Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Monday, June 19, 2017
I have been seeing more about mixed couples... And I think an entire. Blog could be about just this subject alone. Also being mixed I think it would be easy to just speak from experience.
Whatever, like, it's something t o talk about.
Interestingly I happen to write on another news site, Cabo Verde network, and although it's not like race or color has no issue at all with the vape verdeans, let's just say it is a fairly mixed group of people.
So are Hispanics. And another term I learned was "red bone."
Red bone was mentioned on Aziz Ansari's "Master of none" as something that black people called light skinned black people.
Oh right...black people are Also very mixed. White people are too they just tend to hide it until recently for obvious reasons.
But anyway, red bone are actually their own group that were all mixed. Black, white, and the tribes if people originally from here. They kept to themselves.... And sometimes were just considered white because it was just easier.
You see racism as a system is actually hard to continue to maintain. It takes a lot if work.
Asians...a pretty broad term including all sorts of people, were sometimes categorized as white as well. And actually Caucasians, people from the caucusus...were not really white. Read " A hero if our time."
Most of what I have been seeing has to do with mixed couples Chinese and white, and the politics involved in that. Politics that aren't necessarily part of the individual relationship.
I would just like to point out that people have been mixing for white a long time. In fact a good deal of Europeans probably have some Mongolian blood.
Not only that, but there are Neanderthal genes in there and Asians have a good amount of homo erectus DNA.
My point is...yes there are issues and stereotypes that need to be addressed. But sometimes addressing then is already messed up and kind of looking askance at mixed people as if they are impure...when the truth is only some African are even fully cromagnon and maybe some aborigines.
I just feel like any discussion has to start with that. That most people claiming not to be mixed are mixed. They just don't know it.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
New housing being built. I guess I never gave it much thought. But I wonder what type of wood this is and what the standards are for safety reasons. I mean what with all the news about that building in London.
Chilling at the park, breathing in smoke, sipping on the boba.
My mind on nothing in particular
"I thought we were going to dim sum?" Noah complained. Since he is my son, > knew exactly what the misconception was.
" This one has the tickets. Not the carts. But it's still dim sum. In fact I would argue that in some ways it's better."
"How come they don't have dim sum at night?"
"Because it's like breakfast.... or brunch."
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Will we have more or less of this in Chinatown's future? Was there more or less open air fruit stands in the past?
What will happen with this property. Let's take another picture in a year and see if the landscape has changed in this section of Chinatown.
I passed by the On Leong building and
Was see by the brand spanking new look of it. In the same moment I passed by the late Henry Yee's wife. I waved to her and she looked at me but as always did not register me as someone she knew. It dawned on me that I don't know her name. In fact I only know her husband's name because I saw it in print.
There are a ton of Chinatown norms that I wouldn't even think of before starting this blog, as strange. I would argue that participating in Dragon Boat has even changed my view on what is a "norm" for an Asian American is.
The pregame was filled with a chilled atmosphere that at the same time pumped everyone up for the energetic concert. In their performance, LuDow along with Aaron King delivered sharp flows and brilliant wordplay with their lyrics some of which included personal, intelligent and conscious content. Also worth mentioning is the dynamic beats used in the songs. All in all it was an inspiring and uplifting set.
Of course, the energy continued on in the after party. There were several group games, friendly conversations, drinks, savory clams, music, and cyphers.
It was a great experience to see and interact with both the personal and artist sides of LuDow. The night was full of positive vibes. Check out his amazing work here.
(Photo Credit Anna Rae)
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Saturday, June 10, 2017
I didn't think I would be so adrenalized for today's races. But I was. As much as it's all about having fun.
In the end Dragon boat is a race. It's a sport. And you do the best you can.
You keep your head in the boat and push to the finish.
And not caring as much about winning made me push harder I think. Maybe it was newness to the sport and to the team. Maybe it was the amazing positive atmosphere. But my experience with school sports was not as fun. Maybe it was because I chose to be there. In any case, I am excited about tomorrow. Thanks to Mandy Chan and his crew and to sponsor Peter My, we should have a nice videoi to put up on the blog soon. But I feel like my first season of Dragon boat has hooked me even more than my first lion dance did.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Or a version of Chinatown "reality TV"
Something between a show and a video.
