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Get to know Chinatown

Despite communities in Brooklyn and Queens surpassing its size, Manhattan’s Chinatown remains the city’s first. Like the borders of most NYC neighborhoods, Chinatown is likewise challenging to entirely map out. Still, you’ll know you’re in the neighborhood when you’re in it: the trip down Mott Street and across Canal from adjacent Little Italy into the heart of Chinatown can feel transportive. Similar to its boundaries, the exact dates of Chinatown’s beginnings are tricky to pin down. Regardless, this Lower Manhattan locale continues to thrive. There’s history found around these lively lanes, including the Georgian Gothic Church of the Transfiguration, the winding Doyers Street, and the Kimlau Memorial Arch in Chatham Square — formerly an open-air market. For residents, Chinatown offers a chance to live in the heart of a dynamic area, with the Financial District, Lower East Side, SoHo, and Tribeca all at their doorstep.

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Chinatown Commerce & Culture

Chinatown boasts a convergence of cuisines that’s far from monolithic. It’s a regular orbit for foodies from up the block or halfway around the globe. Decades-old neighborhood mainstays balance out the more avant-garde alternatives, rooftop lounges, mixology bars, and basement speakeasies. And, of course, there are the riches of Little Italy right next door. Chinatown’s reputation as a shopping district precedes it; like the area’s dining scene, it’s a magnet for people from all over the city and the world. Spend an afternoon exploring the sidewalks and storefronts, and you’ll discover innumerable stellar, family-owned independent businesses. You’ll probably walk away with everything you set out looking for, plus a few exciting purchases you weren’t expecting to make.