Going Bamboo

Going bamboo in lower Manhattan
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Why not start with some food…?

I was wandering around Chinatown, trying to spend my money in a manner that wouldn’t make me feel like an idiot later. I also wanted to buy lunch in such a way that I wouldn’t end up feeling sick later. I decided to go a different route from my usual meandering near Columbus Park and ended up on the south side of Chatham Square, on Henry Street, to be precise. At that exact moment it turned out I needed to be on a conference call, resulting in me standing on Henry Street for about an hour being bored to tears by endless, meaningless chatter, not to mention sticking out like a tall white lighthouse being slowly filled to the brim with uncomfortable, self-conscious awareness. This latter being due to the topic of my first observation, as described below.

Standing there I discovered something weird and something interesting, those being two disparate observations. First, I seemed to have found a section of Chinatown that was devoid of tourists. I realized this when I saw that the usual merchant look of greed covered by a thin veneer of ’smile’ had been replaced by hostile scowls and sidelong glances, measuring the full threat of the white barbarian invasion, namely me. The second observation was a sign that simply said ‘Dumplings’ on it. I eventually, thankfully, ended the phone call and proceeded to enter that modest shop with its slender marketing budget blown on a single word marquee and bought five large steamed dumpling for a dollar! Yeah, yeah, I know, New Yorkers (which now includes me, of course) are unimpressed by this. I think it’s borderline fantastic, so there.

Either way, if you can shake the nagging thoughts popping into your head about a secret kung-fu army (I saw ‘Big Trouble in Little China,’ so I know how it all works) lying in wait to repel the invading horde (you) then you may want to try the dumplings. I had pork and chive dumplings although I suspect that the chive was a leek.

Julian

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