In August, I had the privilege of meeting participants from Shared Stories, a program sponsored by the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) that educates and encourages youth to document immigration stories. In our time together, we talked about the power of the spoken word, our experiences as first and second generation in the US, and the [...]
Annie Ling’s photo essay on the residents at 81 Bowery, published in the New York Times, struck a chord. What stood out most to me was the residents’ resilience, their communal lives, and their attempts to retain a sense of dignity as they worked to eke out a better life for family members back home. [...]
A welder’s mask A jeweler’s Braille 100,000 fireflies
In December of last year at Project REACH located on Eldridge Street, Kit Yan and poets Regie Cabico and D’Lo workshopped 2 Dicks and a Diva with an audience for two nights. I went on the second night and was impacted by the intertwining narratives of these prominent queer poets revealing what life on the [...]
In this video post, May Wong Lee shares two collections of remembrances about attending Public School 42 in the 1960s and 1970s, especially beloved traditions they had back then– namely, crab soccer, the knish man, and pickles. In the second video, she discusses some of the pedagogical styles and teachers who made the most difference [...]
This past spring, over a period of three weeks, I worked my way through the Basement Workshop Collective’s (1970-1986) archive-in-progress, currently housed at NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American (A/P/A) Institute. On a purely conceptual level, there are the romantic inclinations many of us hold about archives, the notion that as writers or researchers (or just curious people), we [...]
Developers and planners try to make the city anew, to profit off the new venture and the new image, but despite their best efforts, they do not achieve total erasure. There are dust lines left behind from the furniture or appliances, brick foundations between the steel beams, old scribblings or serrated stairlines where the wall paints stopped… So we hope with the old Chinese-language movie theatres, the banks where we performed recitals, these spaces that have reincarnated so many times before.
Before leaving the city for a few weeks (hiatus from the internet during my travels) I was able to get into contact with Melissa del Valle Ortiz, a reader of the Open City blog and a long-time resident of Sunset Park. She was one of the first organizers at Neighbors Helping Neighbors (a grassroots nonprofit [...]
In this video post, two New Yorkers talk about how the first immigrants in their families to become American citizens were paper sons, claiming that they had ties to existing Chinese-American families.
Guest post by Afifa Yusufi, a community activist in the Afghan community in New York. Afifa has served on the board of Women for Afghan Women, is a member of Business Council for Peace and a number of other nonprofit organizations. She is currently serving as a board member and vice president of a Virginia-based [...]
Does Michael Bloomberg ever wish he could go back in time? Back before his high-profile, third-term setbacks: the Cathie Black fiasco, the unpaved streets in last winter’s blizzard, his surprisingly lackluster showing in the last election. Back to October 2009, perhaps, when New York Magazine ran its regular feature on the city’s power brokers and [...]
Cross-cultural connections between Ashkenazi Jewish and Chinese residents on the Lower East Side are anything but new, and they go deeper than making Chinese food a Christmas tradition.