Doyers Street is a crooked, narrow, windy little thoroughfare starting at Chatham Square and winding through to Pell St. Despite its short length, Doyers Street is one of the most vibrant and colorful places to visit in NYC.
It's barely 200 yards long, but it's one of the most famous streets in NYC and packs a lot of history into its short span.
According to legend, the street is named after Anthony Hendrick Doyer, who built a house at No. 3 Doyer Street in 1809.
At one time, the diminutive street earned the nickname of "The Bloody Angle" due to its crooked angles and deadly gang fights, plus a plethora of opium and gambling dens. Doyers Street has certainly experienced more than its fair share of violence, segregation, and xenophobia over the decades for such a small amount of square footage.
The current outlook is a little more kitsch, as Doyers Street now plays host to more peaceful outlets such as very camp souvenir shop, exotic cocktail bar, and culinary delights.
While Doyers Street has a historical streak of running red with blood, popular street artist Chen Dongfan was tasked with adding splashes of yellow, green, and blue in an example of some of the most ambitious street art in NYC. The project covers 4,861 square feet and depicts a flying dragon winding its long narrow body through the crooked thoroughfare.
As you walk down the narrow roadway, you may feel far removed from the typical hustle and bustle of the urban landscape beyond, but the area is packed with some of the most interesting places to visit in NYC.
Ting's Gift shop sits on the corner of where Doyers Street begins, with its large display windows filled to the brim with odd little trinkets and tourist memorabilia such as lucky cats, smiling buddhas, and paper dragons. Ting's Gift shop is no stranger to a colorful history, as it was the location of a successful drug bust in 1957 when 10 pounds of heroin were seized by law enforcement.
Head on down to the south-western corner, and you will find one of Chinatown's most popular landmarks, the Nam Wah Tea Parlor, which has been serving New Yorkers hot tea and Dim Sums since 1920.
The Apothéke is a cocktail bar that was once home to an opium den. Look for a red awning and the words "Chemist." Step inside and enjoy a range of weirdly named cocktails surrounded by pressed tin and gold architecture while you are served by staff dressed as pharmacists.