Photos from Singer Celebration, Aug 27th

Singer Celebration collage - Aug 27

Top Left – Right: John Bianchi (v); Michael Mittelsdorf (d); Jim Bogle & Erez Lirov (t) … Middle L – R: Joy Elaine Foster (v); Me & the band; Jackie Johnson (v) …………………… Bottom L-R: Amanda Benjamin (v); Michelle DiBlasi (v) and Patricia Walton (v)



I’m happy to report that the August 27th Singer Celebration was a success. We had 11 singers, including me and our featured singer, John Bianchi. John did a wonderful job playing clarinet and singing 3 tunes including his original composition “I’m Going Back to My Dreams” (which he started off by playing a ukulele introduction – so charming!)

I started us out with a Dixieland theme on I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None of My Jelly Roll, followed by Exactly Like You. We continued the theme all night, with John singing ‘Deed I Do in the first set, his original tune in the second set, and I Have a Feeling I’m Falling in the third.

Our first guest singer, Cliff Walston, sang Dexter Gordon’s Cheesecake, with lyrics he wrote,  based on Cliff’s experience of seeing Dexter play in Europe. Cliff always adds so much to these evenings by sharing his amazing life experiences with us.

Cliff Walston

The parade of singers continued all night, with me and John singing in every set, while 3 new guest singers came up and sang one song each, within each set. That worked out very conveniently to 11 singers!

Another observation from the evening was the incredible audience. Sometimes people tend to leave in the third set, as it gets later, but that was not the case this time. Not only did we maintain a full house all night, people continued to sit at the bar after the show ended! To me means they were enjoying themselves so much they didn’t want to go.

One person told me that they felt like they were in New Orleans during the show; another couple who dropped in for a drink and hadn’t been aware of the show, wound up staying all night, clapping for every singer, and taking photos and videos.

The band was truly amazing. They played enthusiastically all night! My house band is a group of 7, keyboard, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, trombone and saxophone. With our featured vocalist sitting in with clarinet, brought us up to 8. Then, somewhere in the second set, a trumpet playing friend showed up and sat in for the rest of the night, bringing the house band up to 9 players … with an awesome 5 piece front line, and a solid 4 piece rhythm section.

With this kind of playing power, the guys were able to stretch out in each set on instrumentals: Jubilee; It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got that Swing; and Ain’t Misbehavin’ … because who doesn’t love Fats Waller?

To bring the evening to a close, I sang my favorite finale piece, St. Louis Blues, a W.C. Handy tune made famous by Bessie Smith.

Considering the appreciative audience, the support by the singer community, and my terrific band – without which none of this is possible – we are going to do another Singer Celebration on October 15th, at the same location, the DLV Lounge in Montclair, NJ, from 9pm to midnight.

The October 15th event will be an experiment for me, because I’m going to make it a Jazz & Blues mash-up. My Featured Vocalist (to be announced on the PUBLIC Facebook invite soon…) is a Blues singer, and between the two of us, we will provide the thematic foundation for this next event.

I hope to see you there!

Singer Celebration - DLV - Oct 15 2016

Singer Celebration – THIS SATURDAY – Aug 27

Me and Michael - Priory April 27 2016

Carol Deminski, MC and Lead Singer with Michael Mittelsdorf, Drummer


SINGER CELEBRATION is this Saturday, August 27th, at the DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ. The action starts at 9pm; there is No Cover.

There will be a fantastic 8 piece band, including: piano, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, saxophone, trombone and clarinet! We also have a terrific Featured Vocalist, and numerous singers… hopefully, including you!

Come on out and join the fun! Sing a jazz song with us, and meet the other singers and musicians in this wonderful community.

The DLV is a cozy place which regularly hosts live music. I’m glad we are part of their line-up. I look forward to seeing old friends, and meeting new ones. See you there!

