Missed connections

lost

Back in the 1800’s, my people washed a lot of clothes. Lot of other people’s clothes too so given our history, you’d think that here in Chinatown, there’d be a couple of laundry services. Hell, every town, ethnic enclave or not, has at least one. But apparently not here in my neighborhood which I can only surmise that A. we all do our own laundry so why would we pay someone else to do it or B. The majority of my neighbors work in the restaurant or sewing business so maybe the need for dry press is pretty minimal…

Does anybody know a M. Zialcita . Having gone picked up a pair of pants this morning at the dry cleaners (they’re freaking expensive and I don’t recommend them but they do a good job of hemming) in Silverlake, next to Gelson’s (on Hyperion), I came across a shiny silver object next to my car. It was a visa credit card. You may have just left in a black volkswagon but I wasn’t sure since that person had longer hair. This was around 10:30 Sunday morning. Leave a comment here or email me at [email protected] and we’ll make arrangements.

Hell, who needs craig’s list when there’s blogger la…except they don’t have a laundry service either.

Sunday’s best

chomp!

Martin Cendreda and I were eating at some random ramen place in monterey park… talking mostly about indie comics, some of the art shows and other artists around town. He does his own comic and does freelance work for animation companies and magazines.

Having worked at the giant robot store in west la, it was simple enough to spot people trying to be hip by making a simple toy or t-shirt purchase (no need to talk too loud to explain to your friend or sig other why its cool to be there, and stop mispronouncing artist’s name when you tell me you’re such a big fan). And dropping, “Arcade Fire” won’t work anymore too since the band has appeared on the cover of Time magazine. So its somewhat refreshing when working in the outer reaches of the aptly entitled, City of Industry” (where trucker hats is attire, not a fashion trend) that when I sell a kozyndan print at the collectibles show/swap meet, the customer is usually unaware of the increasingly loud buzz surrounding them (because they usually ask me who the hell they are). They just like their art for no other reason than its pretty. So thats kind of cool. Although on occassion, some bro will insist on a discount (I already undersell the stores, I’m not underselling the artists themselves) and when I continuely refused, he responded with “who are they…are they famous”. Yes they are, now go away.

Don’t know if the masses will ever hear of Martin…not that I think he really cares or is even trying. He’ll spends most of the day drawing herbert the hound, watching over his grandmother Lola and hearing his wife yell in the background, “HUBBY!!!” And hopefully keep eating noodles with me on a lazy smilie day.

My PSA

Action!

Not just death, not just taxes…some shit will always happen. Like your little girl having her heart broken. You see it coming – little boys knocking on the door to play in the backyard, shy boys calling her to see a movie, bigger boys asking her out for a date. And than it happens. You find her one day in her bedroom crying over a dumb boy. Everyone gets hurt, no one goes unscathed.

Hollywood films everywhere – like even more every where in LA than the rest of the world but well, I live here so maybe it just seems that way. Bladerunner and Kill Bill was shot in the Third street tunnel (oh, is that Japan?), The Shield is shooting in Silverlake and countless number of villainous lairs reside in Chinatown (because you know, thats the only place we chinese people live,eat and plan our nafarious schemes). Fucking everywhere. However, two to three times a week, I drive over to the valley to visit the Sherman Oaks Castle Park batting cages and line drive balls to the fence. Cheaper than therapy man but less effective than hearing my mom nag. No one bothers me there and I don’t bother anyone. And its one of the few places that I have yet to see production. Until last night. As I drove up on Sepulveda and approached my haven, I saw cube trucks parked in the lot, people production assistants wearing red panavision tee shirts milling around with walkie talkies hanging from their belt loop and fat men grips below the easy-ups eating M&M’s out of a bowl. But of course they would film there. Why wouldn’t they. Golly, they shot The Golden Child across from my god damn apt decades ago, why wouldn’t they eventually crowd my oasis even 30 miles away. By and large, I don’t mind production but when the cute attendant who sells me my token, told me they wanted to rent out three of the cages to close it down, I was annoyed. Thats where I pretend to be Milton Bradley. But the manager would have none of that…good looking out man, good looking out. So they kept shooting and I kept hitting. Incidentally, note to production, in addition to batting cages, you might also find bowling alleys and casino’s rather noisy as well.

Not exactly sure about my little girl and who’s going to break up with her imaginary heart. He might be a nice guy or even a big movie producer an asshole, but really, who can stand to see a girl cry. Not me. So when I find this guy, and I will, all my time practicing at the batting cages uninterrupted, will have come in handy. I’m just saying. And that is my fucking movie.

Newport Seafood…but not in OC

the yum!

