I’m having a lovefest with Seattle’s International District where dragons scale light poles to flash fiery eyes at the sky.
Your aisles are a wonderland, Uwajimaya.
I have a complete crush on Mon Hei Bakery. I could doodle their name on a three ring binder with hearts and arrows that’s how much I adore Mon Hei. I love their humble red and gold storefront and layer cake neon sign.
I more than love the Chinese donuts made at Mon Hei. Their donuts are light, airy, soft and always fresh because they sell out. They are delicately and briefly sugar-crystal-crunchy. They melt…that’s how soft and light the dough is. Mouth meet melt.
The egg tarts (bottom right in photo) are little symphonies of rich, luscious, eggy custard. The basic, beautiful ingredients in these pastries are not overwhelmed by sugar and fanfare. These are pure, balanced, rich but ultimately light tarts with supremely flakey crusts.
Mini chicken pie at the top of the photo: savory, comforting, flakey, buttery. If you buy the last one I will sic fire-eyed dragons on you. Watch it!
We should wander over to Oasis Tea Zone where they make all sorts of slurp-able concoctions including coconut green bean slushies and tapioca-optional freezes, teas, ices and snows. They even make a durian shake that elicits giggles from the local teens who chill there in the afternoons and swift exits from those who don’t know the gas station aroma that is durian.
I plan to order my way through their menu though I admit I’m currently hanging in the slushie section and may be there awhile.
Come back, Fuji Bakery! My nose smudges decorate your shut doors.
Trains, buses and light rails form a major transportation hub in the International District. The mix of people includes young professionals, goths, punk-derivatives, teens who are decked out for Cosplay events, stadium crowds from nearby sports venues, immigrants, artists, moms, dads, the sandals-with-tube-socks crowd (a Pacific Northwest staple) and drunks (a Seattle staple).
I dig seeing all sorts of people remix on city sidewalks, hang at cafes, and saunter past each other in the aisles of food markets with wildly different groceries in their carts.
The persistence of change in a city wakes the ache of nostalgia and the wonder for what’s next. I’m cool with both those feelings.
That’s what makes a heart beat.
Chocolate polka dotted brioche also makes my heart beat. Fuji Bakery…I’m calling you again and leaving you a shamelessly smitten message. Pick up!
A neighborhood can make you see beauty even when you don’t know how to translate exactly…even when it is simply a restaurant sign and a graceful tree.
Wandering through neighborhoods can simmer poetry from decay…
and reframe a view.
I hope you wander through neighborhoods some time and have a lovefest over buildings and bakeries. I wander for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes I wander around a neighborhood just to make my eyes open up and see life. Wandering can be soothing, inspiring, good for the soul and good for the body zone too.
Happy Wandering Wednesday from The International District in Seattle. The International District requires more than one Wednesday’s worth of wandering so we’ll be back here on another Wednesday.
Until then…wander forward with open eyes and oinking attitude!