Thursday, December 9, 2010

Din Din and Shopping in Flushing

Wei and I put on our long johns, bundled our butts up, and headed into Flushing C-town for a hot bowl of soup and noodles and to do a little HK movie X-mas shopping. It was about 20 degrees out, feeling more like 10, and the wind was biting. Flushing is a favorite dinner destination of ours (usually only frequenting a handful of places out of the hundred's that are around) and it's also a heck of a lot closer than NYC C-town. The caveat is, the HK movie shopping stinks. The movie shops in Flushing began to dwindle a few years back and now there are only about 3 that are still operating. We hit all three each and every time we visit but rarely score anything great. Usually less than a handful of flicks. Reason being, 90% of the movies being hawked are bootlegs! For shame! Below are some pics of the three shops we regularly visit in Flushing. Also, a shot or two of our din din at the wonderful Chao Zhou Restauarant (pictured above with the landmark 'Big Bowl' atop the establishment), where we usually stop, as we did tonight, for a huge bowl of Cambodian Noodle soup. I burned the shit out of my tongue, but it was goooooood!

As we were seated, our server ran behind the counter to grab a fork. One single, solo, lonesome fork, and placed it in front of me. Of course. Give the fork to the gwailo! As it happens, Wei uses a fork more than I do. Just to set the record straight. I may not be 100% adept with chopsticks, but I can get by.

Our usual fare, the Cambodian Noodle soup.

Stall selling bootleg Mainland TV shows outside of the great restaurant, Corner 28. We stopped off to buy some Da Bao for Wei's aunt. And of course, a few Da Bao for my chunky ass as well. One for each man jug. Playing on the television to the upper left is a program on how to speak English.

More Mainland TV show bootlegs under the train trestle

Outside of one of the ubiquitous 'mini malls' in Flushing. Once inside the front doors, a tiny movie shop is first door on the left. Outside, the shop sells more bootleg Mainland TV shows,

Inside the shop, some of the films on display. Wei and her 'Nanook of the North' winter jacket are on the left and above her woolly hood, the top three shelves display legitimate HK DVD's. Wei bought me LA COMEDIE HUMAINE here and will wrap it as one of my X-mas gifts. "Oh! LA COMEDIE HUMAINE?! You shouldn't have?!" This was the only DVD we bought tonight. What a disappointment.

Bargain bin of another movie shop, this one located in the grand waste of space, aka Flushing Mall. This sad monstrosity is a flea market like, bare bones, multi level mall and food court that houses a bunch of Asian businesses. A beautiful idea for the community, but a wasteland. I swear I saw a tumbleweed roll through the second level and a prairie dog pop up against my ankle. Honestly.

This store in the Flushing Mall sells 'legit' stuff. Mostly out of region DVD's that, of course, have English subtitles listed on the box. But when you get home, pop the movie in, and settle into the ass groves of your sofa with a bowl of chicken feet.....negative subtitles. I have been screwed more times than I can remember from this shop. So, I usually temper my expectations when visiting. They had DETECTIVE DEE in stock but it didn't have English subs. And they didn't list it as having any?! I was shocked.

This basement shop is in the Hong Kong Mall, just below the Hong Kong Supermarket, a chain of Asian grocery stores. HK Supermarket is an establishment owned by the beautiful, former CAT III actress, Veronica Yip Yuk-hing and her banker hubby, Jeffrey Wu. Down in the basement, another enterprise awaits. Bootlegs as far as the eye can see. I love joking that this spot, and possibly the others we visit, are Triad run. They probably aren't, but it adds more flavor to my visit.

The side of Wei's noggin' and Asian TV bootlegs.

The store is mostly bootlegs of various Asian countries' television shows. There are legit shows as well, but the booters are about half the price of the originals. As for the HK films, they are 99% bootleg. On occasion, among the copies on the rack, you will find the legit, or master, copy. I believe that they take the master copy, burn the disc to make a bunch of copies, and then re-cellophane the master and sell it off. if i ever buy anything from this joint, it is always the wrapped master copy. And it is always legit and has English subs! Hooray!

