It has been awhile since I have been to a Chinatown. I usually go to an Asian grocery store located in a mall or shopping center with other Asian stores. These shopping centers have been built for more recent immigrants from Asia. However, the historical location for Chinese culture outside of Asia would be the Chinatowns of the world.
Current day Chinatown has both modern and traditional architecture. I particularly liked the lampshades on the street lamps. The pagoda lampshade adds to the character of New York Chinatown.
Chatham Square in Chinatown is the location of a statue of 林則徐 (Lin Ze Xu). He was a 清朝 (Qing Chao; Qing Dynasty) official who began a campaign against opium. At the time, the British began importing opium into China. Lin Zexu dealt with the illegal transport of the drug. He also arrested drug users and confiscated opium accessories.
Yummy Noodle was a great place for a meal. It’s a bit hidden – the entrance is in the alleyway, not the street. From the street, there’s a window to the kitchen. There’s a lot of choices of rice and noodles. Something that was special were the rice casseroles. Rice and a side are cooked in the same clay pot. This isn’t the same as clay pot soup. It is rice with a veggies or meat cooked together. The top of the rice ends up with some of the juices from the side, so it is really tasty. The lo mein was good too.
There are many locations of Joe’s Shanghai Restaurant. The one in Chinatown seems really popular. The food there is good. The specialty is the soup dumpling. It’s definitely something to order ahead of time before ordering the rest of the meal. There’s an art to eating a soup dumpling, so make sure you’re prepared. I thought all the dishes were well-prepared. But definitely go for the soup dumplings!