Not familiar with Vietnamese food, I have always said to myself, “c’mon man, they gotta eat more than just pho and sandwiches”. And it just so happen that my supervisor at my new job recommended the Newport Seafood (Tan Cang) Restaurant in San Gabriel. What the hell, I like food and kissing my boss’s ass so why the hell not.

Lobster…oooh, lobster. If you’re going to serve lobster, that might as well be your anchor dish and pretty much every party in the packed restaurant had the Newport Special Lobster on their table. It looked pretty damn good with the chopped green onions, various colored chili’s and onions stir fried into the bright red crustacean. Fifteen minutes into eating the tender chewy meat, and I’m going, its alright. Just alright. But than I did what my people do best and that meant sucking the flavor straight from the shell – yikes, and thats why its the anchor dish. The blend of spices creates a nice harmony (yea, this is an asian food reveiw so I’m required to use that word) without any single condiment capsizing over the other. Our second dish was clams with spicy hot sauce. Not that spicy actually but it has a quick kick that was offset by the fresh basil cooked into the seasoning. Not only did it make the food look pretty, but I think its the ingredient that sets this dish apart from the normal black bean sauce that is usually associated with clams…in my world. To round out our dinner for 4, we also ordered the Beef Loc Lac (French style) – yummy bite sized filet mignon that was buttery and peppery, and snow pea leaves – if the chef isn’t trying to be too cute, they can’t really fuck this dish up and they didn’t. But I’ve had better elsewhere. For the four of us with the four dishes, the cost was about 91.00 not including tip.

So yea, I can go back to work and report to my supervisor with a great reveiw. And being sincere in your conversation always makes for a effective brown noser.

Newport Seafood Tan Cang Restaurant
835 W. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA. 91776
tel: 626 289-5998

Home Opener

L.A.!

Dear Mr. Moreno,

My Los Angeles Dodgers, who reside in Los Angeles, won an exciting home opener game in the 9th inning on a bases loaded single by Milton Bradley. The final score was 9 – 8.

In related news, I now have a new job in Orange County which takes me more than an hour drive to arrive from Chinatown – and thats carpooling. I’m about 10 minutes away from Angel Stadium. Sorry, I still can’t bring myself to calling your team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Sincerely,

Bill Poon

Rent a what?

vroom vroom

GeTto is blinking your eyes when the vertical hold on your televison goes out (shit, if you time it perfectly, you can’t even tell)…or renting a vehicle from Rent-a-wreck.

Having taking my car into the bodyshop, I thought I’d be a tough cheap guy and use public transportation for the next two weeks. However, my weekly itineary included locations and times that were MTA challenged, so instead of avis or enterprise, my friend recommended Rent-a-Wreck which is pretty much self-implied. For $19.95 a day, I get a toyota with 4 large dents, a shaky engine but more importantly, a vehicle that’ll take me from point a to point b provided its “local”. I’m not sure what that really means but the sales clerk said if I was going any further, like orange county, they’d have to find me a better car. Errr. ok but chinatown to cheap food and free shows is doable. Score!

Of course this could be problematic when I have to impress a date this friday. But hell, she should be into me and not what I drive…or at least into blinking.

PS me

geek!

She said to me “don’t go hon, you’re not 23 years old anymore…if you stay, I promise I’ll peel off my undies with both hands in slow motion like you see on those pay membership sites “. But since my girlfriend was imaginary, it was easy enough to close the door behind me and drive off into the cold morning.

At 4:00 am, there was already a small line forming in front of the Best Buy in Atwater. As I approached, the other boys and I nodded. We didn’t know one another but there is a bond of brotherhood that is created each time another member took their place behind the other. The first person arrived at 2:30. Sony had claimed that 1 million portable playstation game platforms, the PSP, were being released in the United States but most game geeks knew that would not be enought to satiate their our hunger – Quantities in Japan were previously sold out as did the similar item here in america, the DS from Nintendo. Demand outweighed the supply. As the line continued to increase, stories and rumors were shared – “It was in October, five years ago that we waited here for the PS2 and the line was around the corner…do you have the X-box, I waited until the green one came out…hey, theirs two girls waiting in the back, thats awesome…this store is suppose to be one of the largest and targeted to receive over 200…but the one in hollywood is earmarked for 200 too but they’re still only selling 40. The other 160 are going to the employees. I heard that from my cousin who knew the manager!” Yes, this is what we talk about to whittle away the time. Well, we talk about other “cool” things too like Counter Strike or Final Fantasy XI (not X damnit). Eventually, at 7:00, the manager walked out with a ticket stubs that guaranteed our purchase. I was number 9. And at 8:00, I bought my PSP and two games. Tony Hawk, Underground and Dynasty Warrior…in case you’re interested.

