Ethnic NY: Chinatown, Little Italy & the African Burial Ground

Tour by Foot & Subway

This 2-hour tour explores NYC's ethnic neighborhoods, focusing on their stories of immigration & assimilation.


One of NYC’s little-known nicknames is “the Gorgeous Mosaic” and that is never more obvious than when strolling the streets of NY’s first immigrant neighborhoods – booming Chinatown, shrinking Little Italy, the historical African Burial Ground and the vanished Five Points. Learn all about it!


Chinatown is one of NYC’s most famous neighborhoods and is our personal favorite – this small collection of winding streets and local shops planted its roots in the early 1800s and is the largest Chinatown in American, measured by population. Our passionate and informed tour guide will walk you through Chinatown’s friendly streets where restaurants, tea shops, local services, and community organizations vie for sidewalk space. Hanging Peking Ducks in the restaurant windows, glistening fish stalls and pungent sidewalk fruit markets, Chinatown is truly a feast for all senses.

Little Italy, centered on Mulberry St, is another iconic NY neighborhood. Even though it is three-and-half-blocks long and surrounded by Chinatown on all four sides, many tourists visit for pasta and pastries. However your private LUNY! tour guide’s stories will be far more fulfilling than the ravioli. Narratives about the contadini – Italian immigrants from small villages in southern Italy acclimating to the crowded streets of their strange new urban home, as well as La Cosa Nostra – tales of the organized crime families will run your imagination wild.

Just off of Columbus Park, discover the African Burial Ground National Monument, in the midst of NYC’s courthouses. This burial ground, for both free and enslaved NY residents of African descent, was lost to history for centuries and only discovered and resurrected in the 1970′s. It is a moving and somber tribute to a dark period of NY’s history.

Long lost to history, The Irish Five Points regained its fame when Martin Scorsese produced his 2002 epic film Gangs of New York. This film portrayed the colorful street gangs and urban depredation of one of the worst slums in America in the 1830s. Your guide will explain the slang and fashion, the barbs and wit, all of the true-life characters of the Irish street gangs who battled there.