Chinatown Gateway

Chinatown Gateway

I ran out really quickly to Chinatown this afternoon, and i mean quickly because it was FREEZING!!! But, it was great. I have lived here my entire life and have only been there once! Crazy, right? But i figured i could get in one more post this weekend, so i jumped on the red line and got there in no time. If you take the red line, you get off at the Cermak/Chinatown stop. If you can’t remember, just look out the train windows, you couldn’t miss it unless you were really spaced out. The entrance to Chinatown is marked with a huge gateway. I’ve never been to China, but i can imagine that although it may not be exactly like the country itself, it definitely has pieces of it. As i walked around, i was surprised by all the little shops they have. Although much of what we buy here is already made in China, the stuff they had in these stores was actually Chinese. In the stores i walked in and around they had giant paper umbrellas, swords, decorations, zodiac calendars, decorations, sculptures, and tons of cute trinkets, toys, shoes, etc… Pretty much anything that could catch your eye was there. I wanted to buy one of everything!!!

What’s nice about Chinatown was that it had everything for tourists and lovers

Storefront in Chinatown

Storefront in Chinatown

of Chinese culture alike, but it really caters to the Chinese community. In case you didn’t know, we have the third largest Chinatown in the U.S. Not only does Chinatown have gift shops, and restaurants, and bakeries, but it has a lot of services that cater to the Chinese community, like grocery stores stocked full of their unique spices and vegetables and medicine stores. It also, as i mentioned, has plenty for tourists and others interested in their culture, such as language courses, agencies that help with traveling abroad, and I even saw some Chinese etiquette classes that teach people living/studying/going abroad how to properly act around the people in China. There are murals, including the famous Chinatown mural depicting the history of Chinese immigrants, and the Chinese-American museum of Chicago, which, sadly, has been closed for renovation due to a recent fire. But even so, i was able to walk around and enjoy the other sights. Not only that, but i ate way too much fried rice and pot stickers, so good… I walked away from Chinatown with a full belly, origami paper in my bag, and for dessert later i bought a moon cake. I hesitated whether it was too pretty to eat at first, but i got hungry on the train ride home. 🙂 I think that this is definitely one of the neighborhoods to visit if you’re ever in Chicago. And if you live here, then what are you waiting for?

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