DLV Postcard - final resize

Singer Celebration – Aug 27th

It’s getting to be that time again, for another Singer Celebration event at the DLV Lounge in Montclair, NJ. On Aug 27th, I’ll be hosting this end-of-Summer get together for jazz singers and musicians!

Saturday, August 27th, from 9pm-12M, DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ.

Carol and The Little Jazz Birds - DLV band regulars

I’m happy to say that the band that’s been playing at these events (since March) has had a lot of the same players. This time, we’ll have most of the same guys back again, including Steve Johnson – trombone, JJ Bell – tenor sax, Jim Bogle – trumpet, Michael Mittelsdorf – drums, Jon Boudrot – guitar (and this time, also ukulele) and Billy Carrion Jr. – bass.

Ahh, but who will be on the keyboard? I’m glad you asked! We will be fortunate to have the talented Max Marshall, who you may also sometimes find playing keys at Cleopatra’s Needle in Manhattan.

Max Marshall on piano

But, if you know the Singer Celebration program, you also know there is usually a featured singer. And this coming show is no different. I’m proud to announce that John Bianchi will be not just our featured vocalist for the evening, he will also be on the bandstand playing clarinet for the night … bringing our amazing bandstand to a whopping 8 players.

John Bianchi by Barney Bishop

Not only can John sing and play clarinet, he also plays saxophone, guitar and as you see in this photo, he rocks a mean ukulele too. As you might imagine for someone so talented, John also writes his own songs, and on show night he will perform “I’m Going Back to My Dreams” one of his original compositions. (I have heard him sing this piece, so trust me when I say you will not want to miss his charming performance!)

And what, if anything, is still missing for show night?

YOU, that’s what!

There are so many talented jazz singers that have come through to perform during these events, I’m very grateful to have all of you participate! I’m hoping to see some folks that have been supporters from the beginning (you know who you are!) as well as some new faces too!

Please join us, Saturday, August 27th, from 9pm-12 midnight … DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ.

The DLV doesn’t charge a cover, although our hard working band appreciates tips.

Hope to see you there!

July 16 Singer Celebration A Success!

I held the third Singer Celebration event at the DLV this past Saturday night, and we had 9 singers participate! By all accounts it was a highly successful event, and I was really happy everyone seemed to have a great time.

Dlv singer collage july16

The singers were terrific and we heard lots of standards, including a few examples: Night and Day; Pennies From Heaven; Cheek to Cheek; How High the Moon; A Night in Tunisia; Let’s Get Away from It All and our finale for the evening was I Got Rhythm.

Carol and band at DLV July 16 2016

We also had a swinging, 8 piece band to back up our singers. It was a total luxury to have a fabulous, four piece front line and another four piece rhythm section. The guys had a great time – they really love playing for singers!

Since this series is so popular, I will host another Singer Celebration on Saturday, August 27th, 9pm to midnight, at the DLV Lounge once again. We space each event about six weeks apart, and that’s been working well.

DLV Postcard - final resize

If you sing jazz tunes, please come to this event and sign up to sing. If you enjoy an entertaining evening with a large variety of singers, and a terrific and talented band, come out and be part of the audience.

There’s no cover charge for this event, and the DLV offers reasonably priced refreshments which makes for a cozy and fun night for all.

This PUBLIC event invitation is also available on Facebook.

Hope to see you there!

July 16th Singer Celebration at the DLV Lounge

Hi all,

We’re gearing up to have another successful Singer Celebration at the DLV Lounge, on Saturday night, July 16th, from 9pm – midnight. DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, NJ.DLV Postcard - final resize

As I’ve done before, I will be the MC and lead vocalist, and I’ve invited two talented singers to be my Featured Vocalists for the evening. Stephen Santoro is a talented young man who loves to both sing the standards and play trombone too. Cliff Walston is a respected Jersey City jazz elder who sings jazz, writes his own lyrics, and is an artist too. Cliff is also a founding member of the Spirit of Life jazz ensemble.

