More neighbourhood exploration - starting from a different point in Chinatown (the more authentic part) I walked through blocks and blocks of Chinese businesses and apartment blocks. It is very obvious this is the cheap part of town, nothing very beautiful or even functional about it. I then moved into the lower east side. This area started it's life as tenement slum buildings, overcrowded, unsafe, ugly, and the area still is pretty oppressive. However, in some pockets you go from ugly to trendy in a street block, and the mix changes to edgy designers, art galleries, a real Barista coffee shop (praise the coffee gods), kosher Jewish delis and very cool bars and cafes. I was going to have a pastrami sandwich at kaz's deli but I could not pay $15 for a sandwich that would have fed a family! The portion control is just crazy. There was a huge film crew taking up a couple of streets filming a new younger "sex and the city" tv show. Another day I saw the production crew for will smiths latest film. The budget the film industry has here is amazing, the trailers are hauled in by semi, wills movie had a fully equipped airconditioned gym onsite!
I had a great lunch - chicken and farrow soup with a salad of mushrooms asparagus and poached egg! I had to go to the American post office to get a box to send some stuff back to Australia - trying to travel light. Any time you are dealing with "city workers" you never know what you're in for, I have been shredded for ignorance, and then been helped above and beyond. My advice for packing the box - do not overstuff, like the postal worker had overstuffed his belly into his trousers (his example not mine)!
A quiet night organising laundry, packing and what I still had to see and do before leaving new York!