Sunday, May 19, 2013
A board advertising the coffee buns, green tea buns, chocolate buns, and patbingsu at Sumi's Cakery.
Now that the temperature is consistently higher than my weight in kilograms, it finally appears to be safe to write about patbingsu. 팥빙수 is a Korean summer dessert made with red beans (pat, 팥), fruit, shaved ice (bingsu, 빙수), and occasionally ice cream. A couple of days ago the KoreAm Journal looked at the different varieties that turn up on all the café and fast-food menus in South Korea each summer. In Pittsburgh, about the only place that offers it is Sumi's Cakery, a Korean bakery on Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill (map).
In larger cities you'll find it in Korean restaurants and cafes, of course, but also at Korean-owned yogurt places. Below is a poster hanging on a Sweet Berry in Oakland that was closed long before the picture was taken in 2011.
Last year it was the McKeesport International Village Festival that used a North Korean flag in its advertisements. This year, it's the Ambridge Nationality Days Festival.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
On May 15th Korea's Asia Gyeongje website covered a large can tuna display at Glenshaw's Giant Eagle, citing a March 31 reddit thread. That's today's update from our "Watching Korean news watch us" department.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Not a poster, because it's hard to find one.
Starting near the end of the large Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival, which is running Japanese animated movies this week, the 2011 Japanese film From Up on Poppy Hill (コクリコ坂から) will play at the Harris Theater from May 17. Wikipedia provides a brief summary:
Set in 1963 Yokohama, Japan, the film tells the story of Umi Matsuzaki, a high school girl living in a boarding house, Coquelicot Manor. When Umi meets Shun Kazama, a member of the school's newspaper club, they decide to clean up the school's clubhouse, Quartier Latin. However, Tokumaru, the chairman of the local high school and a businessman, intends to demolish the building for redevelopment and Umi and Shun, along with Shirō Mizunuma, must persuade him to reconsider.And the Pittsburgh City-Paper adds:
The film's small story is set against a larger cultural one, as Japan transitions from the sorrows and hardships of the last generation's wars to being a modern world power. Nearly every scene contains visual cues that show Japan's mish-mash of old and new, while the story illustrates this new generation, caught between the nostalgic pull of the past and the responsibility of leading this new Japan.The film debuted in the US on March 15, 2013.
The Harris Theater is located downtown in the Cultural District (map). Showtimes are available at the theater's website; it opens on Friday, the 17th, at 8:00 pm.
Earlier this month my Facebook feed broke the news that Lucy Nguyen has returned from spending the winter in Vietnam to reopen her popular banh mi stand in the Strip District, keeping one of Vietnam's best street foods in Pittsburgh. This week the Pittsburgh City-Paper runs a quick profile on her, her popular sandwiches, and her following.
Nguyen is an established, and beloved, Strip District tenant who began selling the sandwiches outside of My Ngoc, the restaurant she ran for about 16 years. Though she has since closed the restaurant because it was "too much work," she still maintains her cart, now located in the parking lot of Bar Marco, from spring to late fall. She spends winters in her native Vietnam.She's located in the parking lot of Bar Marco on the 2200 block of Penn Avenue (map).
Nguyen's story is one many of her customers know: She moved to Pittsburgh more than 40 years ago, following her husband, a serviceman whom she met in Hue, Vietnam. They had three daughters. Nguyen worked in hotel housekeeping before opening her restaurant.
Guerrero says the food isn't the only reason he gets excited about seeing Lucy: "A lot of it is Lucy herself. ... [T]he food is good, but I'm also taken care of here."
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Inseparable (形影不离) is at Butler's Maridon Museum on May 16 as part of this year's Taiwanese Film Series. The 2011 Chinese film was directed by the Taiwan-born Dayyan Eng, counts Kevin Spacey as probably the most recognizable actor on the poster to Butler audiences, and is summarized by the Los Angeles Times' blog 24 Frames thus:
“Inseparable” starts with an attempted suicide by a depressed man named Li Yue (played by the Hong Kong-American heartthrob Daniel Wu in his first major English-speaking role). Every day Li dons a suit and tie and heads to his suffocating office job at a prosthetic-limb company in an unnamed Chinese city. (The movie was filmed in Guangzhou.)The show starts at 6:30 pm and is presented by Dr. Alison McNeal of Slippery Rock University. The Maridon Museum of Asian Art is located at 322 N. McKean St. in downtown Butler, some 40 miles north of Pittsburgh (map). Previous installments of this year's series were Eat, Drink, Man, Woman and Three Times.
Li’s boss is corrupt, his wife, Pang (an investigative television reporter played by Gong Beibi), is always away, and he is recovering from a past trauma. But just as Li is about to hang himself from his living room ceiling, he is interrupted by his brash American neighbor Chuck (Kevin Spacey).
Together, they head out into the city in homemade superhero outfits to right the wrongs in a country suffering from widespread fraud and corruption, a vast wealth gap and a frustrated, angry populace. The wise-cracking expat Chuck proves to be both Li’s savior and nemesis.
Japanese midfielder Shintaro Harada, who was a member of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL Pro soccer league from 2010 to 2012, returns to Pittsburgh next Saturday as a member of the Dayton Dutch Lions. Available tickets for the 7:00 game run from $8.25 to $12.00.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
As part of next week's annual Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival, a doubleheader of horror films show on Saturday as the "Silk Screem Horror Film Night": China's Nightmare (青魘) and Korea's Two Moons (두게의 달). On Sunday, Japan's Asura (アシュラ) and Singapore's Tatsumi make up Anime Film Night.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
The Pittsburgh Dance Center will hold a "Japanese Inspired Dance/Fitness Class" on Sundays from May 19th through August 25th. Says their Facebook event page:
We have created a super fun dance/fitness class using pop music of Japan! They have some really great music!Wikipedia has more about Para Para, and Youtube has an instructional video in Japanese (with German and English subtitles). The multitude of older パラパラ videos available are a fun look at a craze that hasn't completely left Asian pop, but prolonged exposure to that music may eventually make you want to drill a hole through your skull. The Pittsburgh Dance Center is located at 4765 Liberty Ave. in Bloomfield (map), and these classes will run from noon to 1 pm each Sunday.
This class will work specifically with the quirky dance craze known as "Para Para," which is sort of like Japan's version of line dancing. Need a hint about movement style? Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7h0z9IB_hY
This class will only be $5.00 and will be equal parts of Dance-Fitness.
Ohio is doing Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month a little better than western Pennsylvania, with three large festivals that look worth weekend trips.