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The Museum of Chinese in the Americas, A Place That Matters

museum of chinese in the americas place matters new york city

The Museum of Chinese in the Americas (MoCA) at 70 Mulberry Street in Manhattan, was founded in 1980 as the New York Chinatown History Project. In 1984 the small staff moved into their current second-floor digs in the former P.S. 23, at the corner of Mulberry and Bayard. At the end of 2007, a now much larger staff hopes to move into their newly renovated, Maya-Lin designed museum at 211-215 Centre Street, between Grand and Canal. Theirs has been a long journey to preserve memories and histories that the textbooks left out. By mounting salvage expeditions for artifacts, oral history collecting forays into factories and laundries, and ground-breaking exhibitions and programs, the crew at MoCA has earned the museum a national reputation.

  • This is a perfect time to visit MoCA because on February 18th the Lunar New Year 4705 begins — the Year of the Pig. Log onto or call 212.619.4785 for info about special Lunar New Year walking tours and the museum’s exhibits and other programs.
  • Check out the Lunar New Year Flower Market at Columbus Park (Mulberry St., bet. Bayard & Worth). Dates: Friday, Feb. 16th, 12noon-10pm; and Saturday, Feb. 17th, 10am-6pm. Admission is free. The flower market is a new annual tradition sponsored by MoCA and others. Purchasing holiday flowers is a popular way of welcoming in the Lunar New Year and flowers are said to bring luck and prosperity.

{Since place matters, it’s worth mentioning that Columbus Park sits on the site of “Mulberry Bend,” the neighborhood Jacob Riis described as the most dangerous place in the city in How the Other Half Lives (1890). Mulberry Bend Park replaced the condemned tenements in the early 1890s and was renamed Columbus Park in 1911.}