You’ll find it all on this remarkable street—fruits and vegetables, plastic toys, burglar alarms, car stereos, art supplies, Asian banks, and hordes and hordes of people. It’s easy to spend hours here just meandering about, soaking it all in.
Most overwhelming at first are the fish stores near Baxter Street, where huge piles of fish seem to stare balefully at you as you pass by. Next you’ll notice the large number of banks. Some say that banks in Chinatown now outnumber restaurants, and although that seems hard to believe, the banks’ presence is indicative of the enormous investments from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China that have flooded New York in recent years.
Once located in the heart of Canal Street but now relocated a few blocks further north is Pearl River Mart (477 Broadway, at Broome St., 212/431-4770), Chinatown’s largest department store. On sale are Chinese musical instruments, paper lanterns, kites, dried herbs, and clothing.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition