Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Veggies for 1 dollar at Jia Ho

Score

Kwong Kow summer camp

Looking for a chinese school type of summer camp right in Chinatown?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Juice Bar

(Photo Credit Adriana Li)

Before Bubble tea or Boba tea was all the rage, there was the ancestor of this Juice bar that was located in Dai Pai Dong, a term used for a out door food court type restaurants often referred to as DPD by American Born Chinese. DPD left and then there was this Juice Bar and also Royal Palace. Royal Palace is now Su Su's and I guess The Juice Bar is now going too. A shame for the customer since the cold deserts are especially great in the summer. 


Of course there are other juice bars. and Kung Fu teas and all other sorts of powdered drinks but this place and the owners have been around a while and the drinks were made fresh.

Wonder what will open here. 


Monday, June 19, 2017

Mixed

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

Housing standards

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.

Kung fu on rocks

Noah and Jonah kfing on rocks.

Chess and boba

Chilling at the park, breathing in smoke, sipping on the boba.

Laid back.

My mind on nothing in particular

Chess and Boba

Btw it's pretty simply at the park.

Little lions

Angry birds happy dai

Father's Day dim sum at Bubor Cha Cha

"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

A Temple for Our Community


Master Zhou Xuan Yun has been teaching martial arts in Chinatown for years.
Now he is  ready to build temple for our community. I got a chance to interview him about it.


Me:  Why is it important that a Taoist Temple be built in Boston?

Zhou: Understanding Taoism is an important part of understanding Chinese culture.  Taoism is the only religion native to China. Taoists, believe in the Tao, the organic order that underlies all of creation.  Taoists study and strive to act in harmony with this cosmic force.

In China, each community has its temple.  The community provides the support that the temple needs, and the temple provides services like rituals for weddings, funerals, and also provides spiritual guidance when needed.  

I have chosen to build a temple outside of Boston.  In a more rural location, we can get a property with a bit of land.  I will offer classes and workshops, as well as meditation retreats.  I will also host masters visiting from China.  I hope that members of the Chinatown community can visit and connect to Chinese culture on a deeper level.  

Me: Is Taoism compatible with other religions? What if I am Catholic or Muslim or some other religion.... can I be Taoist too?

Zhou:It is important to differentiate between the Taoist beliefs and Taoist practices.  Many traditional Chinese practices are rooted in Taoism, like tai chi, qigong, breathing practices, feng shui, reading the Yi Jing, meditation, acupuncture and herbalism.  These things do not require any particular set of religious beliefs.  They can be practiced by anyone.

In the temple we also learned ritual, chanting scripture, and devotional practices.  These things require belief in Taoist religion, and are not compatible with other religious practice.

Me: I could see a lot of Americans who are disillusioned by their native religion because of scandal or abuse seeking Taoism. Are there religions that are completely scandal free? How would this new temple fit in?

Zhou: It is not proper for me to speak negatively about other teachers.  I can say that I teach students of any religion, race, sexual preference, gender identity, and disability.  Our differences are to be celebrated, not feared. Without fear, the mind is calm, the spirit is focused, and real practice can begin. Come as you are. You are welcome here.

Me: We talked about other religions. What about people who don't have interest in traditional religions. Especially organized ones. How  would they benefit from a Taoist center?

Zhou: Our modern lifestyle is very unbalanced.  People work too hard, are too stressed, and get sick as a result.  Many traditional Taoist practices are wellness arts that create mental and physical well being.  


Me: You’re married with a child....from watching kung fu movies sometimes you get the impression that some Taoist are celibate. Also shaolin monks….what's the story?

Zhou: There are several different Daoist lineages, each with their own unique practices.  Some withdraw from society to live in monasteries or as hermits. Others marry and live in villages or cities.  Each of us must find and follow the path that is right for us.  In fact, there are more similarities than differences among the different Taoist lineages, and we all embrace the three jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation,and humility.


Xuan Yun is raising money for this center now. Click on this link to help this become a reality.

Meisum Bakery

Bout to get my Banh Mi on at Meisum.

Fresh fruit

Will we have more or less of this in Chinatown's future? Was there more or less open air fruit stands in the past?

The 40 million dollar question

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.

Welcome to 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.

Progress

By Tai Tung Park. Aka dinosaur park

Mural

Guess where?

Back of Tai Tung

Coming soon.

Now leasing

Looking from Josiah Quincy elementary toward tyhe South End, or call it does, or call it Chinatown cause that's what it is, one can see a few buildings with signs that say "Now leasing." Old signs. Sun faded signs and ones not so sun faded. New buildings, old buildings like Teradyne, and still new buildings going up.
Leasing to who?
That's not a whiny question smacking of holier than thou activist preacher syndrome. I'm genuinely askingb because like I said, the signs are old and the buildings are still going up. Is it that no companies want to move in but many residential type that have the dough do?


