Most of my colleagues had their own plans, so after the first day of the conference, I set out to find dinner on my own. I wasn't in the mood for anything fancy and I wanted to go somewhere where I wouldn't feel out of place dining alone. Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle in Chinatown perfectly fit the bill:
The place was tiny. The counters made it perfect for solo dining and the view into the kitchen was pretty neat too:
Nobody greeted me at the door, so I had to observe other patrons for a bit while "studying" the menu posted on the wall to figure out how things worked. Following the example for the guy in front of me, I placed my order with a woman in the doorway of the kitchen and then randomly picked a chair to plop my butt down in.
The beef tendon noodle soup ($6.50) came first:
I really should have stopped there, but I wanted to try their boiled dumplings too. For the sake of self control, I went with six pieces ($2) rather than 10 ($3):
The funny thing is the when they first brought me a platter of dumplings, I counted nine on it. Which was strange because they only come in six or ten. The only possible explanations I could think of were that they were either 1) very generous with me or 2) had gypped someone else a dumpling. It turned out to be door number two. The same waitress who gave me the platter returned a few minutes later to shift it over to the gentleman sitting to my left.
The guy never counted his dumplings.
He should have. He was cheated of one of these babies:
Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle is exactly what you can expect of a no frills Chinese hole in the wall in Chinatown. Not much service, cramped quarters, no decor to speak of, and loud thumping of noodles being made by hand in the next room. And cheap. So cheap. So cheap that being cash only isn't a problem.
The noodles were spot on. The dumplings tasted like home. If I lived in New York, I would go back again and again. Either with friends (but no more than two) or (gasp!) alone.
To work off all the food that I really shouldn't have finished, I walked back to Brooklyn via the Manhattan Bridge. It was my first time crossing the bridge at night and while the views were gorgeous, I'm not gonna lie, I tensed every time the subway train rumbled past.
The conference was packed with special last minute guests over the course of the next two days. On Monday, Governor Cuomo brought his own podium, but was then overshadowed by Hilary Clinton who brought not only her own Secret Service, but also her own metal detectors. On Tuesday, Martin O'Malley reminded us that he was still in the running and Bernie Sanders let us feel the Bern via Skype. Apparently the Republican candidates were also invited, but declined to show.
Too bad. It would have been beyond interesting to see Trump speak at a conference about immigrant rights.
I am sorry to say that I have no other posts for my time in New York. Breakfast and lunch the following days were provided by the conference. Instead of going out Monday night, Nana and I opted for a night in at her apartment watching "Criminal Minds" while trying to stuff down all the food Nana ordered from Harlem Shake. (Really, Nana? Three burgers, chili cheese fries, AND chicken fingers? Are you trying to kill me?) And then I left for the airport immediately after the conference ended Tuesday afternoon.
Though short, I had a great time exploring New York on my own and catching up with Nana. I can't wait for my next trip back!
Oh, and the conference was good too.
Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle
144 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002