Posts Tagged ‘korean’

I was in Chinatown today at lunch and was charmed by several paper-and-steel sheep on the Greenway’s  Red  Gate. The Greenway website says, “Korean born, New York based artist Kyu Seok Oh has created Wandering Sheep at the Red Gate in Chinatown Park (corner of Essex St and Surface Road) This is the first of a series of exhibits based on the Chinese Zodiak calendar.” We are currently in the Year of the Ram (or the Goat, or the Sheep; I’m told the Chinese language doesn’t distinguish). I’m posting two pictures.

Also today, I have photos of a sunny treetop, another tree gripping the bank of the Assabet River, early morning light on a Fort Point warehouse, nasturtiums in sunshine, and the new look of the pizza place. John contributed the aspirational kite.




































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Of the various articles written recently about the elderly Koreans hanging out in a McDonald’s in Queens, the one I liked best and learned the most from was Michael Kimmelman’s at the NY Times. He asks an intriguing question.

“Why that McDonald’s?

“The kerfuffle started when word spread that the police were repeatedly evicting elderly Korean patrons from a McDonald’s in Queens. The Koreans have been milking their stays over $1.09 coffees, violating the restaurant’s 20-minute dining limit. The news made headlines as far away as Seoul. Last week, Ron Kim, a New York State assemblyman, brokered a détente: The restaurant promised not to call the police if the Koreans made room during crowded peak hours.

“Still, the question remains. The McDonald’s at issue occupies the corner of Parsons and Northern Boulevards, in Flushing. A Burger King is two blocks away. There are scores of fast-food outlets, bakeries and cafes near Main Street, a half-mile away

“So, in the vein of the urban sociologist William H. Whyte, who helped design better cities by watching how people use spaces, I spent some time in Flushing. What I found reinforced basic lessons about architecture, street life and aging neighborhoods.” Read it all.

My key takeaways: older people, especially those with canes, think two blocks from home is OK, but not four; elderly people like picture windows and a busy street corner with a constantly changing scene; they like looking in to see if people like them are inside (the McDonald’s on Main Street has older Chinese, not Koreans); they like little nooks where a group can gather comfortably.

As a longtime booster of walkable communities, I find it all makes perfect sense. If such naturally occurring communities continue to appear, perhaps they should be encouraged, with some kind of compensation for the business owner. What if the city redirected some money for senior programs to a business that provided space in downtimes? Crazy?

My husband frequents a coffee shop group where folks hang out but not all day. That group has had its differences with the proprietor, goodness knows. There ought to be ways to make everyone happy.

Photo: Damon Winter/The New York Times
Picture windows, lively traffic and easy access for the elderly: the McDonald’s at Northern and Parsons Boulevards in Queens.

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I liked this multicultural story by Fernanda Santos in the NY Times. It demonstrates that people from different cultures can adapt to one another’s foods and customs very nicely in the U.S. melting pot.

It is all happening at the Ranch Market in Phoenix.

“Tortillas are a Mexican staple of transnational appeal here, bridging divisions carved by Arizona’s tough stance on immigration and reaching far beyond Latin American borders.

“The factory, at the Ranch Market store on North 16th Street, employs a pair of Iraqi refugees to whom flour tortillas have become a replacement for the flat bread known as khubz. There are also Cubans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans and, of course, Mexicans manning the machines like the rounder, which turns the masa into balls that are then pressed and cooked in 500-degree ovens at a rate of eight dozen disks a minute.

“Refugees from Somalia buy Ranch Market tortillas as a substitute for a pancake-like bread called canjeelo. Koreans have taken to using them to wrap pieces of spicy barbecued pork, like a taco. Foodies like them because they are the closest thing to an authentic tortilla that they can find at a supermarket here.”

Read more here.

Photograph: Joshua Lott for The New York Times
The Ranch Market on North 16th Street in Phoenix churns out eight dozen tortillas a minute, cooked in 500-degree ovens.

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A sunny day for outings. First to the fabled Korean grocery, where salmon and pickled radish were cheap — if you don’t count the gas for the trip.

Then to the town forest for a walk with the Father in Chief.

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