Singers are welcome to come and sign up to sing one with the band. These events have been HUGELY popular, so I do recommend coming early to secure a seat and to get a slot on the sign up list.

And speaking of the band, we will have a killer band. Not only will we have an 8 piece (yes, 8 piece!) house band, with Nick Masters (p), Billy Carrion (b), Michael Mittelsdorf (d), Jon Boudrot (g), JJ Bell (sax), Jim Bogle (tmpt), Stephen Santoro (tmbn), Steve Johnson (tmbn) but we will ALSO have numerous guest musicians sitting in. I’m expecting other bass and drummers to show up, but my friend Chisoo Kim is planning to bring her fiddle (although she also plays bass too!) and so on…

The DLV Lounge is a cozy spot, serving a simple comfort food menu (chicken wings, shrimp and grits, fries) along with cocktails, beer and wine and an extremely friendly vibe.

Come on down, whether you sing or play or just want to hear an amazing night of entertainment.

There’s NO COVER for the show, but tips are graciously accepted.

When the jazz bug bites

I used to laugh when I heard “the jazz bug bit” (name of famous musician) and their life wasn’t the same afterwards. I didn’t understand it at all, and moreover, I thought it was an exaggeration of someone who really loved to play music and did it well.

But lately, I’m beginning to understand that the “jazz bug” is something real. It’s obsessive. And I have been ‘infected’ with the jazz bug (some would suggest I call Dr. Jazz, but I don’t think that would cure me!)

When I started my journey, WAY back in the Summer of 2014, I had a very simple goal. I wanted to be able to get up at a local jazz jam in my neighborhood and sing a few songs with the band. I knew that the musicians playing at the jam were professionals, and so I felt that since I hadn’t been a singer previously, that it was important that I take a few lessons to make me competent enough to get up in front of others and sing. (And no, I had never done – and still haven’t done – karaoke.)

After half a dozen lessons or so, my excellent jazz vocal teacher wisely suggested that I begin taking vocal technique lessons. I was so enthusiastic about my progress to date, and still very excited about the prospect of singing in front of an audience, I jumped at the chance to study with my most excellent vocal technique coach.

In retrospect, this was one of a few turning points for me, because it moved me from wanting to “just get up and sing a few” to really understand the mechanics behind what I needed to do to sing properly. I didn’t realize it at the time.

Eventually I had my public debut, and had to conquer my absolute terror of singing in front of a live audience. (Something which I have conquered to a great degree, although I still get a bit fluttery from time to time.) The debut went well, and there were so many people around me who were incredibly supportive. They offered advice, lots of applause and praise for each baby step forward, which was undeniably motivating to keep me going when things were tough.

Soon I was getting feedback (correctly) that my repertoire was limited as a beginner, and I needed to work on expanding my song list. And so began a period of more intensive study of various singers and material.

This led me to periods of frustration, entirely of my own doing, because I liked songs that no one else knows. Of course, this led me to a new teacher, who could work with me to help me learn these lesser known songs and write charts for me. He also was helpful in giving me introductions to basic theory, and blues and gospel scales too.

As all of this was going on, I began increasing the amount of time I invested in getting out in public to sing. And the more I sang in public, the easier it became to sing in front of live audiences.

Along the way, I learned more and more about how to interact with musicians, including knowing that I had to tell them the key for my song, explaining what tempo I wanted, and eventually when I learned more, giving them information they needed to help play the song before and during the performance (the bridge goes to Bb Minor; or, let’s do this as a bossa; or, touching the top of my head when I was supposed to come back in, indicating I wanted to sing the song from the top.)

And again, there were times I was frustrated. For example, when I was learning how to sing behind the beat, I realized I needed more help on my sense of timing. So I decided to take lessons with a drummer to help me internalize this sense of timing. His help was so invaluable, I know I took a leap forward in my ability to “swing” jazz songs due to his instruction and help.

I sometimes think that maybe, if I had started as a kid, maybe I would have picked this stuff up over many years of practice. I would have had lots of time to internalize many lessons and evolve my skills.

