Audrey Magazine braved bumper to bumper traffic and a parking ticket on April 14 to join the masses (nearly 10,000 people) at the first 626 Night Market in Pasadena, CA, “a central gateway point to introduce local businesses and entrepreneurs [from the 626 area code region],” said one of the founders, Taiwanese American Jonny C. Hwang. The night market website had promised beef noodle soup, stinky tofu, Japanese red bean pancakes, and other unique Asian food and products sold by 80 local businesses during the San Gabriel Valley version of the cultural commodity experience found in countries like Thailand and Taiwan. We didn’t get to partake of the eats and goods due to the intimidating crowds, but we caught a few words from Hwang, a few attendees, and one of the vendors at the beginning of the night market. Thanks for the great photos, Paul Gor!
Jonny C. Hwang: Maybe the next time we can make it better and bigger… We definitely want to make it recurring, maybe once a month. We’ll see what the demand is. It would definitely be in the San Gabriel Valley, definitely looking forward to continuing working with Pasadena. We’ll see how it goes.
Yuki: If it was more organized and thought out more, I would come [back again in the future] and enjoy what it has to offer.
Crystal: I wish I could’ve seen what was offered, but unfortunately the crowds got in my way. If the layout was more spread out, more organized with crowd control, I would’ve enjoyed talking to the different owners, and tasting the food… especially on a nice day like today.
Baldwin, co-owner of BUHBO, a local electronic accessories company that had a booth at the night market: … we thought [the night market would be] a good place to launch our product. We want to launch our brand, get more exposure and get ourselves out there. There’s a possibility of getting involved [with the night market again] in the future.
Others, like Cambodian American Youty and her 10-year-old niece from Long Beach who had found out about the night market on the news, endured 45 minutes of driving and 20 minutes to find parking. “I’ve been to a night market in Thailand and I was really looking forward to the food, but it was just so difficult to get through because there were so many people,” said Youty. “I wish I could say it was worth it.”
Hwang had said indicators of a successful night market would be if “all things go well, people have a good time, and everybody’s happy.” We’re looking forward to the better and bigger in the future.