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.
Below: Fresh coconuts cost less than half of what I have paid in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Below: Chopped duck.
Below: Langons alongside lychees.
Below: Sidewalk shopping.