Saturday, October 5, 2013
Lonnie & I take the train to visit relatives in Flushing. There are many stops along the way.
Usually we see street musicians and subway musicians, so we are surprised to see (what I assume are) three Mexican musicians hop onto the train along the route. They play enthusiastically all the way to the next stop and quickly exit!
The relatives take us to dim sum in Flushing. The food is delicious and the restaurant is impressive. All the columns around the very large dining room turn the same color at the same time – lavender, blue, pink, etc.
I notice that their Chinatown looks busier than the one in the city. Cousin explains that after 9/11, many of the Chinatown businesses moved out of the city.
Flushing’s Chinatown is a thriving community and very busy on a Saturday.
We visit various Asian markets on the way to Cousin’s house. Everyone follows Aunt as she goes through, picking and choosing the best thinly sliced beef, vegetables, lobsters, tofu, crystal noodles, fish and shrimp balls, etc. All will go into a hotpot dinner – yum! We go by a couple of bakeries. Aunt says they have the best char shew bow and other savory pastries. We can snack on them late afternoon as dinner will be quite late – some relatives are coming after a long work day.
We aren’t home too long before relatives start coming. Loud greetings and big hugs ensue. The calm afternoon morphs into a noisy evening. Latecomers arrive and steaming hotpots are brought to the table, ready for quick immersions. Small mesh ladles are loaded with raw ingredients to dip into the roiling broth. Shrimp and fish balls dance about as they are pushed aside to make room for several ladles at one time.
Surprise! A cake and butcher knife come out, wrapped presents appear and we celebrate an upcoming event! “Happy birthday, Cousin Eva!”
What makes the meal so enjoyable is the love that glows within, the give and take conversations of a close-knit family. So nice to be here to soak all this up!