Sunday, February 1, 2009

Philadelphia Chinatown (New Year of the Ox)

Hundreds of people assembled along the streets of Chinatown in Philadelphia on a mild winter afternoon to witness the New Year of the Ox parade. Locals passed the word along that they couldn't obtain a permit (Philly economy casualty), so no parade.

A lot of families were disappointed by the news, but still enjoyed the 50 degree afternoon eating and shopping their way through the little ethnic village.

A large group of us visited the H.K. Golden Phoenix Restaurant on Race Street for lunch. Dim Sum carts were offering a large variety of foods. We couldn't easily identify a lot of the them, and with an obvious language barrier, we communicated that we'd rather order off menus. We ordered a large variety of different flavored dishes from Lo Mien to spicy entrees to share and enjoyed all of them.

Another experience was visiting an Asian bakery. Randomly in the display cases were sweet baked goods next to non-sweets like a hot dog wrapped in pastry dough. Definitely not the usual fare of bakery items for us, but flavorful nevertheless.

The Shanghai Bazaar is kind of an upscale local/touristy store with a large variety of Chinese language books and household items. From a cane with a sword hidden in the handle to nick-knacks to Asian movies or music, this place was eye candy for it's colorful diverse variety of displays.

I was about shopped out by this point, so I went to the streets for facades, signs, and street scenes to finish off the outing.

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