Chinese residents are parking themselves in subways and public spaces in an effort to keep cool

subway

RocketNews 24 (by Aleisha Riboldi):

With the mercury reaching 39 degrees celsius in the city of Hangzhou in southern China, residents are trying to keep cool in the most unusual of places. Citizens without residential air conditioning have turned to parking themselves in subways, libraries and other public spaces to escape the summer heat wave.

Calling themselves the “Summer Solace Group,” hordes of Hangzhou residents have been taking over public spaces as they attempt to seek refuge in air-conditioned venues and enjoy the comfort of being cool. Apparently, one of the most popular places to seek a respite from the heat is Hangzhou subway station. For the last few years, it has been a popular place to flock to in the heat of summer, as those living in housing without air conditioning seek somewhere to just chill out.

Some people are making themselves right at home there, too, bringing along mats and cardboard to lie on and food, drinks, games and books to pass the time and get a reprieve from the heat.

subway cool

It’s essentially a home away from home for those without the luxury of private air conditioning. It’s not welcome by everyone, though, as there are public health concerns in relation to the rubbish being left behind such as cigarette butts, food waste such as watermelon rinds and corn cobs, and human excrement as young children freely do their business out in the open rather than in toilets.

The station management has been forced to turn off the air conditioning at times to deter people from hanging out in the subway, in addition to setting up designated areas to confine the public space they occupy.

designated subway coolzone

Some Hangzhou residents have had the smarts to find more comfortable places to keep cool such as public libraries and at the IKEA furniture store which opened earlier this year. Invading the sofa and bedding department, a much more luxurious escape from the heat wave than a subway station, people are literally parking themselves on sofas within the spacious air-conditioned complex. This no doubt has the side effect of making things difficult for those who’re legitimately trying to shop for home furnishings, though, as they have to navigate through an IKEA with throngs of people loitering around the showrooms.

ikea sofa

Unbelievably, parents are even putting kids to sleep within the model display bedrooms, much to the annoyance of IKEA staff.

ikea bed

Everyone here is looking pretty relaxed and settled. It would seem they have been lounging around for a considerable amount of time, passing time on their phones, catching up on sleep and listening to music. They certainly don’t look like they have any intent on making purchases within the store, nor to be in a hurry to leave anytime soon.

ikea chilling

ikea living

Air conditioning is a luxury many of us take for granted. When it’s nearly 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in a place as densely populated as China, one can hardly blame people for seeking out an air-conditioned haven, but where do you draw the line at what’s acceptable? What lengths would you go to in order to escape the summer heat?

First We Feast: 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

All photos by Clarissa Wei, unless noted otherwise 

All photos by Clarissa Wei, unless noted otherwise 

First We Feast:
From pierogis to samosas, dumplings are a universal dish, embraced by cultures around the globe. But no one values the seemingly endless variations of texture, size, and fillings quite like the Chinese.

In fact, the earliest recording of the dish can be traced back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD-220 AD) in China. The legend states that a man noticed that peoples’ ears were suffering from frost bite. He decided to make a dish in the shape of an ear to cure the cold—hence its current iteration. The first dumplings had lamb, chili, and herbs inside, and their soothing qualities quickly gained currency across the country.

Due to mass immigration waves, Los Angeles has continued to carry the torch for Chinese dumpling tradition. What sets the dumpling culture apart here is sheer variety—you can fine representatives from Shanghai, Beijing, Jiangsu, Tianjin, and beyond. There are even variations that were invented in Los Angeles, like the hui tou potsticker. If you’re going to judge the merits of Los Angeles’ Chinese cuisine, dumplings are a good place to start.

Broken down by region, here are First We Feast‘s 10 essential dumplings to understanding L.A.’s varied repertoire.

1. GIANT SOUP DUMPLING AT WANG XING JI

giantsoupdumpling Our 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

Address and phone: 140 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel (626-307-1188)
Website: N/A
Region: Jiangsu

Wang Xing Ji (also known as Juicy Dumplings) makes food inspired from Wuxi in the Jiangsu province. Known affectionately throughout the country as the Land of Fish and Rice, the region is know for dumplings that are sweeter and commonly stuffed with fresh, pulverized crab because an abundance of crustaceans during certain months of the year. Wang Xing Ji is a soup dumpling specialist known for its softball-sized dumplings that require a boba straw to extract the liquid.

