I recently returned from a fantastic trip to Japan, with my wife Erin Yoshimura and my mom. We flew first to Sapporo in the northern island of Hokkaido, where one of my uncles lives, and then traveled to Nemuro, my mom’s hometown on the easternmost tip of Hokkaido, where another uncle lives. Then we flew down to Tokyo for a few days, then Hiroshima, then Kyoto before flying home from Osaka’s Kansai Airport. It was grueling at times — two weeks is a long trip, especially with your mom! — but I really had a great time and it’s given me a lot to think about… and write about.
I’m still sorting out notes from the trip and organizing the zillions of photos. But I did finally finish editing and titling the many videos I shot with my Lumix LX5 camera. Here are 34 short videos with brief descriptions. Feel free to graze through them, or watch them all (they’re on my YouTube channel).
NOTE: I’ve signed up to include ads on some of my videos, including these ones of Japan. If you feel inclined to click on the ads that show up, I get a little bit of coin in return. If you want to get rid of them, just click the “x” in the upper right of each banner ad.
As I write blog posts, I’ll also embed these videos within them. So think of these vids as previews of some of the topics I’ll be covering. Continue reading →
I was severely depressed a month ago, when I sauntered up University Hill from the University of Colorado campus for my semi-regular fix of ramen from Bento Zanmai, the fast foodish takeout counter aimed at the student population in a funky food court alongside a pizza joint and Thai, Middle Eastern and Nepalese counters, and found the ramen spot was closed. I was too upset to call Sushi Zanmai, the parent restaurant that also owns Amu, the super-fine izakaya.
But today, as I pondered lunch options I decided to find out whaddup with the demise of Bento Zanmai. It’s been closed, yes, I know, but what? Its entire menu is now being served just around the corner on the Hill at Sushi Spot, a slightly more upscale sushi restaurant that the Zanmai folks also own? Cool!
I should say upfront that although I love sushi, I’m not big fan of the crazy variety of special rolls that have been invented to entice and entertain Americans as sushi became mainstream in the past two decades. To me, even a California Roll (which I know is these days commonplace in Japan) is a mutant invention. I mean really, rice on the outside? Avocado? Come on…. Continue reading →
We’re thrilled to announce that we’re celebrating the second anniversary of visualizAsian.com with TWO shows during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month! We launbched visualizAsian in May of 2009 with a conversation with former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, and we’ve had almost two dozen calls since then.
Cheryl Tan has written for bigtime publications including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and earlier this year published “A Tiger in the Kitchen” (not to be confused with that other “Tiger” book…). Here’s her biography from her website: Continue reading →
UPDATE:Due to a scheduling conflict, our conversation with Lynn Chen is now scheduled for Monday, April 11 at 7 pm PT.
Lynn Chen is a woman after Erin and my own hearts… and stomachs. She’s a foodie as well as a talented actress and musician, and she writes one blog, “The Actor’s Diet,” about “the life of a Hollywood actress. Meal by meal,” and recently launched another, “Thick Dumpling Skin,” about Asians’ diet and body issues, with Hyphen publisher Lisa Lee.
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be speaking with Lynn for our next visualizAsian show on TUESDAY, APRIL 26MONDAY APRIL 11 at 7 pm PT (10 pm for you folks on the east coast). Just register here for the free dial-in and webinar information — if you’ve registered for previous visualizAsian calls, you’ll already receive the info.
Lynn Chen, whose “excessive beauty makes us want to rip our eyeballs out,” according to the ladies of the Disgrasian blog, was born in Queens, New York in 1976 to a mother who sang at the Metropolitan Opera and a father who is an ethnomusicologist, and she was raised in New Jersey and attended Wesleyan University.
As a child, Lynn sang with the Children’s Choirs at the Metropolitan and NYC Opera Houses, and made her acting debut in the NY State Theatre production of “South Pacific” at Lincoln Center. Television credits include “NCIS: LA,” “Numbers,” guest roles on almost all of the “Law and Order” shows, and recurring roles in “All My Children” and “The Singles Table,” opposite John Cho and Alicia Silverstone.
Of her films, Lynn’s best-known as “Vivian Shing” in Sony Pictures Classic’s feature film “Saving Face,” a role for which she won the “Outstanding Newcomer Award” at the 2006 Asian Excellence Awards. Since then she has appeared in over a dozen films, most recently starring in “White on Rice,” “Why Am I Doing This?.” “The People I’ve Slept With,” and the just-released “Surrogate Valentine,” which is making the rounds of film festivals.
“Surrogate Valentine” was directed by Dave Boyle, the young filmmaker who also wrote and directed “White on Rice,” a terrific indie film, and it’s a fictionalized story of the real-life experiences of singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura. The film was the closing night selection of the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, and just screened at SXSW Film in Austin.
But Lynn isn’t just limited to acting. In fact, she took some time off from acting to deal with her eating disorders, and started “The Actor’s Diet” in 2009 as a way to write about food and to hold herself accountable for eating healthy (with the burgers and fried thrown in). Here’s how she explains the blog: Continue reading →
I should have written about New Asian Cuisine a long time ago, since I’ve been subscribing to the site’s email newsletter for years. Seriously, I don’t know what I’m thinking. NAC is just plain cool, and worth visiting. Regularly.
The site is a treasure trove for foodies who love to cook, and who love Asian cuisine. You’ll find a fabulous array of diverse recipes, both traditional and contemporary, authentic and fusion. Here’s how the creators of the site describe it: Continue reading →