Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cinco de Mayo, Korean Style

In the ultimate culture clash, Ryan was treated to a Cinco de Mayo birthday at a Korean BBQ restaurant called "Kun Jip." Recommended by a friend, we'd been waiting for a chance to sample the Korean fare. We were not prepared.

They took our orders while we waited on line. We sat down at a tiny table, where loads of dishes were immediately placed in front of us:

  • Chile/Pepper flavored pears (maybe? we never found out)
  • Kimchi (also known as soggy red cabbage, spicy as balls)
  • String Beans with Sesame (at last, something familar!)
  • Bitter Bean Sprouts with...you guessed it...chile
  • Something silvery, scaly, and too fishy looking for either of us to eat
  • Something brown and also ugly looking
  • Purple - yes purple - Rice
Before we could even sip our Sapporo's, some lettuce leaves appeared with some kind of stringy vegetable salad in a yummy, sugary sauce.

Then came the wonking BBQ cooker, which was so large we had to move plates on top of one another to fit. Then the meat. Oh what wonderful meats....beef brisket, prok strips and....ox tongue??? Oh well what the hey...

The pot sizzled and spewed grease, while a little pot of stew was placed nearby. We couldn't really figure out what it was, only that there was some tofu floating in the red sauce, with a clam sticking out as if had tried to squeal a final "Help" before it was boiled. It tasted alright at first sip, until the chile flecks started to reach the throat, and you couldn't keep from coughing or choking from the hotness. In another bowl, some eggs....that tasted like bacon (I'm presuming it was miso.)

The meat was delicious. And y'all know I love my meat. We wrapped it in the lettuce with the shredded stuff as grease squeezed out. Delectable.

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And to top it all off, a little cup of Cinnamon-Ginger Tea. It was cold, and it was sugary. We were about ready to leave when an incredibly loud, staticy Korean voice blared over a speaker, and began singing a very catchy pop tune. A beautifully ornate cheesecake went by, with Koreans clapping all around us. The table nextdoor were celebrating their own birthday......Knew I should have told them it was Ryan's!

Don't Rain on my Cherry Blossom Parade....

After waiting in excited anticipation for this year's promisingly beautiful Cherry Blossom festival, Sakura Matsuri, in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, my little anime face of joy broke into streams of exaggerated tears from my excessively large eyes. Sunday was full of rain. Lots of rain. Cold and drab, and all around miserable. The festival still went on, but mostly under large tents and people holding umbrellas covered with sad pink petals; flowers soggy by an unseasonally chilly shower.

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However, I was suprised that it didn't seem to stop anyone from attending, as the panels and performances were still packed with people from all over the five boroughs. And of course, there wasn't corner of the dripping gardens where one couldn't see a some cosplaying kid (even the college ages looked pubescent) strolling by in a huge Naruto robe with a much-too-realistic stick/sword/bomb/ninja cross, donning a huge, spiky white wig.

There were a few cutely dressed girls in Gothic Lolita attire; one had platforms that rose three inches. Many giggling geishas still scuttled along the wet path in their patterned dresses; however, somewhat less pleasant were those 30-40 year old women with their robes open for all to see their overly large, hanging bosoms.

We did get to see some nice Bonsai, as well as eat some overly priced hot dogs (still cheaper than the Japanese food). It was only after that we realized it was raining into the hot dog pot, cherry blossom petals floating on top.

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But even though it was a bit of a bust, I still got to spend time with family, and that was most important. Why apart from the yelling and bickering and teasing, it might be considered pleasant. Sisters Lili and Ceri had stayed over with Mom and Kristabel (Ceri's best friend and practically mom's adopted daughter) that night with me, ogled over my apartment (minus the occasional roach) and bought me groceries (mom's always worry that you never eat.) Ryan came along for the festival as well, and joined us for dinner at Wendy's. The Strombergs: always keepin' it classy.
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