Chinatown

After work yesterday I met up with my friend, Vito, for dinner. We decided to meet on the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets(across the street from the Boylston subway station). I got there a bit early and thoroughly enjoyed myself watching the commuters and Emerson College students criss-crossing the intersection. I don’t regularly get to see so much foot traffic since the law school’s campus is set off a bit from the activity of Harvard Square. Plus, despite practically living in the heart of downtown Boston, I live on a dead end street with only 4 or 5 buildings (and even that street is off of another side street). Anyway, I didn’t mind at all that Vito was running a bit late because the street scene was so intoxicating.


After he arrived we walked into Chinatown for dinner. Though, I’m beginning to question why it’s called Chinatown anymore since there are so many other nationalities there now. It seems that there are nearly as many Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese restaurants as there are Chinese restaurants. But I suppose Asiatown doesn’t have as nice a ring to it. Still, I just love living in a city large enough to have little ethnic/cultural neighborhoods (Irish, Italian, African-American, Asian, Jewish, etc…).


Anyway, we decided to eat at a great little Vietnamese place (whose name escapes me). The food was good, as always, and Vito and I had some great conversation. I ordered the same drink I get every time I’m there…that tacky bubble tea stuff with the huge black tapioca balls at the bottom. Of course, I get the version that contains no tea…just fake strawberry flavoring. Sometimes I can be such a 12 year old girl.


When we finished eating we did one* of my favorite things in Chinatown…went to one of the countless little markets. I’m always fascinating by the unusual fruits and vegetables sold there. And the way they display their dead animal products out in the open like that is so foreign to me. Northing is packaged or pretty – it’s just enormous slabs of dead animals (and their organs). The downside is that I’ve never been to a Chinatown market that didn’t wreak. But it’s all part of the charm.


Plus, by the time you get to the junk food aisles, you’ve acclimated to the smells. And, walking down an asian markets snack aisle is my favorite. The packaging of imported asian products is the best in the world. Everything is brightly colored and happy…it’s like every confection container was designed by Sanrio (of Hello Kitty fame). I can’t help but smiling…and then buying silly little products that I really have no use for. Like Pocky.


Pocky is basically tiny bread-like sticks (about the size of a pencil…but thinner) dipped 3/4 in chocolate. That’s it. It’s a very simple little snack…but I can’t get enough. Every time I go to a market, I buy some. In fact, unlike American snacks, there isn’t that much flavor to Pocky. But the packaging just draws me in. Pocky has come out with a new version of their product…Pocky Men’s.



Yep, you read it right. They’ve now created a Pocky especially for men. It’s hilarious. The box is green (instead of the bright and happy colors you normally find). The entire packaging is in Japanese except for the words “ALL NEW Men’s Pocky!” so I can’t figure out how this product differs from their other products. I guess their other Pocky’s were too feminine? Though, upon opening the package, it appears to be the identical product as the more traditional “girly” Pocky.


I feel so butch now with my many little sticks dipped delicately in chocolate!


 


*Other favorite things include going into the little bakeries, butcher shop and medicine shops with drawers full of exotic roots and herbal medicines.

9 Comments

  1. Comment by chris on February 25, 2005 11:13 am

    its funny how anal some people are about “open-air” food markets and stalls. in europe and asia you can still get food at a sidewalk counter or better yet from a person selling food off a cart (churros, and fried caramelized bananas and tofu in sugar-water…YUM!). here in the states, you just dont get that too often. i can think of one pizzeria that has a counter that opens onto the sidewalk.

    being partly asian, im a real snob about asian groceries. i love a big full size one that has everything (including those Mens Pockys) like uwajimaya in seattle, mitsuwa in new jersey, and super H mart in virginia.

  2. Comment by matt on February 25, 2005 12:50 pm

    i prefer pocky for girl’s — the packaging is happier and much more pretty!

  3. Comment by David on February 25, 2005 1:07 pm

    maybe they are trying to capitalize on Pokeman?

    Glad you had a cool time with Vito. We are all going to have to meet up so I can finally meet him instead of just cyber chatting.
    😛

  4. Comment by David in Chicago on February 27, 2005 11:47 am

    Yum. Men. Oh, wait. This is about chocolate.

  5. Comment by karyn on February 28, 2005 9:52 am

    What the sweet fuckall is Pocky?

  6. Comment by karyn on February 28, 2005 9:53 am

    Never mind, I am reading Blogs in reverse, and from the bottom up and didn’t realize there was text above the photo…. Look, I haven’t slept properly in 3 years, give me a break.

    Pocky. Sheesh.

  7. Comment by jeff on February 28, 2005 10:38 am

    Damn – I was probably one of the commuters going by!

  8. Comment by Ashley on August 18, 2006 1:47 pm

    OMG PLEASE ANSWER THIS: Ok sorry but I am obsessed with pOCKY AND DON’T KNOW WHERE TO GET IT, MY CO-WORKER ALWAYS HAS IT BUT “NEVER REMEMBERS WHERE HE GOT IT”, so uh, where did you get it in Chinatown?

  9. Comment by snarl on August 18, 2006 1:50 pm

    Actually, I’ve found it at every single asian market in Chinatown. Just go to the cookie/candy section and you’ll find it there!

    YUM

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