Well I’m back with another New York neighborhood video tour. Today I’m going to show you yet another fascinating New York neighborhood, Chinatown, which stands proud as a small city within The City. So what makes Chinatown so special?  Let’s find out.

Chinatown is located on the East Side of Lower Manhattan, more or less between SoHo, the Lower East Side and the Financial District.  It’s constantly growing, over taking other neighborhoods and changing, but as of now it is roughly bordered by Broome Street to the North, Broadway to the West, Worth Street and East Broadway to the South, and Essex Street to the East.

Click above to watch this video: Video Tour of Chinatown, New York.(5:02)

Chatham Square:
What better place to start our tour of Chinatown than in Chatham Square.  Once a large open air market in the early 1800’s, it became a center for tattoo parlors, flophouses, and saloons in the mid 1800’s, but today has turned into a major intersection in Chinatown.   You’ll find the Kimlau Memorial Arch dedicated to Chinese Americans in the name of freedom and democracy.

Chinatown’s History and Landmarks:
On Mott Street, just a few blocks away from Chatam Square, is where in 1858 the Cantonese businessman, Ah Ken, became the first Chinese to immigrate to Chinatown.  He eventually opened a successful cigar shop and from that point on, a steady stream of Chinese started settling in the area.

When the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was enacted the Chinese population in this small neighborhood exploded.  Today Chinatown’s population is estimated around 100,000.

The MoCA:
You may have heard of New York’s famous museum, the MoMA, but while you’re in Chinatown, be sure to visit the MoCA, the Museum of Chinese in America.  At the museum, you’ll learn more about the history and culture of Chinese America.

Columbus Park:
Columbus Park is the largest park in Chinatown and it is a meeting place for locals. If you’re a morning person, wander around Columbus Park and you’ll get to see locals gathering for Tai Chi. While passing by during the afternoon, you’ll find fortune tellers and people playing table games. Moreover, many festivals and outdoor events are organized there every summer.

Mahayana Buddhist Temple:
A visit to Chinatown wouldn’t be complete if you don’t go to The Mahayana Buddhist temple. Inside you’ll find the largest Statue of Buddha rests there seated on a lotus flower. Don’t miss it, public services are held on weekends!

If you’re planning a trip to New York and want to stay close to Chinatown, be sure to consider renting a vacation rental in the Financial District, a furnished apartment in SoHo, or even a roommate share in the Lower East Side.  We have furnished apartments here in Chinatown, plus thousands of accommodations located throughout the New York area including  everything from studios to spacious lofts to  stately New York townhouses.

A great example is this one bedroom Chinatown accommodation (NY-14156)

We also have this cool 1 bedroom loft vacation rental in Chinatown right on Canal Street (NY-12282)

You can also consider this family oriented 2-bedroom apartment right by the M’Finda Kalunga Garden (NY-15309)

Edward Mooney Townhouse:
Speaking of townhouses, did you know that the oldest townhouse in Manhattan is found in Chinatown?  It’s located at the corner of Bowery and Pell St. Built in 1785 it’s been a tavern, a store, a hotel and today it is a bank.

Shopping scene:
So we’ve looked at some of the rich history and culture of Chinatown.  Now it’s time to get down to shopping.  Chinatown remains one of the best areas in New York City to find deals on jewelry, purses, bags, hats, tee shirts… the list goes on.  So sharpen your bargaining skills and head over to Canal Street for some true Chinatown shopping.  Chances are, you won’t leave empty handed.

And beyond the designer knock-offs, you’ll also find Asian styled products.  Many boutiques throughout Chinatown offer authentic clothes at affordable prices.   In addition, you’ll find art and antique stores that offer typical furniture from China.

Restaurants and Nightlife:
One of the great things about renting a furnished apartment during your trip to New York is the fact that you’ll have a fully equipped kitchen.  So if you bring along a few Chinese recipes and visit Chinatown’s thriving markets that feature fresh fruit, seafood, meat and other Asian specialty food products you be able to cook up your own Chinese dinner.  It will enhance your New York experience and it will save you some money as well.

If you’re craving Chinese food but don’t feel up to attempting to cook it yourself, you’re in luck.  Chinatown is also well known for its numerous Chinese restaurants.  A few good choices are:

Joe’s Shanghai (9 Pell St.)
New York Noodle Town (28 ½ Bowery)
Dim Sum Go Go (5 East Broadway)
Golden Unicorn (18 East Broadway)

Chinatown also has an emerging nightlife scene.  A couple of hotspots are:

the Big Six Bar and Lounge (97 Bowery)
Yello (32 Mulberry)

I hope you’ve enjoyed our tour of Chinatown.  Of course, there’s a lot more to see and do here.  If I’ve missed any of you’re favorite Chinatown secrets, be sure to share them by leaving a comment below.

If you’re planning a trip to New York, do yourself a favor, skip the boring hotel and rent a furnished apartment through New York Habitat. Hopefully this video has given you an introduction to New York City’s Chinatown and you will consider joining us in an apartment in Chinatown soon.

Be sure to check out our other neighborhood videos to learn more about New York City’s amazing neighborhoods.

Greenwich Village Video
SoHo Video