In case you somehow miraculously miss all the news, firecrackers, dragon/lion dances and martial arts demonstrations that's been taking place around the city lately - this Sunday (Feb. 18) is Chinese New Years' -- bye bye doggie, hello---piggy!
While there are probably numerous Chinese New Year festivals around L.A., the one in Monterey Park was the one I passed by, so I took a brief stop and snapped a few shots:The giant banner on the performance stage - I find the "Floral Street" part confusing since the festival takes place on Garvey Ave. near Garfield, and the fact that there's actually a Floral Drive in MPK that's nowhere close to the festival.
And of course, what festival is complete without the assorted food boothes . . .
and more food boothes . . .
even some that aren't Chinese or remotely Asian - though I would love me some Mama's Hot Tamales if they were open. There are also funnel cakes, roasted corn and the usual carnival fare, along with lots of vendor booths selling unidentifiable Asian spices, faux designer purses and various Chinese New Year's related trinkets for good fortunes all year 'round.
And of course, what celebration of the upcoming Year of the Pig won't be complete without a Spam-mobile? What pig doesn't aspire for immortality by being chopped up, reconstituted, plugged full of chemicals and stuck in a can? I'm just glad the truck didn't "crazy tasty" crash into a shop or restaurant there.
Alas, coming from a 5K run and not wanting to waste all those calories burned, and inspired by this Chowhound post on wontons, I decided to skip all the greasy grub and walked into Har Lam Kee for a takeout of their wonton & dumpling soup...
Won't say much about it now, since I plan on doing a write-up on this in the near future, but I'll show y'all a wonton close up. Yes, cruel - I know.
The Chinese festival will take place the rest of today and tomorrow along Garvey (on Garfield). Good excuse to sample a lot of different dishes, and maybe even pop over to HLK for rice porridge or wontons, or Shau May for Taiwanese Shaved Ice.
For more info about the festival (entertainment schedule, special parking zones), check out Monterey Park's festival site here.