Lemongrass Banh Mi

As I finish making a blog post for Foodploration, I made a lemongrass chicken banh mi for lunch.  Also on my mind was where I will go next to work on my "Searching for Little Saigon in America" project.  I think that I will be heading down towards Virginia/DC area to check out Eden Center where a bunch of Vietnamese shops have set up.  Plus I will be able to see a friend of mine down there too.  Hopefully I can go there sometime in October.  I did go to Cheu Noodle Bar, Rival Brother's, and Federal Donuts this weekend.  You can read about that on Foodploration.  

In camera gear news, I recently bought a Sigma ART 50mm lens.  It's nice and sharp!  Said photographs were taken with said lens.

In Search of Little Saigon in America.

This weekend was full of food and time spent with friends.  Saturday I went to a picnic that my friends' folks hold annually- I Smell a Grilling Party!

This project that I am currently working on, I named it, as the title shows, "In Search of Little Saigon."  Originally I was planning on going back to Vietnam in the Fall to explore and photograph the food there.  But at this moment that does not look it is going to happen.  I am heading to Texas and then to California, leaving me with only a week of vacation days from work.  Which sounds kinda lame, but it is what it is.  I don't want to fly all the way to Vietnam for a week or two weeks.  It will have to be a month or more to make it worthwhile.  

So since I decided not to head to Vietnam, I realized I could do a series here as like a primer.  There is a huge population of Vietnamese immigrants in America and they brought much of what they knew of Vietnam here.  Like Italians have pockets of neighborhoods, some call Little Italy, China Chinatown, the Vietnamese set up communities called Little Saigon.  Saigon is what we know today as Ho Chi Minh City.  These communities are all over country where Vietnamese immigrants settled.  

So while I probably won't get the street stall, which I really wanted to go back to, I will have an almost similar experience photographing them here in the US.  Till I can make it back to Vietnam for that required time frame.  But as the idea stewed in my head, this project became much more fleshed out of an idea.  What traditions have we, as Vietnamese, brought over to wherever we immigrated to, what do we look like in this country, what part of our culture did we lose as assimilated into this culture?  

Like any place, sometimes the best way to judge how a culture is doing is going to its markets.  So that's where I am starting.

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Washington Avenue, Philadelphia.  

Personal Projects

So as my plotted ideas of heading Vietnam has been shuttered, for a year, I still want to get some essence of Vietnamese culture in photographs.  I still work and have about nineteen vacation days, I know first world issues, and will be in Texas and California this summer.  So that said, I would have a smaller amount of days to be in Vietnam.  And if you are heading all that way you should shoot for a month or more.  

So hopefully I will have accumulated enough money, with more incoming money from my photography work, to quit my job and go.  Or wait till I can just head there for a full month to head to Vietnam and photograph the life and food.  Since Philadelphia, and the cities that I visit, have their own Vietnamese communities, I will start this project off with exploring those areas.  

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Surely nothing would compare, in terms of experiencing Vietnam, but this will be pretty close and suffice till then.  I am still trying to get farms to let me photograph them and their workers, but, emailing and waiting is a slow game.  So I am just going to work on a couple photography projects.  

So that's what's going to go on for a little bit.  If you want to see where I go to explore and eat, keep your eyes on this blog!