After The Week of Consumption (But Not Tuberculosis), I have no money. When Planned Parenthood or GreenPeace or Human Rights Campaign tricks me into thinking they are asking for directions and instead asks for a monthly contribution of ten dollars, my denial is no longer based on the principle that giving out checking information on the street is risky but on the fact that I cannot overdraw. Fortunately, I get paid on Friday.
Even though I have enough food in my kitchen to allow a comfortable hibernation for the next week, I appreciate variety. And so, armed only with an unlimited subway card filched from my roommate and two dollars worth of laundry quarters, I cautiously made my way to Prosperity Dumpling in Chinatown. I say "cautiously" because I dislike the B-D-F-M-Orange-Line Thing. It confuses me: half the time, the uptown line is actually running west and half the time the uptown line is running in another direction. More importantly, it splits where I do not want it to split. I slowly navigated through streets that neither numbered nor lettered and finally found Prosperity Dumpling.
It was all worth it. The irritating subway ride, the darkening streets, the gaggles of teenagers cutting me off while I tried to have a meaningful conversation with my sister. I would do it again in a heartbeat made sluggish by too many fried dumplings.
With my sad fistful of eight quarters, I bought five dumplings and a healthy wedge of a sesame pancake as the same cluster of teenagers arrived and lined up behind me. Suckers.
The five dumplings were fried to perfection and stuffed with pork and chives. The skin of each dumpling was expertly fried to the crisp golden-brown that colors my dreams. It tasted just good. The pork and chives were blended well. Prosperity Dumpling achieves the perfect pork-to-chive-to-soft dumpling skin-to-fried dumpling skin ration and costs $1. Bravo.
The sesame pancake was delicious in the same way that green onion pancakes are delicious. There is some flavor folded within the warm, doughy goodness that keeps me coming back for more. Perhaps it is the sesame. Then again, that would be too simple. This also cost $1.
If you only have $2 and your roommate's unlimited subway card, Prosperity Dumpling should be your only stop.