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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Year of the Monkey: Chinese New Year Parade in Philadelphia 2/14/16

Despite the temperatures being around 9 degrees this morning, I ventured into Philadelphia to go to China Town to see the Lion Dance / Chinese New Year parade. I dressed warm, even though I usually find long sleeves to be overwhelmingly hot, I still dressed in long sleeves and layers.

Dad dropped me off at the Norristown High Speed Line at 8:20 AM and I arrived in the city at 9:10 AM. I went to 2nd and Market Streets first because I wanted to go to the Continental Diner for breakfast. When mom and I went back in June 2015 I thought their breakfast was decent. However, when I made it to the restaurant, I saw it wasn't open (not until 11 AM) and nothing on 2nd Street was opened. I decided to take the el back to 5th and Market and ate at Red Owl Tavern.

I probably should have just went there first, but I arrived there at 9:30 AM. I thought this could buy some time since festivities in China Town didn't start until 11. Red Owl Tavern was super crowded, so crowded that I had to sit at the bar since I didn't have reservations. I sat down and had the awesome waiter that remembered me well. He took my order and walked away. Another waiter came out and gave the guy sitting next to me a burger. I guess the waiter thought we were a couple (it was crowded and today there was no such thing as personal space - we were sitting closer than normal) and asked him if he was okay, then he asked him if I was doing good food wise. I said I was. I looked at the guy sitting next to me and had to do a double take - I thought it was my friend Jared that I met in Wisconsin in 2012 (and still keep in touch with)! We then started talking and talked for about an hour. We talked as we both ate breakfast. He is a travel / events planner from Virginia and is in Philadelphia until Wednesday for an event. I enjoyed talking to him.

After I finished breakfast, I shook his hand and we said our goodbyes. (I paid my bill too - the French toast I had with turkey bacon was awesome.) I then took a cab to China Town because it was 10:30 AM at that point and I didn't want to wait for the el to 11th Street, then walking 4 blocks in the cold wasn't going to happen.

When I arrived, I went into this store to see where this parade was going to start. The store owner said it didn't start until 11:30 and pointed me to a nail salon. Well, the nail salon was boarded up and I saw a Sanrio. Sanrio was my store as a teenager - I loved Hello Kitty and of course I had to go in there! I ended up spending $42 in there because it was a total nostalgic moment. I just love Hello Kitty and Sanrio characters. Though, in my defense, I did get a small gift for someone.

Instagram collage

After Sanrio I went to a tea place and then saw the parade. The parade lasted for an hour and a half and was so much fun. With all of the fireworks, I was a bit deaf for a little while.

He stole Baymax and posed for a picture.

Group picture. He was cool!

I went back to the tea shop after the parade and decided to ask these guys for their recommendations of Chinese restaurants that serve awesome Peking duck. Every time I have gone to China Town, I just stop off in restaurants I can't remember. One guy told me of this restaurant called Peking Duck on 9th and Spring Streets, the edge of China Town. He offered to walk me and we walked for a few blocks. Before we parted, he agreed to a selfie.

The duck hanging as I walked in.

I had window view!

I loved the decor!

Peking Duck with pouches and rice.

Peking Duck was good! Today was such a good day! Here is the whole album since I took 289 pictures! Year of the Monkey 2016


  1. I deleted Shady's comment accidentally. Sorry Shady!

    Hi, Jessica Marie!

    That must have been near record cold in the Philly area! I would love to see a Chinese New Year parade. It looks like a fun-filled spectacle. A few days ago Mrs. Shady and I watched the latest episode of the TV sitcom Fresh Off The Boat in which the family celebrated Chinese New Year. It included the Lion Dance. Do you watch that series?

    I never tried Peking duck. It looks yummy and I can almost smell the aroma through the computer screen!

    Have a wonderful week ahead, dear friend Jessica!

    1. You too, dear friend! The duck was amazing and I would totally suggest Peking duck!