A wet, gray, cold day that the weatherman says will only get worse. I have booked a Free tours by Foot walking food tour of Chinatown. Hoping its going to be more indoor eating than walking at the moment!
I arrive early at the tour meeting point, and as its on the corner of mulberry street I head down to little Italy for a cappuchino and tiramisu, and get out of the rain for half an hour. Unfortunately it was a bad coffee and overpriced, little Italy has become a caricature of what it thinks italy is.... Hoping to enjoy the boston version better!
I met the Chinese food tour group at the designated point - we are a smaller group than usual, I think the weather has scared some people away. The group is a mixture of visiting Americans, an Australian family, and me! Our guide Melinda gives a breakdown of the history of Chinatown, explaining that the Chinese exclusion act forced the Chinese into enclaves so they could create their own businesses and have a sense of community as they were excluded from working or assimilating into American society. Today New York has the highest population of Chinese outside of china, and Chinatown is a much safer place to visit. We are all there for the food, and we have been warned it will be cheap and abundant!
My $7 budget was more than enough to cover all our stops - firstly to a potsticker shop with housemade pork and chive dumplings (5 for$1). The next place became famous when Anthony bourdain visited xian famous foods and raved about the cumin spiced lamb bun. As xian in china is at the start of the Silk Road, it has ben exposed to many middle eastern food influences, and the food really was spicy and flavoursome. Next stop was for a steamed pork bun!
The group took shelter out of the wind and rain at a Buddhist temple, an unexpected oasis of calm. Then onto a bubble tea shop (I passed - not my thing) then the finale - a Chinese bakery specialising in egg tarts and sesame balls - I got one of each for a $1 breakfast. The tour was great, it was nice to meet some fellow travellers and find out more about this interesting area.
I was going to the MoMA tonight as it is tight ass Friday - but the queue went for 3 blocks - in the wind and the rain. I'm frozen to the core and will be going when Jane comes to visit soon, so decide to call it a night and get out of this weather.