We had just made a deal with the head laundress to process our bulk clothing at $3 per 20 pound sack. She had the hots for my young, aggressive associate Yung, so I encouraged them to indulge themselves. Just after the deal was sealed, Yung decided to stir the pot by spitting on the sacks of our Japanese rivals. (Their sacks are bright red, ours are white with three blue stars and an outline of California). Yung goes left, I go right, the Japanese are chasing us. Meanwhile the people who run the joint are trying to find out what the chaos is all about. So Im scrabling through aisle after aisle packed with shoppers trying to get back to my American group and maintain some dignity and not have to whip out the pistol...
(cliche of man rising up in bed, breathing deeply covered in sweat)
Last night I took my daughter and her friend out to Pasadena for the 626 Night Market. There was no chasing, but there were huge crowds of Chinese people everywhere. The traffic was horrendous, but it was indeed a spectacle.
The Night Market is an old Chinese tradition and if people have any sense whatsoever, it's going to be a new huge one in the San Gabriel Valley. It was a shopkeeper's nirvana. The foot traffic was Times Square intense. For a measly one block setup of no more than 30 odd tents, you had easily 15,000 people.
It was nostalgic for me to get out to Pasadena. I used to live in Altadena and in South Pasadena so I have more than my share of memories about the place and its affinity for Asians of all flavors. The girls, by showing up, practicing a little of their Mandarin and taking photos will get extra credit for their class and there were certainly plenty of opportunities to overhear conversations in all sorts of dialects.
We ended up eating down in Old Pasadena six blocks away to get away from the swell. Great steaming bowls of spicy ramen could be had at Naga Naga. So we had ours after a 40 minute wait. I say go for the kimchee + beef, and the green milk tea is great, but too small - you should order two, or just get a Sprite. The huge fishtank in the middle is cute for about 10 minutes and then you start noticing how disgusting it is in the nooks and crannies. That is if you are sitting at the bar that surrounds it. My advice is to get a table far away.
Ont the whole, it was nice to get out of the house and into the street, but I hate crowds and there was absolutely nothing worth buying. Not even a cool T-Shirt. The experience was rather like Venice Beach, but not as well organized.