Meet New Contributor: JET – and then read her article!

What is she LOOKING at? Some brilliant, I assume

New Contributor: Jet

After many lengthy and verbose (on my part) conversations with Mr. JD, I was asked to write for PopTardsGo.  I took the idea and sloshed it around a bit.  I spat out a “Yes” and here I am.  My deal is thus and will be posted every other Tuesday:  I am a highly-curious, visually-addicted, research-proned person who will be writing about questions that cross my mind, adventures that are accomplished and things that ‘sparkle’ catching my bird-like attention.  My proclivities are varied and often seen as random and my articles will reflect that.  In all truth and for most of my life-hours, I accept money in exchange for performing my dictated corporate duties.  Here, I will perform exactly and precisely how I want.

Like so:

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Okko, Kong and a brief discussion on Chopsticks

Walking down a crowded South Street, I cheated on my current Comic Book store.  A little tattered sign taped on a dirty closed-up store front made me to do it and I followed the instructions of, “Atomic City Comics – This Way”.  You would too and you know it.  A few blocks later, I entered the store and commenced the ritual: I breathe deeply and start taking in each and every comic alphabetized on the wall.  As my eyes averted away from my usual subscription titles in shame, I thought of my favorite guys at the KOP Comics & More shop.  Just then and ‘gasp’, I noticed a previously unseen title and new art.  I snatched it up, smiled through the friendly and kind sales pitch of the comic-fluent owner and I darted out into the rain.  Here is what my trist produced:  Okko, The Cycle of Air  Issue #1.

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:jVHh-w7MNJJX9M:http://buzzpreview.buzzcomics.net/2010-01/Ind%C3%A9s/okko1.jpg  http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:jVHh-w7MNJJX9M:http://buzzpreview.buzzcomics.net/2010-01/Ind%C3%A9s/okko1.jpg http://a33.idata.over-blog.com/2/81/52/01/bulles-art/okko/okko05-planche.jpg  http://a33.idata.over-blog.com/2/81/52/01/bulles-art/okko/okko05-planche.jpg http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:Wk6zzOEXSMZBUM:http://www.weebulle.com/img/p/2212-4271.jpg  http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:Wk6zzOEXSMZBUM:http://www.weebulle.com/img/p/2212-4271.jpg

Being the way I am, I will buy a comic that has captivating art and a moronic story line.  However, the previously mentioned title does NOT fall into this category.  With it’s gorgeous ‘geishas’, amazing detail and sweet colorations, this Japanese Warrior/vengeance story line only make my crush cross over into to a potential true love.  There are demon-hunters saving girls from haunted catatonic states, alcoholic monks bringing forth Wind spirits, an old noodle-cart women filling in the details and well-done flashbacks.  The highlight, outside of the obvious Japanese setting of pagoda and kimonos, is the haunted Shamisen (Japanese banjo, of sorts) with the craggy 100-year spirit shadow creeping out to tell of evil deeds done.  Rating: A

Later that evening, I tried a joint that had long been on my food bucket-list: Kong (http://www.eatatkong.com/).  With my Asian heart sealed in this little white girl body, anything that promises “Rustic Hong Kong style street food” — I want it.  Mistake 1: Letting my unruly imagination create fantastical expectations.  Mistake 2: Ordering the mussels.

kong 1.jpg kong 2.jpg kong 3.jpg kong 4.jpg

When you walk in, the setting/décor is promising.  There were moody-looking wall coverings, lots of dark red accessories, a Golden Buddha, sexy birdcage lanterns and little candles.  Additionally, the bathrooms were adorable with black-and-white cartoon pandas on deep red walls.  The server showed up and the experience took a sharp left down Not-So-Good Lane.  Without an ounce of Asian-themed flair and a beautiful frown that reeked of desperately-hip, my face took on skepticism and my eyes jumped into the menu. One could call the menu Asian tapas and my dipping excitement was on the rise.  With the dishes arrived, the Snow peas with chili peppers were good and the REALLY deep fried Asparagus were nothing new and the Veg Fried rice had an egg on top and while novel-looking, was average-tasting.  The mussels were pathetic and they smelled.  Now, Kong did make a come-back.  The coconut sticky rice with a coconut-caramel sauce was delicious, homey and…well, delicious.  Now, I didn’t sample everything on the menu, but I did notice that on a Saturday night at 8 PM the place was dead.    Rating: C-

