Korean Town

Business Traveller (India) - - INSIDE NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBOURHOODS -

Korean Town is lo­cated in the heart of Man­hat­tan. From here, you can walk to Em­pire State Build­ing, Her­ald Square, Penn­syl­va­nia Sta­tion and Madi­son Square Gar­den. Be­cause of its cen­tral lo­ca­tion, Korean im­mi­grants have found ex­po­nen­tial growth and suc­cess in busi­nesses that they set-up here. From spas to edgy Korean BBQ joints, New York City’s K-Town is one of its own. A friend rec­om­mended the kim­chi at Muk Eun Ji (muke­un­jikim­chi.com; open daily 10:30am-6pm, Thurs­day-Saturday un­til mid­night), a Korean eatery that’s known for its pro­gres­sive “kim­chi-fo­cused” menu. The in­te­ri­ors re­flect Korean her­itage with arte­facts from the iconic Cho­son Dy­nasty (1392-1897) of Korea. It is worth a visit.

While brows­ing through an in­ter­est­ing col­lec­tion of books by Korean au­thors at a book­store called Ko­ryo (ko­ry­obooks.com; open daily 9:30am-9:30pm, Saturday 10am-9pm, Sun­day 11am-8pm), I over­heard a con­ver­sa­tion about the an­nual Korean Day pa­rade that takes place here. The day-long pa­rade or­gan­ised by Korean com­mit­tees be­gins at 32nd Street in Korean Town. A march­ing band that in­cludes Korean im­mi­grants walks through K-Town, play­ing tra­di­tional folk mu­sic and modern pop songs of its home coun­try. It is usu­ally con­ducted any time be­tween late-Septem­ber and early Oc­to­ber.

Aside from bak­eries, grocery stores, su­per­mar­kets, and book­stores, K-Town’s must-visit lo­cales in­clude its snazzy karaoke bars. One such bar I vis­ited was Karaoke City and Sports Bar

(karaokecitynyc.com; open daily 1pm-4am). A thrilling venue, it was packed with ur­bane Kore­ans singing along to the lat­est “K-Pop” hits. There is also a sep­a­rate bar counter, which serves spe­cial­ity Asian spir­its and cock­tails. I would highly rec­om­mend this neigh­bour­hood for a night of Kore­anstyle fun.

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