So much international flare in one city

Market in ChinatownMy feet and legs are sore, but the adventure that we took today was well worth any pain that might come out of the nearly fifteen miles that we walked today. From the west end to Commercial Drive via Chinatown, I saw more sights of the city that I’ve been wanting to explore some more since the day I got here.

When I was in the check-in line at O’Hare on the day I was leaving for Vancouver(the last time I was in the U.S. actually), an older, Chinese couple struck up a conversation with me. They told me that I had to visit Chinatown[wiki] because they loved the one in Vancouver. They were on their way to visit family near Hong Kong and said I really needed to visit there because I would absolutely love it. We couldn’t exactly walk there today, so Chinatown will suffice for now.

I had so many flashbacks to walking around Japan today. I know that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Chinatown? Japan? Well, there is a Chinatown in Yokohama that I made a few visits to during my summer there, but that’s another story for another time.

E. Pender St. in ChinatownI guess it was the smells and sounds that take me back. The abundance of the language, combined with that smell. It’s hard to explain it, but if you’ve experienced it, you know what I mean. Baked goods, fish, squid, seaweed, prawns, steamed buns, and what not, all in the open air on a hot, sunny day. It had me craving yakisoba from a corner stand much like you can grab a hot dog or gyro on a Manhattan street corner.

More pictures on my flickr, tagged “chinatown“.

One thing I never did while in Japan was to try a steamed bun. They always scared me, all the while making me incredibly curious as to what they tasted like, not to mention that stuff that was inside them. It was usually brown, and I could never be sure if it was meat as I passed people gnawing away. I already loved sushi and had a knack for trying new things at that point in my life, but I was always too chicken to go for it. Today, Rebecca showed me how stupid I was to pass so many of those up, so many times during those days in the Kanto. Spicy pork is oh so tasty!

Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese GardenThere’s more to be explored, found, and exploited in the future. In fact, our venture up to Commercial Drive[wiki] only found some slurpees and shade while we passed so many places that caused us to to point out at least five places on every block that we needed to come back to.

I should also add that the Chinese Garden in Chinatown is well worth the visit. The area that is free to the public is all that we saw, but it was a very peaceful, secluded spot. The whole area was crawling with people, but that entire, city atmosphere went away while we explored the garden. Well worth the visit.

By the way, anyone know a good place to get mexican bread up on Commercial? I was thinking that if there was somewhere to find a mexican bakery, that would be it.


2 Replies to “So much international flare in one city”

  1. Can’t believe you guys went to Chinatown without me 🙁 Especially after I went to all the trouble to take Rebecca there for her first time last week 🙁

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