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Flushing Chinatown’s Thursday News and Views

After taking in a full day of US Open tennis in Queens on Sunday, Matt and I decided to take the 7-train the opposite direction from our hotel in Manhattan, all the way out to the last stop on the track, Flushing-Main Street. What we found was something so bizarre I can’t put it into words, but I’m going to try because you need to know it exists.

Looking back, we should’ve had a general idea of what was ahead when the entire train was full of Asians. Imagine Duke basketball’s student section on wheels. It was kind of like that. Still, we were oblivious to it and expected Flushing-Main Street to look like everywhere else in Queens. It did not. It looked like another part of the world, far, far away from the U.S. of A. When we emerged from beneath the sidewalk to the city’s main street, I honestly thought we had fallen through the Earth and landed in Shanghai. The people, the restaurants, the signage, the businesses, the billboards, the street vendors — everything Chinese with no warning it was coming. We just walked up the stairs from the subway and there it was. We were fascinated. It was incredible. I have been around Chinatown in Manhattan several times, but it doesn’t compare. It’s like we closed our eyes and woke up in China.


Frogs for sale on the sidewalk

Now keep in mind Matt and I are both about 6-foot-3 so we stuck out like sore thumbs, and the where-the-hell-are-we looks on our faces didn’t help, either. It wasn’t quite like Jorts when he was in China this summer, but we were the minority on the sidewalks, which were PACKED, by the way. We walked up and down the downtown streets, browsing through the collection of frogs and snickering at the elderly white men walking out of the many massage parlors, before we landed at a restaurant called “Spicy and Tasty,” Matt’s pick for dinner. If you ever get the chance to eat there, I recommend not ordering the bamboo and hot sauce appetizer. I caused a scene after my first and only bite.

Once our shock and astonishment wore off, and my taste buds recovered from the bamboo, we headed back to the city and spent the rest of the night looking up facts and stories on Flushing Chinatown. I encourage you to do a little reading up on it yourself because it’s pretty interesting how it came to be. And if you’re ever in New York City, don’t hesitate to hop on the 7-train and head out to Flushing to see it. It’s a safe ride and you really won’t believe your eyes when you pop up on Main Street. Again, words don’t do it justice.

So check it out and buy a frog from a frog vendor when you go. I don’t know what to do with it once you buy it, but buy one. Just avoid the bamboo and hot sauce. The massage parlors? That’s up to you.

Time for some News and Views, live from the 2013 US Open!

 Max Smith is your starting quarterback, at least through the first few possessions of the Miami game. Most of you learned the news the same way Max found out, through Twitter Monday morning. “I guess Twitter let me know,” he told reporters after Wednesday’s practice when asked how he received the word. Neal Brown called him shortly after it hit the internet to confirm.

The decision wasn’t easy for the coaching staff, though. Stoops reiterated what he said yesterday, that both quarterbacks did some things really well and other things poorly. Max just happened to move the ball, and that’s the name of the game.

“Like I said all along, it has a lot to do with the other players around him,” Stoops said of the quarterback. “When you move the football or don’t move the football. It’s not at all ever on the quarterback. But [Smith] made less mistakes and he did some of the basic things that we’re looking for correctly and distributed the ball where we needed to. So that was the big thing with helping us move the football.”

 Moving the ball shouldn’t be a problem for Kentucky on Saturday, regardless of who takes the snaps. If it is, UK has bigger problems than we realize. Miami gave up almost 600 total yards to Marshall, including over 300 yards on the ground and five touchdowns through the air. Starting against Miami instead of Western could prove to be advantageous for Smith in the quarterback competition, considering it’ll take some serious mistakes to lose the job in this one. Whitlow had the first game jitters in the season opener against a better defense.

Though Miami struggled defensively in its opener, Smith isn’t writing the RedHawks off. He expects Miami to have a chip on its shoulder, just as Kentucky wears one of its own. “I think it’s all about us getting better, not really about what they’re doing, but what we’ve got to do,” he said.

 Of the many problems we saw from Kentucky in Nashville, getting the wide receivers to block is one of the issues they’re focused on most this week. Stoops complimented how well Neal Brown and Tommy Mainord’s receivers blocked at Texas Tech — he said they had “tough” and “physical” receivers — and they’re working on it here at Kentucky. The problem is several of the receivers are fresh out of high school, where they didn’t have to block. Now it’s a process to get them doing it here and it takes game situations to really get it through to them.

