New York is a city of cities. Its streets are the result and the sum of immigrants from all corners of the world who wanted to make the American dream a reality. Pieces of China, Italy, Korea, Ukraine, and also Japan, intermingle in Manhattan and the other boroughs of New York City.
Kei Kei works at a small take-away in Little Tokyo that fuses rice and Japanese flavors with the American burger. In a brief interview he tells us of his relationship with the neighborhood and his vision of New York. He also explains how to prepare Japanese burgers.
Little Tokyo, a dozen blocks or so of the New York East Village, immerses us in Japanese culture through a large number of restaurants and take-away establishments. We can also find toy stores, video games, clothing, supermarkets or even hairdressers that could be taken directly from Shibuya. The epicenter is in the triangle that make up Stuyvesant Street, Ninth East and Third Avenue.
The prosperous Japanese economy of the eighties of the last century led to a flow of Japanese businessmen attracted by the Midtown culture of a boiling Manhattan. Some stayed because of to the low rents, and the East Village, little by little, grew with Japanese roots.
According to history, the first establishment was the sushi restaurant Mie. However, the first that really adapted its dishes to the style of the East Village was the Sapporo East, founded in 1983. From then on the growth was exponential, especially in the nineties. Today we can enjoy a complete Japanese experience in the lands sold to Peter Minuit by the Canarsie tribe in the historic trade of 1633.
New York is a city so diverse that even if you come from Mars, from the first day, you can already consider yourself a New Yorker. If you’ve never been before you have seen it through the lens of thousands of films so much that if Bruce Willis shows up with a gun you would not be surprised. There are New Yorkers who never learn English, they do not need it. Advertising and the media are disseminated in multiple languages and in some neighborhoods the Mexican peso is also legal tender. New York City is the capital of the world, making the trends of the West, concentrating the best and the worst of capitalism in one place. A miniature universe made to scale.