費城唐人街在巿中心的第十街，街口有道樓高 40 尺的「費城華埠」牌坊。早在 19 世紀已有廣東人到此定居，開設洗衣店和餐館。時至今日，跟世界各地的一樣，唐人街演變成外國人眼中的亞洲熔爐。
親友推介的「點心園」在 Race Street，等位的客人從店內排到街外。我看菜單，賣的是上海菜，而點心都是蒸餃鍋貼一類，並非廣東點心。招牌菜是小籠包，我一瞄廚房，在包小籠包的竟不是華人，心中打了折扣，但哪管是誰包，好吃就好了，還是點了一籠。
小籠包先到，熱騰騰一人一口後，大家都望著我。我說 Kim 在香港生活了幾年，讓她評一評比較公平。不過，自從她吃過台灣鼎泰豐後，對小籠包的要求特別嚴謹，搖搖頭說皮太厚。我為免大家失望，說外國人拿筷子不好，皮厚一點免得夾破，場面尷尬。說著又吃一口，表示味道不差。
A Road Trip to Niagara Falls/Kimberlogic
While visiting The States this year, we decided to do a road trip to Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is about a seven hour drive from Philadelphia, perfect for a short road trip. Being winter, we were aware that some of the viewing platforms at the falls would be closed, but we agreed that this would be the best time to visit because we would miss the crowds of people and get excellent rates on hotels for being outside of the tourist season.
After an afternoon of driving, we arrived at Niagara Falls, New York just before dinner time. Since it was already dark, we checked into the hotel and decided to drive around the town and look for a place to have dinner. Our drive around town ended back at our hotel with frustration and hungry tummies. I’ve never seen the town of Niagara Falls, New York during peak tourist season, but I have to speculate that 95% of the restaurants in this town only open during the peak season.
As we sat in the dilapidated “American” grill (attached to our hotel), eating over-priced, poorly made burgers, we had a beautiful view of Canada. Everything was lit up; it looked like the city was alive on the other side of the falls. Since our view was so different than our actual surroundings, all we could do was laugh and hope the sight of the falls the next day would make this trip worthwhile.
The falls did not disappoint! We wandered through the park on the American side and although the path down into the gorge was closed for winter, the viewing platform was free this time of year. On the American side we could hear and feel the power of the falls looking at them from the side and from above, but realized we could not fully appreciate a panoramic view of all three falls unless we went to Canada. So, we spent the second half of the day in Canada.
Luckily, there was a pedestrian bridge with great views the entire way across. When we got to the Canadian side, a man in a small office stamped our passports, no questions asked. The panoramic view of the falls was massive and breathtaking. We got to see where all of the lights and liveliness from the night before came from; fun street. Although many shops were closed for the season, many were still open. The difference of atmosphere between Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario was clear that even during peak season, Canada is where things happen, but it did look like a tourist trap for families.
Our way back to The USA felt much more like an official border crossing than when we entered Canada. It was an immigration office, with officers and officials asking questions, requesting documents; but was still very simple and straight forward.
Since we are not too into “night-life”, staying on the New York side was probably best for us. It was quiet, there were more nature areas, and we did eventually find the non-tourist part of town with acceptable restaurants.