Boston Chinatown Blog contributor have talked about this before.... after seeing Nicole Tay's video (which won) and also watching some episodes of the Netflix series, "The 80's" I started to see a a history of television... what was groundbreaking before... and where things are headed now.
Nicole Tay's show was a spoof, and I think part of the appeal was that she was a young Asian possibly queer female in a lead role. A heroine saving the day... except again the whole thing was a spoof.
A friend of mine, while filming another spoof, had mentioned, "Why isn't the hero a woman?"
That was ruminating in my head when I saw the "The 80's" talk about "Cagney and Lacey" a buddy cop show about two women.
And it hit me.
Why not make a You tube show or You tube videos about these two lesbian women who aren't necessarily cops.. they would actually be Boston Chinatown Blog Contributors or maybe .... maybe they would even have badges that said "Boston Chinatown Blog." They would bust down a door and be like, "BCB!" You see you can't exactly do that in real life (or maybe you can and get people's confused as hell reactions.) But if the whole thing was staged.. that's different. (safer)
But many different types would watch this show for different reasons. There is the whole liberal feel to it, but conservatives would totally watch two hot chicks going around Chinatown too, obviously for different reasons. I mean if you have "Asian Lesbians" in the title you are going to get a lot of hits on the internet. But then the show would actually be about real Chinatown issues. People would be expecting porn, but would get a thought out narrative about the community. Gentrification, domestic abuse, drugs, other sorts of crime, maybe "coming out" to traditional Chinese Parents, the language barrier... whatever.
And the BCB officers wouldn't be cops though. There is a fantasy element to it already even if they were, but they could just be there to somehow help. They should use Kung Fu actually, not so much because it's entertaining, but I would be nervous as hell about anyone flashing a prop gun on the street. That could end with real bullets coming at us. So they should be like Colleen Wing and maybe have traditional Kung Fu weapons. Or something that is obviously unrealistic.
And again the perspective is through these two lesbian women's perspective... but they would be doing Chinatown stuff, which would involve the old generation and very conservative perspectives as well.
It would give the older generation a chance to tell their story about Herng Ha or first coming here or whatever. The show would bridge the future and the past, the left and the right. But most of all it would have to be entertaining and well edited.
Monday, June 5, 2017
"Hasn't happened in a long time, but my reaction is still the same: Walking past the Duckboat queue in front of Star Market at the Pru when I hear "ching-chong..." or some such gibberish. Without even thinking, I turn and say in the general direction of the speaker, "What the f@ck did you say?!"
"Boston Police Homicide Detectives apprehended Ricardo Edwards, Jr, 23, of Boston. Edwards is charged with Murder and will be arraigned tomorrow, Monday, June 5, 2017, at Boston Municipal Court. Detectives continue to seek the public’s help in an effort to locate the second suspect, Greg Wright, 21, of Cambridge, who remains at large. "
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Friday, June 2, 2017
The Chinese survey here has questions in Chinese but the answers are in English. That's interesting.
This Survey is in English. Please fill it out and also help your parents or relatives fill it out to give a better sense of what the Chinatown Community wants for a library.
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Big Mike was a major part of the Kung Fu world in Chinatown. He told me that he actually was studying Karate together with Bob Rosen, and that it was Mike that got Bob Rosen (who would later become the head of the Boston Wah Lum School) into Kung Fu in the first place.
Mike had recently shared a story with me about the old days in Chinatown regarding the Firecrackers blowing out the windows of a supermarket.. and why they started holding the fircracker lines further out from the stores. (That story went up on the blog and I will add a link later.)
But to me, Big Mike was mostly a person who came by the school to visit my Sifu, a white guy who spoke Cantonese and Taishanese and had studied countless types of Kung Fu both in Chinatown, Hong Kong, and China. He was well known for his loyalty to his Sifu, which many Chinese saw as uncharacteristic for most American students. He had embraced the Chinese culture full on and even become somewhat of a legend to a generation between mine and his of young Chinese men who took it upon themselves to recount his great exploits to me.
