For the Birds: a stroll through Chinatown

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I love this town, I just love it.  I love the endless miles of looping freeways and the big green park right in the middle of them.  I love that you can go surfing and skiing in the same day if you feel like it.  I love that the world class Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra housed in an abstract architechtural materpiece is plunked down a few city blocks away from a cheesy imitation of the ancient city of Shanghai designed by Hollywood set designers.  

 

Los Angeles has a reputation for being an ugly town.  Strip malls and carwashes, stucco and ratty palm trees.  There are certainly patches of the city that fit that description, but I really dig the haphazard way one area slides into the next, a little blurry through the car's windshield.  Stop to get out and explore any neighborhood and there is usually a culture totally unlike your own waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.  

 

Chinatown may be the tacky tourist version of a cultural experience but I love it's plastic aesthetic.  There’s a lot here to see and taste. Renee and I spent an hour or two poking around and found one unifying theme cropping up again and again: POULTRY!   The Lucky Deli, a steam tray dim sum joint, drew us in with it's racks of roasted ducks in the window.

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There were a lot of choices.  We finally settled on steamed pork and shrimp dumplings, sesame balls, stuffed sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves and a couple of pastry swans for good measure.  The pork dumplings were deeeee-lish!  I love a good dumpling.  

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There's nothing like a savory meatball wrapped up all snug in a silky noodle pocket.  Cute AND tasty.  

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In keeping with the poultry theme we decided to see what was what with the live poultry houses scattered around the neighborhood.  We were chased out of one (they weren't too keen on Renee's giant camera and our nosy personalities) but we did manage to procure a freshly plucked silky at Superior Poultry.  After spying it's gray black skin and beautiful pearly feet we just had to take it home and photograph it.   

twochickensWe were seduced by the glowing lights of plastic lotus lamps on our way back to the car.  Plastic, poultry and pastry swans.  Chinatown summed up.  DSC_2793LotusLampssm