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Sketching at Pacific East Mall

Dragon Fruit, ink & watercolor
Dragon Fruit, ink & watercolor

Sketching at Pacific East Mall is always an interesting proposition because it’s almost like visiting an Asian country (without the jet lag or costs). The stores and restaurants feature food and products from all the Asian countries and most of the signage and languages spoken there are also Asian.

It was fun copying the Chinese characters on the signage for these amazing and aptly named Dragon Fruits (above). I could picture these little dragons marching in a festive parade. I’m also really curious to try eating them. According to Wikipedia they are the fruit of a cactus and have a creamy pulp and a delicate aroma.

Cherimoya, ink & watercolor
Cherimoya, ink & watercolor

Another strange fruit, Cherimoyas had wonderful pattern on them. Since the green grocer spoke no English and I no Chinese I asked Google about the Cherimoya and learned some amazing things:

Mark Twain called the cherimoya “the most delicious fruit known to men.” The fruit is fleshy and soft, sweet, white, with a sherbet-like texture, which gives it its secondary name, custard apple. Some characterize the flavor as a blend of banana, pineapple, papaya, peach, and strawberry. Others describe it as tasting like commercial bubblegum. Similar in size to a grapefruit, it has large, glossy, dark seeds that are easily removed. The seeds are poisonous if crushed open and can be used as an insecticide. An extractive of the bark can induce paralysis if injected.

Tea Shop Canisters, ink & watercolor
Ten Ren Tea Shop Canisters and Counter, ink & watercolor

At the Ten Ren tea shop, Sonia ordered a Bubble Tea, a pink drink that had little blueberry-colored and sized balls of tapioca in it. We sat at a table and sketched to their background music of 1980’s rock and roll. One song came on that I recognized and tried think of the name of the band which led to us playing Senior-Moment Trivia.  From my lame clues (big hair, blonde, nice guy with a bunch of kids, New Jersey, band named after him, there’s  a “J” in the name…Jansen…no…) she came up with name of the band as we were leaving, saving me from a tortured night of trying to come up with….Bon Jovi!

Chickens, Ducks, Bye-Bye Birdies
Chickens, Ducks, Bye-Bye Birdies

It’s a good thing I was warmed up and sketching fast by the time I came to the hanging poultry. The store was preparing to close and an employee snatched them all off the line as I began to draw the last one.

20 replies on “Sketching at Pacific East Mall”

Thanks Sue. I appreciate the support and I know that you know how much work it is to keep up with the posting and the writing! You’d be welcome to join us if you’re ever visiting SF. Jana

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What a great opportunity! And wonderful sketches! My sister loves Cherimoya…..tell me about the dragon fruit if you try one…..

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Thanks Carol. You reminded me that I could use going to Pacific East to buy and try (and sketch) that fruit as an excuse for a walk. I always seem to need a destination and trying that fruit would be a satisfying reward for a long walk! Jana

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The colors in all of these are so great! Especially the cherimoyas! Did you buy any of the fruit to eat? I’ve never even heard of them. Very interesting outing.

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Hi Raena, I actually had a heck of a time with those cherimoyas but just kept working until I got something that was OK. I haven’t tried eating them yet but intend to take a walk over there one day this week to buy, sketch and eat them. Jana

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Very realistic sketches, Jana. As the page loaded I said:”Oh!She’s got dragon fruit!” And then the custard apples.I think there’s a very stunted little tree somewhere in my garden. Poor thing never had a chance with all the other enormous monsters!
As for Senior Moments Trivia…I’d be hopeless! 😉

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I love the Cherimoya. In India we used to eat them quite often and fresh from the tree.
The Indians called them “Custard Apples”. And the seeds really do feel nive and smooth in the mouth and the hands. Didn´t know that they were poisonous. I´m sure that I have bitten on a few by mistake.

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What fun to be let loose in a Chinese vegetable shop. A couple of times at Footscray Market I sketched fruit and vegetables. The strange shapes and textures are wonderful. The custard apple is what we use in Fiji to make icecream, but I didn’t know the seeds were poisonous!
Wendy

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Yum! That sounds good. How do you make ice cream from them? Can you just blend the fruit with milk and freeze it or do you have to make actual custard first? I imagine ice cream is very popular in Fiji! Jana

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@Jana: Did you taste them? They are kind of custardlike and not crispy at all. Unfortunately I haven´t had a good one here in Geramny.

@Wendy: Would you mind sharing the recipe?

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I haven’t tasted them yet. It’s on my list of fun stuff to do to walk there to buy the fruit and then sketch the cutting open and eating of them. Jana

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Wow! That’s so sweet of you. I’ve been a lazy blogger this week due to spring fever, just not wanting to be at the computer while the weather is so gorgeous.

I missed seeing you too, especially when I saw your amazing sketches from the marathon. I will get to one of them someday! I’ve been so impressed with all the great work and workshops you’re doing — sounds like so much fun. I read on your blog about your son going off to Guatemala. He’s going to learn so much on a trip like that but I know exactly what you mean about holding your breath for 6 weeks! Jana

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