I just had a great meal at our favorite restaurant in San Francisco’s Japantown, Iroha. It’s a noodle house that serves up a great deal: A lunch combination special of ramen topped with a couple slices of pork, and gyoza dumplings on the side.
The restaurant is more crowded than usual, and filled with lots of non-Japanese who are here for the first time. That’s because J-Town in general is hopping this weekend. It’s the second weekend of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, or Sakura Matsuri. There are vendors with booths selling everything from junky trinkets to high-class jewelry, lots of food and stages of performers and martial arts demonstrations, all with a Japanese focus.
But there’s also a Japanese American undercurrent, with young people flocking to stores that specialize in anime and Jpop music. It’s a cool mix of traditional and contemporary — much like J-Town itself. Continue reading →
“Time-shifting” is a new media term for the ability of technology to allow us to consume media — whether it’s video or music or text — at any time. The most obvious example is people recording TV shows on the DVRs to watch later, at their leisure.
You can hear a teleseminar via podcast any time after the fact (for instance, on a plane flight to SF, which is when I listened to a class on my iPod).
And this morning, I’ve been both time- and PLACE-shifting, by listening to an archival re-broadcast of Casey Kasem‘s “American Top 40” radio show, which was originally broadcast on April 14, 1973. It’s kind of spooky because it’s very possible I was listening to Casey Kasem’s affable voice that Sunday morning, and yet here I am, “tuned in” to hear the show all over again, in a San Francisco hotel room but hearing a stream from Denver oldies radio station KOOL105. All I need is the newscasts and commercials of the time, and I’m a 15-year-old kid all over again. Continue reading →
Yesterday it was 82 degrees, close to a record high, in Denver. It was as if summer had arrived in one day, with students sunning themselves at the University of Colorado, and people everywhere doing what Coloradans do during the summer: biking, walking, throwing Frisbees.
Yesterday is like a dream. You wouldn’t know it happened. Today it snowed, and tonight the lows will drop to 20. Here are some photos of the return of winter. Continue reading →
Here’s a video produced by Annie Guo, a Denver journalist and entrepreneur who is editor of Asian Avenue magazine, a pretty solid monthly publication, for a website she and other young APA activists have created called In-Solidarity.com. This is an Asian community response to the “satire” published by the University of Colorado’s Campus Press Web site back in February, in which a white student columnist wrote, “If it’s war the Asians want, it’s war they’ll get.”
The column provoked a firestorm of protest from APA and other students, not just at CU but also other area colleges, and from the Asian community at large. Guo and her In-Solidarity compatriots were part of an immediate response team that joined with CU’s Asian Pacific American community. The furor was covered by the local TV stations and mainstream print media. CU apologized and the public pretty much put the incident in the past, which is what the CU administration wants to happen. Continue reading →
Whenever I see an Asian on TV, either in a program or on a commercial, who’s the brunt of some comedic joke, my first reaction is to clench my stomach in anticipation of some personal embarrassment, as if the Asian on screen could easily be me.
But here’s a TV commercial that makes fun of an Asian guy, that manages to be funny and doesn’t bother me (although the first time I saw it I did clench up, expecting that slap in the face), and respectful of the Asian dude’s dancing ability — that is, until, he screws up.
The commercial, for Southwest Airlines, makes me chuckle every damned time, and I’ve seen the thing a lot. What makes me feel good about the video is that the African Americans in the scene start out skeptical of the Asian guy’s ability to impress the woman (that’s Ellen Cleghorne from SNL, isn’t it?, but then everyone in the club, includig the DJ, give the guy his props and start urging him on. That’s when he knocks over the turntables.. and the tagline for Southwest comes in: “Want to get away?” Continue reading →