One great thing about living in the New York area is the simple fact of its diverse population. I’ve been shopping regularly at various Asian markets in the area — a Japanese grocery store in Manhattan; the huge Japanese supermarket, Mitsuwa, in northern Jersey; the Korean Han Ah Reum (better known as H-Mart) — and buying everything from eggs and orange juice to Asian staples like rice, packaged ramen and a variety of unique Asian snacks and junk food.
Here in Jersey City’s Journal Square area, there’s a concentration of Indians and Pakistanis and a two-block stretch of nothing but Indian groceries and restaurants along Newark Avenue. Today, I explored the neighborhood around Journal Square and discovered to my delight that on another stretch of Newark Avenue, there are a number of Filipino businesses. Continue reading
The Washington Post ran this fascinating story today, about the ascendence of all things Korean, especially (South) Korean men, in the world pop culture, especially Asia, and double-especially in Japan. The irony is that Koreans for a century have been treated with racist disdain in Japan, and the country still hasn’t officially acknowledged atrocities committed throughout Asia before and during World War II, including its use of Koreans as “comfort women.” Continue reading
One of the most satisfying aspects of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, the annual Asian community event that I’ve been involved in since its debut in 2001, is the mix of traditional Asian and Pacific Islander culture on display along with the new, Asian American values and ideas. That mix is most evident not in the festival athletic competition or the marketplace, where 90+ vendors sell their wares, but on the Performing Arts Stage.
In recent years, some of my favorite performances have been by APIA artists playing contemporary music: Chinese-Filipino Wendy Woo, a popular Colorado singer-songwriter and guitarist, with her Woo Crew rock band; Dwight Mark, a Chinese American multi-instrumentalist mining everything from blues to bluegrass for his original music; and this year for the first time, Korean American singer-sonwgriter Phyllis Heitjan from Philadelphia. Continue reading
The New York Times this morning tracked down the identity of “funtwo,” the musician who has dazzled millions — literally — with his amazing dexterity on electric guitar, captured on a five-minute, 20-second video that is one of the most-watched clips of all time on YouTube.com. The mysterious player turns out to be a 23-year-old Korean, Jeong-Hyun Lim. Continue reading
How sad that Andrew Young, a man I (and many others) have admired and thought of as a civil rights leader, reveals that deep-down inside he harbors racist feelings toward other minority communities.
The former Mayor of Atlanta and U.S. representative to the U.N. is African American. Continue reading