It’s been a hectic week and I’ve been traveling, so I didn’t get to post any updates on Tuesday’s elections. Asian Americans are making strides and gaining visibility in politics, which makes me very happy. You can keep up with Asian American politics at one of the best sources for information, APAs for Progress.
In particular, New York City has a new Asian American Comptroller, John Liu. But the race I thought was really important symbolically was Margaret Chin’s run for New York City Council, representing among other parts of southern Manhattan, Chinatown… amazingly, the first time that a Chinese American would serve in that position.
Well, she won, which is great news. Her victory speech is at top.
MyFoxNY newsman Ti-Hua Chang reports on a video that shows a New York City traffic agent — a parking enforcement officer, I think we’d call her in Denver — who can be seen intimidating, allegedly cursing and making racist statements and possibly striking a Chinese man, in Manhattan’s Chinatown district. I saw this first in an email, then on the new AAPI social news site, Rice St.
The agent gave a parking ticket to the man, who claimed to Ti-Hua Chang he tried to explain that there was still a minute left on the meter (ain’t that everyone’s nightmare of a parking ticket?) and that his wife was down the block paying for more time. Continue reading →
Last night I attended the tail end of an all-day event in Manhattan, and was glad I did. The event was a cross-denominational commemoration of Universal Peace Day, to mark the Aug. 6 anniversay of the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb, and Nagasaki three days later with a second atomic bomb. The event started early in the day with speeches and music (Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary was the most notable performer) at Riverside Park, but it went well into the night, so I didn’t feel I missed anything.
The ebb and flow of New York neighborhoods is a great example of how cities evolve.
When I attended Pratt Institute in the late 1970s, the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan along St. Marks Place (8th Street becomes St. Marks Place east of 3rd Ave.) was a haven for punk rockers and hipsters, with used record stores (this was pre-CD) and tattoo shops. Drugs were a currency on the street, and leather the couture of choice.
I can recall walking the block of St. Mark’s between and 3rd and 2nd Ave. shopping for rare British import albums and marveling at all the street vendors with their wares — jewelry, records and cassettes, used books — spread out on blankets on the sidewalk.