Sidewalk Shopping ~ Chinatown, NYC

Shopping for produce in New York’s Chinatown is as authentic as you’re going to get in terms of an old fashioned market experience.

What I love most about it all is the abundance of colour. From the storefronts painted in reds and yellows, to the paint box display of fresh fruits and vegetables in a variety of textures and shapes.

Amongst the bustle of the touristy Canal, Mott, and Elizabeth Streets offering knick-knacks and bric-a-brac, you’ll find parts of the sidewalks taken over by fresh produce stalls selling Chinese broccoli, bock choy, bags of mangosteens, lychees, and longans still attached to the stem.

While supermarkets exist here too, their windows are decorated with roast ducks hanging upside down; the refrigerators are jammed with delicacies like chicken feet and bamboo shoots; their shelves are well stocked with noodles, and jars of chili radish.

There’s a great sense of community here too; it’s ‘offline’ shopping in the raw.

Above: Delivery bike on Canal Street

Below: Fresh coconuts cost less than half of what I have paid in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Below: Sidewalk menu

Above: Free Press

Above: Fit for a banquet.

Below: Chopped duck.

Below: Artistry.

Below: If I had a garden, I’d love to plant this Asian Pear tree.

Below: Langons alongside lychees.

Above and below: Playing cards and enjoying the music in nearby Columbus Park.

Above: Framed by kites.

Below: Sidewalk shopping.

Below: If we move to LA, I better invest in some driving lessons again…


62 thoughts on “Sidewalk Shopping ~ Chinatown, NYC

  1. Fab’ images, Marina! Love those pineapples – yum!

    When we were in need of an extra suitcase after some seriously successful retail therapy last year, we picked up a bargain in China Town. It’s a different world. 🙂

    • Thanks Syders! The pineapple artist had a quick wrist – he was so cool to watch! Chinatown is great when looking for value for money. It is so different to Sydney’s Chinatown isn’t it? Definitely a must-do experience in NYC! Happy that you loved it and fit in your Big Apple goodies!

    • I agree – pineapples presented like that wouldn’t last long on my kitchen table 🙂 It’s such a great thing in NY to see this side, and all the other sides! It’s a lifetime pursuit to explore it all.

    • Steph! So happy you liked these 🙂 I wish i had more time to take photos but I think that Ali would have told me to walk home 😉 He isn’t a slow walker…! Thank you!

    • Thanks Roger. The NYC Chinatown is stark contrast from Sydney’s… and to me, different from San Francisco’s. NY’s Chinatown is unlike any I have seen… until I visit to Asia, I am sure 🙂

  2. Great photos! You’ve captured the heart of the Chinatown – the people, the colors, and the stark beauty.

    P.S. I’d love to have the knife skills of the man carving the pineapple.

    • Daisy, thanks so much!! I am glad the elements came through – I appreciate your comment 🙂 The pineapple guy was the sweetest. So humble, so unassuming, just doing his work 🙂 That’s what i love most about Chinatown – noone is afraid of doing the work.

  3. Marina your images make me feel I was there, but on trip a few weeks ago I wasn’t there. Thank you for sharing. I love the most your title image, all those buddhas, great shot.

  4. A great little photo story about Chinatown in NYC. I like the way you go close and out again, shoot details of food and people in the neighbourhood. It really feels like a complete story. Very well done.

  5. I was amazed when I was there – back in May – it’s like you suddenly move to a different country! Nice photo tour 😉

  6. I always want a return visit when I look at your photos! Send me some of those cherries please! And driving school….??? Learning to drive in NYC? Yikes. Although I learned in Miami and stalled in a toll booth while learning manual…hmmm…no, still scarier to think about learning to drive in NYC. And love the card playing under umbrellas!

    • I am glad my blog provides some virtual travel – that’s a great compliment. Thank you!The cherries are so good – bought some! I learned how to drive in Brooklyn – better pace than Manhattan!

  7. You’ve captured a great variety of flavors of Chinatown – food and non-food experience! Thanks for the tour and great photos, from the closely detailed to the more distant shots.

    • Thanks Brendan – it’s a must do for sure. Sydney’s Chinatown doesn’t compare… I don’t think San Fran’s does either. It’s always a fun spot to visit… even if you spend some time on Canal street looking at Gucci knockoffs. 🙂

  8. Gosh – how did I miss all these posts? This is a wonderful tour through Chinatown! I love the fresh produce and all the sights and smells – there are so many threads that weave these parts of town together from cities all over the world…it is very cool!

    • Hi Shira! Thanks for taking a look at this post – I love Chinatown too! And it is cool how there is a Chinatown all over. It’s a universal term. I think i have a pork bun left from that trip – might have that for dinner 😉 Lychees for dessert!

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