For many Americans, jetting off to explore every corner of the world seems attainable in the heart, just not in the wallet. Luckily for New Yorkers, it's possible to get a small taste of countless cultures without stepping outside of the city. For each of the seven continents, there is at least one neighborhood, bar, food truck or event that embodies a cultural experience similar to visiting it. You can't always get falafel fresh from Cairo, but there's always that stand down the street from your office, right?
To begin your urban journey across the five boroughs of the world, take a trip to the Asia of lower Manhattan. Flying from JFK to Beijing will set you back at least $1,000. While a subway ride from anywhere in Manhattan to Chinatown costs $2.50. Hop off at Canal Street and you'll immediately feel like you've been transported 8,000 miles away without any of the jet lag or leg cramps. Even the overwhelming stairs leading out of this station provide visitors with authentic feelings of claustrophobia and curiosity.
Chinatown stands as a timeless illustration of New York's melting pot design. Steps away from the Lower East Side and Little Italy, the streets of this bustling enclave will immerse all of your senses. The air smells of fish, fruit and sizzling oils. Colorful tables line the sidewalks, overflowing with everything from exotic produce to discount umbrellas. Haircuts run as low as $5. Dumplings are plentiful at four for $1.
Looking to soak up a little history while on your Asian getaway in the city? Then stop by the Museum of Chinese in the Americas (70 Mulberry Street) and the Mahayana Buddhist Temple (133 Canal Street). Got a food fix? Check out the New York Noodle Town over on Bowery or Peking Duck House on Mott Street.
--Video and copy By Rose GunsonRead more »