New York City is proudly built by immigrants. Come experience different cultures from around the world in just a few short New York City blocks.


Amidst all the shopping that Soho has to offer, this neighborhood also offers an opportunity to experience different cultures from around the world in a few short city blocks.

Brunch @ Jack’s Wife Freda

This American-Mediterranean restaurant, named after the owner’s grandparents, was built by immigrants from South Africa and Israel and serves food influenced by grandmother Freda’s cooking. This hodgepodge of cultural influence gave birth to a delicious pressed sandwich made with duck prosciutto, cheddar béchamel, gruyere and a sunny side up egg called Madame Freda.

Museum of Chinese in America

Don’t forget, we are opened until 9pm today! #nyc #museum

A photo posted by Museum of Chinese in America (@mocanyc) on

In stead of flying around the world to China, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is two blocks away. It aims to preserve and protect Chinese heritage and their contributions in America. The Hapa Project is one of it’s most popular exhibits. It features head shots of multiracial identities in which each subjects answers, “what are you?”. According to the artist, Kip Fulbeck,

“The Hapa Project was created to promote awareness and recognition of the millions of multiracial/multiethnic individuals of asian/pacific islander descent; to give voice to multiracial people and previously ignored ethnic groups; to dispel myths of exoticism, hybrid vigor and racial homogeneity; to foster positive identity formation and self-image in multiracial children; and to encourage solidarity and empowerment within the multiracial/Hapa community.”

Italian American Museum

Around the World: Italian American Museum near Chinatown in New York City

Credit: Karsten Moran for The New York Times

One short block over is the Italian American Museum in Little Italy. Back in the day, it used to be a bank for recent immigrants from Italy. This small museum also provided a life line to the home country they left behind by offering telegraphs, steam ship trips, post office and employment services. The museum is at risk of closing because the owner may not be able to afford the high NYC rent. Any contribution you make will help preserve the past for the future.

Dinner @ Sanctuary T

To wrap up the day at these two museum visits is to end the night with dinner at Sanctuary T with an order of crispy gnocchi with Chinese pork sausage broccoli rabe, melted mozzarella, Parmesan and house made gochujang sauce. Amongst other things this place is known for, Sanctuary T offers a wide selection of artisanal teas (as well as coffee and cocktails) and a cozy environment of calmness and serenity to escape the hectic city life. Who says teas are for grannies?

NYC Like A Local is a weekly series that helps you experience NYC like a local by featuring local spots to add to your travel itinerary for more authentic New York moments.

Monica reflects on her travels by sharing her thoughts on A Cup of Moca. She writes about her journey as she experiences the destination to encourage others to marinate in the moment instead of just checking things off a bucket list.