back in the day, when i first moved to chicago, i lived about four blocks from chinatown. because of its proximity i always intended to walk over and look around, but somehow it never happened. fast forward to more than a year later -
i finally made it! accompanied by taylor (who also had somehow never been... inexcusable considering both of us live mere steps from the red line) and sean.
you will all be shocked to hear that my primary objective upon arriving was to eat as many things as possible, beginning with a steamed pork bun:
if i look mildly guilty it's because i steered my travel companions almost immediately out of the street and into the first bakery i saw and forced them to wait while i agonized over which tasty treat i wanted.
after wandering through the shops (which i have no pictures of, because evidently i only take pictures of food...) we stopped to sample some fried things. we feasted on egg rolls, wontons, and something called mantou which is just fried dough that's served with sweetened condensed milk for dipping. yes, straight up sweetened condensed milk.
we also ate crab rangoon and potstickers:
you may notice that in the photograph above i am wearing different clothing than in the previous photos. you may also notice that i am holding my fingers up in such a way that i seem to be parodying asian tourists taking pictures. not so, friends! taylor and i are holding up two fingers because this picture was taken during our second visit to chinatown, the day after our first! what possible reason could we have had to go back to chinatown less than 24 hours after leaving it (besides delicious fried things, which are always a good reason to go to chinatown)?
you see, chinatown round one happened to fall on the third of july (also my sister's birthday, happy birthday alex!) and somehow none of us realized until several hours after we left that we had been in possibly the only part of chicago where we were likely to find sparklers and that we really, really wanted sparklers.
so, we went back to chinatown. sean couldn't join us, but we took andrew along for round two.
the stated purpose of our second visit was to find sparklers, but somehow i got sidetracked by more food. what can i say - we stopped in so many stores to inquire about combustible items, i lost interest pretty quickly and became focused instead on delicious snacks.
taylor, on the other hand, was undeterred, and had asked in every store but one when finally the woman behind the counter of the last shop gleefully produced a massive white paper bag full of legitimate fireworks, only $15! as tempted as we were, we said no thank you and bought some cheap dinky ones instead.
despite having gone to chinatown twice on consecutive days and spent several hours scouring the streets for festive explosives (which due to a lapse of judgment i just googled in an attempt to find a good synonym, having momentarily forgotten my last name... apologies in advance to cara in case the department of homeland security comes knocking in the middle of the night) we did not light any sparklers on the fourth of july. in fact, i have no idea where they ended up. i would call the excursion(s) an epic fail, but our search led me to a new part of town and gave me an excuse to sample several delicious foods, which is a definite win.
(side note: the only reason i can think of to be upset about not having lit the sparklers is that since my greekstravaganza post in february i have been itching to use the "things on fire" tag again, and this would have been a perfect opportunity to do it. apparently not a lot of things in my life are on fire. i realize this is a strange thing to be upset about.)
(other side note: i had to ask harmony, who is my resident knower of things about baseball, if it would be weird to call two things that happened one after the other but not on the same day a doubleheader. she said it was probably ok.)