New York Daily Photo Analytics

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pearl River Mart

In 1971, a 20-year-old trade embargo against China was lifted as a result of President Richard Nixon's normalization of relations with China. One vendor had already imported goods into Manhattan via Hong Kong in anticipation of this. The day after the lifting of the embargo, Ming-Yi Chen, who was born in China, grew up in Taiwan and came to the United States in 1965,had started selling an entire line of mainland Chinese goods at his shop (then called Chinese Native Products, Ltd.), at 22 Catherine Street. At the time, the sign was only in Chinese, brandishing the characters Shih-Sin, meaning "four virtues." In 1977 they moved to Elizabeth Street. But its move in 1987 to a 15,000-square-foot loft space on the second and third floors on Canal Street and Broadway (at 277 Broadway) is where Pearl River Mart became known as THE Chinese department store (in a dismal location). Now, Pearl River has a new home - a full floor at 4 Broadway in the trendier SOHO, just north of its previous Chinatown location. Pearl has thousands of items, nearly everything imaginable: clothes, satin slippers, birdcages, paper parasols, lamps, cookware, food items, sushi sets, bamboo rice steamers, teapots, kimono-style robes, herbal remedies, live bamboo plants, windowshades, toys, furniture, Buddha statues and more. This is one of those lesser known NYC icons - single location, family owned, unique product line; a true mecca for all things Asian. Pearl is also known for their pricing and although the hardcore Chinatown aficionados will tell you they are not the cheapest anymore (it's a badge of honor in the city to be in the know), I think you should check it out ...


Anonymous said...

Interesting. I think we have ordered things from here.

Brookville Daily Photo

Brian said...

Abraham -
Surprising they do mail order. The various Chinatown businesses like this are ones we typically expect to be more of a cash and carry type of operation.

Gucci Muse said...

Yes, I have heard of them via the internet-I would love to go and look-I guess there must be other places nearby that are cheaper? it really looks nice to carouse.