Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy New Year (again)!

Chinatown is friendly territory for anyone looking to save a buck, and that's especially true on holidays like Chinese Lunar New Year. Not only do you get the usual cheap eats, clothes, bowls, what-have-you, but free entertainment, as well.

It falls on Feb. 7 this year, when they'll have the firecrackers and dance troupes. Then this Sunday's the parade. Both events are great photo opps.

Chatham Square (where the arch stands for Chinese-Americans who died in WWII)
Feb. 7; 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Intersection: Bowery, Mott and E. Broadway
Subway: J, M, Z to Chambers; 4, 5, 6 to City Hall; N, Q, R, W to Canal

Diagonally from the square (and across Bowery) is Doyers Street, which you might've seen on TV and stuff. People say the merchants way-back-when made it crooked so that ghosts, who can apparently only fly straight, couldn't haunt them. Of course, the firecrackers are meant to ward off evil spirits, too, but a double-dose of luck couldn't hurt.

Lion Dance (martial artists, drums, gongs, fun)
Feb. 10; 11 a.m.-Noon
125 E. 65th St. (outside the China Institute @ Park and Lex.)
Note: this is in the Upper East Side
Subway: 6 to 68th; F to 53rd

Feb. 10; 1–5 p.m.
Mott St. (between Canal and Bayard)
Subway: J, M, Z, 6, N, Q, R, W to Canal; B, D to Grand

Mott Street probably has the most restaurants of any in Chinatown, so you should have no trouble finding a delish deal, but if you'd like some suggestions, well, here. Also, nearby Eldridge St. hosts two great spots: Super Taste (#26) has pretty authentic pulled noodles and Prosperity Dumpling (#46) has, ya know, tasty dumplings.

Hoping it's Year of the Rat in fortune ... but not so much literally ...

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