the grocers and the fishmongers here, fixing one’s eyes on unusual produce.
Chinatown has grown ever larger over the years, as New York’s Chinese community continues to expand with immigration. Unlike its neighbour, Little Italy, it continues to be an authentic enclave – residential, commercial, cultural. It also features in the world’s mind as THE quintessential Chinatown.