Monday, February 25, 2008


Got your walking shoes on? First stop... Chinatown.
Jean and Nhi live in Virginia and were visiting NYC for the first time since they were kids. Even though I might now be considered an out-of-towner, it was my pleasure to show them around town.Unlike years past, it is now perfectly safe to watch the Chinese New Year parade. You no longer risk your clothes catching fire or going deaf from the constant explosions of several tons of fireworks.
Fireworks, traditionally tossed from rooftops and windows onto those below, are now outlawed. Really! There wasn't a firework in sight. The mini explosives have been replaced by poppers which quietly spew colorful confetti into the air.
After watching the parade for a while, we headed across Chintatown to meet up with my friend Chitsou and have dim sum. Born in China, Chitsou is my local dim sum expert.

Dim sum is served for breakfast and lunch in numerous Chinatown restaurants. Golden Unicorn, a three-floor mega-restaurant, is my current favorite. It is known for serving a huge assortment of steamed buns, noodle dishes, braised veggies and authentically-prepared seafood. The offerings, served from rolling carts, change every hour or so. The servers shout out what they have on their carts in Chinese.
Nhi, who is Vietnamese, and Jean, who is Korean, quickly mastered the “peek and point” technique to get the tiny dishes of dumplings and other fare they desired. When Chitsou showed up, however, there was rapid fire conversations, which yielded a few especially tasty specialties along with delicious chrysanthemum tea.
After brunch, with Chitsou as our interpreter, we went shopping and each of us found exactly the Asian ingredients and housewares we were looking.Around 3 PM, we crossed Canal Street and wandered into the Little Italy section of lower Manhattan. Since it was a chilly day, we stopped at the Ferrara Café for cappuccinos .... and some of their legendary Italian pastry, of course.
A few calories later, we headed for Soho, where expensive restaurants and shops selling luxury goods have replaced many of the art galleries.

Eventually, I journeyed back to the hotel where I changed my clothes and went right back out. It was time to meet yet another group of friends for a late dinner!

Fish, a seafood restaurant on Bleeker Street, was my destination. I ordered a salad (I was still full from the morning’s munching) but enjoyed checking out the fabulous seafood specialties that shared the table with my greenery. The blackened, grilled, and fried fish all looked wonderful.

After dinner, the guys (I was the only female this evening) wanted to go to a café for dessert. We strolled along Bleeker Street checking out several quirky clothing shops, a few restaurants, a luxury pet boutique pet, and a used CD store before arriving at Rocco’s Pastry Shop. The gang drank exotic coffee creations and ate pastries while we argued about politics. Having finally reached my limit… I ordered a mint tea.

MYSTERY PROJECT UPDATE: A new annotated outline is due tomorrow. Once it gets approved by the publisher, I will begin work on the second draft. The major changes are that the 900 some odd word Introduction that I wrote has been divided into a Foreword, which will be signed by the designer and an expanded Introduction. The chapters have been slightly rearranged in Part 1 of the book and certain ones need to be expanded, too. Looks like March will be a very busy month for me.


Ruth Welter said...

Hi Barbara, thanks for showing the pictures of this beautiful celebration..loved seeing photos of your trip.

Liz said...

Wow, what beautiful pictures! I'm looking forward to a trip here soon, this just added to my excitement!

Barbara said...

Very interesting and so colourful.
There is a large China town in my birth town Liverpool. I think they do a lot of this in London's East end too but Ihave not been.

Alison Gibbs said...

Hi Barbara thanks for the tour showing us the Chinese New Year Celebrations. So many gorgeous vibrant colours.
Lots of yummy food in Chinatown and Little Italy.
How wonderful to share the experience with your friends.

PAT said...

Thanks Barbara, this is a fun post!


Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

What colorful photos of China Town and NY...I think I would be over whelmed there! All of the colors, people and places. It would be hard to try to take it all in. I like going on a tour with you instead, sitting here in my jammies...Thanks Barbara!

(Angie) Norththreads: said...

HI Barbara! Just popping by to say hi, found your blog through Diane "snooty womans" club. LOL. Your photos are amazing!

Dianne Wood said...

Hi Barbara,I loved this post. Wish I could have been there. I know your frieds had a wonderful time with you. Next time, take ME with you. All the pictures were great..!!!

Natasha Burns said...

Hi Barbara,
Chinatown looks fabulous! I love all the colours and streamers. Once again you had delicious food!!!

Tracie said...

Good morning Barbara,
How colorful here today. Sounds like a really fun trip. I will be thinking dim sum all day (yum!).
The mystery project sure sounds intriguing!

Firefly Hill said...

I love Chinatown! We go in every year for my daughter's birthday. Your blog is fabulous!

Linda said...

Hi Barbara,
Chinese New Year in New York looks wonderful and bright, the colours are amazing and the three level chinese restaurant sounds amazing to.
Cheers Linda

NeereAnDear said...

For some odd reason... I get a notice to some of the posts that you do and not others ... like this one..I wonder if its my browser or if it gets lost enroute.. I didnt get one for this post but did for the one posted today

It looks as if you and your friends had a fabulous time...Sounds like a good thing they dont do the fireworks anymore... I love all the fabulous bright bright colors!!

And Little Italy... ohhh would love to see more of that...

I imagine New York city is a culinary delight.. love dim sum... love Chinese food... and it looks as if you all had some yummy dishes...and coffee and dessert.. and....

I think you should take me next time instead of Diane hehehe



All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Great shots of Chinese New year :-) . Its a huge deal here in Hk as you can imagine

Susie Q said...

Oh Barbara...I posted about our Chinese New Year celebrations recently (My daughter is Chinese)
but I have always wished to be in NYC for the one there. Maybe soon...

I have been to that shop!! We love Chinatown in NYC. Fun.

Thank you for sharing these photos!


Siobhan said...

Hello dear Barbara,

Gantastic shots! I love China Town in Melbourne too.

Just wanted to let you know I have handed you an award...drop by to pick it up.

Lv Siobhan xo

p.s. I have a few suprises going on over my blog so drop by. xo

Joy said...

What a wonderful tour! I thoroughly enjoyed that - the store looked amazing!

Lisa said...

Love all the colorful pictures. What great trip. So nice to travel like you do and soak up all the fun and beauty in other locales.

Have a great Sunday.

love.boxes said...

I love all that color! What a fun trip!

Sara said...

Those are some wonderful bursts of gorgeous color and the midst of the New York winter.

Mélanie said...

Beautiful pictures ! Chinese new year in NYC seems to be very special