Random Taiwanese adult junk with the crappy Shu Qi opus, IRON SISTER, on display.

Rushing through the cold I came a cross a few posters of HK entertainers either hawking products or a performance. This is par for the course in C-town neighborhoods. Above is Wayne Lai Yiu-cheung promoting something or other?
The fine, mustachioed crooner/actor (and husband of another great singer/actor Sally Yeh) George Lam Chi-cheung is photoed above on a poster plastered throughout Flushing. He's performing a few hours away at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.

Wei and I made our last stop, doing a little grocery shopping. Above is Kelly Chan Wai-lam pushing Mooncakes.


So, only one movie to my name, a bag full of fish balls, 2 Da Bao, a can of Hey Song, and some dried pork for congee. On occasion i'll take groceries in favor of movies. On occasion. Anyway, next Thursday we are planning on heading into NYC C-town for din din and some more HK X-mas movie shopping. Let's hope that next week my HK movie shopping experience is more fruitful. Knock on wood. This year looks to be a 'quality over quantity' deal for X-mas. The past few years I have been literally swimming in well over 100 HK movies. This year the pickings are slim. Hopefully on X-mas morn', Santa's got a brand new bag.....of HK movies for me.


  1. That's a fascinating post. I like to see stuff like this. Looks vaguely similar to the Eden Center, this largely Vietnamese complex in NoVa. The DVD shops that have Chinese stuff have a lot of boots too, usually w/o English subs. Where's a pic of owner Veronica Yip?

  2. "Stall selling bootleg Mainland TV shows outside of the great restaurant" -
    seriously, the backround looks exactly like a movie poster for one of those UNTOLD STORY flicks.
    The rest of your pics has no links! (so they can't be enlarged)

  3. Love this type of post. I don't have any kind of Chinatown nearby unfortunately so I have to rely on online stores and ebay for my fix. Better luck next time with the movies but the food looked good.

  4. Mind telling us what the boots usually go for in NYC?

  5. Glenn, thanks. I have read that Veronica lives somewhere on Long Island? I have been trying to find out where for a few years now.

    Deliria, you're right. I love the way the food stalls look. Very dark and ominous like CAT III shockers. How do I set the pictures so you are able to enlarge them? I have no clue how to do it?

    AHND, thanks. I hope to do more of this kind of stuff soon.

    Kngfu, the boots usually cost between $6 and $10 here in NY.

  6. ah... a walk in chinatown is a great way for an HK fan to spend a sunday. great blog post

  7. Ooooh, a cute big bowl! ♥♥ All those pics motivate me to get my lazy ass up and go explore Oakland Chinatown!

  8. hey >> it's Joel. Keep us warm with the food posts. None of us mind! You might even inspire me out of the computer to take Manhattan. I love your blog!!

  9. Great post! For me getting out to Flushing takes me almost as long as going to Phillie so I rarely do it, so it is good to get an idea of what I am missing and what I am not. Manhattan's Chinatown is a lot closer for me luckily.

  10. OCD, thanks. You have had quite a nice trip there. My walk in Chinatown doesn't compare =P

    AG, I feel your laziness. But get out to Oakland and explore. Kenny W. mentioned a few places to me that sold HK movies. Might be worth checking out?

    Anonymous, thanks, bro. Get off of your computer and head into C-town. There are movies to be bought!

    Diana, thanks so much =) Flushing really isn't worth going to unles you live nearby. Since Wei and I are out on Long Island, it's easier for us and closer than going into NYC.

  11. Just discovered your blog...and am really excited about digging into it more!

    Re: being handed a fork at a Flushing restaurant--similarly, in my family my Chinese mom usually goes for the fork and my white dad skillfully wields a pair of chopsticks :)

  12. fivespicealley, thank you so much for the kind words. I hope you visit often?!

    I just saw your blog and i'm equally excited about rummaging through it. I just saw your post on the Sorcerers Apprentice and I passed by your street during that time and snapped a few pics as well. Great video.

    Back to checking your posts out. Thanks again. I will be in your neighborhood tomorrow evening. Probably eating dinner at Big Wong's =P Hope to talk to you soon.


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