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Apr 14, 05 08:57 AM

The Bloody Angle.

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Culinary discoveries in the winding streets of Chinatown.

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Andrew happened to be around Centre Street when I was on my lunch break from Grand Jury duty, so we met for lunch at a Shanghainese cuisine place on Bayard and Baxter. There I had a thing called a soup dumpling. Have you heard of these things? Astonishing. They're dumplings--WITH SOUP IN THEM.

I am not messing with you. Seriously. Not like a sauce or anything--actual soup within the confines of a dumpling. You have to either pop it whole in your mouth, or pry it open carefully while balancing it on a spoon.

The streets of Chinatown, and that weird Centre Street judicial district fascinate me, because they used to be the Five Points slum described so vividly in Luc Sante's Low Life, a great book about the old, dirty, sinister Lower East Side of the 19th Century. I don't know precisely where the Five Points were--they renamed the streets, presumably to shake off the bad reputation. I do know that Doyers Street, which curves sharply, used to be known as The Bloody Angle.

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Posted by Mike at April 14, 2005 8:57 AM