Monday, October 29, 2012

Fresh Off the Boat Ep 1: Part 3

What up FOBs? Shouts to every one who's been watching #FreshOfftheBoat we really appreciate the support. Today is Pt. 3 of Episode 1: Bay Area. Congrats to the Giants!

Our producer, David Laven aka Pretty Indian aka The Chubby Artist Formerly Known as Pretty Indian aka Orange Human Panda, was in the D for the game and got arrested for running on the field. I just have to say, Panda for MVP, my producer in the building, Bay Area episode today? You're welcome SF CITY. HUMAN PANDA SYMMETRICAL UNIVERSE STEEZ. But for real, I fux with the Bay and all the people out there. Much love fam, thanks for having us.


  1. I was born and raised in the bay- moved away for college, traveled around a fair bit, and ended up back home after graduation, like so many other people my age. Culturally speaking, I live about a million miles from a neighborhood like the Mission (or any spot that attracts young middle class educated types), so it's no surprise that my visceral reaction to moving back home was that of overwhelming ennui. In school, I spent a year in London and an extended period of time in New York, and eventually came to to the conclusion that anywhere without public transportation or gentrification wasn't worth living in. My hometown just seemed so much like literally everywhere else.

    A couple months ago, I took a trip to Singapore, which made me completely rethink all the conclusions I had previously drawn. People kept telling me how boring Singapore was; from a tourist attraction standpoint, they were more or less right. In retrospect, I was blown away by the subtle uniqueness of the city. On one level, it was cool as hell to see the middle class Peranakans do their thing in the shopping malls, the Tamils do their thing on their high streets lined with jewelers and textile shops, the Malays do their thing at the massive Ramadan night markets, and the mainlander immigrants do their thing at the sprawling wetmarkets. What was even cooler was seeing all these elements come together to create something uniquely Singaporean. Cities like KL house all these ethnic elements in a much less sterilized (and therefore "more interesting," at least in the eyes of your everyman backpacker) setting, but the diversity combined with the massive hand of the government makes Singapore a city well worth celebrating. The European/North American tourists may put down Singapore for its lack of "authenticity," but what I saw was a city as real as it gets.

    Instead of continuing to bemoan life in the bay, I came back from The Straits with a newfound appreciation of my manor. In an attempt to have some semblance of purpose in my life, I've turned to cooking as a hobby, which has fortunately helped continue this change in perspective. Instead of only looking at what ostensibly characterizes my city (the Walmart that seems to span the length of multiple football fields, the shopping centers dominated by places like Mimis Cafe and Chevys, whatever), I saw something way cooler. Here I was living almost all my life in one of the most diverse spots on earth, and it took me 23 years to figure out. As of late, I've been celebrating places like the Thai market in the local bombed out strip mall, the local branch of El Farlolito, the Middle Eastern bodega serving some of the best lamb I've ever had, the taqueria next door serving guadalajara-style tortas, and haven't even began to hit up the cebu-style lechon spot, the local lao restaurants, the soul food places... It goes on. Your comments at around the 8:55 mark of your latest video hit me on a really profound level. Just because some interior design consultancy firm wasn't paid five figures to make my favorite local restaurants look cool doesn't mean they aren't worth going to.

    People my age that live in my area gripe all the time about how "nothing interesting" happens around here. The way I see it, you could probably count the number of regions in the states on one hand where you can buy a whole roast pig, keffir lime leaves straight from a lady's tree, and as-fresh-as-it-gets dungeness crab. Being able to get all of that in one area? That's a blessing. Despite what all the hipsters think, I don't live in an area devoid of "authenticity." In fact, your comments are making me re-think what authenticity is, and if it even exists in the first place. Sorry for the long-winded comment, but I just want to thank you for producing something that actually resonates with me, unlike ninety percent of the half-witted garbage that people post online.

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