What a nice pre-Christmas gift! Appetite for China was just featured in the Wall Street Journal Asia’s round-up of food bloggers around Asia, along with Robyn Eckhardt from Eating Asia, Andrea Nguyen from Viet World Kitchen, Makiko Itoh from Just Bento, Mark Lowerson from Sticky Rice, and many others. We each recommended a dish we “can’t live without” in cities across Asia (my city being Beijing.)
Check out the WSJ’s slideshow here!
In other news, I spent a few hours last Sunday indulging in a non-food-related interest: checking out relics of bygone New York. Every year around the holidays the MTA digs into its collection of old train cars that ran way back in the day, and takes them for a few spins on Sundays in December to keep them in working condition. This being my first holiday season in New York in three years, riding a Nostalgia Train was high on my must-do list.
This year the trains run on the F/M line from 2nd Ave to Queens Plaza. According to the conductors and various signage on the train itself, the train cars date anywhere from 1930 to 1940, and are decorated with ads from that period (though there were a few anachronisms, such as a presidential campaign ad for Kennedy.) The seats were low and narrow, the train cars themselves were musty and loud, but they seemed just as fast as some of the older models the MTA still runs.
I liked the subway courtesy signs. Nobody puts up signs like these anymore.
Vintage food ads were pretty prominent throughout the train. I haven’t been to the Transit Museum in Brooklyn yet, but hopefully some of these have a more permanent home there.
The last day for the Nostalgia Train to run is this coming Sunday, Dec. 26 (check the schedule here). If you’re staying in town for the holidays, or happen to be visiting New York, this is a worthwhile little excursion. Granted, what New York is doing with its trains really isn’t spectacular or unique among American cities (after all, San Francisco has vintage trolleys from around the world as a permanent fixture on the F line). But it was a ride on which, for once, everyone on board seemed happy and excited to be there. Complaints about delays and fare hikes could wait for another day. To an often-jaded commuter in New York, this was a neat little celebration of one of the oldest, extensive, and most used subway lines in the world.
Happy holidays, and thanks for reading Appetite for China for another year!