As an adult though, I feel a sense of intense urgency to learn things as quickly as I can… and frankly, to work hard when I have internal resistance to doing things that will help me up my game.

I regularly re-organize my practice routine to help me maximize what I get out of my practice time. And I just stumbled upon a helpful (and free!) handbook that I’ve been reading that is pushing me forward yet again.

Jamey Aebersold Jazz Handbook:

Perhaps my biggest weakness right now is my ability to improvise during a song, in the way I’d like to be able to do it. I’m not trying to be Ella Fitzgerald, but I would like to feel a sense of freedom when improvising that I don’t feel today. I have plenty of other things I’m still working on, and I strongly suspect it’s a lifelong path I’m on, but for right now, improvisation is a critical jazz skill that I need to nurture along more forcefully than what I’ve been doing to date.

When I go back and listen to all of the recorded lessons I have had, with EVERY SINGLE TEACHER who has given me their valuable time, advice, guidance and mentorship… they have all told me that I needed to do stuff that I refused to do. Like, memorize scales. Like, sit down at a keyboard (every  day) and tap out notes and sing them. Like, start improvising everyday when I sing in practice. (This seems so obvious.) Like, take the two most common jazz blues keys of Bb and F, and improvise to them. (This last piece of advice is spelled out directly in the Jazz Handbook referenced above.)

I am obsessed with getting to the next level. And many days I wish I was 20 years old so I had a few extra decades to play with in order to get to many next levels. But I don’t. The clock is ticking. Hell, Charlie Parker was dead at 34, and I passed that mark long ago. Oh well. I’m too fanatic at this point to stop anyway.

The jazz bug is real. I’ve been bitten, and I can’t wait to scratch my itch.

May 7th at the DLV Lounge!

Singing at the DLV - Carol and Michael

“Carol Deminski and the Little Jazz Birds” will be playing at the DLV Lounge in Montclair, NJ on Saturday night, May 7, 2016, from 9p-12M.

Please join me and my band, including keyboard, bass, drums, trumpet and trombone … sit ins welcome! I’ll be the hostess and lead vocalist. We’ll have two featured vocalists, along with many expected guest singers. It will be FUN for participants and audience alike!

The DLV is a small club which emphasizes live jazz. They have jazz jams on Tuesday and Thursday (9-11:30p), special Latin Jazz nights, and other jazz performances. The DLV is homey and inviting, with reasonably priced drinks and a newly opened kitchen offering comfort food. DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ, 07042.




Dirty Thoughts

This is a rant. You have been forewarned!🙂

In May 2015, I was preparing to leave the country for a few months. In preparation, I bought some new clothes and accessories, and I ran around trying to figure out what to pack. I also went through my wardrobe and washed a lot of clothes, setting things aside in piles, until it came time for me to pack it all up and haul it half-way around the planet (to the Philippines.)

I did my last load of laundry in my washing machine just before I left. I thought the machine was a little cranky when it stopped, the inner stainless steel tub wasn’t moving as freely as it should have.

Then I left my apartment for months, and when I came back, it turned out that the slightly cranky inner stainless steel tub of my washing machine was in full revolt – it wouldn’t much move at all.

My local gas and electric company offers something called a “Worry Free” contract on individual appliances. You pay a little bit each month, and then if you have a problem, you call the company and they send the repairman out to fix it. If you need parts, and it’s covered under the warranty, they order them (free to me, the customer) and then install them (labor is also free.) It’s a good system, and I’ve used it for several years.

So when I returned home, in September, I had some laundry to do. I realized my machine wasn’t working and began to haul my clothes to the local laundry mat to wash. In the meantime, I called for the repairman to come and diagnose the problem so the machine could be fixed.

