Year of the Dragon, ROAR!

Last week was filled with many more firsts! Balboa Park recently hosted the San Diego Tet Festival, celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. For only $10 attendees could watch performances, dine on traditional Vietnamese dishes, and splurge on carnival rides and games. I enjoyed watching the Tet Talent Show and listening to the performers sing. The abundance of food was another main attraction that I took the liberty to sample. Lee’s Coffee had a booth selling you guessed it, Vietnamese coffee, one of the strongest coffee drinks I’ve ever had. It’s basically an espresso shot mixed with a little bit of cream and sugar, and then poured over ice. One of my favorite dishes is the banh mi, a deli sandwich consisting of: a toasted french baguette, deli meat, pate, carrots, pickled horseradish, cilantro, and jalapenos. It was somewhat spicy but very delicious and affordable, only costing $4.

Chinese New Year also occurred around the same time and I had the opportunity to experience the celebration in Los Angeles’ China Town. This festival was held in a more densely compacted area which had its own unique charm, plus attendance was FREE. The streets were decorated with lanterns and dusted with brightly colored confetti. Every minute you would hear someone popping a confetti tube and see a shower of colors fall to the ground. Performances occurred throughout the night on the main stage, showcasing ladies twirling colorful silk fabrics and men displaying their mastery of martial arts. Being the avid consumer that I am, I strolled along the side streets to the vendors and small shops which sold everything you could possibly imagine. I bought some bbq pork pastries, a mini moon cake, and a boba drink, altogether spending less than $10. I also bought a very cool Super Mario backpack from a small shop (Check the bottom of this post for the pic). Both of my experiences at the Tet and Chinese New Year Festivals have given me new perspectives on life and an appreciation of the many cultures that exist in our world. With this new year, be a new you and go on an adventure!

 Stay tuned! I have plenty more to post.
– AJ 

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