2. BEIJING PIE AT BEIJING PIE HOUSE

meatpie Our 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

Address and phone: 846 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park (626-288-3818)
Website: N/A
Region: Beijing

The dumpling in question is called a xian bing—a pan-fried disc stuffed with heavily spiced pork and assorted aromatics. This is a Beijing meat pie and is arguably the most addictive stand-alone dish in greater Los Angeles area. Pies come flying out of the kitchen in plates of four. Pair the dish with their cucumber salad, and if you have a hankering for more carbs, Pie House does wonderful zhajiang noodles—cold noodles with thin cuts of cucumber and a dollop of fermented soy beans.

3. SICHUAN WONTON AT CHENGDU TASTE

wontonchili Our 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

Address and phone: 828 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra (626-588-2284)
Website: N/A
Region: Sichuan

The Sichuan wonton is called hong you chao shou. Hong you means red chili oil, and chao shou means ”folded hands,” a reference to how the dumpling is formed, and how—during the cold months in Sichuan—folks would fold their hands across their chest for warmth. The wonton is usually served as an appetizer and the skin is delicate—bordering on translucent. Chengdu Taste, the Sichuanese king of Los Angeles, undoubtedly serves the best rendition in town. It’s stuffed with ground pork, and served over with a light chili oil infused with the potent Sichuan peppercorn—a notorious spice known for its lip-numbing after-effect.

4. SHENJIANBAO AT EMPEROR NOODLE

shenjiangbao Our 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

Address and phone: 800 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel (626-281-2777)
Website: N/A
Region: Shanghai

While Emperor Noodle is marketed as a noodle joint, their specialty is really the shenjianbao. Invented in the 1920s in Shanghai, the shenjianbao has become an iconic breakfast snack of the region, usually served outdoors on street carts. Stuffed with pork, it has a thicker skin than most dumplings. It is first steamed in a huge bamboo steamer and then pan-fried on the bottom before getting a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

5. WONTON NOODLE SOUP AT SAM WOO

wontonnoodle Our 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

Address and phone: 937 E Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel (626-286-3118)
Website: N/A
Region: Guangdong and Hong Kong

Fragrance is the key to a good wonton noodle soup, and the fortified broth from Sam Woo—an institution that has been open for over three decades—takes days to make. You can ask them to throw a piece of roast duck on top if you’re extra hungry, but the dish by itself is enough to satisfy. The wonton, stuffed with pork and shrimp, is served with egg noodles imported straight from Hong Kong.

6. CRYSTAL SHRIMP DUMPLING AT LUNASIA DIM SUM HOUSE

lunasia4hagow Our 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

Address and phone: 239 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena (626-793-8822)
Website: lunasiadimsumhouse.com
Region: Guangdong and Hong Kong

It is said that the xiajiao, or har gow (in Cantonese), makes or breaks a dim-sum chef. Traditionally, a har gow is supposed to have ten or more pleats. The wrapper is made with wheat and tapioca and worked until it becomes translucent. Lunasia’s version is epic—they manage to tuck in at least three large pieces of shrimp without breaking the chewy, delicate wrapper. We recommend dipping this in sweet soy sauce, mustard, or sambal chili.  (Photo:The Minty Musing)

7. THE RETURN DUMPLING AT HUI TOU XIANG

huitou Our 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

Address and phone: 704 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel (626-281-9888)
Website: huitouxiang.com
Region: California

Hui Tou Xiang takes the guo tie, a traditional potsticker, usually oblong in shape, and sealed both sides. They call it the hui tou—which means “to return” in Mandarin—to symbolize their desire for customers to return. The dish is pan-fried on all sides and meticulously fried to a juicy crisp. A single order will get you eight pot stickers. Be sure to pair it with chili sauce. (Photo:Hui Tou Xiang)

8. GLUTEN-FREE DUMPLINGS FROM PEKING TAVERN

glutenfreedumpling Our 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

Address and phone: 806 S Spring St, Los Angeles (213-988-8308)
Website: tooguapo.com
Region: California

Dumplings are extremely difficult to make gluten-free, but the owners of Peking Tavern knew that if they wanted to open a dumpling house in the heart of Downtown, they needed to appeal to Angelenos’ finicky eating habits. Months of recipe testing paid off: You can barely taste the difference (though the gluten-free variations are a little bit gummier). We recommend getting them pan-fried and stuffed with beef. Pairing them with a small shot of the Chinese spirit baijiu. (Photo: Peking Tavern)

9. SWEET GLUTINOUS RICE BALLS AT EMPEROR NOODLE

tangyuan Our 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

Address and phone: 800 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel (626-281-2777)
Website: N/A
Region: All over China

These sweet rice balls (tang yuan in Southern China, yuan xiao in Northern China) are traditionally stuffed with sesame paste or ground peanuts. It’s a common dish on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year. The roundness of the rice ball is indicative of a complete circle of harmony within the family. Emperor Noodle in San Gabriel serves a beautiful version spiked with sweet rice wine and dried osmanthus flowers.

