Talk:Manhattan/Chinatown

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A call for help[edit]

This article needs a lot of work, and I don't have time to edit it further right now, so a lot of the things I wrote are placeholders until I look up some addresses and get some more names. But at least there's an article about Chinatown now! Please do whatever you can to help create an excellent guide to Chinatown. Thank you.

Michael 05:45, May 05 2006 (UTC)

Pho Tu Do[edit]

I was underwhelmed with their pho when I tried it probably 1 1/2 years ago. But of course, I won't delete the entry.

Michael 03:39, June 26, 2006 (UTC)

Little Italy[edit]

If we're going to include Little Italy, such as it is (there isn't much remaining of it), in this article, we need to decide what its boundaries are. Should this article include NoLiTa, as well? It might make sense to add NoLiTa here and subtract it from the Lower East Side article.

Michael 11:32, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

Lombardi's[edit]

Documentation of my edit appears in the last two paragraphs of the following article (if you can't access it easily from the link, it was the first Google result for "Lombardi's reopens"):

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/06/garden/off-the-menu.html?n=Top%2FReference%2FTimes%20Topics%2FSubjects%2FF%2FFood

Michael 02:58, 3 May 2009 (EDT)

Restaurant Price Categories[edit]

Let's talk about them here. I'm familiar with these restaurants. Some of the categories are wrong, and many of the restaurants are placed in the wrong category. There are no "splurge" restaurants in Chinatown at all. One could make an argument for Oriental Garden, Nyonya, and possibly Dim Sum Go Go as "moderate," but DSGG is not expensive at lunchtime, though more than some other places.

Noodletown, Skyway, and the Shanghainese places are cheap, not close to mid-range. Cantoon Garden is under or around $20/person for stupendous banquets. That's not expensive enough to qualify as mid-range.

Please discuss. (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 05:00, 3 August 2009 (EDT)

