Wednesday, June 22, 2011
WNYC's Brian Lehrer has a delightful new series exploring the "new littles" - through demographic shifts, the historic ethnic enclaves of Little Italy, etc., have dispersed, moved, multiplied. The series was inspired by the news from the latest census that Little Italy has very few Italians left: it's been engulfed by Chinatown. Or rather, one of the city's Chinatowns - the map above is of Chinese enclaves. But Manhattan's Chinatown is under pressure too. Some friends invited me to dinner there tonight - the highlight was a Mao-approved menu at Grand Sichuan on Canal Street, just north of the Manhattan Bridge. (The Diced Lotus Root with Hunan Black Bean was fantastic! Rest of menu at right.) That neighborhood's still very Chinese but just a few blocks towards Delancey from there we found sporadic bistros, a cupcake-and-coffee shop and wine bars full of white hipsters.