By Charles Lam
There goes a 3-foot Elsa with verve, walking through South Coast Plaza on Halloween afternoon, passing Sears and Din Tai Fung before getting on the escalator down to go to Uniqlo. A Minnie Mouse and an astronaut flank her; behind the trio are two adults--a man dressed in chinos and a casual button-up shirt, and a woman in a simple top and black pants--watching diligently as their children go from store to store looking for candy.
Hundreds of costumed kiddies join the scramble--Captain America and Optimus Prime for the boys; Katniss Everdeen and a galaxy of Disney princesses for the girls. They mix with the regular Saturday mall-going crowd. But as Elsa's family reaches the bottom of the escalator, the father and mother pull their wards to the side and speak to them in Mandarin, a language rare in South Coast Plaza even a decade ago, but nearly ubiquitous today.More »