 Several Kentucky football fans, myself included, were hoping for a little more Air Raid than what we saw against Western. Neal Brown hears us, he knows we want it, but he’s going to do whatever it is he thinks puts Kentucky in the best position to win. Brown addressed the Air Raid demands Wednesday, saying, “We’re going to do what we need to do to win. That’s what we’re going to do. And here’s the deal… We’re young at wideout. We’ve got some guys, we’re getting better, but we’re young at wideout. And we’ve got some new starters up front. So I think you go in and you do what you’ve gotta do to win the game. And we felt like early in the game, what we did on Saturday gave us our best chance. And it did.”

But we still get the Air Raid sirens this Saturday, right? RIGHT????

 Switching over to basketball, holy sh** that new video is awesome. Be honest, how many times did you watch it? No one is judging anyone here. I’m at the US Open and I found a way to watch it at least seven or eight times. Here, let’s watch it again.

Dear Lord, please forgive them for what they are about to do to college basketball. Amen. And go Cats.

 Looking ahead to the 2014-15 college basketball season, because that’s what we do, Kentucky has a huge weekend for recruiting coming up when several top targets make their way to Lexington for the alumni game. Among the visitors will be Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker, who have had as many as 10 conversations about playing together in college, according to Booker. He wrote on his blog for USA Today that he and Ulis aren’t a package deal, but there is potential that they’ll end up on the same squad at the next level.

Ulis trimmed his list to three schools — Kentucky, Michigan State and Iowa — on Wednesday. Booker is high on the Wildcats and Spartans, so it’ll be one of those two if they end up playing together. It’ll be interesting to hear what they have to say after visiting Lexington together in a few days.

 Six UK football commits made the Parade All-American Watch List. Drew Barker, Thaddeus Snodgrass, Nick Richardson, Denzel Ware, Darius West and Boom Williams are among the 250 high school footballers selected for the class of 2014. Congrats, fellas. You can see the entire list here.

 John Wall’s house makes me wonder if blogging was the right career choice. I should’ve been better at dunking. And dribbling. And passing. And shooting. And defending. And not being fat and slow. Anyone else feel the same way? Good. Glad it’s not just me.

 Don’t forget, Kentucky Sports Radio radio will be coming to you live from 30 Red Sports Saloon in Louisville on Friday. Matt, Ryan and Jared Lorenzen will give you two hours of radio gold leading up to the first home football game, so be sure to stop by in the area. Tomorrow will be our last show from WOR in New York. Sad face.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

31 Comments for Flushing Chinatown’s Thursday News and Views

  1. TDog
    11:30 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Curious where Andrew and Aaron were in that video. Also why was Poythress wearing the away top?

  2. cotton
    11:42 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Drew Franklin for President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. NYC Wildcat
    11:53 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah, the first time I was in Flushing, I was surprised too. Chinatown in Manhattan is nothing in comparison (It seems like there’s as many Indian vendors as Chinese vendors there anymore)

  4. Drunk Matt
    11:58 pm September 4, 2013 Permalink

    Matt likes to make fun of Drew’s ‘Body shape medical’ commercial but he needs to redo the drinking and driving promo himself.

    “Drunking and driving” is what Matt says. Lol that’s not a word Matt!

  5. Okolona Max
    12:10 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    6’3 my ass drew

  6. jpg
    12:10 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    I like what Brown has to say. He is going to put us in the best position we can be in with the talent and experience we have.

  7. Wildcatsteeler
    2:28 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    Asking the racist bigots here to even recognize Chinatown, much less visit it is funny. Anyone that doesn’t have white skin isn’t an American to the rightwing rednecks here. No matter how ignorant and unsuccessful they are they still think they are superior simply because they are white. And the GOP plays them like a fiddle.

  8. Hey # 7
    3:54 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    Do you ever say anything different? Take a break from msnbc and join us in the real world. You seriously need a vacation.
    Even though you need to have a job to earn a vacation which is pretty obvious that you dont. I am happy that my redneck education and paycheck can pay for your welfare.

  9. John Smith
    5:49 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    Drew you can get the same kind of massage, if not better, in Lexington

    Go Cats

  10. kes
    6:59 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    i just got back from hong kong and macau, what fascinating places!

  11. btowncatfan
    7:04 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    Chinatown in San Francisco if similar if you walk over a couple of blocks from Grant Ave. (the “touristy” street. They had the live frogs, eels, and other critters, some I have no idea what they were. Both alive and dead. In the open air markes on Stockton St., they were all Chinese patrons, every morning trucks would bring crates from freighters straight from the bay to the city. It was also the best place to get authentic Chinese restaurant food, if you can get over the conditions of them, most look like they should be condemned.

