We had the day off today since it was MLK’s birthday, so we spent the afternoon in Chinatown. I wanted to buy some groceries to make some things for Lunar New Year coming up, and we also had a late lunch down there, as well. On our way home, I stopped by one of my favorite bakeries and was surprised to see that they had taken down all of their COVID coverings. Their workers were no longer wearing masks, and I could actually clearly see all of their baked goods once again. I honestly could not remember the last time I was in there before the pandemic, but I almost did a double take around the bakery: it didn’t look or feel like the same bakery to me anymore. It almost felt new and improved even though it was the exact same space! It felt more open, brighter, and like it was more approachable than before, especially if you were unfamiliar with Chinese baked goods before entering. It would be a lot less intimidating, and you could look to see what you wanted and take your time deciding instead of needing to know ahead of time before entering. During the pandemic, it always felt so rushed. Because there was such limited standing space, you really had to come in and out quickly to allow for others to come in and buy their baked goods.
It feels nice to see things more open and seemingly “normal” down there again. I was really worried about a lot of the businesses in Chinatown, especially given all the “China virus” racist nonsense that idiots were spewing. I hope this will make the shops of Chinatown seem more welcoming to those who may be unfamiliar with all their deliciousness once again.