As I returned home, happy but tired, my imgainary girl had left me an imaginary note. “I see you’ll be busy for awhile, I’ll come back later…”

note: apparently my imaginary girlfriend took my very real isb cable and I cannot download my picture of the line this morning.

As good as it gets

peew peew

So this is what its like to sit a few rows from Jack Nicholson at a basketball game. Normally, it be pretty expensive to be in this section, although, “Jack” and I missed each other by 20 years and instead of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird dribbling the ball, players like Amir Johnson and Jamal Boykin faced off in midcourt.

This was the boys basketball city championship game played between Westchester and Fairfax High School at the Fabulous Forum – My cousin an I had always wondered what happened to that arena and I guess they still play high school basketball games there in addition to church services on Sunday. The crowd was excited, boys looking at girls and other boys sneakers…limited edition man, girls looking back and adults shaking each others hands as if they went back from back in the day. And maybe they did. There was quite the community feel to it and although the game itself initially went back and forth, the fans supported both teams and applauded on a good play regardless of who shot or blocked or dribble the “rock” as they say in the urban vernacular. Westchester eventually won the game although I think everyone went home happy.

Maybe Nicholson forgot their was a game tonight or he was off shooting some movie. I don’t really know although it only cost me 12.00 for the seat. And that was all right.

Jared go home

yum!

Arriving in Los Angeles after a two week stay in Hong Kong, grey clouds, heavy rain and congested traffic greeted me like a long lost friend. I did not miss this at all. However, what I did miss almost most of all, despite having great food overseas, were sandwiches. Just sandwiches. The Chinese people are pretty much savant when it comes to various categories of cuisine, however, my people seem to have really miss the boat on this genre – oh, there’s bao’s but thats not a sandwich since its not technically defined with a slice of bread or split long/round bun (ie: hot dog which is another controversy all together). McDonalds and KFC have all made in roads to Hong Kong, but not a Subway in sight.

Just off Figureoa, above chinatown is the East Side Market. Tucked in the middle of a quiet residential district, this cozy italian deli always has a low murmur of voices stemming from the hungry city workers and assorted students standing in line. Everyone else is sighing from satisfaction. Some people order pastas, some order sandwiches, me, I always call out the number 7. As Blondie would say, picture this. Between a cut of a thick soft bun is three inches of thick well seasoned roast beef, two inches of succulent juicy pastrami and topped off with a full spidle of red and green pepper based au jus. With this combination of all star foods congregating withing the cavity of your mouth, its like watching angelina jolie, denzel washington and queen latifa all in the the same screen – except better than the bone collector.

One bite and it was nice to be back in Los Angeles.

Lost on fried chicken

Yum!

Getting ready to leave on a faraway trip to hong kong, there seemed to be an urgency to eat certain foods in the event that I should never return due to the plane crashing or falling in love. Well, you never know.

Fried chicken, is that americana? KFC is all over the damn world so maybe it is. But I’m not going to the colonel for god’s sake or even popeye’s. And its easy to say Roscoe’s but to be honest, whats the big deal about waffles? Like dating a girl with an extra toe, it makes no difference to me although many people are fans. But Stevie’s, thats my preference, having been located on the corner of crenshaw and jefferson for over 18 years. Supposedly having great gumbo, I always order the fried chicken and ribs combo. The chicken is always firm and moist with a crispy thin skin that breaks apart easily with a slow motion bite of the mouth, Not too peppery at all with a subtle but strong and distinct taste to the batter which probably includes cumin, paprika and a recipe that even veronica mars couldn’t find on the internet. Along with the two pieces of chicken is a nice stick of rib, not barbeque but slow steamed (maybe?) where the meat falls off easily…or you could use the generic white plastic knife they give you – which works! With some kind of gravy (you notice its ok to have “oriental” flavor but you will never see “african” flavor), the rib is found on top of a bed of white rice. You also get two side dishes, choices include corn on the cob, greens, mac & cheese (cost extra) or beans, I usually choose the fries which is lathered in the same chicken batter and a wet and sweet cole slaw.

There are several Kentucky Fried Chickens in hong kong and one located at the Great Wall of China. Stevie’s, however, has two locations. One on the strip (3403 Crenshaw Blvd) and an upscale restaurant in the valley (16911 Ventura Blvd, Encino) which includes a jazz bar.

Whole Food Tueday

moo...

