The only time I ever went to Disney World was with my grandma and her friend when I was in elementary school. I rode some rides and they were ok but I wasn't all that impressed. I grew up in Cincinnati and was somewhat of an amusement park connoisseur. I had a season's pass to King's Island for years and one of my first jobs was at the Ohio River hugging Coney Island. Yes, that's the right name. Anyway, I wasn't wide eyed over the rides at Disney World due to my longest-wooden-rollercoaster background. What I was impressed with, however, was Epcot. Why? Food. Food from around the world. Particularly Chinese and Japanese food.
I had never seen a lot of the teas, nori, rice crackers, wasabi peas and more that lined the shelves at Epcot's Chinese and Japanese "markets" and I used my allowance to buy as much of it as I could. I remember my grandma and her friend waiting under a tree outside as I sniffed jasmine tea from beautiful tin canisters and checked out lychee, plum and rice candies for a very long time. When I finally emerged arms filled mostly with spicy, salty treats I was worried that they'd be upset with me for taking so long but they weren't at all. They were just happy to be seated in the shade and free of me for a bit so they could talk.
All of that brings me -- in a strange consumer culture way -- to my deep seated love of Asian markets and of course Uwajimaya. I don't get to this Asian mega-market often because it's in Beaverton but when I do I always spend a lot of time walking the amazingly diverse aisles and winking at the fish case. There are always beautiful specimens to wink at at this 10-plus year old market that got its start in Seattle.
A while back there was talk of an Uwajimaya opening in Portland's Chinatown. I hadn't heard anything about it for months but I'm very happy to say that I heard last week through the tattoo grapevine -- my boyfriend is a tattoist here -- that it's happening. Chinatown Uwajimaya is on!
Here are some of the reasons why I love Uwajimaya. This is a bit of what you'll find at the Beaverton location...
Uwajimaya Beaverton 10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway 503.643.4512 www.uwajimaya.com