Well, it turns out that my machine couldn’t be fixed. It was a front loading washing machine, about 9 years old, and the outer tub and ball bearing got locked up, which is why the tub wasn’t spinning on the inside. This is, apparently, a common thing to have happen with these machines. Also, because it’s an extremely difficult part to fix (you’d need to take the entire machine apart inside a machine shop, then re-install the outer tub and the ball bearing…) it’s not covered under the warranty. And, the repairman told me, when the part is not covered, the labor to make the repair isn’t covered either.

And how much would the labor be, if I wanted to proceed with the repair anyway? Oh, about $270 AN HOUR, the repairman informed me.

Argh. No, it’s not worth it to repair a machine that’s 9 years old when the labor is $270 an hour and it would take at least 4 hours to make the repair.

Alright, I thought, then I guess I need to buy a new washing machine. I’m all for doing my best to repair appliances where possible, but this washing machine was kaput.

Off I went to Sears, Home Depot, PC Richards and a few other appliance places. Boy, was I shocked when I got there!

It turns out that in the past few years, washers and dryers are now the size of a small car!

My 750 square foot apartment has a small, 27.5 inch wide and 32 inch deep “closet” to house BOTH my washer AND dryer – one stacked on top of the other. That’s all the space I have for the machines. I can’t create more space in a 100 year old brownstone.

Appliance manufacturers aren’t interested in accommodating apartment dwellers. They want to sell “SUV sized” washers mounted atop a gigantic platform.

If you have the space for an SUV washer, good for you. And if you haven’t been out shopping for such appliances recently, you may also be in for a shock. As of January 2016, the starting price of many washing machines is at least $700 USD, but most are more than that.

And once you purchase the washer, your costs aren’t done. Then you need to pay for taxes, delivery, installation and a stacking kit.

Hmmm, wait a minute. A stacking kit. To stack my 9 year old, perfectly functioning dryer on top of the brand new washer?

NO. It turns out that you can’t do that. Maybe you could do it, but you’re not supposed to do it. Why aren’t you supposed to stack an old dryer on top of a new washer? According to people that SELL washers and dryers, it’s because the little bracket that attaches one unit to the other won’t work with non-compatible machines.

And why should I care about that? Because the new washing machines turn at least 800 RPM (and many of them spin much more rapidly than that, with the highest end machines spinning at 1400 RPM. Trust me, that’s very fast!)

The manufacturer doesn’t want to provide you with a warranty on the new machine unless it’s attached to another brand new machine that is its mate, with their blessed bracket of choice. This helps ensure that the vibrating washer doesn’t push the dryer on top right off the machine. (That can’t really happen inside my 27.5 inch wide closet, but that’s beside the point.)

Does this sound like a scam to you? It does to me!

Many of the older sales and repair people I’ve spoken to about this tell me that these new machines cost a lot more, and their expected life span is a lot less. An old machine might have lasted 10-12 years, and the new machines might last about 7. For that privilege you will pay triple the price of a better made machine produced 8-9 years ago.


It’s taken me months of research (and procrastination) to figure all this out. And at the moment, the only thing I’ve settled on is that I need to buy a new washer AND a new dryer to replace my broken washing machine.

But in looking for a new machine, 95% of what is offered is much too big for my tiny closet.

My old washer had a 2.65 cubic foot capacity, which represents the amount of clothes it can wash. If you did a search for washing machines today, you’d find most machines have over a 4 cubic foot capacity, which is great if you have room for your SUV-washer. We of the apartment dwelling tribes cannot house 4 cubic feet of washing machine (let alone the SUV dryer that can’t stack on top!)

Instead, manufacturers are making smaller machines.

To summarize: my 2.65 cubic foot washing machine broke. As a result, I need to throw away my perfectly functioning dryer. When I buy a new washer and dryer, it will wash and dry FEWER clothes. I will pay a LOT MORE MONEY for these machines than what I paid for the ones I had, and the new machines will have a SHORTER LIFESPAN of use than the machines I had!!

Yeah, that stinks!