10. TIANJIN BAO AT TASTY NOODLE HOUSE

tianjinbun Our 10 Favorite Chinese Dumplings in Los Angeles

Address and phone: 827 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel (626-284-8898)
Website: N/A
Region: Tianjin

Tianjin is a coastal city in northern China known for an abundance of seafood and dough. The Tianjin bao is a thick doughy bun, made with yeast so that it rises slightly. The remarkable quality about this dumpling is that it’s able to hold quite a bit of juice without turning soggy. Each bun fits perfectly in the palm of the hand. Pair it with a dash of black vinegar for an extra kick.

Chinese tourists flock to Japan for the sushi, the shopping and the fresh air…despite tensions

 

Millions go to sample their neighbour’s blue skies and clean air\
The Independent:

Chinese tourists come to Japan for the sushi and for the shopping. But, increasingly, they’re also coming for one thing that money can’t buy: fresh air.

The blue sky and the clean air are great. They’re something we don’t have at home,” said Xu Jun, an agent for a steel trading company from Guangzhou, a huge manufacturing city in southern China that is blighted by pollution. Mr Xu was visiting the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido this month.

Over the previous two weeks, the Xu family had been to outdoor hot springs, taken an ice-breaker ship along the frozen coast and spotted some of the island’s famous wild red-crowned cranes.

They, like several million other Chinese, are beating a path to the Land of the Rising Sun.

The number of tourists coming to Japan from China went up 83 per cent in 2014, compared with the year before that. That put China in third place, behind only Taiwan and South Korea, as a source of visitors.

This is despite the political tensions between the two countries over disputed territories, and an official Japanese attempt to play down its wartime aggression against neighbouring countries, including China.

Tokyo is perennially popular, with its glitzy shopping districts and Disneyland resort, but in winter, about half the Chinese tourists visiting Japan go to Hokkaido, a sparsely populated island renowned for its wide-open spaces and top-notch seafood. Visitor numbers have skyrocketed since the 2008 release of the Chinese movie If You Are the One, which showcased Hokkaido’s natural beauty.

The first thing Chinese people do after they land is to breathe deeply,” said He Wenfan, of the Japan Tourism Board’s Chinese-language website. “People say, ‘I can finally breathe!’ ”

Link

Giant Marilyn Monroe is now face-down in a dump in China

 

Giant Marilyn Monroe

RocketNews 24:

 

An 8-ton statue of Marilyn Monroe has been unceremoniously deposited in a dump in southern China, putting the American beauty in a hilariously bizarre position.

Giant Marilyn was once seen towering over visitors to Guigang Prefecture’s “Chinatown.” Here she is smiling as she tries to keep her billowing white dress from blowing skyward.

 

Marilyn Monroe4

Marilyn Monroe5

 

The 8.18 meter tall statue has been criticized for its resemblance to artist Seward Johnson’s “Forever Marilyn” statue, depicting the actress in an almost identical pose from her iconic film, The Seven Year Itch.

But as it turns out, China’s Giant Marilyn is no longer being viewed by the public. She was recently taken down and moved to a far less glamorous location.

 

▼ She’s so huge, heavy machinery was brought in to tame the woman in white.Marilyn Monroe7

Marilyn Monroe8

 

Standing on her two feet, high above the crowds, Giant Marilyn looks quite classy despite her enlarged stature. However, she begins to take on a uncharacteristically comical appearance once she’s been lowered and laid horizontally just before being shipped off to her final resting place at a dump in Guigang Prefecture.

We realize she’d be very difficult to ship standing up, but you would think they would give Giant Marilyn the dignity of propping her upright once she reached her unglamorous destination.

 

▼ No such luck.Giant Marilyn Monroe

2

Marilyn Monroe3

Poor Giant Marilyn. At least she can still smile with her face nestled in a pile of trash.

 

Check out this link:

 

Giant Marilyn Monroe is now face-down in a dump in China

Link

20 Delicious “sea monsters” eaten in Asia…

1. Red Frog Crab

1

Tastes like: the most succulent, springy crab you’ll ever have.

