The beginning of June marked the last day of our journey in New York City. Previously, I mentioned a tour by the tenement museum that basically extended as a tour of NYC’s Chinatown. Well, today, we went on an actual tour given by the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). Much of it overlapped, I think, with the tenement tour so I won’t go too in-depth about it. One thing to note, apparently, NYC’s Chinatown is facing an odd phenomenon where it is expanding. I don’t have the research to back this claim, but it may be the only Chinatown in the country that both avoids gentrification and expands in terms of landmass. Buildings and apartments are opening to the Chinese as the Irish leave the district, which begs an important question. Are the Irish willingly choosing to move out of the district in search of more wealthy neighborhoods, or are they being kicked out?
While in Chinatown, many of us made a quick stop to The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, which is supposedly the “3rd best ice cream shop” in the world. I tried a scoop of the egg tart flavor because, well—you know, exotic. I must be a very uneducated ice cream eater, because I couldn’t find much difference in the “third best ice cream” and everyday ice cream from a corner store. The next few events aren’t quite in chronological order. At some point, we made visits to both Columbia University and New York University. Similar to Georgetown University, many of the facilities were closed so we were inhibited from any true exploration of the schools. I am rather intrigued by the architectural style of the campus buildings in Columbia. Encroached along the top edge of many of these buildings is a stone layer depicting several noteworthy philosophers, including people like Plato, Aristotle, and Dante? Once upon a time, I took a philosophy course at Stanford so philosophy still holds a special place in my heart.
Despite the moans and cries of my fellow trip mates, I wasn’t about to leave NYC without going to Battery Park and seeing the Statue of Liberty. We ended up taking a ferry to Staten Island and back just to take a few pictures of the statue and the New York harbor.