Seeing Siem Reap, Cambodia

Woman chopping raw fish - right in the center of the Siem Reap market

Woman chopping raw fish – Siem Reap market

A Traveler’s Preamble

It’s been too long since I’ve posted on my blog, but there are good reasons for it (well, I think they’re good reasons.) Back in August, I took my trip to Bangkok, Thailand … and in the midst of that trip I took a side trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

After 2 days I left Cambodia and returned to Thailand … and then flew from Thailand to Manila.

Eventually I left the Philippines and headed home, to the east coast. I had barely unpacked my suitcase before I had to fly off to Europe: Zurich and Prague.

While I bounced around the world like a ping pong ball, I didn’t post to the blog. I saw that people were looking at my postings and photos, which was nice. Thanks for reading, even while I was “away.”

And now, a glimpse into my travels in Cambodia.

Siem Reap

If you’ve never heard of Siem Reap, Cambodia, then perhaps you have heard of Angkor Wat? Siem Reap is the town located adjacent to the Angkor Wat temple complex.

Angkor Wat was a life changing experience for me; I am not yet prepared to cover it in this blog post, or probably even one blog post. It’s monumental.

One incredible carved rock face five stories tall, at the Buddhist temple within Angkor Wat.

One incredible carved rock face, five stories tall, at the Buddhist temple within Angkor Wat.

Today, I wanted to share some photos from the Siem Reap market, which is in the center of the town. It’s an authentic market, with plenty of fresh food that the locals want to buy. Just on the edge of the center-most food section of the market are the many tourist stalls selling t-shirts, dried herbal tea, sterling silver wares.

Siem Reap has its own airport. There are hundreds of tourists who arrive from around Asia, Europe and North/South America everyday. It’s not surprising that Siem Reap is geared towards catering to tourists. In fact, the economy of Siem Reap runs on U.S. dollars. That’s right – when you go to change your money in Cambodia, you’ll be changing whatever money you have (Euro’s, for example) into USD. Surprise!

A woman lights a candle to prevent insects from landing on the food. Siem Reap, Cambodia

A woman lights a candle to prevent insects from landing on the food. Siem Reap, Cambodia

And I would venture to comment that “seeing” Siem Reap is not like seeing what the rest of Cambodia is like. Being shuttled around in one of several hundred tuk-tuk’s from a comfortable hotel to a restaurant probably isn’t the normal course of events for Cambodian’s who live there.

Getting around town in a Tuk Tuk

Getting around town in a Tuk Tuk


Chickens - Siem Reap Market

Chickens – Siem Reap Market

Still, I don’t regret one second I spent in the country, seeing Angkor Wat and spending a little time in the town center.

Fruit - Siem Reap Market

Fruit on display – Siem Reap Market


Cambodian Street Food - check out the teeth on those fish in the lower right part of the photo!

Cambodian Street Food – check out the teeth on those fish in the lower right part of the photo!


The inviting entrance to a local restaurant where I had lunch...

The inviting entrance to a local restaurant where I had lunch…


A Visit to Bangkok, Part 3: Wat Pho Temple

If I had to choose the one place in Bangkok that I found most inspiring and alluring, it would have to be Wat Pho.

The head of an immense reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

The head of an immense reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Wat Pho is a Buddhist temple complex in the same neighborhood as the Grand Palace. As a tourist, I was directed to take the SkyTrain to the pier where the tourist boats go up the river. I took the tourist boat twice.

Travel Tip 1: You can either purchase an all-day pass on the river boat for 150 baht, or if you are really heading to one destination and plan to get off the river once you arrive, ask for the one-stop ticket. Then you’ll only pay 40 baht.

Travel Tip 2: Women are not permitted into temples unless they’re covered. You can’t wear anything above the ankle. A pair of light weight slacks and a tee shirt that covers your shoulders and the top of your arm, is fine. If you aren’t wearing the right clothing, you’ll have to “rent” a wrap which you’ll tie around your waist and will cover you to your ankles.

