chinatown in manhattan is a buyer’s paradise. you’ve got bargains galore, from imitation gucci to bootleg cds to endless loads of cheap imported crap. i used to live right off canal street, and wading through the hordes of tourists taking up precious sidewalk space while looking for fake fendi bags used to irk me on the regular (although i’ll admit that a local source for cheap sunglasses is immensely useful when you go through approximately 43.7 pairs per month). but the low prices aren’t confined to the luxury knockoffs – the food in chinatown is plentiful, varied, authentic, and generally extremely inexpensive, not to mention FANTASTICALLY DELICIOUS.
i’d like to draw your attention to two particular purchases made with one dollar each. no joke. one single george washington, equivalent to 100 disregarded pennies that often inhabit the crevasses of your sofa or fail to merit your attention when lying unattended on the sidewalk. regard the following plate:
lexi and irene worship at the altar of fried dumpling.
you might start keeping track of pennies now that you know that a hundred of those suckers will buy you a plate of FIVE succulent and freshly folded fried dumplings. yes, deep in the heart of chinatown exists what most be the most straightforwardly named hole in the wall food emporium on the planet: Fried Dumpling. you can tell by the name that this joint sells the best scandinavian-inspired modular shelving units in new york.
kidding. they do make a mean burrito though.
oh ho. i know you didn’t believe that. although if you’re into irony (in the intentionally-ironic-misuse-of-the-word-irony sense), it would be pretty hilarious to have a place called Fried Dumpling that sells something that is not a Fried Dumpling. kind of like how i want to open a place called Chinese Food and Donuts but not sell chinese food or donuts (note: this was inspired by an actual establishment around the corner of my old office in the mission that actually sells both chinese food and donuts. i know, random). my Chinese Food and Donuts will probably be a bar, because the name is more likely to be enjoyed by people who have consumed large quantities of beer. and come to think of it, i might sporadically serve chinese food or donuts, because people who have consumed large quantities of beer are the exact clientele who will also greatly enjoy the availability of fried dumplings and jelly donuts. hmm. okay. mei, i think it’s time to move on. here’s a photo of the dumpling maker, proving that these dollar dumplings do not come out of the freezer but are made by hand in front of you.
by the way, if any of you steal my chinese food and donuts idea, i will track you down and beat you to death with a wok and then bury your body in powdered sugar.
here’s a closeup of the dumplings. they’re not the best in the world, but they are a totally serviceable fried item and they cost 20 freaking cents each, so stop being such a dumpling snob.
and the other item you can obtain for one single buckaroo? bright yellow plastic construction worker style hard hats! you probably think i’m lying, because who would sell such fun for such a low price? who places such a low value on the unmatchable feeling of total cranial protection and full skull security? scoff all you want, but you’ll be scurrying down to the restaurant supply store on bowery yourself once you check out the ONE DOLLAR marking on the hard hat.
note how irene demonstrates the proper gravity and reverence befitting the wearer of this headgear. thanks to wu-tang for inspiring the title of this piece, and generally being nothing to f*** with. final chinatown post, coming up next!