Monday, January 14, 2013

The road to Dim Sum Go Go a grey one, in January.

Proceed across the Brooklyn Bridge, whose Sunday renovations had the entire Brooklyn-bound side closed to traffic. We could hear the consequent chaos from the Manhattan Bridge. Temperatures were mild. Both of us removed our coats and sausaged and tied them on top of the Frenchman's new camera bag on his back. 

See the lone water tower on the left of the bridge, just behind the South Street Seaport.  You don't read about it anymore, but generators are what brings electricity to many of these buildings, still, post Sandy. Their electrical innards were fried by the salty storm surge. Vince's work skyscraper just south and a little west of here (that's to the right) still runs on generators. Picture its six elevator banks on generator power. 

The love locks are back. I photographed them a while ago. Recently a website linked to that post because why? Because the website owner makes custom love locks, complete with inscriptions. Whatever.

During the renovations - still ongoing - most of the locks were cut off so that the ironwork could be painted. Their keys are thrown into the water below after the lock has been attached.  

About two miles from home, Chinatown. This is East Broadway. No relation to Broadway itself, and confusing for newcomers.

Sunday is prime time at Dim Sum Go Go, the joint whose food has remained consistent for as long as I have been eating there, which is...ten years! It was packed, but we did not wait more than ten minutes for our table. The crowd is one of the best mixes of New York I've seen, anywhere. Old Jewish men, tattooed Hipsters, mixed couples, pretty Chinese girls with impeccable manicures, United Nations of friends converging at one of the large round tables and sharing bright green plates of steaming bok choy, snow peas, platters of steamed buns, towers of bamboo dim sum baskets, endless cups of tea and cold Singha.

Below, from bottom left - lotus-leaf wrapped sticky rice and chicken, snowpea dumplings and roast duck dumplings.

                                                             Afterwards, we walked.

I decided not to photograph the bin filled with water and big green, live frogs.

These long, skinny barracuda-ish fish looked like South African snoek.

Very interesting, above: Ginseng. "American ginseng" (Panax quinqefolius) - an over-foraged, vanishing and subsequently endangered plant in the wild. Just about $40 per pound... It is apparently cultivated in some states (according to the linked paper on alternative crops). I did not know that. Online, I encounter foragers who wild-harvest and sell it.

                                      For a few blocks the rest of the city is obliterated by otherness.

Wandering the few backstreets which have not been discovered by the tourist throngs who converge on Chinatown to buy designer knock offs.

Lunar New Year is coming: February 10th. Fire crackers and parades, The Year of the Snake (you are a snake if you were born in 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013). Don't worry, snakes are not all bad.

And if you're wondering, I am a rooster. Crossed with a scorpion. If nothing else, I'd make good coq au vin. If you can catch me...


  1. Oh, I used to work in NYC, a couple of blocks from Chinatown and I miss it! When you said you and Vince were going to the Pearl Mart, I spent two hours looking on the internet at their wares. Did you buy any bowls there? I thought that the greenware ones were especially pretty. In 5" size. I also liked the soaps and the slippers. Tell us what you bought! And I also miss the wonderful and colorful street life. Do they still sell chicken feet? Here in Ohio, I want to know.

    Also, I enjoy all your pix, but would REALLY like to see more close-up water pix.I miss the water, also.

    I used to volunteer on the schooner Pioneer at South Street Seaport. Perhaps you can take some pix of that, and even go for a sail! The night sails are really majestic. And you can pack one of your pretty picnic baskets.

    1. Hi Carol. You can find water pictures here






      ...and few other places, too :-) Hope that helps.

    2. Marie,

      Thank you for your time and attention to link me to the water pictures. I had fun pasting them into my browser and saved several.
      You are such a caring soul.


  2. Hi Marie. There's a great story arc in "Pan's Labyrinth" involving the ginseng. Perhaps you will have time to rent it this Winter? Looking forward to your book this Spring!

    1. Was that ginseng? I had assumed it was mandrake root. Interesting!

      I remember the scene well. I confess the rest of the movie annoyed me deeply! Maybe I should try again.

  3. Darn it. Perhaps I wanted it be ginseng, as I have seen it in markets. The literature references include child and fertility (and perhaps a scream) so I think you are right about mandrake. Oh well, the moments of research were interesting!

  4. Oh torture. First you advertise for MONTH long cat-sitter, the week after we've booked our annual holiday and paid for airfares. Now this. It's just cruel.


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