There’s a reason why John Hughes shot so many films in Chicago. This metropolitan city is as cosmopolitan and internationally cultured as New York but comparatively underrated. It’s a city that has inspired more writers, innovators, and creators than anywhere else in the world, but it is often forgotten the impact Chicago has on some of the most renowned and famous people – people such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Mark Twain, and Orson Welles.
Now that winter has come, it’s the perfect season for hot pot! This is one of my favorite winter activities, as well as one of favorite winter foods.
If you’re unfamiliar with the title of this post, it’s from this popular 1994 Taiwanese film directed by Ang Lee by the same name. I love the opening scene (which I wouldn’t recommend watching if you’re hungry, FYI) and it only increases my love for Chinese cuisine a million times fold.
With that on replay, I thought it’d be fun to craft a post surrounding some of my favorite Chinese restaurants to eat in the Northern Virginia area. I’m Chinese by heritage and growing up, I ate 97% Chinese food and 3% everything else. My parents are phenomenal cooks and they make some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. Moving away though, I’ve had to find a few other restaurants to fill that gap.
Since I wrote a post about D.C. coffee shops, I thought I’d do the same for matcha in the District too. I find these lists to be really helpful when I have a craving and need to look at a list and/or map of the places that offer these services.
For those unfamiliar with matcha, it’s a finely grounded powder made of specially grown and processed green tea. The green tea plants made for matcha are grown in the shade for about 3 weeks before harvesting (to slow growth and stimulate an increase in chlorophyll levels), and the stems and veins are removed in the processing stage. The traditional way of preparing matcha is either thick (koicha) and thin (usucha) tea. In our modern times, matcha is also used in chocolates, desserts (cakes, cookies, mousse, ice cream, cupcakes, mochi), lattes, iced drinks, and smoothies.
New York, New York. The city so nice they named it twice.
I frequent NYC at least two to three times in a year. It’s a place that you can go time and time again, and it’s different each time. The city changes daily, and I don’t think anyone can really keep up.
The real reason why I was in the city this time was for the 2016 U.S. Open Tennis Championships. I’d never been but always longed to, so I was happy to make this dream a reality. I was able to catch some of the men’s and women’s round 3 matches, particularly Pliskova vs. Pavlyuchenkova, Nishikori vs. Mahut, and Thiem vs. Carreno Busta. The weather was perfect, and it was thrilling to be apart of such a big tennis major.
Tea is always a good idea. Never underestimate the power of tea; it can drastically change your day and your outlook on your list of to-dos.
For a long time, I’ve always preferred tea to coffee. I still do, although I really cannot deny a good cup of Chemex or a perfected latte nowadays. But there’s something about tea that’s so familiar and comforting I just can’t say no to. I think at the end of the day, my heart will always belong to tea.
For a late birthday adventure, I found myself in Boston for a few days of R&R. Boston is a city steeped in history and culture, and it ranks fairly high on the world’s most livable cities. I only spent about two days in Boston, but I was able to squeeze in a bunch of activities despite having less than 48 hours in the city.