Monday, April 29, 2013

brief tour of flushing


When my parents flew up to visit me recently, we met up with one of my mother's old middle school friends – a woman she hadn't seen in 40 years! My mom was so cute – even though it had been such a long time since she last saw Gloria, when they got together, she said it was like nothing had really changed. The two of them linked arms immediately, my dad and I trailing behind, and it wasn't hard to imagine how they might have looked when they were younger.

We met Gloria in Flushing, Queens, where she lives in a great quirky house built in 1907. She took us around to a few of the places most popular with the locals, starting with breakfast at a little restaurant off of 41st & Main that serves "the best" traditional Taiwanese breakfast: shao bing you tiao and dou jiang.

The you tiao are Chinese crullers wrapped in shao bing, or sesame flatbread. Chinese people like to pair this with dou jiang, which is a sort of milk made from soybeans (but different from the soymilk you put in your coffee or cereal). I haven't had this kind of food in ages... brought me back to the last time I was in Taiwan, almost eight years ago now. Memories.


Later we went to Paris Baguette, apparently the best bakery in Flushing. Really really beautiful pastries there, perfectly flaky, and all sorts of interesting flavors. Whilst wandering, we also ended up at a stall off of 41st Ave & Main St & Kissena Blvd, underneath a sign that says "AA Plaza." Cheap-cheap-cheap Chinese street food – scallion pancakes, chicken drumsticks, fish balls, steamed pork buns (4 for only $1.25!), and more.

Flushing is really a cool area, a busy and bustling Chinatown without being overwhelmingly crowded or stinky (ahem, 8th Avenue) or ridiculously touristy and overpriced (ahem, Canal Street). And it was nice to be there with someone who calls it home – to sit and have tea and chat about everything and nothing.



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