When you get off the tourist boat, you have to walk through a make-shift bazaar building that is on the pier. There are a bunch of vendors selling a variety of souvenirs. Once you exit the bazaar, you come out into an area where there are street vendors selling food and drinks.

A young man selling freshly made pomegranate juice near Wat Pho.

A young man selling freshly made pomegranate juice near Wat Pho.


Good Good Good Papaya Salad. 40 baht is about $1 US dollar.

Good Good Good Papaya Salad. 40 baht is about $1 US dollar.


A woman looks over her choices of grilled meats at a street vendor's stall

A woman looks over her choices of grilled meats at a street vendor’s stall


But once inside the temple complex, your eye is drawn to the ornate and intricately tiled buildings that adorn the large tract of land that composes the complex.

The architecture of Wat Pho

The architecture of Wat Pho


When you are not looking at the amazing architecture, there are many wonderful places where you can stop and rest.

The man made waterfall and koi pond is delightful

The man made waterfall and koi pond is delightful


I only saw one monk while I was there, which surprised me

I only saw one monk while I was there, which surprised me


For some reason, the majority of people I saw at Wat Pho were tourists and not monks. I only saw one monk while I was there, and he walked so quickly across the courtyard I could barely snap a photo of him as he passed me.

Within one of the courtyards, I found...

Within one of the courtyards, I found…


You can take many hours to explore this wonderful site because there are so many nested courtyards, each with their own set of sculptures, or alters with flowers, or perhaps you’ll see a line of buddhas sitting and meditating. It’s all beautiful and peaceful.

A charming monk figure sits nestled in some greenery

A charming monk figure sits nestled in some greenery


Beautiful handmade flower alter

Beautiful handmade flower alter


Flower Alter detail

Flower Alter detail


My advice to anyone visiting Wat Pho:

  • bring water
  • dress appropriately
  • don’t rush
  • allow the serene nature of this place to inspire you
  • investigate courtyards and other out of the way spots
A mythological creature stands watch over one of the temples

A mythological creature stands watch over one of the temples


A moment of peaceful solitude

A moment of peaceful solitude

A Visit to Bangkok, Part Two: Peeking Into Chinatown

Red Lanterns festively displayed by a street vendor in Bangkok's Chinatown

Red Lanterns festively displayed by a street vendor in Bangkok’s Chinatown


There’s something familiar about Chinatown.

No matter what city you’re in, whether it’s New York City, San Francisco, Hong Kong, or Bangkok, the images you’d conjure up for Chinatown are roughly similar.

Street view - Bangkok's Chinatown

Street view – Bangkok’s Chinatown


Street vendors hawking their wares, a variety of foods for sale – some of which look totally unfamiliar – and lots of small Chinese grocery stores selling packages of dried fish, along with Chinese tea shops and restaurants.

Colorful rolling carts displaying fruit in Bangkok's Chinatown

Colorful rolling carts displaying fruit in Bangkok’s Chinatown


Bangkok’s Chinatown felt familiar in the way that I described, but there were unfamiliar sights too.

I WISH I could have gotten a photo of the strange machine I saw on many street corners used to roast chestnuts in what looked like circulating black gravel stones. I’ve never seen such a machine before.

But, to me, the way to see a place is by watching the people.

Woman washing pans in a food stall

Woman washing pans in a food stall


More washing going on in the alley

More washing going on in the alley


Walking along the crowded streets

Walking along the crowded streets


And, of course, tasting the food. The vegetarian fare I sampled included Mapo Tofu, Chinese green leafy stuff with mushrooms, and something new to me: Iced chrysanthemum tea with lemon and honey. It was all delicious!

Dinner was delicious

Dinner was delicious


If you’re wondering whether or not to take a stroll along the crowded streets of Bangkok’s Chinatown, stop and buy some fruit from a rolling cart and then ducking into one of the many restaurants or tea shops to eat a snack … the answer is yes, you should. But I would say that for Chinatown in any city around the world………