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Apr 14, 2012 07:15 PM

626 Asian night market a ZOO!

Way too crowded. Eating at Roy's instead.

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  1. I'm impressed you got there. My in-laws had been stuck in traffic for over an hour, last time I checked!

    4 Replies
    1. re: FattyDumplin

      SOOO happy about the turn out.
      SOOO glad I'm NOT there.
      SOOO LOLz.

      1. re: TonyC

        At least it's a success? Should have just used the parking lot meant for the Alhambra Farmer's Market.

        Well despite the "quality" of the vendors at least we know it will likely happen again.

      2. re: FattyDumplin

        +1. Traffic was backed up for at least a mile on the 210 freeway.

        1. re: raytamsgv

          CRAZY. I'm glad I got there when I did (around 6). It looked bad when we were leaving but wasn't so bad when we arrived, coming Arroyo Parkway.

      3. Anyone know what food vendors/items were available?

        1 Reply
        1. re: andytseng

          Everything was over an hours wait to get to. Even cell service was spotty due to all the people. The city was definitely not prepared for the huge turnout. It was a boon for the local restaurants, however.

        2. my husband tried to go to Ralph's on Lake tonight. complete grid lock. and there you go for those who doubted the turnout in downtown Pasadena...

          1. From a vendor -- "Popos shutting down the market!"

            21 Replies
            1. re: TonyC

              just looked at their Facebook page. people are ANGRY!

              1. re: trolley

                ANGRY is too mild a word to describe the experience. Sure, a BIG turnout, that should have been expected, if the planners have some iota of common sense. It was poor planning to begin with, you could hardly move in that block. The area restaurants greatly benefited, all the way to Alhambra and San Gabriel, as scores of people who just left after witnessing the horrendous traffic condtion, and a near to impossible navigation to reach any of the booths. There are only a couple of places, I could think of for such venues, if they dare to hold another one - Rose Bowl or Convention Center.

                To those who did not go, you all made the wise decision by staying away.

                1. re: jotfoodie

                  I don't know if they should have expected such a turnout, especially with the response here towards the event.

                  1. re: chezwhitey

                    I was not referring to chow's response. Their own Facebook reponses should have alerted them, plus other bloggers and news media, e.g. LA Times. Spend a minute to think about it, how could not one expect such a turnout.

                    1. re: jotfoodie

                      Given that the last attempt at a night market, Monterey Park maybe 3 or 4 years ago was a big bust, the Pasadena night market was far from a sure thing. Also wasn't the operator quoted just a couple of weeks ago saying that the project was going to be a money loser because there wasn't sufficient vendor interest?

                      1. re: Chandavkl

                        I'm of two minds here: I'm sympathetic to the idea that they'd want to play things safer and plan for a smaller crowd. The problem though -as everyone has pointed out - is that this location left no contingencies for the possibility of a bigger crowd, let alone the incredible turnout it yielded. They couldn't scale up to handle the crush, since the space limited how many vendors could participate. I'm not saying they should have rented out the Rose Bowl for this but it doesn't take a city planning expert to point out: "um, I'm not sure Oakland and Colorado" can take the weight.

                        But all said, I don't think any of this was done with bad intentions (obviously). And what may seem obvious in hindsight is rarely so clear when you're in the planning stages.

                        I'd go to another long as they change locations.

                        1. re: odub

                          I asked above about what actual food there was at the event, because I wanted to know if what they promised had actually been delivered. If the food was there, but the venue was inadequate, I would consider attending their next attempt.

                          If they underdelivered on the food, I'd feel more hesitant.

                            1. re: Chandavkl

                              I read it and laughed. Asian Nightmare Market would be more on the mark.

                                1. re: TonyC

                                  That visual is great, TonyC. It needs to be on a t-shirt.

                            2. re: andytseng

                              I know some people asked about the food.

                              Here's a pix from the KCET photog:

                              If you click thru on flickr, you'll see what was available between 5:30-6:30. After that, it was basically all over.

