Friday, December 30, 2016

A Visit to Chinatown


We decided to go to the movies and just for fun, we went to Chinatown for lunch. On the way we passed by a couple interesting scenes.

It seems that once the weather warms up, the homeless come out in force. We saw more people apparently sleeping on the street than before. The one below has graced us with a primo butcrack! The guy on the bench was not clearly normal either.


The main street through the CBD with the pedestrian mall is Bourke Street. This is where we saw the homeless. One block behind (what direction is that?) is Little Bourke Street. It looks like a large alleyway that has come into its own. This is where the reflection shot at the top was taken.

One down Little Bourke Street is Chinatown proper.


Many of the building facades still carry that look of being on a side street, but others seem to have, at one time at least, been places of consequence. Now they are mostly restaurants or indeterminate like the one below.


Like all good Chinatowns, it has a gate marking the entry from the main cross street.


And lost of interesting buildings and signs.


At this place, you can get a lunch special. So special, in fact, that you apparently need to read chinese to know what you're getting.


There is this place selling Malaysian Hawker food (not sure what that is).


And some pretty sophisticated street art.


We picked a place that great reviews and found it to be a real experience. the food was good and the service was unique. We were confronted with a seemingly endless parade of service carts loaded with food choices. If there was a menu, I never saw it. Everything is ala carte, and you get a card on which the servers check off what you pick instead of a check at the end. Lots of steamed dumplings, vegetables, porridge, buns, fried, and a dozen other things that the delivery speed and language barrier prevented me from understanding. There were at least 4 carts of food whizzed before our eyes (possibly more) and decisions were expected on the fly. All a bit bewildering. But what we got, whatever it was, was good. And the prices weren't bad. A good lunch.

I mentioned we were going to movies. We went to see La La Land. Save your money. No chemistry on-screen. The music, while good, did nothing to further the story (maybe because the story was so bad) and was neither engaging nor catchy. What's the point of a musical if you can't remember or hum a tune as you walk out the theater door to lift you spirits? No characters to identify with. The opening scene that is getting so much praise is silly and is almost completely unconnected to the main story (as it nearly everything in the film). After the first 20 minutes or so, where there is lots of musics and some dancing, there is a long spell with no singing, no dancing, and damn little story. Even La Boheme has a more complicated plot. At one point, when the screen faded to black, it thought (hoped?) it was over. One of the really strange places in the show was when Mia (Emma Stone) was auditioning for a part in a movie which morphed into a song. Fine. She sang a song that requires psychological analysis to connect to the plot of the film and was not memorable, engaging or, for that matter, sung especially well. The dancing was technically done well, but there was very little (if any) that was challenging or inspiring. Debbie Reynolds had never danced before Singin' in the Rain but even next to two consummate professionals, you couldn't tell she was the odd one out. The principles in this film, I'm sure have danced before because hasn't everyone in the business does this nowadays, but you couldn't really tell they had done this before.

Did I mention that I didn't care for this movie?