Special Guest Post: by Ladies and Gentlemen

Hello!! It's Dylan& Jean from Ladies & Gentlemen, and we're thrilled & honored to be back as a guest blogger again for Poppytalk! Thank you Jan for inviting us!

But what a great way to start the new year....the Lunar New Year that is!! Our first new year post simply wasn't enough!
The first day of the Lunar year (year of the Ox) starts today, the 26th and ends February 13th! But if you're like us and still haven't made that "new years" resolution you've been meaning to make...you know, the list about eating healthy, exercising more, spending less, less procrastinating and all that jazz?....well, now is your second chance! Also take advantage of this Lunar New Year to eat good food, celebrate, buy new clothes, spring clean, and make another attempt to convince your boss to implement a mandatory week vacation so you can celebrate the lunar year like the rest of the Asian countries!


Dylan and I would like to celebrate by sharing a visual journey through Chinatowns! We gathered some photos we've taken from walking around Chinatown in Seattle and San Francisco capturing things that simply inspired us. Things like the Chinese medicine storage display is something that we dream to someday build in our own home!
Every Chinatown has its own character, but most have an endearing, unassuming mixture of the old and new: the vibrant colors, the various textures, and the chaotic atmosphere. There's just something special about the direct and organic ways things come to be!
(Captions read clockwise starting from top left)

1. Charming and colorful mural in Chinatown, Seattle
2. Condiment tray at a tiny wonton restaurant, San Fransisco.
3. Fortune cookie company interior, Seattle: We love the architectural element of the brown office room intersecting the space.

1. Colorful ceramic piggy bank: So round and cute!
2. Chinese restaurant menu, San Fransisco
3. Bright plastic platters to serve auspicious food & fruit to greet the gods & deities.

1. Random reupholstered chair in Chinatown, LA. Photo taken by my friend, Noal: I had to show this fabulous chair since I just love everything about it!

Below are also some small everyday affordable delights we picked up from little shops here and there along with links for recipes, facts, and stories!


1. Chinese New Year rice cake (Nian Gao): My childhood favorite, and still is! It's subtly sweet and mochi-like. It's best when fried with batter. Crunchy outside & chewy inside...yum.
Also my new 2009 gift for myself, Lotta's 2009 tea towel!
2. Calender with Lunar Dates: We love the design, the layout, the fonts and the crisp thin paper! Save the paper so you can have fun with making things, too! Simple things like using it for wrapping, or make origami balls and string them as hanging garlands!
3. Delicious "Unfortunate" Cookies: One of the best cheap treats! They're seconds from a fortune cookie manufacturing company in Seattle, Tsue Chong Co. Although no fun little paper telling you how to live your life, the thin & wavy crunchy vanilla flavored cookies are simply hard to resist.


1. Vietnamese Coffee Maker: For only $3 you can enjoy a simple, dessert-like slow-drip coffee. Wandering Spoon has the whole background story along with cute how-to illustrations.
2. Cafe Du Monde: Coffee & Chicory, the recommended brand to make Vietnamese coffee with.
3. Chinese Sweet Haw Flakes: $2.00 for 10 rolls. Each roll has 20 some thin 1mm slices of candy Haw flakes are a classic delight! Not only do we love the colorful dainty packaging, we also love the taste of the tamarind-like flavor that's both sweet and appetizing.
4. Zebra stainless soup spoons: We got it for $2.50 at a local Asian grocery. Comes with a dozen of sleek and simple spoons that is both refined and practical for everyday use.

Phew! That's all we have for now! There's still plenty more to discover in any Chinatown near you. So get out there and party like it's 2009....again! Happy Ox year and thanks for reading!



Jan Halvarson


a vegan about town said...

haw flakes were always my favourite as a kid!

lyndsay said...

yay! great guest post!
gong hay fat choy, sun nin fai lok!!
xo lyndsay

Sara C. Walk said...

liking this post too :)