China Here We Go!

Ever post some innocuous question and not realize what the implications may be? I posted this question on our neighborhood listserv the other day, “Does anyone have recommendations for a broker and movers?” which prompted half a dozen texts, emails and follow-up posts from friends asking if we were moving. The request for information was for my cousin, but it was heartening to hear that our friends didn’t want us to move. We’re pretty happy with where we are right now in Jackson Heights where we have been growing our roots for the past 5 years in the deep rich soils of NY. In fact, this summer has been a journey of discoveries and new adventures in this humble borough we call home.

This past weekend, the unofficial last weekend of summer, particularly for those of us with pre/school age kiddos, we went to China! Not to be mistaken with the ethnic enclave centered around Canal Street in lower Manhattan, our destination–according to my own Chinese Mother–could be described as”real Chinesey”.

This is where people will shout Cantonese dialect at you instead of a touristy, “Ni Hao.” To get there, you must step on to the most diverse moving museum of linguistics–the 7 train–orbit beyond the Unisphere of the 1964 World’s Fair, sail pass the sea greens of the US Open and Citifields, and disembark at Main Street, Flushing. Walk about 1/2 a city block along Roosevelt Avenue and enter into the New World Mall.

My first impression of the NWM is the cacophony and whirly wig of people streaming from every which direction. To ride the escalator one floor below is to step through a looking glass where you are the stranger in a foreign land and your language is jabberwocky. But where the tongue fails and the eyes disorient, the nose knows. Follow the aroma of Szechuan spices , sweet milk tea, and steamed buns and you will be rewarded for your fool’s journey and your lion’s heart.

A sampling of the myriad of delights: ingredients for a hot pot meal, tub-sized portions, hand-made dumplings, steamed dumplings, fresh baked sesame buns.

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