Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chinese Night Market

Move over Italian Market and Reading Terminal, Chinatown's bringing some competition that tests the limits of Philadelphia's conservative business hours that sometimes conjure up the term "Blue Law".

John Chin, executive director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) has proposed bringing a nighttime taste of Asia to the streets of Philadelphia.

Late night outdoor markets are popular all over Asia where vendors peddle cheap eats and outdoor entertainment in bazaars into the wee hours of the night.

Other U.S. cities have attempted to bring the East to the West in places like San Francisco with limited success. However, Philadelphia's Chinatown lacks the touristy gentrification that plagues the Chinatowns in New York, DC, and Los Angeles. This authenticity might be beneficial in creating the genuine grit needed to make these Chinese Night Markets work elsewhere.

Think Big Trouble in Little China.

In a city where most grocery stores are closed by 7 or 8 o'clock, Chinatown's independently owned and operated shops are routinely open much later, and many restaurants serve patrons well into the morning.

Keelung Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan

Before long, club-going Philadelphians might not be headed to Pat's at 2am for a cheese steak, but headed north on 10th to David's Mai Lai Wah for steamed dumplings or late night street vendors on Race for fried grasshoppers or cuddle fish.

Will a night market - a Chinese staple - open in Philadelphia's Chinatown?

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