$20 sounds like a lot to me - but of course, what qualifies as "budget" is going to depend on your own personal experience. I used $10 as the dividing point between budget and mid-range and $20 as the dividing point between mid-range and splurge, based on other examples like this. But if you think they're in the wrong categories, feel free to move them - you obviously have more experience with these places, so I trust your judgment. Just keep us budget travelers in mind when doing so. ;) (WT-en) PerryPlanet Talk 17:05, 3 August 2009 (EDT)
In New York, "Splurge" is - conservatively - over $60/person (I'd say over $75/person if not over $100/person). Up to $5/person is super cheap, $5-15 is quite inexpensive, $15-25 is (moderately, if you like) inexpensive, $25-60 (especially if you include alcohol) is moderate; $60-100 is moderately expensive; over $100 is expensive; over $200/person is very expensive (all prices inclusive of tax and ~20% tip). New York is, quite simply, an expensive city, though not close to devoid of good values in food, including at the low end. Chinatown is a neighborhood that is full of super cheap to low-end moderate restaurants only. I don't think it should have its own set of price categories that is entirely dissimilar to what we would reasonably use for the rest of Manhattan. Instead, we can add a "super cheap" category to the already low-end places - but then we run into the issue that you can easily have a dinner of noodle soup at a place like Great NY Noodletown for around $5 or you could choose to get more expensive dishes and pay around $20, so I'd continue to argue for merely "Inexpensive" and "Moderate" categories for Chinatown, with an approximate price or price range included in each entry, as much as possible. (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 04:57, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
(We don't include alcohol in these prices—choice of wine/drink would introduce too great a range in price.) --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:41, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
(OK, I get that. In Chinatown, that's really moot, but in places like Italian, French, and New American restaurants, it would make sense to include some remarks about the wine list within entries, even though I see the point in not including wine in the price range for the restaurant.) (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 18:46, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
Instead of creating new categories (I'd like to work with the Wiki template we already have), I actually would like to see a different set of price categories for Chinatown different from the rest of Manhattan. This is exactly what that little box is for - we could even lower the amounts dividing the budget, mid-range, and splurge categories, like maybe $5 between budget and mid-range and $15 between mid-range and splurge, to define that "super cheap" category. Since $20 is splurging for Chinatown, I think it makes perfect sense. (WT-en) PerryPlanet Talk 12:37, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
$20 is not splurging for Manhattan's Chinatown. $20-25 is a reasonable price for a large dinner that includes some relatively more expensive items like lobster, king crab, yellow chives, or pea shoots. And as I said, there are plenty of restaurants like Great NY Noodletown, where it's easy to get a full meal of a dish on rice or a noodle soup for about $5 or a larger meal for closer to $20, so putting overly low price limits on restaurants will lead to misleading results.
If people really want to know in detail what the menus at every place look like, all they have to do is go to menupages.com or menupix.com, but inserting price ranges into each entry is going to be a lot more accurate and less misleading than deciding to call a place like Great NY Noodletown "moderate," because you can choose to spend more than $7 or so including tip for your dinner - if you want to. (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 18:37, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
I'm confused. You yourself wrote "$25 is about the most you are likely to pay" on this guide. So how is $20-$25 not splurging for Chinatown? We're not creating price categories for all of Manhattan here, we're just looking at Chinatown. On your other point, there is no "one size fits all" price category; there will be plenty of restaurants that have some dishes in one category and some in another - the idea is to figure out which category the majority of those dishes fall under and place the listing accordingly. (WT-en) PerryPlanet Talk 00:53, 12 August 2009 (EDT)
