Very quickly this morning -- because it's voting day here in NYC -- I've got some low-res pics of yesterday's adventure in Chinatown.
This enclave is actually a Little Italy-Chinatown-Little Vietnam hybrid. The Italians were here first (well, around the same time as the Eastern European Jews who lived cheek-t0-jowl with them along the Lower East Side), and they've hung on to a few tiny blocks on Mulberry and Mott Sts.
Now it's a colorful and chaotic intersection of many, many worlds. The predominant notes are Italian, Chinese and Vietnamese, but there's so much going on under the surface -- Taiwanese, Korean and then tiny areas dedicated to specific Chinese provinces (Fujian, etc etc).
I was there because the NYC courts are right behind Chinatown. And I got tapped for jury duty. A murder trial! Scary stuff, to be honest. Very daunting to think I'd have to sit in judgment on another and make such a heavy decision.
Luckily, I got booted in the second round!
Below, some pics of Chinatown I snapped when we got released for lunch (and more on that lunch at the bottom).
This is Colombus Park (note the name from when Italians dominated here) and those men are playing poker. I didn't want to get too close and take pics like they were some strange exhibit, but they looked like all retired Chinese/Asian workers, betting like mad on the three players you can't see. They're sitting down, but surrounded by all the betting onlookers. So the players are betting, and then everyone else bets on them!
The women get in on the action too, but a bit more discreetly.
Vendors in the street: Now, on to my lunch. I love steamed veggie dumplings. Luuuuurrrve them. So when I find myself in Chi-town, I always order some. I went to a Vietnamese place for lunch and asked if they had them (many places cater to the diversity by carrying staples from all cultures on the menu).
The waitress told me to get their steamed ravioli -- that's their equivalent dish, apparently. She said it was small, so I also got a small rice and chicken curry (brown rice, on the side please). This is what I got: I dove in straight away (hungry) and was already half way through it when the raviolis came. Right away red lights went off in my head: Too much food! Too much food!
There is something about me that I need to remember: I like to eat. I like to eat a lot. And I often order more than I need. I am working on that.
Yesterday, I ordered more food than I really needed to eat at that moment. Even before the raviolis came, the chicken and curry was filling me up.
I forced myself to stop. Down chopsticks, down!
Got the waitress, asked her to please box up the remaining chicken curry and rice, and then concentrated on the raviolis for the rest of my meal. I probably still ate more than I needed to, but I am very happy I was able to break the grip of desire that took hold of me as soon as the dishes began to appear.
I had the leftovers for dinner. Yum. And the B/F was jealous!