Chinatown

Chinatown, History, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Photo by Ken Lund on Flickr

The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to calendar the Kimlau War Memorial, a tribute to Chinese American veterans located in Chinatown. Designed by architect Poy G. Lee, the memorial honors Americans of Chinese descent who died during World War II. If designated by the city, the Kimlau War Memorial would be New York City’s first individual landmark that relates specifically to Chinese American history and culture.

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Chinatown, City Living, Restaurants

886’s Taiwanese Fried Rice (left); Wing Hin’s Shrimp Fried Rice (right). Courtesy of Send Chinatown Love + Umamicart.

Wing Hing Seafood Restaurant, 46 Mott St., Grand Tea & Imports, 886–these are just a few of the restaurants featured in the new digital cookbook Around the Roundtable: Recipes for Chinatown Favorites that was created to support Chinatown businesses. The free, downloadable cookbook comes from Send Chinatown Love, an entirely volunteer-run organization whose goal is to provide relief to small, immigrant-owned Chinatown businesses impacted by the effects of Covid-19.

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Chinatown, Restaurants

Photo by josh s jackson via Flickr cc

Jing Fong, NYC’s largest Chinese restaurant, will close its famous 800-person dining room due to losses suffered from the COVID crisis. The iconic dim sum spot made the announcement on Friday in an Instagram post. “We are heartbroken to announce that our Chinatown location at 20 Elizabeth Street, will be permanently closing its indoor dining operation on March 7, 2021 at 8:00pm. We will continue to operate from the 2nd floor kitchen for our outside patio, take-out, and delivery until further notice.” The pandemic took its toll early on the restaurant, which was forced to shut down temporarily in March under Governor Cuomo’s order that locations of 500 or more be closed.

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Art, Chinatown, holidays

Photo by @just_a_spectator

Public artist BKFoxx recently debuted her new mural in celebration of the Lunar New Year. Located at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Middle School 131 on Eldridge and Hester Streets, the piece representing the Year of the Ox is titled “Onward.” The artist tells us that she was inspired by what the Ox represents–honesty, hard work, stubbornness. “No better time than now for that theme, moving forward into 2021 and learning to be resilient,” she says.

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Chinatown, Lower East Side, New Developments, Policy

Rendering: SHoP Architects

Three projects that include the construction of four towers and the creation of nearly 3,000 housing units in Two Bridges meet all zoning requirements and can move forward without City Council approval, an appeals court ruled Thursday. The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling that had stopped the Manhattan megaproject from going ahead.

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Chinatown, Design, Restaurants

All photos courtesy of Emily Andrews for Rockwell Group

Chinatown’s Mott Street got a colorful upgrade on Wednesday with a block-long outdoor installation designed by architect David Rockwell. His firm, Rockwell Group, launched DineOut NYC earlier this summer to help New York City restaurants safely open outside by providing design templates for creative ways to use sidewalk and street space. Mott Street, now closed to cars between Mosco and Worth Streets, serves as the program’s first community-wide dining area, with multiple restaurants on the strip using the facilities.

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Chinatown, Restaurants

Photo by josh s jackson via Flickr cc

NYC’s largest Chinese restaurant, Jing Fong, has temporarily shut its doors at 20 Elizabeth Street amid the coronavirus health crisis. The situation is two-fold for the iconic dim sum restaurant; not only is business down 30 to 40 percent, according to the Post, but since the restaurant has 800 seats, they fall under Governor Cuomo’s order that gatherings of 500 or more be shut down. The effect of the pandemic has been especially hard for restaurants in Manhattan’s Chinatown, as well as those Chinatowns in Flushing and Sunset Park.

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Chinatown, Lower East Side, New Developments, Policy

two bridges

Rendering: Handel Architects.

State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron upheld an August 2019 ruling that four towers planned for the Lower East Side Two Bridges development cannot move forward. The judge’s decision invalidates the City Planning Commission’s 2018 approval of the towers on the grounds that City Council authority regarding the land-use review process was illegally bypassed and that the controversial skyscrapers must go through the city’s full application process. The ruling prevents the Department of Buildings from issuing permits until the multi-billion dollar project has the proper approvals. The decision represents a rare victory for those opposed to the skyscrapers, including the City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and several Lower East Side and Chinatown community groups.

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Chinatown, Restaurants, Tribeca

Rendering courtesy of Mercato Fabbrica

Plans to bring an Italian market to the First National City Bank building at 415 Broadway (or 296 Canal Street) have just been announced. The narrow block between Lispenard and Canal Streets once housed the largest commercial bank in the world and is known for its Art Moderne facade. The 35,000-square-foot interior will be transformed into Mercato Fabbrica, a “culinary destination inspired by the great markets, department stores and social clubs around the world.” The idea has been in the works since 2018 and is slated to open later this year.

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Chinatown, Museums

70 Mulberry Street, Map data © 2020 Google

The Museum of Chinese in America has launched an online fundraiser after a fire likely destroyed most of its extensive archive. Last Thursday night, a fire broke out at 70 Mulberry Street in Chinatown, in a building that housed a number of nonprofits, including about 85,000 irreplaceable items from the museum’s collection. According to the New York Times, priceless artifacts like traditional wedding dresses from the early 1900s and documents from 1883 about the Chinese Exclusion Act are thought to be among items lost.

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