Because you can pay $5 or $25 in the same restaurant, so I consider what you propose to be overcategorization at low price categories, though perhaps you'll convince me with further discussion. I also distinguish between cheap noodle soups and amazing multi-course banquets for around $20/person, which is really cheap FOR A GREAT BANQUET (e.g., Cantoon Garden), as opposed to a meal "on rice," noodle soup, or plate of Soy Sauce Chicken. And I maintain that really isn't a splurge (though see my further discussion at the end). A splurge would be to special-order deluxe live seafood at Oriental Garden and top out at, who knows? $60? More? But that's off-menu.
If you want to judge based on the majority of the menu, Great NY Noodletown should be "Budget," in any case, because regardless of the actual count of dishes at different price points, an average meal there would probably be under $10/person (I believe a noodle soup plus a side of steamed Chinese vegetables with oyster sauce might amount to $11 or so with tip), although it's very possible to pay $20, if you so choose.
If you really want to make banquet restaurants "Moderate" because it's impossible to get any kind of multi-course banquet in New York for less than $10/person, I won't oppose you on that. It IS food of a different category than $5 for 4 dumplings, et al., so I can see the rationale for categorizing it differently. (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 03:11, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
I just consider your breakdown of the prices overcategorization since 1) we already have a nice, simple 3 rank system on Wikivoyage and 2) we're dealing with a place where $0-$25 (rather than say, $0-$100) is the range you're likely to pay. "Splurge" isn't a set amount - what "Splurge" entails will vary from place to place. Like you said, someone may choose to pay $20 at a "budget" place like NY Noodletown, but that goes into the price range in the listing - by placing the listing in budget, what we're saying is "if you're on a small budget, you can get a good, cheap meal here."
But I think we're complicating things by getting into banquets, because banquets are usually meant to be a lot of food for a lower price than to order a lot of dishes. So maybe a $20 banquet could go into "mid-range" or even "budget" (even if $20 is counted as splurge territory), if the amount of food you're getting for the price is proportional to the amount of food you would get for the price of a mid-range or budget restaurant. (WT-en) PerryPlanet Talk 18:50, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
I'm confused: Are you thinking of "banquet" as meaning "buffet"? It doesn't. A banquet is a bunch of dishes, made to order and shared by a sufficiently large group of people. You will eat a great deal more for a $20/person budget at a place like Cantoon Garden than you would for $7 at Great NY Noodletown, and it'll be more elaborate and give you a much greater variety of tastes, so there is indeed a value element, but you have the option of ordering a banquet set from the Chinese-language menu, a set of dishes ordered individually from the bilingual menu, or some combination, and all of those would be banquets shared by the table(s). Anyway, now that I see you're more concerned with a preponderance of lower-priced items than the fact that one can easily choose to pay closer to $20, I'm having much less trouble with your reasoning. I still think, though, that the only real "splurge" restaurant in Chinatown that's on the list so far is Oriental Garden, for dinner (not dim sum). I also think we should make "budget" up to at least $10, not $5. This is New York, where sales tax is almost 9% and tips are about 20%. (Or are we not including tips in figuring costs?) (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 03:45, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
Oh sorry, I am confusing banquet and buffet. *wacks head against table* Okay, let's clear this up: what should the dividing lines be between budget, mid-range, and splurge? You're suggesting $10 between budget and mid-range, which sounds fine to me, so what qualifies as "splurge" in Chinatown? (WT-en) PerryPlanet Talk 12:00, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
I think I'd say $25 or higher. In other words, compared to a cheap meal of noodle soup or something on rice (which is cheap), a banquet specialist that's around $20/person is moderate, but Oriental Garden (probably closer to $30; I haven't been there in a few years) is splurgy, and perhaps Nyonya is, though their price ceiling is much lower than Oriental Garden's. I'd tend to think that a place like Wing Shoon (I haven't checked whether they have an entry yet - I'll make up more entries at some point) wouldn't belong in a "splurge" category because a single person can easily have an inexpensive meal (or two) of their very good soy sauce chicken or get it for takeout, and based on my experience with their menu, I believe their banquets usually aren't particularly expensive. Is this making sense? (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 23:55, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
Sounds fine to me. Do you want to rearrange the listings accordingly? (WT-en) PerryPlanet Talk 11:04, 15 August 2009 (EDT)


