Wednesday, October 7th

While having dinner with Steven on Tuesday he told me about a photo exhibition and program at the Main Library I might be interested in going to. The photos were by Ruby Ray. The subjects were Punk Rock Bands. The program was to be 3 movie shorts of Punk Band performances.

Now, make no mistake, Punk music/culture/dress/art does not have that much appeal for me. But, generally I feel, anything different is good. Even Rap...

However, two of my brothers G. Sutton and William were both interested in things Punk. Sutton from a literary standpoint and William from a musical one. So, I am sure, given this connection, Steven though I might find the event an interesting one.

Normally, I would not be caught dead in a library on a weekday evening, or another evening for that matter. But, what the hell, I guess I could make this one exception.

The program was to start at 6:00 so I emailed Steven about places nearby to grab a bite prior to going to the Library. He promptly offered these two choices: Taqueria Cancun and "Tu Lan's a legendary Vietnamese place". Both were near or at 6th and Market, just a few blocks from the Main Library near Market and 8th. Having been to Cancun and been unimpressed I decided on Tu Lan's for dinner.

At about 4:30 I caught the 22 and picked up the 48 at 16th and Mission and then got off at Market and Van Ness. I then walked the couple block down to 6th where I saw Cancun on the corner. Just around the corner, at #8 6th Street, near Stevenson St. was Tu Lan.

Click on the photos below for a larger image.

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I walked in and immediately thought of Yamo's up in the Mission. Although Tu Lan's is larger than Yamo's, the layout was the same. As soon as you come in there is a "lunch counter" which faces the food prep area and then there were a few tables in back.

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I walked in and grabbed a stool at the counter. The cook was working non-stop and furiously the whole time I was there.

Following Steven's suggestion I ordered the Imperial Rolls or "cha gio". I had never had them before, but I was ready to try anything.


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About 10 minutes after I ordered I was looking at dinner. The rolls were in the "appetizer" section of the menu and I was at first concerned there would be enough for a meal. Not to worry!!.

After a few photos I dug in, I dipped the pieces in sweet, vinegary sauce seen here. Mmm, Mmm, good!


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I was unable to identify anything in the rolls but some finely chopped pork, but the flavor was unique to me and very distinct. I am still very curious about what else was in the roll and what kind of seasoning they used.

The main structure of a roll of cha gio is commonly seasoned ground meat, mushrooms, and diced vegetables such as carrots and jicama, rolled up in a sheet of moist rice paper. The roll is then deep fried until the rice paper coat turns crispy and golden brown.

The ingredients, however, are not fixed. The most commonly used meat is pork, but one can also use crab, shrimp, chicken, and sometimes snails (in northern Vietnam), and tofu (for vegan cha gio).

Because the English translation of cha gio varies according to restaurants' menus, cha gio is often confused with other dishes such as egg rolls or summer rolls.

Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Not wanting to be late I finished them off quicker than I would have liked, paid up ($5.00) and then headed up the street to the Library.

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The program was to be held in the Koret Auditorium and the photo exhibit was in adjacent gallery.

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This is photographer Ruby Ray's "Artist Statement". I strongly suggest loading the larger image this one is linked to and reading what she has to say.

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Along with Ray's photos there were also displays of punk art and magazines, or "zines".

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Low and behold there was a copy of brother Sutton's 1981 Halloween issue of "Punk Surrealist Cafe".

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After the 3 short movies (My favorite being "DEAF/PUNK") there was a Q&A with Ruby Ray and filmmaker Mindy Bagdon.

All in all and enjoyable, unconventional, (for me) and memorable evening. Thanks, Steven!



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