Open City: Blogging Urban Change
Out of the Smoke
Out of the Smoke

What circuits run between Triangle 1911, Chinatown 1982, Bangladesh 2010? What fissures, shadows, and absences in and between these images, these conversations? * To paraphrase the speakers at the “Global Sweatshop” plenary of the Out of the Smoke Triangle Fire conference at CUNY Grad Center today: 1- Workers are not just oppressed. There are many [...]

Lunch with Ha Jin in Flushing
Lunch with Ha Jin in Flushing

After reading Ha Jin’s story collection A Good Fall and conducting a Q&A with him via email, I met the National Book Award-winning author last week on the steps of the Flushing library. We knew each other only by our author photos, but there was an instant sense of warm recognition as we greeted each [...]

Follow the Lions
Follow the Lions

Using urban sociology and video to study the role of lion dance groups in the cultural revitalization of Manhattan Chinatown.

Give Me Your Red!
Give Me Your Red!

This post is brought to you by guest blogger, Kayhan Irani, an artivist and an Emmy award winning writer. She believes in the liberatory power of the arts to deepen people’s engagement with social issues and transform society. She is a writer, director, performer, and facilitator. Photo by Sahar Muradi “I give you my Yellow; [...]

Home
Home

One of the great books about neighborhood change in New York is Marshall Berman’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air. In the book’s final chapter, Berman describes how his childhood neighborhood was razed in the late 1950s and early 1960s to make way for the Cross-Bronx Expressway, displacing tens of thousands of small business [...]

3/11/11: AAFE and UPROSE Sunset Park Walking Tour
3/11/11: AAFE and UPROSE Sunset Park Walking Tour

Today was a nice day for walking. After a whole lot of rain, wind, and gray gloom the other day, Murad and I walked happily in the sunshine equipped with our coffee towards 35th and 4th to meet Douglas Le and the AAFE crew made up of interns and college fellows for a Sunset Park [...]

Community Announcements
Community Announcements

Squadron Community Convention From State Senator Daniel Squadron: Please join me on Sunday, March 13th, for the third annual 25th Senate District Community Convention. I am hosting the convention at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street in Downtown Brooklyn, from 2:00-5:00PM. At the convention, I will ask you about your thoughts and ideas on legislative [...]

To Seek Better Than Before
To Seek Better Than Before

Last week, there was an article in the New York Times about domestic violence in the Afghan diaspora in Queens and how women were increasingly coming forward and seeking help. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about violence (state, reproductive, domestic, economic, etc.) and responses to violence in a wide way. With the rippling revolutions [...]

Questions for Ha Jin
Questions for Ha Jin

In a recent post, “Finding Flushing in the Stories of Ha Jin,” I wrote about the particular pleasure of reading about my hometown in A Good Fall, a recent collection by the National Book Award-winning author of Waiting. Later this week, I’m meeting Ha Jin at the Flushing Library for lunch and a walk around [...]

The Chinese Rathskeller: Part I—Everyday Landmarks
The Chinese Rathskeller: Part I—Everyday Landmarks

I first learned about the Chinese Rathskeller from my friend Randall Quan after noticing the restaurant’s menu on his table. Randall’s great grandfather, Quan Wei opened the restaurant at 45 Mott in 1939 where it stood for 40 years. “Rathskeller,” the German word for a tavern below street level, was a nod to Wei’s old [...]

Brief note on the politics of typology, mapping, demographics
Brief note on the politics of typology, mapping, demographics

As of late, I’ve been doing a somewhat long-termish study on demographic mapping, changes, patterns in Sunset Park (and NYC, in general). A few posts to come up with some of my findings, but in the mean time, I thought I would throw out some accessible online sources: An urban planner I spoke to suggested [...]

Chinatown Soundscape: Valentine’s Day Duet
Chinatown Soundscape: Valentine's Day Duet

I received this text from Jimmy on Valentine’s Day: “Come to K-TV, where only place you can find date. Valentine’s Day Duet contest, winner $1,000. Free rose if you bring friend.” I kidnapped my roommate and we hopped onto the D to 9th Ave. K-TV 39 is attached to the King’s Hotel. It’s in a [...]

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.