Monday, March 23, 2009


No, Flushing—which is in the borough of Queens.
Used to live there and still go back to see friends
and eat the best dim sum.  Flushing was the site
of two World Fairs ('39–'40 and '64–'65) and is
home to Shea Stadium, where the Mets play.
Currently it's also known for having the largest
concentration of Asian-Americans—99% of the
Asian-Americans who live in Queens live here.


  1. I miss a couple of days & I feel like I missed everything! Loved your ET photo Alexa.
    Hope all is better soon with your laptop.

  2. I'm new at trying to do semi-translations from Chinese. If you are feeling adventurous you could follow that sign with the big red arrow. It appears to be a beauty parlor which may have a "free facial mask." But the kicker might just be those last two characters in the second line. The dictionary seems to translate those two alone together as, "treatment of the hair to make it dyed, shiny and soft, applying cream to the hair and heating it with steam produced from a special utensil, and then washing it with clean water after it cools down."

    Hey, if I were in the neighborhood I'd be willing to give that a go myself. Unless that special utensil happens to be a full-body autoclave.

  3. My friend in NYC lives in Queens, and she took me on a tour of her old neighborhood when I was there last time, showing me how much it has changed. We treated outselves to a pedicure.

  4. Lily -- thanks. (Suzy's not the only one who LOVES the ET, ET, ET!

    bibi -- Just my opinion, but I think Queens would be a much less interesting (i.e., kinda boring) borough w/o all the ethnic diversity.

    TG -- seriously?? (dumb question: Does a knowledge of Japanese make it possible to extrapolate in Chinese, or are they totally and utterly different?)
    Or are you pulling my leg?

  5. For a native Japanese speaker it should be possible to get gists and drifts of Chinese. With my limited Japanese ability Chinese is usually indecipherable. The Chinese use many more characters than do non-academic Japanese.

    Written Japanese uses Chinese characters but the Japanese add another non-Chinese syllabary (or two) because the actual languages are exceedingly different. After the communist revolution, mainland Chinese simplified many of the characters. This sign with the red arrow is old, traditional, good-feng-shui, style.

    When I studied Japanese abroad the Chinese students had the advantage of knowing at least how to write, and the Chinese meaning of, all the characters. Sometimes they are used differently.

    Looking at the sign I could read (not always accurately): new; hot water, state (as in California, not aver or condition); huh?; huh?; exam; wash; head. Next line: Huh? huh?; face; huh? huh? something with elements of fire and a piece of the character for post office; oil. Bottom line: hair; shape or model; huh? and something that reminds me of clock or calculator.

    Actually, that might be better as a basis for guessing than you could do with Babelfish if you input what is written below in an on-line translator.




    The long quote I wrote in my comment above was from a book dictionary.

    I was thinking that I could have written anything as a joke. For example, "Roasted dog and cat meat. For a discount: BYOP (bring your own pet)."

    Thanks for asking, by the way. Good questions!

  6. TG -- that is so cool! If I go back there now, wonder if I can still get their "Wenzhou peaceful-like hair wash & free facial or oil design" (per babelfish)—though I rather liked your huh? huh? definition. LOL

  7. Neat photo. I once stayed with a friend in Queens and it still confuses me why all the addresses in Queens seem to have two numbers. Do you know?

  8. I noodled around a bit more and found a better translation site.

    The top line is "New Wenzhou Thai-style hair washing (or head wash)." (Wenzhou is a prefecture-level city in Zhejiang). Thai-style hair washing? What is that? As a substitute for the Chao Phraya River, they toss you in Meadow Lake and then hand you a towel as you collapse back on shore? Just curious.

    From what is written in the middle line it looks like you have a choice between a facial mask and a hot oil treatment; or it might only be a choice between a dab of face cleanser; or hair treatment cream (synonyms being what they are). {"Here's a micro quantity of cleanser somewhere in this folded square of tin foil"}. They don't say how much hair-treatment cream (if any) either: like maybe a teensy dab rubbed between the hairdresser's palms then brushed imperceptibly over a couple dozen strands of hair? "Oh, you look so much more beautiful now that you smell like Tom Yam Kung soup!"

    Anyway, it isn't clear exactly what is free, at least according to the translation/dictionary site.

    The bottom line is simply, "Hairstyle design."

    I don't know. Do you feel like checking the place out and seeing what's up, or maybe sticking with the tried and true? It could turn out to be fabulous and prove my skepticism totally unfounded, or not.

  9. Katie -- I can answer that. The 1st number refers to the closest numbered cross street, and the second is the actual number of the building.

    TG -- Next time I'm in Flushing, I'm going to try to find this place (2 dozen hairs is about what I have on my head since latest haircut anyway). I'll let you know.

  10. Using the translator of the same dashboard thingie as you have along the bottom or your Mac Book I came up with the following when I typed in, "I am looking for a hairdresser."


    Copied, pasted, enlarged, printed out and shown to people in the area it could help you reach that place. (I often click the squigly thing center-left to see if the words make any sense in a reverse translation).

    I tried for, "The one that has this signboard," but it came out as, "Has this that:" which could do the trick. And the sign writing again below the colon.

    So altogether it would be this:





    Once you are in the place it would be up to you (and your fluent-in-Chinese acquaintance).

  11. I'm curious, where do you go for dim sum in Flushing? Do you go to Ocean Jewel Seafood?


Thanks, merci, grazie, danke, hvala, gracias, spasibo, shukran, dhanyavaad, salamat, arigato, and muito obrigado for your much-appreciated comments.