Four Seas

Four Seas, Jade and Chinese social clubs in Chinatown mid-1940-50


From memory…….
The Four Seas Club was on the second floor above the 22 Club, a restaurant/bar on Pell Street. I believe it was started in the early 50’s to provide a place to hold dances/parties/socials in Chinatown. Victor Chin (brother of Newton Chin), Dick Lee, and Harry Chu are names that come to mind as possible original members? As time went on…the membership grew with college age kids joining and it was a popular place to be on Friday/Saturday nights for dances and social gatherings.
From my vantage point, a group of us started the Jade Club on 20 East Broadway in 1957 and the membership included guys & gals in high school,,,,college….and working adults….In general, the Jade Club members were a little younger than the Four Seas members. It was a fun time with many activities and functions to meet the social needs of the young guys and gals in the Chinatown community and beyond.   
Up to this point in time and in the 50’s, many of the Chinatown dances were held at the MacBurney YMCA on 23rd St. to accommodate the growing number of young adults in Chinatown and the overall NYC extended Chinese community in the 5 boroughs and New Jersey.
There were also the college Chinese Student Societies at Columbia, NYU ( Washington Sq.downtown & University Heights uptown), and City College who held their respective dances and attendance was open to all since they all charged an admission fee.
Best Regards
Dan Lee
January 2015