The second time I went to New York, I was able to explore a lot.
One day I headed with my mom to Chinatown. I have heard about the incredible shopping opportunities you can find in Canal Street. The rumors were true. The mentioned street is a shopper’s paradise. Tons of stores offer jewelry, bags, clothes, shoes and every imaginable fashion related item. Street owners compete fiercely for clients and hundreds of people walk around try to find good bargains. I must admit that I liked the place a lot.
In the other hand, I refused to leave this famous Chinatown area without finding a more authentic Asian flavor. Because non-stop, wild shopping in the streets of New York is not necessarily consider the most Chinese experience in the world (or it is?). I took a look at my map and discovered that Chinatown extends beyond the Canal artery. Ok, it was time to explore!!!
By walking one block north or south the famous street, you are able to enter a different world. A world where some people don’t even speak English. I am not exaggerating. I asked several questions (about prices) and was not able to communicate. Menus exclusively in Chinese were everywhere.
Then, we encountered the markets were everything from snails to dry squid, from strange mushrooms to vegetables with unusual forms are sold. I mean you can smell the market stalls from a mile away. The dried seafood perfumed the air with a pungent and salty aroma. Fresh bread was being baked.
Hordes of goods where waiting to be sold.
Of course, you don’t have an Asian market if you don’t have fresh fish and seafood.
Things got more interesting when we found the stores full of neatly arrange remedies for all sort of ailments. I tried to read some of the labels but they were on Chinese.
They also had fresh ingredients to cure your pains and/or maladies. Dried reptile is what you may need.
But let me ask you, what is the real star in Chinatown? Without doubt, the food. While walking around I was able to take a look at multiple street carts and restaurants. Finally, I decided to enter a bakery where the pastries looked like the bomb. My hunch led me in the correct direction. The pastries were fantastic. Specially, the Portuguese style custards. I bought like ten to go. The place also offered hot food at dirt cheap prices. I had to try the string bean chicken.
After that day, we went to more times to Chinatown. We just loved the atmosphere, the cheap prices and, well ok, the shopping.