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Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:01 am

ImageBeijing 13 by John Yingling, on Flickr

Dream Can (谷水车间) at Yue Space. Beijing.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:25 pm

ImageBeijing 10 by John Yingling, on Flickr

"你覺得恨? 卻離不開!" Final night tonight. Carsick Cars, Birdstriking, and one of my all-time favorites from Chengdu, Hiperson! Hell of a week, Beijing. Thanks for all the noise, tastes, and smells. Always so happy to see you under louder circumstances. This photo was taken at School when Ale belted out the chorus from The Gar's "圈". If anyone knows that photographer who's clearly emotional during it all, please get this to her. Tonight, Yugong Yishan, a nap at the airport, a 6AM flight back to Harbin, and back to work. See you out there.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby davesec on Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:39 am

i lived in anhui province for a year in 2007 it was fucking stupid. all i did was drink and watch people torture animals and have people stare at me all day. the police station took away my passport on like day 2 and wouldn't give it back. i like these pictures.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:50 am

davesec wrote:i lived in anhui province for a year in 2007 it was fucking stupid. all i did was drink and watch people torture animals and have people stare at me all day. the police station took away my passport on like day 2 and wouldn't give it back. i like these pictures.


Mighty different these days, surely...unsure about how much for Anhui province...

ImageBeijing 22 by John Yingling, on Flickr

On the last day, I mostly just watched. I've been waiting to catch Hiperson (海朋森) again for three years. They began with a screaming introduction with Wen Yuzhen, the vocalists of Future Orients & Lonely Leary. I figured they'd play at least one or two songs from their first LP, which I've been in love with ever since seeing them well before it came out. They didn't. Driving forward with all new material. Louder, faster. Precision pounding. Certainly, they had fun. I'm so proud of them, scrapping seriously brilliant set material for a totally new path forward. Brave. Birdstriking & Carsick Cars were great. What a way to end the week. Enjoy that P.K.14 gig, Beijing. Would've been a nice cherry on top, but not meant to be. It was great to see you. Time to rest.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:03 am

ImageBeijing 17 by John Yingling, on Flickr

Sijiang - Hiperson (海朋森)
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:30 am

ImageHot Sour by John Yingling, on Flickr

Let's talk about "Chinese Food". The one with quotes around it. The $5 lunch menus with broccoli beef, unknown sauces. Brought to places around the world and eased for their palate. I always loved the stuff. When I was really young, my dad used to bring me to a place. We always got the "Hunan Three Delicacies". I didn't know what Hunan was. I adored it, and my time spent with him. I can still taste that food. We always got a "hot and sour soup". When I began traveling China extensively, I quickly realized the intense variety, and only noticed a few similarities. "Sweet and Sour Chicken" is unquestionably, the excellent Guo Bao Rou, which I've written about. "Kung Pao Chicken" is, of course, the delicious Gong Bao Ji Ding. I see very little, dare I say zero, broccoli stir fry.

But this soup, which I've honestly never seen before, is a carbon copy of what I always had at every shitty, cheap, Chinese dive around America. Hot and Sour soup. It immediately flooded my brain with memories of eating with my father. Identical! This was a Guang Dong restaurant, so I assume it's a cantonese deal. I have, ironically, seen it again after finding this place in Dongbei, so I know it's a thing. I'm surprised I hadn't seen it so far, having hit eighteen cities and counting. Anyone know the deal with this soup? I have seen an influx in "real" Chinese food flood America and other places outside New York and L.A. That makes me happy. Here's to the good memories, patting bellies. Cheers.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:21 am

ImageTu Dou Mian by John Yingling, on Flickr

Hand pulled beef & potato noodles. This is a Lanzhou noodle shop, but the owners are from Xinjiang. I'm unsure if they just love the neighboring Gansu province dishes, or if that areas shares common specialities. I've never been to either place, and I really hope to rectify that next year. Lately, I've been poking my head into shops that have the halal sign and forcing myself to try things. It's good, if not great, every time. These noodles are the best. You rarely see chunks of red, yellow, and green peppers in dishes. Some shops make it spicy. Perfectly cooked potatoes. Chewy. I think I've eaten these 40 times since summer ended. Comes with an excellent marrow soup. So pretty. Too good.
Total cost: About 12 RMB (or $2)
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:57 am

Imageblond new half by John Yingling, on Flickr

Next thing: I am heading to Osaka, Japan in late December, and hope to document 4 shows by the excellent BLOND NEW HALF, who I saw many years ago in Kobe. They will be releasing their first record finally, and I want to buy a ton of them for future record packs. I'll combine them with an already acquired lot from Indonesia, at some point in the future. I also hope to go to Kyoto and visit NICE LEGS. The trip itself I am funding by myself. However, if you'd like to help me once again compile amazing record packs, I am making a call for donations. You can do that by clicking here, if you want. Thanks, and take care out there: http://www.theworldunderground.com/donate/
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:17 am

ImageInner Mongolia 35 (cake) by John Yingling, on Flickr

Aside from the ever present 蛋挞 (egg tart), this Russian cake has been a staple dessert for me in the Northeast since I've moved here. It's called "Medovik", or "honey cake". The Russian's I gush to about it seem unimpressed by it, often bringing up their grandmother's and citing better things elsewhere, but I love the stuff. Part of that really is a lack of solid bakeries up here. There was this spectacular Russian bakery, but they've closed their doors for good. These are pretty cheap, and though quality can vary, even the mediocre ones are better than most Chinese cakes. They're everywhere. They are always there for you. They are the Russian honey cakes. :twisted:
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:49 am

