Saturday, February 09, 2013

Eve of the Lunar New Year

Early on this eve of the Lunar New Year (Year of the Water Snake) 2013, I journeyed out to Grand Prairie, Texas, at the suggestion of a Vietnamese entrepreneur from Haltom City. He described the basics of what would be going on, and he was completely accurate.

Before arriving at "Asian Time Square," I had to cross through a large chunk of Grand Prairie that is neither grand nor prairie, although in between urban sprawl, a myriad of nondescript warehouses and broken down, overladen roads, you can see from the lay of the land that yes, there once was a big open area of slightly rolling hills. 

Once inside Asian Time Square, a mall-sized socioeconomic space gussied up for the Lunar New Year, I walked around to the sight, sound and aroma of snapping firecrackers, sizzling meats and gao dumplings, neon lights and small games of chance and fortune. Whole foods were on display at the back of a large all-purpose interior supermarket, where catfish swam behind hand-drawn price-per-pound signs and there were frozen dead chickens that actually looked like frozen dead chickens, ready to be thawed, cooked and eaten. Kind of refreshing, keeping it real and not on the "chicken nugget" side of fast food presentation. Yes, Virginia, those nuggets were once alive!

My best find for takeaway was Le Jing G7 Vietnamese coffee "using only the choicest coffee beans from Buon Ma Thuot, Vietnam's legendary basaltic region." Also good: handmade bánh mì, a sort of Vietnamese Po' Boy that's delicious. Glad I checked it out.

Today's Rune: Signals.      

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