5.7 out of 10

Centre St, Chinatown

Ranked 8th best street in Chinatown
40.7163333661455 -74.0012548756589
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Safe & Sound
  • Cost of Living
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Medical Facilities
  • Schools
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Eating Out
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees


1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Aug 08, 2012

"The Tombs"

It looks a little less than appetizing, but there's actually a pretty good little bakery right at Canal called the Golden Carriage. I always recommend it to the few people I know that actually want to go to Chinatown. But, don't let the quaint little bakery fool you, this is not even remotely a neighborhood kind of street. It takes a pretty drastic turn just after Canal and just seems to keep getting more depressing looking. There are a couple of big buildings right at Canal in the spot where a stream used to be. How cool would it be to still have a stream right here? Ok, it would be disgusting and black but even that might still be better than the ugly buildings and cement that replaced it.
The block at White has such an interesting history that is has nothing remaining of it aside from the same kind of institutions. The Manhattan Civil Courthouse is on the west side of the street. It's the ugliest courthouse in Manhattan, in my opinion . . there are some beautiful ones just a few blocks from here. But, they have night court here which can be really interesting to watch (which you're allowed to do). This whole block used to be an island that was surrounded by Collect Pond and stream. The island used to be designated for a place called the Tombs. It was, basically, a series of dungeons erected to hold people waiting their nearby execution. Apparently, it was a miserable and filthy place. But, the pond was drained by a canal that run down what is now . . . Canal street. And, a courthouse went up as well as the holding jail across Centre called . . . the Tombs. There are just under 1000 inmates detained there right now, so it's not exactly a street you'd want to live near. Though, I imagine the smell near this jail is infinitely better than it was when it was the original Tombs.
Centre street ends its run through Chinatown with a couple of government buildings (like the Sanitation Center, etc) but the street doesn't change much even as it runs into the next neighborhood. It's a very government institution kind of street so it's not a street than anyone would really want to live on in the few places you can.
  • The Jail
  • parking garages
Recommended for
  • Professionals
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
Dec 12, 2009

"Taking care of business street"

There's nothing especially inviting about Centre Street for the average urban mope. Moving downtown from its origin at Broome Street, you'll see two parking garages, one municipal and one private, plus a whole lot of wholesalers. Below Canal Street you get a spate of government buildings, including the Civil and the Criminal Courthouses, as well as a couple of Appeals courts and Detention Centers—yes, that means jails. All of these official buildings have an imposing presence of a sort, but you get the feeling you don't really want to be here unless you're on official business. This is a place too homely to really invite pedestrian traffic, and too imposing to make you want to linger. Parallel streets Broadway and Lafayette are better for driving anyway. For whatever it's worth, the building that houses the Chinatown Planning Council near Broome Street has those cool stone lions out front and a feel of real Beaux-Arts architecture. I also rather enjoyed the ornate East Bank building at the Canal Street corner, if you're into that kind of thing. If you're ever trapped on this street on official business, there are a lot of small dumplings places on the side streets that offer lunchtime relief.
  • impersonal
  • major thoroughfare for traffic
  • parking garages
  • not much distinctive personality
Feb 13, 2009

"Stay on the right side of the law"

Thankfully our time in Centre Street was spent merely sight seeing and not actually using the facilities of the numerous courts that can be found in the area. Its probably handy for everyone to keep all these buildings in a close location but it also allows for a lot of sight seeing as they tend to all be impressive and imposing buildings. Just make sure if you visit Centre Street it through your own choosing.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Feb 04, 2009

"I'm pretty neutral on this one"

This street takes you out of Soho and into the business district – it’s pretty diverse, and if you’re looking for the New York Supreme Court this is where you’ll find it. There’s a pretty good Chinese place called Red Egg on Centre Street as well – and it’s not alone; there seem to be a lot of Chinese restaurants on this street.
Feb 02, 2009

"Municipal and Federal buildings"

Centre St extends from Chambers St to Kenmare St. It hosts in its South part New York’s Municipal and Federal buildings. The town hall is right there, and it is where most of the New Yorkers and tourists get married! (New York is similar to Las Vegas in terms of marriage laws). There are also extremely beautiful buildings around there, worth a visit if you are interested in architecture: The Manhattan Municipal Building, The Manhattan Criminal Court Building, the Courthouse Building, and –close to them – the New York City Hall. The northern side of Centre St is, instead, a typical and crowded Chinatown street.
Jan 28, 2009

"Centre of great architecture!"

Centre street has amazing architecture to check out for tourists with an interest in that sort of thing. The Supreme Court Building is worth a stop to check out the building and the views from the condos and coops are absolutely breathtaking, that is if you can afford it. Overall it's a nice area but don't expect real estate to be cheap at all. It's location comes at a premium.
Oct 24, 2008

"The Middle of the Action"

Centre street is usually known for housing most of Manhattan's Municipal and Federal buildings. It is home to, amongst others, Family and Criminal Court, Police Headquarters, Immigration, and various other government buildings. It's a nice street to visit and stroll through, although there isn't much to do if you plan to live here. The area is best used by the police and government, and there hasn't been too much thought given to venues of entertainment. There are many useful services around, such as the post office, and quite a few translation offices, as well as pharmacies and some supermarkets, but otherwise it's pretty much a street where people just go to work. If you are visiting, I recommend passing through here because the buildings are truly impressive and a crucial part of the workings of New York.
Jul 19, 2008

"The Middle of Centre"

Centre street is a thoroughfare right in the middle of all the Lower East Side as an area has to offer. It’s a good for shopping and eating, though I’m not sure it’s the best street for living. I have a feeling that it would be really really hectic here.
This village is best accessed by the followed Metro Stations: 1,2 Houston Street, A,C,E, Spring Street, Prince St N,R,W, Broadway-Lafayette, B,D,F,V, Bleeker St, 4,6 2nd Ave- Lower East Side F,V, Canal St 1, 2, Canal St, A,C,E, ...N, Q R,W,... 4, 6,... J, M, Z, Grand St, B, D Bowery, J, M, Franklin, 1, 2. It is also very well acessible by the bus system!

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