                              Did anyone order a massage chair?

                              1. re: andytseng

                                I was intrigued by a stand they had called Bling Bling Dumplings...I wanted to try. However, my odds of getting a dumpling in that horde were lower than a screaming teenager scoring an autograph at a Beiber event.

                                1. re: MonsieurKnowItAll

                                  Appears to be a catering company, as opposed to a restaurant.

                              2. re: odub

                                I think staging it at the Rose Bowl is a terrible idea. Here's why.

                                As I said below, one of the greatest successes of the 626 night market is that it actually captured, in some small way, the feeling of actually being at a night market in Taiwan. Night markets are exciting because they are seamlessly woven into the fabric of an urban center, and the best ones do not stand alone. There's an energy that comes from the people, the sights, the smells (good and bad), the noise, the lights. It's chaotic exuberance at its most stimulating.

                                However, a night market staged in the lonely parking lot of the Rose Bowl takes several steps back from feeling authentic.

                                The greatness of night markets in Taiwan come in the way they organically integrate with the existing shopping and pedestrian culture. Sticking one in an out of the way place, that people wouldn't go to otherwise, means that you're eliminating the wonderful synergy of the pop-up stands and the brick & mortars. Even if this particular market didn't integrate with the brick & mortars, it was in the middle of an urban downtown center and as such it still retained a bit of that feeling. Putting the same stands in the lonely, isolated area of the Rose Bowl parking lot makes it akin to a carnival, something wholly self-contained, and not an experience which organically integrates with the environment.

                                Mr Taster

                            3. re: jotfoodie

                              Well, if they decide to do it again, I can say with some certainty v2.0 will be a lot better in terms of organization and vendors. Vendors were hesitant to commit resources to this event, but now that they realize what the potential is for getting their name out, they will jump at the chance.

                        2. re: trolley

                          Wow. Just looked at Yelp, the young'uns were PISSED & not nearly as considerate.

                          Hwang has already spoken with LA Weekly:

                          1. re: TonyC

                            Unbelieavable comments - ""We had 8,000 Facebook fans on April 14, and that's what we expected," Jonny Hwang, one of the founders said. "

                            Huh ??? Does this person has a brain at all ? Does he realize how Facebook works ? 8000+ likes, how about all the friends of who clicked on the LIKE, that number could explode exponentially.

                            Secondly, he mentioned they prepared for 8000, somebody please tell me, if that small block can hold 2000 people at any one time. I think a 1000 would already be overly crowded.

                            They were lucky, that nobody went berserk and shouted FIRE in that cramped block. That would be beyond anybody's imagination of the consequences.

                            1. re: jotfoodie

                              Even luckier that no one screamed " 火 !!! "...

                          1. re: trojans

                            They should make a t-shirt: "I Survived the 626 Night Market."

                            To be candid, I'm not really upset at the event if only because "underestimating turnout" is a lot better than overestimating it. So the fact that they were woefully underprepared for the thousands of people who turned out was more likely an outcome of overly conservative estimates but for a "first-time" event, I can sympathize. That said, I also agree with everyone who could have pointed out months ago that the location made NO SENSE AT ALL. And sure enough, traffic was a nightmare...I saw cars backed up on Los Robles, starting around Main! That was crazy. I wanted to roll the window down and tell opposing traffic, "don't go!"

                            So yeah, location planning took an L here. And yes, the Rose Bowl, next time, sounds like a much better idea. I can't cosign on the Convention Center though; what kind of night market takes place in a convention hall? (Of course, what kind of night market takes place off Colorado and Oakland?)

                            Anyways, we got there around 6, and it was already insane and clearly about to get much much worse so we bounced after 10 minutes of gawking. I would have been tempted to go back around 10 but sounds like it wouldn't have been that much better.

                        3. That is so funny....we went to Roy's as well. We tried...made our way up and down the stalls, many being closed due to running out of food. Crazy!