After years of winding my way through the streets of lower Manhattan, I think I’ve finally figured out Chinatown. A little overwhelming and often confusing, you always know you’re in New York. A few blocks in any direction and you’re in Little Italy, Tribeca or the Lower East Side. I’d always been curious about the “other” Chinatown – the one they keep in Flushing, where Jennifer 8 Lee said the “real” Chinese restaurants were. I had no good reason for not making it out there until now so when my teacher, Steven Shaw planned an excursion for his current food blogging class, I had to sign up. After all, he’d written the book. This weekend we met up at the French Culinary Institute on a gray day to make our way through cast iron Soho to Spring street where a 6 would get us to the 7 to Flushing. When we came up from the station, it was clear we were not in Manhattan anymore.
Posts tagged ‘Chinatown’
I didn’t realize what a hard winter we were having until it got warmer this week and everything became SO much easier. I was in a neighborhood shop the other day when someone asked what I’d been up to. My mind drew a complete blank – I couldn’t remember what I’d been up to because I felt like I’d just woken up. We’ve been so storm tossed the past couple of months that it felt like winter was having us. It’s been weeks of face down, boots on and scurrying from one place to another. All that changed overnight – which it always does though I always forget.
New York City’s Chinatown offers everything you could possibly want while seeming completely inaccessible at the same time. That’s why I really wanted to take advantage of the market tour and Filipino cooking class offered by a member of my blogging group, Annette Tomei. Annette is a chef, writer and teacher at the International Culinary Center. Her blog, Wander, Eat and Tell, chronicling her travels and food experiences is always a push out the door, especially when she turns her attention to nearby neighborhoods I can explore with new eyes. One of her trips was to the Philippines to visit her brother-in-law Benjie’s family. While she was there, she spent time in a Filipino kitchen learning from four elderly women who shared their recipes and cooking knowledge in exchange for a promise that she teach it to others in her own country.
To that end, Annette planned today’s class. I met the group at the ICC and we walked over to Chinatown to pick up the final ingredients (and do some snacking you can read about here). The group was made up of Annette; Steven, our writing teacher; Hayley, another ICC instructor; Benjie and his friends, Luisa and Raqui. Food markets in Chinatown can be overwhelming so it was great to work our way through with a sense of purpose and Annette prepped guide. Looking the pictures now, it all seems so vivid. Before today I never felt like I could find the same spot twice, now I can’t wait to go back.