Eaten in the Philippines, Japan, and all around Southeast Asia. The meat is semi-translucent and lighter than most Atlantic crabs.

2. Triggerfish

2

Tastes like: a fish that bench-presses 300 pounds.

In Chinese, they’re called “flayer’s fish” — peeling its rough and stony skin is a chore, but the firm and sweet meat makes it worth it. Eaten in all forms around the Pacific Rim.

3. Miscellaneous Whelks and Sea Snails

3

Tastes like: savory rubber bands with a dollop of chalky innards.

I bought bagfuls of these at movie theater concession stands the way you’d buy popcorn. Dig the flesh out with a toothpick, or suck it out of the hole. Great in a spicy wine broth.

4. Sunfish

4

Tastes like: swordfish, but even drier and tougher.

Often found stuck gruesomely in the propellers of boats, or snared as bycatch in fishermen’s nets. In Japan and Taiwan, they’re sometimes eaten as sashimi or in a spicy basil stir-fry.

5. Giant Clam

5

Tastes like: between clam and octopus.

Warning: Giant clam is ecologically threatened in many parts of the Pacific, so make sure it’s sourced responsibly. Otherwise, it is (or was) a staple in Filipino and Polynesian cuisine.

6. Mantis Shrimp

6

Tastes like: a crawfish’s creepy cousin.

Never mind that mantis shrimps have the most sophisticated eyes in the animal kingdom, or claws that can crack some aquarium walls. They taste great sautéed in a bed of garlic and peppers.

7. Chinese Swamp Eel

7

Tastes like: a slippier, chewier, springier unagi.

Cooked in chives and rice wine. A signature dish of Shanghainese and Southern Taiwanese cuisine.

8. Jellyfish

8

Tastes like: if a squid mated with a cucumber.

Jellyfish is almost always dried and cured before it’s prepared as food. Eaten in Japan, Korea and China. Great in a drizzle of sesame oil and vinegar.

9. Slipper Lobster

9

Tastes like: lobster.

Looks like a facehugger. Tastes like Pacific lobster (which is prawnier than Maine lobster). Found heaped in mountainous abundance in fish markets across Southeast Asia.

10. Sea Cucumber

10

Tastes like: a tenderized and marinated rubber tire.

Soaring demand for it in China has sparked gang wars in Mexico and illegal overharvesting in Alaska.

11. Beltfish

11

Tastes like: yikes.

Eaten from Korea to Pakistan. An often unbearably fishy staple of Taiwanese school cafeterias.

12. Mudskipper

12

Tastes like: slimey fish

Often stewed in a light ginger chicken broth in Southern Taiwan. I’m not sure anyone else eats them.

13. Porcupine Fish

13

Tastes like: chewy jelly (skin) and plain old whitefish (flesh).

The skin of porcupine fish can be boiled and marinated in fish skin salads. The flesh makes a good Okinawan tempura.

14. Parrotfish

14

Tastes: light and flakey.

Called loro in the Philippines, and often grilled or stewed with onions. Also eaten in Hong Kong and southern China.

15. Horseshoe Crab

15

Tastes like: plastic (apparently).

According to this report, the roe is a delicacy in Thailand and Malaysia and sometimes added as an ingredient to spicy som tam salads. Otherwise, there’s not much flesh to eat.

16. Penis Fish

16

Tastes like: firm and crunchy.
Looks like: well, now.

A type of worm that burrows in ocean beds. Most often eaten raw with soy sauce and sesame oil in Korea.

17. Skate

17

Tastes like: a surprisingly mundane whitefish.

Grilled in banana leaf in Indonesia. Fermented like lukefisk in Korea into one of the most hellish-smelling delicacies. Often eaten in French cuisine too.

18. Angler Fish Liver

18

Tastes like: witchy foie gras.

Mostly eaten in a light drizzle of shaved red ginger, scallions, and ponzu soy sauce in Japan.

19. Rabbitfish

19

Tastes like: between fish jerky and fish and chips.

Served dried, fried, spiced with garlic and pepper, and with a side of eggs and rice in Filippino dansilog.

20. Hagfish

20

Tastes like: very chewy.

Only eaten in Korea, and often found waggling in the frayed corpses of whales and sharks on the ocean floor. When threatened, a single hagfish can release enzymes and turn a barrel of water into pure slime. When grilled, it reportedly tastes mild and chewy.

anigif_original-grid-image-9791-1383333602-8

Check out this link:

20 Delicious “sea monsters” eaten in Asia…