Why Chinatown Is So Delicious, And Why It Might Not Be So Forever

During summers when I was in high school, my cousins and I would help out at my uncle’s Chinese restaurant on Staten Island, N.Y. We’d stay at his house, wake up early and ride into the city with him in a Chevy Lumina minivan with the back two rows of seats taken out, replaced with a shallow metal bin. It was like a rite of passage in my family.

Before going to the restaurant, we’d drive into Manhattan’s Chinatown six days a week and fill up the back of that minivan with whatever fruits, vegetables, meat, noodles, rice, and

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