ImageInner Mongolia 35 (lady) by John Yingling, on Flickr

Waiting for the bus, chatting with the neighbors. These two were certainly vibrant. The small one sitting on the bench mostly just giggled, while the woman standing gabbed on with details about me I'll never really know. This was certainly one of those times being fluent in the language would have surely proved to be super entertaining, and yet, I left smiling widely regardless.
Enhe, Inner Mongolia, September 2017.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:59 am

ImageMen Tie Li by John Yingling, on Flickr

Hard hangs. This was shot on a quick walk in the small city you get to before heading to Tie Li, in Yichun, to go rafting. It's a really small spot. I forget the name. It's certainly much bigger than Tie Li itself, which is literally only two roads with a handful of things. People are nice here. The last time we went this summer, my friend had to hold the door of the taxi we ended up with. He pulled it back for 30 kilometers, because it didn't close properly. Made for a hell of a ride down that long, bumpy stretch of road. August, 2017.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:03 am

ImageInner Mongolia 36 (coffin) by John Yingling, on Flickr

Portrait of a coffin maker. Enhe, Inner Mongolia. ❤️

Still here. Osaka and Kyoto on Sunday, to see 4 gigs by Kobe's BLOND NEW HALF. Should be dope.

Stay safe.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:23 pm

ImageBNH 2 by John Yingling, on Flickr

BLONDnewHALF, Hard Rain, Osaka, Japan. Spectacular night. So many good bands. Andy Klim came to kick it at the perfect time. Japan's gigs are always stacked with a great mixture of bands, but this one in particular had some seriously amazing talent. More on this soon. So good to be back here. Japan, I love you, and I've missed you. Tonight, BNH play Namba Bears
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:30 pm

ImageBNH 3 by John Yingling, on Flickr

Japan will sing to you, if you let it. It's not like the movies and television show you. Sure, it's quirky and wild, but there's a deep calm in the underlying madness. I arrived at Kansai Airport, quickly gripped a SIM and some cash, and strapped into the train. 2 hours from hitting the ground to the venue. Shows start early in Japan. Really early. 7PM on the nose, every time. Nobody's there? Tough shit. So began a week of madness that unbeknownst to me would essentially be curated by Kobe's BLOND NEW HALF, who I'd seen years ago. This week I'll begin compiling my photos and writing from that week. Cheers.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:49 am

ImageBNH 5 by John Yingling, on Flickr

Hard Rain, Osaka. After Blond New Half, it was a slew of great bands one after the other. Not a weak note in the bunch. I'd usually say "that's Japan" but this gig was particularly impressive, and Andy has no idea who any of these bands were. He lives in the damn city! I love that. Another set up, and a Miho Shigesato gets on stage barefoot. It's a loud, epic assault. Snarling ballads alongside Miho's crazy theatric dancing, like it's her last night on earth. Truly refreshing, all of them grinning ear to ear. The band's name is "Than", and we'd catch them again a few days later. Thank You for that.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:15 pm

ImageBNH 5 sushi by John Yingling, on Flickr

On the second day, there was sushi. A lot of sushi. Like many other people, Japan opened my mind to a lot of things. Order. Cleanliness. Quality. I didn't understand sushi until I came here. Like all food eaten in its proper country, and in its proper environment, there's a receptor that opens in your brain. Sure, you can get high test food in major cities across the world, but it's the little things that stick in your head. The condiments. The smells. One does not have to spend a ton of money for great sushi in Japan. In fact, I'd say I've had more mind-blowing experiences in tiny 5 person shops, for $10, than anywhere else. Thanks to Andy Klim for bringing me to Sushi Endou. <3
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:03 pm

ImageYogyakarta by John Yingling, on Flickr

Tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be 34. If you have any interest in getting me the best birthday present ever, please consider a donation to my project. I have some big plans for this year that will bring me greatly outside of my comfort zone. I'm ramping up to that. You will know about it in just a matter of months. It actually costs a decent amount just to keep this site alive. Consider it. I've enabled cryptocurrency donations. You can do all the things below. Glad to still be here! Cheers.

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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:00 pm

Real nice birthday. Gluttonous, as always. The largest Hong Shao Rou (红烧肉 - braised pork belly) I've ever consumed. The best kind of shrimp. Giant candied sweet potatoes. This is a Shanghai meets Hunan type of place, and the hybrid works. I don't call food "dank" very often, but this is definitely that. I smell a good year coming. Big changes, and long jumps. Looking forward to it all. Cheers.

ImageBday food 4 by John Yingling, on Flickr
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:19 am

ImageBNH 7 kurama 2 by John Yingling, on Flickr

After one more Blond New Half gig in Osaka, I headed to Kyoto to finally visit Mark and Lauren on their new home turf. It's a short train trip, and I decided to just head up to Kurama for an onsen straight away. Having done no research whatsoever, I had no idea there was a temple there. I was simply right there anyway, so when I saw a beautiful entrance, and a small fee, I paid and began walking. It was gorgeous, so I kept going. I came to a lift. Another small fee, and I rode a cable car up the mountain. There, was Kurama-dera, and this was the view from the top. Angelic shrines, peace and quiet. Score one for blind adventuring.
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Re: Musings and food photos from Northeast China + beyond.

Postby gonzochicago on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:00 am

ImageBNH 7 kurama by John Yingling, on Flickr

The Kurama onsen. Because it wasn't peak season in Kyoto, I basically had the place to myself. Maybe it was just my timing. Like a magical, hidden secret to everybody. My first onsen experience was that first trip to Japan with 大担 and Michael. I loved it, and was of course hooked on the sauna experience immediately. Chinese saunas are, uh, less wonderful. Japan, of course, has very strict etiquette that should be followed, and the whole experience, in most any onsen i've been in, has been quite great. If you're ever in the Kansai area, I highly recommend you go here and the previously mentioned nearby temple. It's perfect.
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