Sure. I'll start moving things around and add more entries some time later. (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 02:22, 19 August 2009 (EDT)

Eastern Boundary of Chinatown[edit]

I was in Chinatown again tonight, and was reflecting on the fact that the neighborhood is really much larger than we are acknowledging here. I would argue to redefine Chinatown's eastern boundary as a line extending from Pike Street and the East River to Allen St. and Delancey St., and I would include both sides of Allen St. as being in Chinatown. Why? Because it really is. The shops and restaurants are overwhelmingly Chinese, and those that aren't (such as the Roy Rogers on Canal St. near Christie) generally have names in Chinese characters on them along with English names. Anyway, there really isn't any question nowadays that Grand St. between Bowery and Allen (and especially between Bowery and Chrystie) is a central shopping street of Chinatown, or that "Little Fuzhou" on Eldridge St. between Division and Broome is a Chinatown street. A very similar argument could be made for Canal St. between Allen and Bowery - it's all shops with Chinese names and characters, and most of the people walking on the street are Chinese.

Chinatown is really not a geographic area defined for all time, but that neighborhood in lower Manhattan which is predominantly Chinese. We fudge that by including areas of NoLIta that are diverse and not (yet?) primarily Chinese but used to be northern Little Italy, when that neighborhood still existed as an Italian-American ghetto decades ago. But if we're covering Chinatown, we really should face the fact that Chinatown has expanded to the north and east. It's still expanding and may have to be redefined again in 10 years or so, but right now, there's still enough diversity further east than Allen St. that I think it's OK, as well as geographically neat, to make the new line I'm proposing. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:43, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with the area, so I'll defer to your judgment. Makes sense to me. PerryPlanet (talk) 04:07, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
If a consensus agrees on this change, the maps for Chinatown and the Lower East Side will have to be edited (I don't know how to do that), and a bunch of listings plus one or two photos will need to be moved (I can do or help with that). Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:13, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
No prob, I can take care of the maps easily enough.
I just had a thought: you mentioned that we kinda fudge our definition of Chinatown by including NoLiTa, and the lead for this article claims that it's in some ways considered an eastern extension of SoHo. Would it make sense to lop off NoLiTa and move it to SoHo, or is it too important that it remain connected with Little Italy? PerryPlanet (talk) 04:23, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
I think we should probably leave it in this article because (a) it was historically part of Little Italy; (b) Houston St. is a neat northern boundary, and I don't know what else we could as handily make into a northern boundary. It really isn't clear exactly where Nolita starts (I would think it would have to start north of Kenmare or Spring, but tonight, I saw a shop calling itself "Nolita" something-or-other on a block filled with Chinese stores, I think on Elizabeth St. between Grand and Broome), and conversely, it isn't really clear where Chinatown ends. Plus, while Nolita is something like SoHo, it has a different quieter character, and the architecture is different, too. I'm almost tempted to rename the article "Chinatown/NoLIta," but that just feels too weird, and I don't want to put "Little Italy" in a slash because there just isn't much of it anymore, and it doesn't merit being oversold. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:38, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. Thinking on it a little more, it probably makes sense not to split up The Bowery more than we already have, so there's a side benefit. PerryPlanet (talk) 04:45, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, although I guess we would still split the Bowery for the 3 blocks between Delancey and Houston, as the boundary line between the Lower East Side and Nolita. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:37, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
I wonder, maybe we should consider including both sides of the Bowery (below Houston) in Chinatown. Normally I wouldn't have a problem with using a major thoroughfare as a dividing line, but in this case the Bowery seems to have such a strong identity it seems a shame to keep divvying it up. Right now it's split between three articles; even if we could get it down to two that seems like a better outcome.
Heh, at the rate we're cutting into the Lower East Side, at some point we may have to just merge it with another article. Maybe the East Village. But that's a whole other discussion. PerryPlanet (talk) 16:06, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
I'd vote "No" on both. The Bowery really is the eastern boundary of NoLiTa, and the Lower East Side now has a different identity from the East Village. What the Lower East Side article needs a lot of is bar listings, but since I'm not a young person and don't frequent most of those bars, I'm not the person to choose which of the "popular with young people" bars to list. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:45, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
I thought of a workable and reasonable alternative: Put both sides of Bowery between Delancey and Houston in the Lower East Side and consider Nolita to be west of the Bowery, and not to include the Bowery itself. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:35, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Nah, that's fine. That would still split the Bowery between three articles, so I don't think there would be much benefit to it. No need to make this more complicated. PerryPlanet (talk) 03:05, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
The Bowery is already split between 3 articles: Manhattan/Chinatown, Manhattan/Lower East Side and Manhattan/East Village. My proposal wouldn't change the number of articles; all it would do is make the split strictly uptown/downtown and not between the two sides of the avenue. I think that makes some sense. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:51, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
No, that's my point, that it's already split between three articles, so I think the benefit would be negligible. Between splitting the section between Delancey and Houston between the two sides of the avenue or giving both sides to the LES, I don't really have a preference either way, because neither of those proposals really gets at what I was suggesting, which was to get the whole stretch of the Bowery below Houston into one article (specifically Chinatown). Really, at this point, we're only talking about moving a single hotel listing (The Bowery House). PerryPlanet (talk) 04:09, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
As of now, Chinatown really doesn't extend to Houston St., though there are signs of it creeping north of Delancey St. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:29, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
I think you're misunderstanding me; I'm not saying Chinatown extends to Houston, nor was I ever implying as such. What I'm saying is, in our combined Chinatown/NoLiTa article, we could also encompass the entire stretch of Bowery south of Houston, rather than splitting it between this article and the Lower East Side article. Earlier when I said we could get the whole stretch below Houston in "Chinatown", I wasn't referring to the neighborhood, I was referring to this article. PerryPlanet (talk) 14:54, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
I see. Yeah, you can do that if you like. I consider the Bowery more Lower East Side, but we're talking about only a single avenue, so go ahead and do that, if you like. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:22, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
I think we should go ahead and change the eastern boundary of Chinatown to Pike St./Allen St. up to Delancey, since no-one has objected (or had anything whatsoever to say, except us). Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:39, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Do whatever you feel like; you don't need to wait on my approval. PerryPlanet (talk) 21:47, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't know how to edit a map. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:20, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

[unident] Building on my rant over at Talk:Manhattan/Upper East Side#Maps, I'm reluctant to invest any more effort into any of the static maps at this point given that no one else shows any interest in taking care of them, and it seems like people are more interested in replacing them with dynamic maps anyway. Especially given how barely active I am around here these days, I'd rather invest effort into something that I can at least hope others will take ownership of than something that seems to be on the way out. PerryPlanet (talk) 23:56, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Of course I completely understand that. However, this map is quite a lot clearer than the Upper East Side one. I don't think we should change the boundaries of the neighborhood unless there's a map that reflects the new boundaries. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:20, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I strongly agree with the change proposed here; the current boundary and map are outdated. If our static maps aren't being maintained anymore, I think we should just replace this one (and the one on Lower East Side) with dynamic maps, and go ahead with the change. The only map that would need to be edited is the neighborhood map on Manhattan. sumone10154(talk) 01:51, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I slightly reluctantly agree with you that if no-one wants to edit the static map, we should replace it with a dynamic map, with the borders of Chinatown enlarged accordingly. I just hope the server the dynamic maps use becomes more stable and stays that way. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:18, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Update: The static maps for this article and Manhattan/Lower East Side have been changed accordingly, thanks to User:Saqib. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:38, 17 June 2014 (UTC)