Hong Mao, or Panda, once interrupted my Kung Fu practice to go through a whole litany of how bad ass Big Mike was.
"He would break those big rocks and bricks and walk around carrying a sword like one of those 'dai hup'" a Wuxia Hero. The closest thing to that image in American culture would be a cowboy... and more recently Kung Fu Panda (the first one) makes fun of this image with Po imagining himslef to be the wandering hero. But To many in Chinatown, including Chinese, Big Mike was the real deal.
Well Big Mike leaves behind a wife and son and I hope that Chinatown can be an extended family to them. The old generation and much of the new generation knew and will miss Big Mike. But part of the reason why I decided to write this entry is because I am aware that there is a whole new Chinatown that has arrived in Boston from all over and have good intentions and care about the community, but who may not even know who Big Mike was. I feel that a lot of this newer generation reads the blog and I just thought it would be good for them to hear the little that I knew about who he was.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Some people will think that if you do crew, you can do Dragon boat... but the muscle groups are different. and the paddles are different too. What is the same is the idea of team work. Also I feel like the Dragon Boats paddles and boat are so simple, that I almost feel like I could make a crude paddle and a crude boat even... where as the crew boats (which cost like $30,000) seem very complicated to make. I mean a Dragon Boat is basically a canoe.
I showed up to the first practice and saw that some people even brought their own paddles.
"How much are those?" I asked
"There like $100." I mean that's not cheap.. but they are lightweight... a far cry from the wooden paddles. But I found out later that we all got to use the fancy light weight paddles anyway.
I am not likely to buy one, but my Kung Fu side really like the idea of people carrying their paddle like a samurai sword around. And I immediately wanted to do Kung Fu moves for a short paddle.
My first day.. I think crew actually hindered me because I was trying to feather the oar and all that when I really should have been keeping the oar vertical the whole time. You also take the oar out at mid thigh. The second practice we began to move a little bit more as a team.
I guess I also can't help but compare progress to that high school team where even our slackiest members were still young and we all practiced everyday. Groton was actually competitive at crew so even though I was on the last boat... it was still kind of serious.
But I really enjoy this sport because unlike Kung Fu, or lion dance, where a lot of the technique is somewhat theory or ritual... if you don't paddle... the boat doesn't move. There is beauty in the simplicity of the practice.... to make the boat go. And the competition as well... it's a simple race.
We haven't been drumming and there is no flag catcher in the Boston Dragon Boat and you can see how the sport is changing with the times or trying to go back to the traditional way as well.
Most amazing though, is to see Coach Irene, an Asian female, coaching and calling out orders to a boat that has Asians and none Asians. Why is this significant to me? Well you see at Groton, although asians did crew... well it;s not the same as having strong Chinese Americans figures in charge of the whole sport and also being very AMERICAN in their lingo and cadence. If I had had those sorts of role models in my youth I might have a different outlook. Even now in my 30's it is somewhat eye opening... or broadening.
I'm looking forward to the future practices and hope to remain involved in Dragon boat after I move to New Jersey.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Boston is changing
And this post is not a call to action to throw your support behind her in an upcoming election so much as it is to let the community know about someone who can be a resource for us... because she is running unopposed. She's got it already.
Also, in terms of the Chinatown community, she has been involved since her college years at Harvard. Which taught me something. For cheap lion dance snubbing from Harvard, you can't forget about the Jessica Tang's who come into Boston and immediately get involved and stand up for the Community working with the CPA and people like Lydia Lowe, Karen Chen, and Giles Li.
"I've known Giles like forever," Jessica laughed, "Or at least we've worked together for the last 10 years."
Giles, who commented on one of my Facebook announcements that I would be moving to New Jersey with a "???????" made me realize that I have become somewhat important enough in Chinatown to be missed if I leave.