She and I use to “hang out” alot together. We laughed and smiled for three months and I was a pretty happy guy. She happen to be a vegan and consequently, my exposure to a meatless diet has been pretty all right. My latest kick is the vanilla flavored soy milk which is kinda cool because my adventures of dropping a dookie is less aggravating than having to have drinked pasturized milk. Normally I go to Whole Foods to find my new favorite beverage but heres another reason to shop there now…particularly tomorrow.

Whole Foods Market will donate five percent of its global sales on Tuesday, January 25 as seed money to establish the Animal Compassion Foundation…”

My vegan friend eventually moved to Colorado. Consequently, we don’t see each other anymore. She also stopped being a vegan. Me, I’ve still been eating pretty all right.

What the crazy?

Don’t usually like to post rants or politics or things not LA but hell, this might just be the day to do so. What the FUCK is with Harry and his nazi costume. Does he live in solitary confinement. You’d think that while he was being dressed or walking through the corridors of his palace or maybe in his vehicle, someone, a butler, the gardener, the driver, his brother, his friend, the chaffeur, the guy dusting the chandalier in the next room, might say “hey yo, maybe you shouldn’t wear that. Its kind of inappropriate.”

Now Europe is thinking of banning the swastika. They shouldn’t have to impede on people’s rights but geeze, laws for the stupid I guess.

Identity Crisis

where am I?

Dear Mr. Moreno,

Since having bought the Anaheim (not Los Angeles) Angels in 2003, you’ve done an excellent job of running the organization, from having signed Vladimir Gurrero last season and Orlando Cabrera last week, to overseeing fan merchandise priced at reasonable prices.

However, it has come to my attention, that you officially changed the name to the Los Angeles Angels or is it the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Either way, I don’t really think you ought to for the following reasons.

1. My geography isn’t all that great, but, I live pretty much in the middle of Los Angeles, Chinatown to be exact, and I can tell you, that the city of Anaheim or the stadium the Angels play at, is nowhere near me. In fact, on a good day, it takes me close to an hour to drive to your Anaheim (not LA) stadium. Your stadium is in, whats referred to as, the OC. Orange County. They call it that because, its not Los Angeles County.

2. Did you know that Los Angeles is Spanish for the City of Angels. If you call yourself, the Los Angeles Angels, aren’t you being redundant? I’m just saying.

3. I’m Chinese-American and pretty proud of that. I’m not keen when people say “hey, whats with your crazy dictator with the bad hair cut?” I don’t know, I’m not North Korean. Or “hey Bill, does your mom make great teriyaki?” Again, I dont’ know. Mr. Moreno, you are, Mexican-American? You certainly wouldn’t want to be confused with being Peruvian or Salvadorian. They are rich in their ethnic culture as well but there’s a certain amount of pride in being who you are. And really, the Angels should be proud to be who they are, and thats the Anaheim Angels.

If you like to discuss this further, I invite you to make the ride up to…Los Angeles and share a plate of roast duck with me.

Bill

PS: And don’t get me started on those damn Dodgers.

Raining something or another…

Waking up to the busy construction work of rain, even my cat stayed away from the window to avoid seeing her friends and rivals splatter the pavement. Me, I’m wondering about where to eat, after all, weather like this lends itself to a different los angeles atmosphere and appetite – almost as if looking for comfort food after a particularly hard breakup, a month away from home or catching a cold. Barbeque pork fried rice from Sam Woo’s in chinatown would work. Spaghetti and sausage from Andre’s on third is good. Or mushroom soon do boo from that korean place in the corner of the strip mall at Vermont and Olympic (how come no one ever knows the name of that place?). How about chicken noodle soup from Jerry’s deli. Where to eat where to eat. I’ll go back to bed and sleep on it for a little bit longer. Hope it rains the rest of the week, there’s a lot of good food waiting.

Anyone have their favorites?

Groove slightly transformed…

everyone

There was fucking a lot of people at Bazaar Bizarre along with bad ventilation and steamy moisture making its way through the congested room. It was like a turkish spa except everyone wore clothes. And there were girls too! But did the show suck. No. It was the opposite. There was an ample amount of vendors, 80 to 100 maybe, with hand made merchandise ranging from clothing – sweaters, tees and knit caps to artwork – prints, sculptures and painted bears. Some of the things were overpriced some of it was a rad deal. There was a lot of bad shit but there was lot of awesome stuff as well….although probably more beautiful than ugly. The show creates an intimacy that despite the strongest cynic, makes one appreciate the work and hardwork that was being sold…”just a break from the norm” And it also helps that there was a man clown in a red skirt m.c.ing the cake raffle. Of course, there were lot of so called hip people, these kind of things are a beacon calling out to the masses of tight tee wearing emo people, but hell, everyone seem to be doing all right. Everyone.