1.5 out of 10

Oliver St, Chinatown

Ranked 14th best street in Chinatown
40.7126743438597 -73.997976977759
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Cost of Living
  • Eating Out
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Nightlife
Not great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Childcare
  • Internet Access
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Medical Facilities
Who lives here?
  • Students
  • Tourists


1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5

"Kinda scary block"

Oliver Street is what worth turns into right around Chinatown. It commences at Chatham with two buildings that I would absolutely expect to be in Chinatown. There's a massive public housing building on one side of the street and a little square called Kimlau that has a few monuments to notable Chinese figures and peoples. It's not the most appealing set of architecture in the city, in my opinion. Kimlau is fine but I will never understand why public housing projects always have to look like prisons. They're just scary to me. And, you can spot the project from blocks away.
The same side of the block as Kimlau holds an old folks home, a bank and a pretty greek revival building that was built to serve as a church for the seafaring kind. I find it really amusing that churches used to separate people like that. Like, why did seafarers need their own church?
Across the street from the church is a little school and a very creepy looking playground. It's almost like Oliver was conceived of by a horror film writer. Add the old rowhouse across from the playground into the mix and we've really got all the right elements for some freakish kind of story. The rowhouse is beautiful, though, and one of the few houses that remain in this neighborhood which has been only recently finally getting out of slum status. The house is definitely worth a look but the street is nothing to see . . . or to want to live on. There's no vibe and nothing to do. Plus, horror films are not something you want to live in.
  • Cheaper rent
  • crowded
  • noisy Chinatown street
  • traffic
Recommended for
  • Students
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5

"Noisy Chinatown crossroads"

Unmistakably a crossroads, the Bowery, East Broadway, Mott Street, plus a couple of smaller streets, all converge here, in a confusing tangle that somehow also forms a mid-point between the mouths of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. It's all soot and honking horns around this square; I can't imagine being a resident nearby and stepping out into this kind of madness every day. The noise level is barely bearable. There's a statue of General Lin Zexu at the center of the square, which, until only recently when I took the trouble to cross the street and find out for myself, I used to believe was a likeness of Confucius. I'm not quite as confused about Confucius as you think, though, because nearby there is indeed the Confucius Plaza housing cooperative, a 44-story mega-housing development owned almost entirely by Chinese Americans. Someone told me—yes, I know this must be an urban legend—that if you go to Confucius Plaza at 7 in the morning, you will see a crowd of people all practicing Tai Chi in the open air, with everyone in sync. The thought of it is so wonderful, I just had to pass it on, though I'd love for someone to write in and either verify or deny this.
  • central location
  • good restaurants
  • noisy Chinatown street
  • crowded
  • traffic
Recommended for
  • Tourists
  • Students

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