But Jessica validated the belief that Chinatown is more of a base for a broader cultural community than just a brick and mortar neighborhood. When she came here for Harvard, it doesn't matter that she didn't grow up here, she saw it as her community too and started getting involved to protest gentrification right away.
Now this blog has many perspectives on that particular issue, but the point is, while talking to Lydia Lowe about tapping into that broader power base of people who grow up in Chinatown, become successful and then move out, people like Jessica show that they just need a space to get involved, and if you build it they will come.
"Chinatown is a place where we can celebrate and be with our community and support each other."
Bostonians may move out to Colorado or California but they get involved in the broader Chinese and Asian communities there, whether it is in activism lion dance or dragon boat or whatever.
Because Chinatown is more than just a gate a restaurant and a community center. It is a way for immigrants and abc's to stay in touch with their community.
As Jessica said in our interview "Chinatown is a place where we can celebrate and be with our community and support each other."
In other words, working together as a community, Chinatown as an idea is a sleeping Dragon whose potential for political, social, and economic power has yet to be awakened.
I asked Jessica to explain what her role as president of the Boston Teacher's Union would be, or even what the role of the union was in the first place. I brazenly through my ignorance on the table because frankly, it's not even like I don't pay attention. My kids are in BPS (for the remainder of the year) and I went to BPS through the 4th grade. I knew that the BTU had a lot of strikes... I learned of all the obstacles I had in trying to make my school more culturally Chinese by trying to volunteer my Kung Fu and Lion Dance. I mean it's not like I wasn't allowed, but here I was offering something for free and trying to organize a way to make our local school something more than just a school and I have to jump through hoops. So I stopped.
Talking with other parents I didn't get the feeling like the BTU was this wonderful thing.
But Jessica said that is part of the reason why she was running. To change the image and to educate.
Chinatown as an idea is a sleeping Dragon whose potential for political, social, and economic power has yet to be awakened.
"Unions are the reason why we have the weekends off, or why you can't get fired for having children." Jessica told me, "and you don't really learn about Unions in school necessarily. I mean I'm not from a union family..."
But this isn't that Asians aren't involved in unions, but rarely are they leaders on this coast. On the west coast there are more Asian Union leaders and honestly, many friends were surprised while traveling to the West Coast to see that many Asians had these union type jobs that on the East coast would be done by other ethnic groups or races. You can literally SEE a difference.
"I may be the only Asian American Union leader in the State" Jessica mentioned to me, speaking of Massachusetts. And she is the leader of a union that is in charge of all of our children's education, something which Chinese families in particular tend to value very highly.
Stereo typically, and this I guess is more true in the past, while Chinese value education highly, many immigrant families don't feel that they have a voice in the system, especially if they don't speak the language. They force their kids to do well. But they don't necessarily want t make waves.
Of course CPA is an exception to this, but for all the stories about success of Asians in the school system, let's not forget about what busing meant to new immigrants at Charlestown High, or some of the events in the 90's at Boston Latin or the older generations at Brighton High where large groups of Asians showed up in support or to watch a school fight. Remember that before the large influx of wealthy Chinese students almost every large gathering of Asians was reported as gang related in Boston's newspapers.
When really it was a result of how race and cultural issues were being handled by the school and the administrators. How they were being hired by the teachers.
If you had support from teachers, you wouldn't feel that you would have to go to a "gang" And I will not say "Join" a gang because often some of these support groups whose members were all Asian or AZN were created from scratch, again as a result of the school system lack of concern for their safety.
And these "Gangsters" if one would believe the Herald's or the Globe's reporting in the 90's are largely in the Finance and Tech industries, successful white collar Bostonians, whose kids may or may not be in BPS, whose buying power and intellect really help the city run.... but whose contributions and concerns are still largely glossed over. Whose families are also still at least a notch more conservative in terms of LGBTQ issues and whose children might need some support from outside of their family.
So is it significant that in 2017 the Boston Teacher's Union President is now going to be Jessica Tang, a Chinese American woman who is also part of the LGBTQ community?
Yeah actually it's a pretty big deal.