Economy Candy

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Chinatown, Features, Restaurants

Chinatown skyline

Image by Madhu Nair via Flickr

Back in March, we took a look at how Chinatown is predicted to undergo rapid changes within the next decade, transforming it into another haven for hipsters and real estate developers. As of right now, these changes are hard to see–luxury condos like Hester Gardens stand alone among the array of colorful shops and signs covered in Chinese characters. In fact, a past poll shows that readers are equally divided on Chinatown’s future.

As with all gentrifying neighborhoods, one of residents’ biggest fears is that the neighborhood will lose the cultural characteristics that make it unique. With this in mind, we’re taking stock of the iconic places that make Chinatown what it is. We’ve highlighted some of the neighborhood’s best restaurants and shops (think Economy Candy and Joe’s Shanghai), along with a few standout structures (the largest Buddhist temple in New York City, to name just one) that make this neighborhood unlike any other in the city.

See which places made the list here

Featured Story

Features, History, Lower East Side

pushcarts food in new-york 1938,pushcarts, pushcarts new york, pushcarts lower east side, orchard street historic

Image courtesy of MNCY

Long considered the capital of Jewish America, this overpoweringly cramped neighborhood was considered by many to be the greatest concentration of Jewish life in nearly 2,000 years.

Between 1880 and 1924, 2.5 million mostly-impoverished Ashkenazi Jews came to the US and nearly 75 percent took up residence on the Lower East Side. According to the Library of Congress, by 1900, more than 700 people per acre were settling in a neighborhood lined with tenements and factories. And as quickly as they descended on the streets, all sharing a common language (mostly Yiddish) and most certainly, similar backgrounds, they quickly established synagogues as early as 1865 (the landmarked Bialystoker Synagogue, whose congregants were mostly Polish immigrants from Bailystok), small shops, pushcarts teeming with goods, social clubs and even financial-aid societies.

By 1910, the Lower East Side’s population was well over the five million mark, but sadly, such congestion habitually caused havoc.

Learn more about the history of the LES here

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