New York Songlines: Pell Street

Mott | Doyers | The Bowery

Pell Street was once known as "Red Street" because of the frequent tong wars carried out here in the early 20th Century.

S <===     MOTT ST     ===> N


35: May May Company Oriental Gourmet Shop, closed in 2007 after 42 years.

25: Lins Dumpling House

23: Kobma Thai Restaurant

21: First Chinese Baptist Church of New York City

19 (corner): Chung Wah Barber Shop; at $7 for men, $8 for women, perhaps the cheapest cuts on the block.

S <===         DOYERS ST

15: Hip Sing Associates Inc.

13: From about 1905 until 1911, the address of Sing Dock, the ''Scientific Killer,'' chief hitman of the Hip Sing tong. He was known for methodically planning his murders, including the Chinese Theater massacre that left four dead. He was killed in 1911 at the Hip Sing headquarters.

11: King Son Cafe was a hangout for the Flying Dragons, the street gang affiliated with the Hip Sing tong.

9: Joe's Shanghai Restaurant, noted for its soup dumplings.

Edward Mooney House

Corner (18 Bowery): The oldest surviving townhouse in Manhattan, it was built sometime between 1785 and 1789--in Georgian mixed with foreshadowing of Federal style. In the 1830s and '40s it housed a brothel.




34: Lucky Garden Restaurant was once the import-export business of Wong He Cong, described by the New York Herald as ''the foremost wholesale dealer of tea and rice in New York.''

26-28: Hay Won Loy Restaurant

26: Mee Sum Coffee Shop

24: World of Vegetarian; Northern Village Seafood; Chinese Musical Theatrical Association of NY

22: Chinese Womens Benevolent Association

20: Amy's Hair Salon, bargain hair-coloring.

Hip Sing Tong HQ

16: The ''United in Victory'' association, the first major secret society in Chinatown with Pell and Doyers streets as its turf, has been based here for decades. In 1898, roughtly 12 percent of Chinatown's residents were said to be members. A war started with the rival On Leong tong when they tried to storm this building on October 7, 1924; by the time things settled down, 70 people were supposedly dead.

Unique Fast Food is on the ground floor.

14: Creative Design Hair and Beauty Salon

12A: 12A Styling House

12: This was the address of the Chinatown Music Hall, the first Chinese theater in the Eastern U.S., which later became The Pelham, a saloon where Irving Berlin got his start as a singing waiter. It was also an opium den; Yee Toy, the Hip Sing member (nicknamed ''Girl Face'') who killed Sing Dock, lived at this address and was assassinated on the street here in 1912. Today, the disco-like Lee Lee Beauty and Hair offers ''Japanese straightening'' here.

10: This building served as the Hip Sings' original headquarters when they came to New York in the 1890s. It was also an opium den. Until recently it was home to the Ten Pell Street Restaurant.

S <===     THE BOWERY     ===> N

Confucius Plaza Apartments

Is your favorite Pell Street spot missing? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

New York Songlines Home.

Sources for the Songlines.

Chinatown: The Last Foreign Country in New York, by Bruce Edward Hall