by Michael Hsu, 01/29/2013
(From left) Chinatown photo by Julienne Schaer • Kamwo Herbal Pharmacy photo by Malcolm Brown
With one of the densest populations of Chinese immigrants in the western hemisphere, Manhattan's Chinatown is a true New York story, the American Dream in action. The thriving immigrant population gives visitors access to far-flung wares and culinary delights, and to walk these streets is to walk through NYC's past (it's where much of the action in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York took place). A great starting point is Chatham Square, which is the intersection of seven major streets (including the Bowery and Mott Street)—a metaphor, perhaps, for the neighborhood's confluence of cultures. History buffs can admire Chatham Square's statue of Lin Zexu, a Qing Dynasty official who led the fight against Britain's illegal importation of opium. But most of us will want to start eating and shopping our way through the busy streets—there's a backstory in every bite.
To learn about Chinatown's most exciting attractions, read the rest of this slideshow and visit the neighborhood's Official NYC Information Kiosk.