Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dim Sum, Juicy Couture and Plumpjack

Had dim sum in Gold Mountain in Chinatown late morning, in one of those huge Chinese banquet halls, packed with tables, and tram-lined by steel trolleys of food. The dim sum was tasty and sturdy. I am tempted to say that it's better than anything I've tasted in NYC Chinatown, though that may just be my vacation mood. The restaurant was at the top of Grant Avenue, and this location brought to mind a song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Flower Drum Song" called, yes, "Grant Avenue":

western street with eastern manners,
Tall pagodas and golden banners
Throw their shadows through the lantern glow.

You can shop for precious jade
or teakwood tables or silk brocade
Or see a bold and brassy night club show,
On the most exciting thoroughfare I know.

We call it
Grant Avenue, San Francisco,
California, U.S.A.
Looks down from Chinatown
Over a foggy bay.

You travel there in a trolley,
In a trolley up you climb,
Dong! Dong! You're in Hong Kong,
Having yourself a time.

You can eat, if you are in the mood,
Shark-fin soup, bean cake fish.
The girl who serves you all your food
Is another tasty dish!

You know you
Can't have a new way of living
Till you're living all the way
On Grant Avenue. --Where is that?--
San Francisco, That's where's that!
California U.S.A.

After dim sum, it was shopping time. I've never heard of Juicy Couture till now. And, as you would expect, Wikipedia has an article on the clothing line:

Juicy Couture is a contemporary line of casual cute apparel based in Pacoima, California, founded by Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy. Owned by the Liz Claibonne fashion company, Juicy is known for their terrycloth and velour tracksuits.

The article also gives the marketing and clothing slogans, such as "Wake up and smell the Couture", " Go Couture Yourself", "Cupcake Couture", and "Dude, Where's my Couture?".

The signature Juicy Crest, as well as the phrases "Love, G&P" (formerly "Love P&G") are stitched on the inside tag of each item of Juicy apparel. The order of the initials changed in early 2006 after a lawsuit by the Procter & Gamble corporation. Their slogan "Made in the Glamorous USA" found underneath the crest was changed to "Born in the Glamorous USA" after being purchased by Liz Claiborne and having much of its production shifted to East Asia.

A story, in miniature, of American manufacturing. No, I didn't buy any Juicy. I'm not into drag, yet. Bought a maroon hooded sweat from Old Navy. Yeah, that's the kind of boy I am.

Dinner in Plumpjack, a restaurant in Nob Hill recommended by a colleague. It was tastefully done up in silver and gold. Long couches, silver seat and gold back, offered comfortable seating. The walls were silver, the lamp brackets gold. The service was attentive without being condescending or obsequious. I had a good Bordeaux, from the Chateau Haut-Gojon, complex and soft, with more Merlot than Cabernet in it. The turbot was so-so, quite bland, but the duck breast was good, the flavor locked in the medium rare flesh, four thick slices arranged like campfire wood on a bed of sweet cooked pears, a sour veg, and roasted sunflower seeds.

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