Open City: Blogging Urban Change
Chinatown/LES
Chinatown Soundscape Series
Chinatown Soundscape Series

(From my personal journal, 8/26/09) When I think of Chinatown, I think of proximity. bodies close or clashing dinner breath of another whispers into your nostrils next to your feet, a rivulet of the sea and blood drained from fish, eyes, cloudy marbles walking through Chinatown is a dizzying kaleidoscope of scents, faces, tongues, lights, [...]

Crimson Kings
Crimson Kings

At the center of a small gym, fourteen students form a line, the youngest about half the size of the oldest. Drummers in the back, fife in the middle, bugles in front. At the drill instructor’s call, the drums begin their roll, and the line launches into “America the Beautiful.” The students march to one [...]

Christmas, East Village
Christmas, East Village

http://openthecity.org/?attachment_id=901

Restaurant stories: Hong Kong Station
Restaurant stories: Hong Kong Station

Wallace Lai, 34, was born in Hong Kong. He attended boarding school and university in the UK, studying civil engineering, then moved back to Hong Kong to work at a graphic design company. He moved to New York in 2004, and opened Hong Kong Station, a build-your-own noodle soup restaurant in Chinatown in April, 2005. [...]

On the move
On the move

Stare at this image, feel your eyes go slightly out of focus, and all of those shards of blue and terra cotta start to move, circling into a vortex centered somewhere around Governor’s Island. A nice optical trick that re-enacts what the graphic describes: movement. Thousands of Asian New Yorkers moving in and out of [...]

Notes on galleries, pt 1
Notes on galleries, pt 1

Windows Gallery is not your typical gallery, and Dino Eli is not your typical gallery owner. Eli’s primary line of work is running psychic/palm reading storefronts around the city. About four years ago, he came upon the idea of opening a gallery and it has been his obsession ever since. This past summer he convinced [...]

Walker Blotter 12-4-2010

5:15pm Columbus Park North side of Park, left of Comfort Station, back right table, huddle of young men.  Halos of breath in the cold, rubbing hands over a hot game of chess. 5:23pm Corner of Worth St. & Lafayette St. The Department of Health Hospitals and Sanitation, pages from Walden strewn on the steps. Two [...]

Belonging
Belonging

My family’s “American Dream” didn’t start on Centre Street, but here it took root and it’s here that my consciousness as a New Yorker, an Asian American, a kid from Chinatown first took shape.  It’s from this vantage point– on this block– where we’ve witnessed many changes: print-shops gave way to lofts, garment factories thrived [...]

Bowery History: A Celebration – tonight!!
Bowery History: A Celebration - tonight!!

For folks interested in the history of the Lower East Side, check out this event TONIGHT: The Bowery Alliance of Neighbors and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council will host: “Bowery History: A Celebration” – an evening of cocktails, music, performance, film and speakers.  It will be held tonight, Tuesday, November 30th, at Dixon Place. The evening [...]

The list
The list

The list records building demolitions in the East Village, the Lower East Side, and Chinatown in the 1980s. City workers demolished the buildings because they were considered a hazard, perhaps having been abandoned or set on fire. The list notes the address and, when it could be determined, the date of demolition. There are 236 [...]

Turf
Turf

It’s a warm Saturday in early fall. On a path leading into Chinatown’s Columbus Park, there are two bands: old men, mostly playing erhu, a traditional 2-string fiddle that likes to slide in and out of tune. Though they’re spitting distance apart, the bands are playing different songs: one’s a fast, jittery tune, the other’s [...]

3 centuries of neighborhood change in Manhattan Chinatown
3 centuries of neighborhood change in Manhattan Chinatown

19th century: (middleground) row of tenement apartments 20th century: (foreground) surface parking lots; (background) Confucius Plaza Apartments, 44-story tower, completed 1975 21st century: the blue banner announcing in Chinese and Spanish “Early Childhood Center” 3 centuries of neighborhood change in Manhattan Chinatown: 19th century: (middleground) row of tenement apartments 20th century: (foreground) surface parking lots; [...]

Community Announcements

CWG Full Monthly Meeting: Chinatown Working Group Full Group Meeting Usually meets every first Monday of the month, 4-6pm. American Legion, 191-193 Canal Street, Floor 2. (212) 442-4008 / info@chinatownworkinggroup.org. CWG Steering Committee Meeting: Chinatown Working Group. Usually meets every second Wednesday of the month, 4-5:30pm. Community Board #1, 49-51 Chambers St, Rm. 709. (212) [...]

About Open City
Open City: Blogging Urban Change is an interdisciplinary neighborhood blog and community project coordinated by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Five commissioned writers, called Organizing Fellows, are working with community organizations and neighborhood folks in Manhattan’s Chinatown/Lower East Side (LES), Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn to collect oral histories and interviews, offer commentary about gentrification, neighborhood change, and produce new creative work around these themes. Read more.
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Featured Profile
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities was formed in 1986 (formerly known as the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) as a response to an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes both in New York City and around the country (which included violence by police officers against Asians).
They have two offices – one in Manhattan’s Chinatown (which houses the Chinatown Tenants Union, and the new Asian Youth in Action organizing project) and the Youth Leadership Project office in the Bronx – and have members from all over the city. Over the years, CAAAV’s main campaigns have focused on community-based organizing work rooted in Asian immigrant and refugee communities. Although their advocacy and organizing work is focused mainly in Manhattan’s Chinatown and the northwest Bronx, CAAAV’s work also touches upon larger issues (such as affordable housing, war, and immigration) shaping communities all over the world: “Our work is primarily centered around issues facing New Yorkers, but always with a global analysis.”
CAAAV’s mission is to organize and build the power of working-class Asian immigrants, refugees, and youth to change concrete conditions and participate in a broader social justice movement. In the past, CAAAV’s work included organizing South Asian taxi drivers, Korean women workers, and Filipina domestic workers. Several of these organizing projects have gone on to become their own organizations, such as the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and Domestic Workers United. CAAAV’s current work focus on three different program areas: Read more.

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Community Announcements
Manhattan CB3 Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee
Monday, May 2 at 6:30 pm -- Rutgers Community Center, Gymnasium - 200 Madison Street (btwn Rutgers & Pike Sts)

Brooklyn CB7, Land Use/Landmarks Committee Regular meeting
Continued discussion on potential 8th Avenue rezoning

Manhattan CB3 Economic Development Committee Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30pm -- Community Board 3 Office - 59 East 4th Street (btwn 2nd Ave & Bowery)

Read more.

See all announcements.