Thursday, May 1, 2008

Today was yet another beautifully busy day in sunny LA. Weather-wise LA was a little more on the dreary side, but the exposure to all things cultural and intellectual was quite shiningly stimulating.

Life this morning was a little happier for me because we picked up some Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the way to work; I so enjoy being caffeinated. Soon after cracking open the Soo Hoo scrapbook, we received a phone call from Pauline Wong, who told us to make our way across the plaza to the Biscaluz building because there was a field trip ahead of us…we were going to Little Tokyo. After venturing into Little Tokyo for our first bite of Pinkberry on day 2, Elena and I made it one of our goals to return and explore the area some more. Sadly, public transportation has skewed my sense of travel time (a 15 minute drive takes 45 minute via pub trans) and I wasn’t thrilled about making a trek to Little Tokyo. Much to my surprise, Little Tokyo is within walking distance. Yet again, public transportation has foiled me…BAH!

i would like to describe our relationship with the metro as one of both love and hate

I would like to describe today as among our most successful eating days in California thus far. For lunch we had Japanese curry at a Curry House, a Californian chain. As any one who knows my eating habits (cough cough, my mother), I generally do not appreciate the thick consistency of Japanese curry. Tastily enough, I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch of shrimp and onion ring katsu. Conversation with Pauline Wong and Steven Tran was deliciously engaging as well, we discussed: gender disparities in China and India, places where populations are shrinking, robot babies, physical therapy for dogs, and male prostitutes for middle-aged Japanese women.

Following lunch, Elena and I were dropped off at the Japanese American National Museum nearby, which is the most outstanding ethnic minority museum in Los Angeles (according to Pauline Wong). And the JANM is indeed impressive, with beautifully displayed exhibits, conference rooms, and its own archive/ resource library. The JANM was the brainchild of businessmen in LA’s Little Tokyo in 1982; from this beginning, they expanded and later moved into a more extensive space in 1992. Across the way from the JANM is also the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, which informs people about the many individuals from all backgrounds who have shaped American democracy. After comparing and ruminating about the storytelling methods of the CAM and JANM, I fully understand the difficulties in creating a seamless history, which is not only educational, but tasteful and not offensive.

the Japanese American National Museum, pretty impressive eh...?

On a (much) lighter note, Elena and I visited Pinkberry after seriously contemplating the Chinese American narrative. We shared a medium-sized regular with captain crunch, mochi, and strawberries…tasty!

me in the plaza

Upon our return to the El Pueblo Historical Monument, Elena and I set to the task of editing text on Chinese New Year festivities. With our prowess in languages, we edited the piece in not one, not two, but, three different languages. Though I must admit my traditional Chinese reading abilities are a pretty rusty.

After leaving the office at 6:00p, Elena and I were successful in locating an Armenian restaurant in Glendale, supposedly the largest community of Armenians outside of Armenia. Funnily enough, the restaurant is called Elena’s Greek and Armenian Restaurant. We ordered far too much food (a plate of quail, shish and lamb, tabule, and falafel) and enjoyed every bite of it. Though we didn’t get to Zankou chicken, the Armenian food we had at Elena’s was scrumptious.

At this point in our trip Elena and I are desperately trying to cram in as much as we can. It will be pretty much impossible for us to get to everything done on our list. I suppose I will just have to come back next year…