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The Real Story of Chop Suey & Other Interesting Facts: Museum of Chinese in America, NY

Updated: Nov 22, 2023




Field Trip: The Museum of Chinese in America, New York

Travel Blog



New York is known to have the Museum Mile, along the famous 5th Avenue. But, there are plenty of museums off the mile. Take a bus or train downtown and head to the Museum of Chinese in America.



colorful crafted hat at the Museum of Chinese in America
Knitted infant hat, Museum of Chinese in America

Like many small packages, there a lots of good things. Along with the revolving exhibits, the incredible permanent exhibits tell the compelling story of people who came from China to America. Perfect for Asian American Pacific Islander month but great for any time of the year.



blue cup and teapot, Museum of Chinese in America
Porcelain beer stein and teapot, Museum of Chinese in America


The museum uses modern and traditional styles for its exhibits: music, interactive displays, audio-visual techniques, and plenty of captions for an enjoyable afternoon.


The Museum of Chinese in America is great for AAPI month but it is probably busy, so this travel blog recommends that you commemorate Asian American Pacific Islander month all year long and try to visit other times of the year, if you can. If you are traveling to New York, then schedule your visit to the Museum of Chinese in America either when it opens up or the last two hours when it closes. Many museums in New York tend to get very busy in the middle of the day.


Soybean millstone, Museum of Chinese in America
Millstone for soybeans, Museum of Chinese in America

There’s background information about MoCA on their website. And there’s interesting information about the Museum of Chinese in America itself right in the museum. It began as a history project in 1980 to promote understanding of the Chinese American experience and to preserve the memories and experiences of older Chinese Americans. Like many other immigrant and cultural groups in the United States, without this documentation, we would not have a complete documentation of America’s history. And, if you are of a different race, or ethnicity, you will enjoy the similarities of the struggles and successes of Chinese Americans.


MoCA does give information about discrimination and stereotypes and current events affecting Asian Americans. But, there is more about celebrating the Chinese culture in America. Particularly interesting is the film section and the section about Chinese food and restaurants.



Chinese magician's hat travel blog
Magician's queue hat, Museum of Chinese in America

The museum has its own history. It has experienced different locations, a fire at a storage site, grants and donations and partners. The current location is 215 Centre Street.



poster at Museum of Chinese in America travel blog
History of Museum of Chinese in America


Like most museums, there are permanent, revolving, and limited exhibits that tell the story; check the Museum of Chinese in America website for any current exhibits and their dates.


The Museum of Chinese in America can be toured from two different perspectives: either explore Chinatown and then connect your experience with the documentation in the museum or visit the museum first and then look for examples of real life of what you just saw. Either way, this travel blog believes your enjoyment of Chinatown will surely be enhanced. Like many cultural museums, you will certainly gain not only knowledge but a better appreciation and understanding of the Chinese American experience in America.


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Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


All photos and videos created and copyrighted by Marcia Crayton, unless otherwise noted.

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