Chicago will forever hold a special place in my heart. Around the age of 5-7 (or so, my memory is bad for all things – that’s why I am so happy this blog helps kickstart my premature-Alzheimer-esque memory into shape) my family and I lived in Arlington Heights, Illinois – we’d occasionally do a trek into downtown Chicago here or there.

I remember a massive Asian supermarket my family would always travel to (my mom being Japanese – she was always really into the place – my dad… he’s not quite into Asian food – but ever the good sport, he’d tag along) – the place was called Yaohan (I think…). They had little kiosks everywhere that would serve regional little Asian street-food dishes from all around Asia; they had all those odd vegetables you simply can’t find anywhere outside of an Asian mega-mart; there were Japanese toy and comic shops… sweet shops… I always remembered a smell of fresh water fish lingering back in the palette, lightly masked by the smell of grilled dough for Okonomi-yaki. 

I’d always grab a bite with the folks, have them take me to see the Gundam or Power Rangers on display… beg for a new toy or sweet… then we’d wrap up grocery-shopping and head home. Continue reading