Down(town) to Chinatown!

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This past weekend, my aunt and I went on the Historic Downtown to Chinatown Tour from Better Adventures. As the name suggests, the tour went from the bottom of Manhattan, near Battery Park, to Chinatown.

I actually explored Chinatown a bit with Kate back in December — pause for short story:

We hit up Vanessa’s Dumplings for lunch. Can I just say that I got pork fried buns and pork chive dumplings for a total of $3.50? Guys, only $3.50 for a fair amount of really good food. Incredible!

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We walked around, getting a bit lost (kind of really lost), and headed to New Kam Man Market, a three-tiered superstore with Asian food products ranging from toys to dishware to herbs and spices, to look around. (I almost bought a funky lunchbox and bamboo steamer… but talked myself out of it).

A couple doors down is this crazy hectic bakery, Taipan Bakery – We had no idea what was going on the entire time and only ordered (after waiting a good 20 mins) after this Australian woman had the guts to put her foot down (for us both). We ended up getting carrot cake and coconut tart.

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But, back to the tour!

I was excited to further this exploration and learn some new things about this interesting neighborhood. More so, I have never really explored the downtown area so this was a perfect opportunity.

A little about the tour – Our guide, Geovanni, was very knowledgeable, personable and got us amazing food at the end of the tour from nearby Chinatown restaurants (as this was a foodie tour). Our group (about 10 people) was an interesting mix – this included two cooky ladies from Jersey, a couple from California on vacation and an emigre from Switzerland! I had a really great time!

Here are some highlights:

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Outside Trinity Church

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The New York Stock Exchange

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Federal Hall National Memorial

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The New York Stock Exchange

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The Freedom Tour down the street from St. Paul’s Chapel

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St. Paul’s Chapel

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The Cemetery behind St. Paul’s Chapel

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St. Paul’s Chapel

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City Hall Park and the New York Municipal Building

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The Courthouse from Law & Order (SVU) (Shout out to Gina!)

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We also ate some kickass food, including roast pork buns, dumplings, and bing.

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The tour also included some fun facts and stories about:

- Alexander Hamilton’s duel with Aaron Burr

- the Five Points

- Irish immigration and discrimination

- the curved street that Chinatown sprung up around

- Community organizations in Chinatown that control everything (a little mob-esque)

Honestly there was more, but I’ve forgotten a lot, but it was entertaining and informative and I learned a lot about these areas of New York that I never knew before so there’s that!

Bonus: Pop Culture Reference of the Day.

One thought on “Down(town) to Chinatown!

  1. Pingback: Ireland: Irish Soda Bread & Lamb Stew « spontaneity or second guesses

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