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. [...]
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 [...]
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.
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.
Are more bike lanes inevitably better? Where should they be, and who will they ultimately benefit most? To tackle these questions in a more inclusive way, 9 local and citywide organizations have gotten together to form Local Spokes, a new Chinatown and Lower East Side biking coalition.
Driving from Suburbia trees wave in Westchester. grandfather’s laundry store on the corner of 39th/Lex we got regulars – a legacy. piles of starched, white sheets in neat folded squares, like the parceled backyard the kitchen island grab the keys, hop into the spaceship Chevrolet Lumina- mom, dad, grandma, son, daughter, quiet sardines, slicked hum [...]
What sorts of places are bus stops? In-between spaces, neither here nor there…. Yet, bus stops are where our neighbors become neighborly; the friendly become our friends—even the shirtless quirky visionaries four decades older than us, ones we could not imagine befriending in any other context. Yes, especially them. In this video post, Thomas Yu talks about growing up in Loisada in the 1980s and getting to know Eddie Boros at their local M9 bus stop, on 6th Street and Avenue B.
In this video post, Thomas Yu and May Wong Lee talk about the garment factories in which their parents worked. Thomas grew up in Loisada public housing, left the neighborhood to study international diplomacy, and eventually came back to work for Asian Americans for Equality. May Wong Lee also grew up in the neighborhood, attended [...]
Using urban sociology and video to study the role of lion dance groups in the cultural revitalization of Manhattan Chinatown.
Stephen Yung works seven days a week. During the weekdays, he works at a hotel on 52nd Street and Madison and then goes home to Flushing, Queens to balance an on-line sales business with his wife Fanny. When the weekend hits, you can find him on the karaoke stage at Asia Roma, cuing up the [...]
Let’s start with your poem ‘Ballad of a Maybe Gentrifier.’ I love it. It throws a wrench into the typical gentrification discussion by bringing to light the ways in which mobile, young, people of color participate in these processes. Can you talk about what inspired you to write this poem? Gentrification is so pervasive that [...]
The Teen Resource Center provides a safe and fun space for teenagers to hang out, support each other, gain accurate information, and advocate for themselves on health issues—ones as varied as STDs, stress management, and minors’ confidentiality rights.
(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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]