  12. WaySub
    7:18 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    It wasn’t Stoops freshman skills players that made plays against WKU.,
    Tt was players already on the team.
    In fact, Stoops freshman cost us the game, but they will get better according to the coaches.
    Maybe they should get better by not playing this Saturday, no for doing a terrible job.
    Why did UK get a thumping last Saturday but all freshman got moved up on the depth chart?
    Last year we got beat by WKU on a 2 point conversion. This year we weren’t even in the game.

  13. El Guapo
    7:39 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    Ah. Would that be the 7 train that John Rocker loved so much?

  14. JPizzle
    7:55 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    Hawkins got hops yo

  15. JPizzle
    7:57 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    My bad, that was James Young

  16. Do whut?
    8:20 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    #7 calling those you accuse of bigotry “rednecks” takes a special kind of stupid. Congrats!

  17. Megan
    8:38 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    Exposure to other people and other cultures is a wonderful thing. Diversity, I think, explains why those on the east and west coasts and those in large metropolitan areas are generally more tolerant than those who are insulated and live a lifetime amongst their own kind.

    I can’t decide whether to be happy for Drew that he discovered something new, or sad that he thinks such a place is “bizarre.” He’s like a little kid, isn’t he? If he spent more time in such places, I think he would find himself appreciating it without the pointing and the snickering.

  18. asdf
    8:38 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    This post is much more entertaining if you read “Flushing” as a verb….

  19. Rockfield, KY
    8:47 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    So they can all dunk? You know who was a great dunker? Archie Goodwin. Let’s see some skills in these videos. I know they have them.

  20. Do whut?
    9:00 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    #17 you may have been too busy being patronizing to have actually read what Drew wrote. The only snickering he referenced was about old, white men coming out of massage parlors. He also mentioned that he had been to Chinatown in Manhattan multiple times and contrasted those experiences with that in Flushing. As for your preposterous claim that folks on the coasts and from major metropolitan areas are more tolerant belies any implication of your own worldliness.

  21. barn
    9:04 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    some of the things I enjoy most on ksr are the insightful contributions from cosmopolitan thinkers like megan and wildcatsteeler. why can’t we all be like them

  22. Mark W
    9:06 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with number 17, I haven’t forgot him saying something about Jeremy Lin and Japanese Language class, being blasted by posters on here for the racist comment. Matt never responded to an email about it and I guess being liberal only gets you respect if you are LBGT around here. It is pretty sad actually. I want to know what is america? I am pretty sure Drew would consider black and hispanic neighborhoods bizarre as well. Greek town, not so much…. buster

  23. asdf
    9:10 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    Drew didn’t say “bizarre” was a BAD thing….

  24. WinsPlease
    9:27 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    That video was worthless. Who cares if they can dunk? Can they block out? Last year they couldn’t. Do they know how to screen? Do they know how to guide a defender into a screen? Last year they didn’t. Do they know how to work the ball inside-out in order to catch defenders sagging? Do they understand the concept of ball reversal and how to use it to open up a zone D? These are all fundamentals that last year’s team failed to grasp. When I say fundamentals, I mean things that youth league coaches teach to kids every day. If Cal can’t instill these basics, all the dunks in the world won’t help. I’m starting to actually buy into the fact that Cal is not a great teacher, despite being a master of psychology and salesmanship. Show me a video of them making 8/10 free throws and I’ll really get excited.

  25. KG
    10:05 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    I spent the last summer of my youth in 1964 working at The Worlds Fair at Flushing Meadows. I spent some time in that area as well as Corona and a lot of evenings at Shea watching The Amazing Mets. I can only imagine how much it’s changed in 49 yrs. AAAH to be 19 again!

  26. Cool Daddy
    10:18 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    No more stories on your experiences in NY We get it–your from KY and you are visiting NY and you are seeing some some “crazy” things. There is nothing more boring to hear than people telling you about their crazy college drinking days like what they did was unprecedented but travel stories are a close second.

  27. Jen
    10:31 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    24. “Wins please”? Superior athleticism translates into wins. You’re welcome.

  28. GTx2
    10:32 am September 5, 2013 Permalink

    Poythress with the blue jersey and white shorts.

  29. Oliver
    12:47 pm September 5, 2013 Permalink

    So you are 6′ 6″ and you can dunk? Can you play defense and stay out of foul trouble? Watch out for Marcus Lee, confirmed by Sky Walker, reminds me of Tayshaun.

  30. Hollahollaholla
    2:18 pm September 5, 2013 Permalink

    Hey Neal –


  31. Do whut?
    4:55 pm September 5, 2013 Permalink

    # 24 and 29 I can’t wait to see these guys blocking out and playing defense. What a great hype video that will make! Lighten up Francis.