Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pre-trip Warmup! (with CC #19 thrown in)

Maybe you have heard...or maybe you have not heard. We are going to China! Wes has been asked to teach a short-term class at a university in Guangzhou. We needed to get a special travel visa so we headed off to Chinatown in Chicago this past week. Never having been there, it felt like a pre-trip warmup for the real deal. It was surprising to be so close to our home, yet feel so far away learning about the long-time Chinese culture in Chicago. This is the Chinatown welcome gate, built in 1975. The four large characters translate to "The World Belongs to the Commonwealth" and reflects the drive, determination and spirit of the Chinese people.

Immediately after walking through the gate, there is this impressive building on the right called(originally) the On Leong Merchants Association Building. It was designed by two Norse architects, Michaelson and Rognstad, and was opened in 1928 to assist immigrants in their assimilation to the "new" country. In 1941 this building was used as a Catholic grade school. In 1993, the building was given landmark status and is presently used as a family literacy station with a Christian emphasis --- now called the Pui Tak Center.

We took a short walk up and down this street and here are some of the sights we saw:

The pictures of food (left) would certainly help to know what to order ( I confess that the food aspect of the trip is a little scary for me). The bakery (right) had some tasty pastries. We shared a treat made with melon "goo" inside and took home something that looked like angel food cake. It was yummy! Speaking of Chinese foods, I just had to do the related fortune cookie craft on pages 22-23 in
the Blanket Statement book by Vicki Haninger as I blog my way through all of her projects! How fun it was to see a Chinese fortune cookie done up in green wool. The tweaking came by filling the cookie with rice to turn it into a mini "bean" bag for tossing with Ellie when she gets to be a little older.

I made nine cookies - 1 set of three for Ellie, one set of three for Wes and one set of three for me. When we toss them at targets (such as colored dots on the floor), we'll be able to see who got the closest due to the personalized label "fortunes" attached to each fortune cookie. The tossers are stored in a blue plastic Chinese food take-out box.

China, here we come! We hope to learn more about your country and peoples in the not-too-distant future. We are up for this adventure...

6 comments:

Linnea said...

Deb, your post below reminds me of the creative ways you'd keep Anne and I busy at the house at Grand Lake-including dressing up/decorating potatoes! As for your China trip, when does the great adventure begin?? A book recommendation about (not) Chinese food that I loved reading is The Fortune Cookie Chronicles.

The Lindahl News said...

Linnea - ha! I had forgotten about the dressing up of potatoes.

Thanks for the book recommendation,too!

Timi + Andrew said...

How exciting! When is the big trip? I hope you will have a great time!

The Lindahl News said...

Timi, we are going during the time your little bundle of joy will make her appearance...please let us know via email! All the best to you!

Anne said...

so cool! i love all of the pictures that you posted - looks like a ton of fun! I can't wait until you actually go to China and have stories to tell afterwards. Also, I am slightly in awe and want some of my own fortune cookie bean bags to play with as well. What a fun game that will be!

~Vicki said...

OH! GREEN fortune cookies---both literally and figuratively! Ha ha..love that. What a creative & fun way to use them---LOVE that take-out box idea for storage too. That's adorably cute.