Last Sunday the GF and I went down to Chinatown for the Lunar New Year festivities. Aside from the various pig-related memorabilia* there was a parade with the standard dragon and lion dancers, groups of little kids piled onto various community association floats, two or three “Year of the Pig Queen”-type princesses**, the flag-bearing members of the VFW local chapter, an African-American marching band from a local high school, and a corps of bagpipers complete with kilts and tartans. It was nice to see how they’ve taken Chinese New Year and made it inclusive for all cultures.
Towards the end of the parade*** I pulled the GF off the street and into one of the really good Chinese restaurants down the street we had been planning on going to. I figured that what with all the crowds distracted by the parade we’d be able to sneak in before a line formed. True to form, as soon as we got seated there was a line out the door of people standing in the cold. The GF and I smugly congratulated ourselves on our cunning and dove into two steaming plates of moo-shu vegetables and sechuan chicken. Mmmmm…
After eating we walked up and down the little retail area, stopping into the various trinket shops. Everything is *so* cheap in Chinatown it’s crazy. And they have stuff you’d never think of otherwise. For instance, one store was a combination trinket shop and Chinese grocery. They had an entire aisle devoted to tea – there must have been over 400 different types, all with some sort of alleged benefit. Myself, I picked up a box of “Man Plus King Power” tea, which sounded like it would give me some sort of Steven Segal butt-kicking power. After bringing it home however, I think it’s actually some sort of supposed herbal Viagara. In either case, it doesn’t work: I didn’t get an overwhelming urge to kick anyone’s ass, nor did I suddenly develop (and then subsequently cure) erectile dysfunction.
Both of which are all right with me. And actually the tea tastes pretty good, so I’ve got that going for me.
* VW Bug decorated to look like a pig anyone?
** Complete with requisite tiaras
*** The only float still coming was the one with Ronald MacDonald on it, which I didn’t feel was particularly Chinese