Goodbye, Chinatown - 2015
Written December 21, 2015 on our previous website <3
I got lost in Manhattan’s Chinatown when I was 17. Foreign within the familiar; I fell in love instantly. It's easy to forget that you are in New York, easy to fantasize about another life worlds away.
At 24, 7 years later, I was fortunate to find a rent stabilized apartment on East Broadway- still very Chinese but removed from the hustling handbag-watch emporium of Canal street. A noodle shop to the right and a subway station with Garment District access to the left. It was perfect.
I purposely walked different routes every day to keep the spirit of excitement in the unfamiliar alive. Like many who move to NYC, I love feeling lost, wandering- literally anything is possible when you have a lot of curiosity and no set expectations.
Many people came in and out of that space over its (nearly) four years in my possession. I had beautiful roommates from various parts of the world, friends dropping in for dinner and drinks, collaborators sharing their creative works- so much electric energy always within those walls. It was small, the floor was slanted, I painted the kitchen purple. It was my home.
The view from the fire escape-5th floor walk-up
The owner of 150 East Broadway was aging and decided to put the building for sale a few months ago. It had fallen into disrepair over the years, and admittedly was in desperate need of a fresh start with someone else. The building was purchased shortly after its listing, and after some deliberation we decided it was best to move forward.
After all, the neighborhood had changed at this point. What once was a quiet and very Chinese street had slowly become littered with posh restaurants, bustling crowds and higher price tags. While we were happy to see many young entrepreneurs find success in the area, we knew we were ready for the proverbial "moving to Brooklyn together".
It was in the cards.
To start the new year- we bid adieu to 150 East Broadway #5B. Goodbye to our daily coffee shop- shoutout 12 Corners! Much love, large iced coffee. Until we meet again, delicious Lam Zhou Hand-Pulled Noodle. And, without reservation, peace out restaurants that close at random hours because they're fancy :-P
This stroke of luck has afforded us unique opportunities to wander. With only a storage locker in Newark, I leave Chinatown on January 2nd and board a plane to India on January 3rd.