108028274623426253

three-borough day off.

so after a few routine months, i decided it was time to drag my lazy ass out to queens and back and eat some tasty ethnic food, even if it kills tim. we took the F train to roosevelt ave, and wandered not too far away to this gaudily colorful mexican joint, tacos coatzingo, and damn, if those weren’t the best tacos i’ve ever had in queens. i got the lengua al vapor (steamed tongue) and the carne enchilada (spicy pork) and tim got carne asada and some other fried pork thing. both came in doubled corn tortillas, so soft and fresh and redolent of sweet grain. the meats were tasty — the tongue especially so, and they were daubed with a bit of creamily unctuous guacamole. two negro modelos, bottomless basket of chips and salsa, and the total, drumroll please … $16.00! queens is the bestest.

i dragged tim a bit further out to flushing, as neither of us had been before, and it was and odd, odd place, but i suppose what i’d always imagined a real chinatown should be: not a dirty, smelly, tourist-driven, cheap-shit-hawking morass of commercialism and a quick buck, but a community where chinese people eat, work, and play together. (and no discernibly seedy massage parlor signs!) the avenues were wide and clean and empty of all the pushy, slow throngs of manhattan’s unfortunate sino hood. i was hoping to find a particular store at the flushing mall (an all asian establishment that looked very much like hong kong’s malls) but failing that, settled for you tiao instead: those awesome savory fried crullers taiwanese people eat for breakfast. i like them with salty soy milk, but there are many who like to make a sandwich out of it with some sesame flat bread. (as anti-low carb as i am, i can’t handle that. oof.) flushing wasn’t as large as i’d expected. i was nearly disappointed by the experience, but then tim and i found the LIVE POULTRY MARKET. this was basically just a large storefront with stacks of cages within, holding all kinds of happy, fat fowl and their furry friends. i saw quail, squab, roosters and capons, ducks, geese, and rabbits. there was even a little black chicken just running around on the ground, pecking at our feet. the animals, contrary to what one imagines or hears, were quite healthy and clean-looking, and likely tasty, besides. the smell of animal poop got rather overwhelming for tim, so we retreated to the 7 train and spent the afternoon at battery park and century 21.

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