Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Splendid China Tower

It's no longer possible to find parking at Pacific Mall. It's gotten too popular. It was bad enough when only Asian people went there. (Ken's half Japanese. Sometimes I was the only white person in the whole mall.) But word got out about the cheap bootleg DVD movies you can buy there, and now people of all backgrounds are showing up.

Fortunately, a new mall just opened across the street, with a nice, big parking lot.

This place is so new that it still smells like wet paint and fresh varnish. It hasn't got many shoppers yet. I believe most of the cars in the lot are other Pacific Mall shoppers who can't find a spot anywhere closer. Ken and I usually take a peek inside before we cross the street. There's an open space at the entrance that's often the site of performances by community groups. Last time we were there a Latin dance class was performing. This time, there was martial arts.

And now we will practice our flying Kung-Fu, in the style of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The bootleg DVD stores carry both American and Asian movies. Here's the movie poster for Rainy Lover, starring Don and Mandy. Does "Rainy Lover" imply that they cry a lot? Maybe there are nuances getting lost in the translation.

There's a lot in Asian culture that I just don't get. For example, this sign was hanging in the window of a hair salon.

WTF? Is this supposed to be the salon owner addressing prospective customers? Or just a random dose of romantic sentiment? Either way, I love how unpredictable these malls are. You really never know what you're going to find.

We did eventually get across the street to Pacific Mall. To be continued...


Warped Mind of Ron said...

"Rainy Lover" ??? Could be a porn that is filmed in the rain. Bootleg DVD's? Sold in a mall? Why aren't the police charging in and arresting everyone in sight? Seems I have a lot of questions today :)

Tink said...

I am so upset that we don't have anything like that near us!

Karen said...

i want to go there. Rainy Lover.....I think it is about a "stormy" relationship.....or Golden Showers?????

Nilsa S. said...

I think you need to spend a whole post on the best bootlegged DVDs. There's gotta be more!

Claire said...

That mall looks fab!


Anonymous said...

I hate Pacific Mall. I really really do. The mall stands on what used to be Cullen Barn. A place I went to a lot as a child and have lots of great memories.
Now, the mall is nothing but bootleg this and counterfeit that.

Thomas said...

I love Asian malls.

R.E.H. said...

I have always been fascinated by asian culture... and asian movies are really good - only downside to them is that you need sub-titles.

Cool looking place.

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: I can't explain why there are a dozen or so illegal DVD stores operating with impunity. I guess the police have bigger fish to fry.

Tink: That's too bad. :-( I like that I can go on holiday to a foreign environment without having to worry about the expense of flying overseas. :-)

Karen: That would be hilarious - if it was a golden showers romance. It's certainly possible!

Nilsa S.: There is more to be said about the DVD's. Good advice. I'll write more about them soon.

Claire: It is! :-)

Whatigotsofar: I can see why you'd feel bitter if it replaced one of your childhood happy-places. It's not exactly classy - more like a crazy carnival. I like it, but I wouldn't if I'd traded a farm for it.

Thomas: They have a special charm.

R.E.H.: I love old kung-fu movies that are dubbed over in bad English. That's much more fun than squinting at subtitles.

Anonymous said...

$3 each, $10 for 5, $6 for 3. You can't beat that! I don't know what Rainy Lover means but I want it.

San said...

I believe the Asian population of Santa Fe is about 28. Our Splendid China Towers are few and far between. As are cheap bootleg DVDs. Pity.

Anonymous said...

I did a little research on Cullen County Barns to see exactly what Pacific Mall replaced. Here's what I found:

"Before the construction of Pacific Mall once stood a large barn which was later converted into a large cultural antique shop and upscale garden nursery called Cullen Country Barns— which is the same owner as Cullen Gardens Miniature Village in Pickering.

This is the best part: This place sold probably the most train sets, stain glass crafts, antique Christmas decorations, dream catchers, beaded art and other nostalgic paraphernalia anywhere in the GTA.

Wow... Stain glass crafts... Beaded art... Upscale Nursery...

Let me know if any other places like this exist and I'll personally pay for the Cruise Missiles to wipe it off the face of the planet.

I can see the explosions right now. Senior citizens blown to pieces. Walkers and wheelchairs flying through the air. Scorched dentures and burning shit filled adult diapers.

I'll also pay for enough napalm to wipe out miniature village. It's a small world so perhaps one cluster bomb will take it out.

Go Go Asian Mall!

Maxie said...

awww I like the last quote that was on the window. :-)

Sparkling Red said...

1218blog: I'm not much of a film buff, but even I can't resist the cheap DVD's. I have several that I haven't watched yet, but everytime I see those pretty displays, I itch to buy more.

San: That's a shame. I love living in a multicultural city. There's always one or another cultural festival going on. And such good international cuisine! You can eat your way around the world in one city.

Unsigned: Please tell me you're not building IED's in your basement so that you can blow up any crafts show that features stained glass angels and beaded handbags. Other people are allowed to like those things!

Maxie: It is a very sweet sentiment. :-)

Aurora said...

I love those random pseudo-English translations that appear on t-shirts and bags. That's what the hair salon message reminded me of. Some of it can be really beautiful!

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4nj3L said...

I just came from Splendid China Tower. I love the little place (I'm kind of/kind of not looking forward to the renovations). There seems to be a few more bootleg shops, but also a lot of closed shops. I don't think this place gets enough loving.
There this small bakery (Splendid Bakery, I think) right beside the the escalators that have some of the best mochi I've eaten! ;w; We bought a lot of stuff from the lady... I think 15 pieces of stuff for $5. Mom really loved it because it's very classy and CLEAN!
So if you're ever up in that area, go visit.