Of Gyoza and the Gateway Project

Who can resist the urge to alliterate when gyoza is involved? ^_^

Ever since I was introduced to gyoza (Japanese-style Chinese dumplings) in 2004, I went on a search around the City of Detroit to find a restaurant that served them. Alas, back then there were no Japanese restaurants within city limits, so 20-30 minutes (on a good day) of being on the freeway stood between me and those succulent little pockets of soy-sauce dipped joy. The closest I could get were the dumplings served at Chinese restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, those are good too (especially the ones from Great Wall on Michigan Ave. near Trumbull) but they weren’t the delicately crisp sensation I longed for. Then back in December I heard one student remark to another that there was a Japanese & Korean restaurant on Woodward across from the Main Library and my heart jumped! Could it be? Could I finally have gyoza within walking distance?!

And indeed! There is now a Korean & Japanese (the order matters) restaurant on Woodward kitty-corner from the Main Library inside of the Park Shelton. It’s called Wasabi. I was a bit intimidated because it says it’s a “luxury” restaurant, but it has a laid-back atmosphere that’s classy without being classist. There’s a decent price range, so even frugal college students like me can go treat themselves every once in a while (but watch out for the ‘tea for two’…$4 is a bit much, thinks I). My middle brother loves their sushi. I really like their Tofu Yakisoba, however, it does seem to have what I assume is a Korean slant; it’s got a huge variety of vegetables in it unlike any yakisoba I’ve had at Japanese restaurants. Not that it bothers me. Delicious is as delicious does. And yes! They have gyoza! It’s still not quite what I expected. You could say Wasabi’s gyoza is the missing link between the dumplings at Chinese restaurants and the gyoza at Japanese restaurants. Makes sense, geographically speaking.

As for the second half of the title…I’m very happy to report that the Gateway Project is at 70% complete! I didn’t have my camera when I went by it, so I took the liberty of doodling on the photo I took at 60%:

Dramatization.  It's not really red.  ^_^

Dramatization. Bridge not actually red.

Ah, I love being a dork. ^_^ I can’t exactly tell what part of the bridge this is, I think it’s the base of the west parapet. I was so happy when I saw that something was spanning the width of the freeway. So exciting! When that bridge is complete, I’ll be able to walk straight down Bagley to my favorite bakery (La Gloria) and my favorite Mexican restaurant (Lupita’s…virtual shout out to the Travelers! Even if you don’t see this I’m sending you all positive cyber-chi!) without having to snake around on Vernor and the service drive. I can’t wait to see what artist will get to make a piece of public art for the bridge. *Giddy!*

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Gateway Project 60% Complete!

On my way to do some errands in the heart of Southwest Detroit, I could see clear signs that the Gateway Project–a massive construction undertaking to widen I-75, have better access to the Ambassador Bridge, and build a pedestrian bridge reuniting East and West Mexicantown (so happy about this one!)–is really rockin’ and rollin’. For a long time the eastbound half of the Vernor/I-75 overpass had been closed and eventually cut off; now it is fully rebuilt and open. So now it’s the westbound half’s turn. The central pillar of the pedestrian bridge gets higher each day I see it. Even though the area still looks like complete mayhem, the order is starting to emerge. It’s hard to tell from the photo I took, but trust me. ^_^

The high thing to the left is the Pedestrian Bridge's Central Pillar, way in the background to the right of it you can see the twin spires of Ste. Anne, and all the way to the left, the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit to Windsor, Canada.

The high thing to the left is the center pillar of the Pedestrian Bridge, way in the background to its right is Ste. Anne, and to the left you can see a bit of the Ambassador Bride, which connects Detroit to Windsor, Ontario (Canada).

On a side note, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the Spirit of Detroit, which turned 50 today. There was actually a re-dedication ceremony for it today, but I didn’t know about it until today, so I didn’t go. (I blame the local media which wastes time telling me what’s coming up next on their show rather than what’s coming up next in real life. Well, the “news” has become that all over the country, hasn’t it?) There’s an interesting article about the Spirit’s sculptor here, and an article with pictures of the cleaned Spirit (the tarnish was removed) here.