Chinese New Year – New York City. Venerable Chinatown is located in a warren of narrow winding streets. The parade will meander thru crowds held back by metal barriers. Claustrophobic! Indeed! Colorful! For sure! It’s a spectacle. No Macy’s sponsorship it is a local event. Out in the hinterland of Flushing Queens there is a similar parade along Union Street, a wide venue lacking the charm and character of downtown Chinatown.
Nighttime – Chinatown
Nighttime in Chinatown is colorful too. Hey? Maybe that’s why I’m not a ‘black and white’ photographer? It was a crisp (cold…brrr) autumn evening. We walked a long way. I was parked on the other side of town from that ‘roast pig.’ Who knew? Lights and the city are something special. It was fun. I was glad to get into a warm car and go home.
I bet you might wonder what dim sum is? Done well, it is a giant place serving hundreds. You have to move the inventory (food). That’s the only way you have fresh hot food and lots of choices. It’s all in the turnover. This would be hard to do just about anywhere else that doesn’t have a critical mass of hungry noisy voracious people. Look, I was there to eat.
I was too hungry and too excited to even take a picture… till my initial cravings were partially addressed. Carts are the key. Women come by with carts laden with hot finger sized appetizers. You pay according to the size of the plate. Pick what you want and as many plates as you like. Avoid the slimy weird stuff. Mostly avoid dessert. Did I tell you the Chinese can’t bake? But spring rolls? Everyone has had one and likes them. There are variations and they all taste just fine. It’s a bit of a stretch for a vegetarian, but no one starved. Yes, this is one occasion where a large (hungry) crowd is appreciated.
We made a trip to Chinatown recently. Chinatown? Well, with more and more I guess it’s fair to say it was New York City. But there are at least three enclaves now. Manhattan! Of course! Is there any other? Yup, San Francisco, Los Angeles…. Live seafood. It’s about live and fresh. I’m not sure there are many places where you walk past tanks of live seafood ready to be cooked to order.
The shops? Exotic? Certainly different. Prices? Whoa! Look closely. Read the labels and … whoa! They would be thousands of dollars per pound! Really? Dried shrimp, a delicacy? And abalone, at hundreds a pound? I can appreciate the price, marvel at the prices, and shake my head that someone values this at so many dollars. Abalone is chewy and not particularly tasty to me. But then don’t ask me. I don’t like wine much either.