Little Italy and Chinatown
After walking way too far from the ferry dock to catch a train down to Little Italy, we finally made it to the Canal Street Station. We were barely out of the stairwell when we acosted by little old ladies asking if we were interested in seeing their collection of handbags and sunglasses for sale. We walked up a block or so through Chinatown to get to Mulberry Street to find something to eat in Little Italy. We were starving and knew our options were Italian, Italian, or Italian, so we picked the closest restaurant which happened to be Da Gennaro. If it's a nice day, I pretty much want to eat outside, so that's what we did! I told Alex that it almost felt like we were in Italy... except now. There was even a crooner across the street serenading everyone as they walked by his shop. We all picked our pastas and quickly stuffed our faces with delicious, carb-filled food!
One of the weirdest things we encountered in New York was the way that their wait staff seems to work. Most of our meals were at odd hours which must have been during the middle of a shift change. We would start out with one waiter but half way through our meal we would end up waving goodbye to them as they walked out the door and then wondering who we needed to flag down for a refill or our bill! I'm assuming this is because a lot of the wait staff are professionals or they pull tips so it's not a huge deal to them. Down here it's pretty unheard of to just leave your table before they leave the restaurant!
We walked through Chinatown but didn't really stop into any of the stores. There were so many cool buildings to look at. It was evident from the sights, sounds, and people that authentic Chinese culture was really being kept alive through this tiny portion of New York City.
Corey and I had been following a few food bloggers on Instagram leading up to our trip (like @EatingNYC, @NYCFoodGals, and @NYCDining) so we saw that rolled ice cream from 10 Below was one of the hot new things to do in NYC. We stood in line for probably 30 minutes waiting to get into this tiny basement level store. One guy was taking all the orders and then they had 3-4 rolling ice cream and serving toppings. The whole process was kind of neat because they call your name when it's time for your ice cream to be prepared so that you can watch them make it. The ice cream starts out as a liquid mix which they pour onto a freezing cold surface. I had the Cookie Monster Oreo ice cream so they chopped up the cookies into the mix before spreading it out onto the cold plate. After the ice cream froze, they started rolling it with what looked like putty knives! I had them add extra cookies to mine before we met up with my mom who was smart and didn't stand in line for an ice cream crepe cone next door. The crepe was delicious but our treat was better! Given the cheap price for the experience, it's worth the wait if you're ever in Chinatown.