Wedged in between Little Italy and the Civic Center district of the city, Manhattan’s Chinatown is not just a destination—it’s an experience. But then again, it’s not just an experience; it’s a foodie mecca, it’s a cultural institution, and, it’s the place to go for dirt cheap produce.
When you’re in the thick of Chinatown (say, along Mott or Hester Streets), it’s hard to believe you’re still in New York. The atmosphere changes: No more suits of Midtown. No more trendy boutiques of SoHo. And definitely no Starbucks on every corner (save for the one on Canal and Centre Street that is crowded 24/7).
Instead, there’s a chaotic pace like nowhere else in the city (not even FiDi), there’s counterfeit sellers on every corner, there’s the smell of noodles and steamed buns and dumplings in the air. And then there’s the piles of produce stacked up on sidewalk stalls. The fish shops. The tiny shoe repair men sitting in tiny quarters. And the tourists. Boy, are there tourists! And why wouldn’t there be? This place is amazing.
And yeah, ok. It can smell. In the summer NYC can turn into a rat-infested trash heap. And the stench only amplifies in Chinatown. But that doesn’t stop me from visiting whenever I’m in New York. And it certainly doesn’t stop the tourists from exploring the small streets and alleyways.
In his photos, Favre first travels along Doyers Street. This is the location to take your tourist friends for an impressive foodie tour—it’s the quaint home street of Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Chinese Tuxedo and Apotheke.
In the series, other sections of New York City are captured that really highlight Favre’s talent for cityscapes. But it’s the Chinatown pics I love more than anything because they show the funky pastel colors and unique architecture of a neighborhood most visitors explore but never truly take in.
Written by Nazir Dabiri; Photography © Ludwig Favre.
Taste all that Manhattan’s Chinatown has to offer on a 3-hour gourmet walking tour. This tour includes all tastings and a local guide, with vegetarian options available.