Now, as I sat down at Kong, I did appreciate that chopsticks which were already set at the table wrapped in a well-worn tea towel.  With chopsticks being my utensil of choice and outnumbering my forks 6 to 1, I once had someone say to me as we heated up left-over Italian, “Let me get you a fork…wait…do you know to use one of those”.  The question isn’t unfounded…trust me.  So, as I picked up my relatively nice black chopsticks at Kong, I got to thinking…What is the story of these efficient and expedient little food-sticks? Pose a question like that…I, then, must know.  This is what I found out:

One chopstick origination story starts over 5000 ago in China with men over fires using sticks and broken branches to pull out pieces of food.  The oldest known set of chopsticks is bronze (I want!) and date back as far as 1200 BC.  In modern day, they are usually bamboo but are seen in materials such as metal, Jade, Ivory, Gold, Silver, Steel and good ‘ol plastic (blahL).  They vary in length from country to country with Japan have shorter chopsticks for kids and the longest pair for men.  While in Korea, chopsticks tend to be medium-length for all and made of stainless steel.

In addition to the ‘What’ and ‘Where’  of these little beauties, the ‘How’ turned out to be pretty interesting, also.  Meaning, each Asian country seems to have differing etiquette and superstition surrounding chopstick placement and usage.  In China and referring to them as Kuai-Zi meaning ‘Quick Little Fellows’, you can look like a beggar if you tap your chopsticks on your bowl and you can make your parents look bad by holding these sticks inappropriately.  It is also seen as bad luck if you drop a chopstick.  Ahhh…that explains a lot of my life, actually.  If you cross your chopsticks at the table in Japan or stick them vertically up in the rice bowl, you are referring to death and should only be done during a funeral.  Also, it is common in Japan (and, really, who doesn’t do this anyway), that if you don’t have chopstick rests at your place setting, you can fold the paper that held the chopsticks to create your own rest.

So, with chopsticks improving coordination, efficiency in dish-washing, Chinese calligraphy and general novelty while eating,  grab a pair and head straight for Chinatown’s David’s Mah Lai Wah, Lee How Fook’s or Nan Zhou and skip right on by Northern Liberties’ Kong.

The links and hints for delicious Chinese food are below:

David’s Mai Lah Wah: Ask for: The Noodle Menu.  Get: Sautéed Chinese greens and the Noodle and Dumpling soup. http://philadelphia.citysearch.com/profile/8959652/philadelphia_pa/david_s_mai_lah_wah.html

Lee How Fooks: Order Anything. Be Happy. Make Ressie. http://www.leehowfook.com/

Nan Zhou: AUTHENTIC noodle house. Not for the faint of heart, Chinese Take-Out lover or the glamorous.  Super Cheap and Outstanding.  Get: Shaved noodles in Peanut Sauce.  Noodle soup with Veg and Egg.  Watch: Guy make your fresh Chinese noodles magically with his hands. http://philadelphia.citysearch.com/profile/38054124/philadelphia_pa/nanzhou_hand_drawn_noodle_house.html

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3 Comments to “Meet New Contributor: JET – and then read her article!”

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  1. Y says:

    David’s may be the greatest place ever. Mostly due to the fact that they stay open til 4am, and when stumbling home from the bar at 2:30 in the morning, nothing beats a pint of rice and some dumplings.

  2. Whipterwhills says:

    Great article!! Too bad about KONG, but Davids is delicious!! I think someone might be getting a fancy set of chopsticks for their birthday ::points at jet:: Nice job jettie! lmhk

  3. Dev says:

    I did read, I further enjoyed. I was glad that the brief discussion wasn’t as brief as the title implied.

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