Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

While I wouldn't wish a Saturday afternoon on Canal St. on my worst enemy, the odd corners and alleys in Chinatown are some of my favorite places in the city. The produce stands on Mott St., the weird stores that apparently only sell homemade beef jerky, the inpenetrable mysteries of the herbalists' shops, the tiny, dingy restaurants turning out amazing food... And the dumplings! I really can't go too long without dumplings before I start to feel sad. So last night, EP and I headed to Chinatown for some soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai.
I wish I had more RIGHT NOW.

Then we wandered over to one of my favorite places in New York, the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, where I stupidly tried branching out from the One True Flavor (almond cookie) and was disappointed by much-too-sweet lychee sorbet.
Still, I suppose I learned something.

Then as we were walking around, enjoying the relatively empty streets and looking for somewhere for EP to buy some chopsticks to keep around the house, we had the extraordinary good fortune to wander into Kam Man, a purveyor of wonders and delights the likes of which I haven't seen since the first time I went into Pearl River when it was still on Canal Street and unfancified.

The ground floor is all groceries, stocked with what, at first glance, looks like the kind of packaged goods you might find at any Asian grocery store: cheap noodles, mysterious candy, odd echoes of colonialism like Ribena. But then I looked a little closer and found some more interesting stuff for sale.

Downstairs, there's a large housewares department and all manner of treasures.
This was with the toiletries, so am assuming it's some kind of scent? Mmmm, Florida Water...

Adorable lunch containers that read "PANDA: day after day" on the bottom. (The frog had no message.)

Next person I know who gets married, behold your gift!

In all seriousness, I'm coming here for all baby gifts from now on.

What a coincidence! Those are the top three things I require lucky cats for: In Love, Get Rid of Evil and Yellow.

Take your "happy birthday" candles and shove 'em. We only celebrate the happiest birthdays at Kam Man.

I'm going to start referring to my sugar bowl as the "sugar case."

Nothing makes me want to buy liver cleansing tea like a depiction of a large, diseased liver on the box.

If I had the kind of hair that would support decorative chopsticks, I would have been all over these little owl numbers.


Natalie said...

But did they have any Horny Goat Weed?

Michelle said...

I am totally proposing to the next guy I see, just to see if you do give us the lion attacking a warthog figurine.

Pure and Strange, INDEED.

Carolyn said...

i love kan man, i used to take all my visitors there to marvel at the birds nests (particularly since i have a friend whose mom will indeed use them in soup).

i hope you got bubble tea while you were down on mott. and also toast with condensed milk. yuuummmmm. and nha trang. and nyonya. ah.

that is the exact area i miss most about new york.

jenn j said...

I love it. I think I need to go.