Night With LuDow

This past weekend in addition to the Dragon Boat Festival, Boston Chinatown Blog also attended the spectacular sold-out concert at the Middle East which included LuDow whom BCB had interviewed in an earlier entry as well as the pregame and after party. 

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

Addiction to Dragon Boat

(Team CYPN pictured above. Photo Credit Maggie Li via Facebook)


I caught the Dragon Boat bug, but I am not the only one. Many people on the boat were sort of just doing it because, but even after that first practice, even though we weren't quite together and had no aspirations of being very competitive, that feeling of the motion of the boat, of people being even somewhat in time, is an incredible thing. It reminded me of my crew days when I would even feel that motion when falling asleep. (Even though I wasn't that good we did practice every day. Also... crew was something I was sort of forced to do... and I wasn't yet ready to accept it the way I was ready to accept Dragon Boat.)

Fast forward to the preliminaries and race day.


                                           

When I was tired from those races I thought back to a chapel talk at Groton from someone who was good at crew and gave a chapel talk about going to some camp where all they did was row. I was an underclassman and the Adrian Martin, the person giving the talk was a senior I think. His talk was like any other I suppose. But I really didn't understand his enthusiasm... until we did the preliminary races and of course... the races themselves. 

Irene Chu, our coach, was very encouraging and believed in us and pulled us together. But it was my Crew Coaches words that echoed in my ears during the race. He was talking to some of the members of the lower boats were lazy. Now... to be lazy and be on a dragon boat... that is one thing. People come from all types of backgrounds.... but on a high school crew team the feeling is different. 

"Some of you aren't trying your hardest, you'll see in the higher boats, boys and girls, that after a race, they can't really talk about it."


Maybe I didn't put full effort into crew, in that I never went to pre-season didn't go to Henley (just to support the team I wasn't good enough to row at that level) and I didn't continue the next season. I switched sports. But some of the excuses were that I was a poor kid from housing projects in a single parent household and my mother was battling all kinds of cancer one of which would take her life a few years later. I didn't have time for to embrace this preppy Groton stuff I was just doing cause I had too, though I did try my hardest.


But paddling on race day, I thought of Adrian Martin, and Coach Niles, and Andrius our steerer who said, "If you are yelling you aren't paddling hard enough." And I thought of Coach Irene when she showed us the proper technique to use your legs and the rotation of your waste the same way you do for white crane Kung Fu actually, but with 6 practices I hadn't quite gotten it yet. 

I thought of all those things and paddled like a mother****** right through the wave that hit the boat when a speed boat zoomed by. I was tired but I kept pushing. 

It was the culmination of team work and 6 fun adventurous practices on the water, some of which were rainy and it felt like we were on some Viking Dragon boat preparing for a raid. 

I felt like I was given a second chance I guess.... and we won!

Going from tent to tent and seeing so many familiar Chinatown faces... it was really a lot of fun and I understood other people's love of this sport. 

CYPN Storm (which I believe is the team pictured in the first photo, was actually the team that won the whole tournament outright, and happens to be coached by the brother of our Coach. 


Watching the awards ceremony with my son sleeping in my lap, on a nice sunny day by the Charles I thought about how positive the whole thing was and how great Chinese Americans (and all their friends... but there is no question that the sport is still a Chinese one) looked so cool as a group here. 

Every stereotype of Long Duk Dong or Fu Manchu was total blown out of the water not only by very athletic paddlers, but all the other ethnic groups and races participating in the festival perfectly willing to follow commands like, "Weigh enough!" or "Sit Ready!" or "Hold water!" when called out by an Asian American. Something which I wouldn't say was impossible at Groton. There were Asian Americans who were very athletic and did crew and Asian American Coxswain's as well.  But in Dragon Boat, the Asians are running the show... and big corporations sponsor boats to paddle and actively support and participate in the festival . 

To use my boat as an example... we were all taking orders from Coach Irene, an Asian woman... and enjoying it. 


(Photo Courtesy of Kristen Paulson-Nguyen)

It was also an opportunity for me to bond with a lot of people I knew who had done Dragon Boat before through their company or a club. Now, although I have a lot of friends who do lion dance and Kung Fu... it seems like Dragon Boat has made it further into the mainstream. Their is less mysticism and it's simply easier to understand. Many cultures have boats, and a race is very easy to understand. Also, the fact that we were able to race after just 6 practices is amazing. It made me think, "Is lion dance and Kung Fu really that hard? Can't it be simplified down as well? After all, there is a lot more to Dragon Boat I haven't uncovered yet too."

I mean there were 75 teams from all over n Boston this year. Teams that PAY to participate. Think about that in terms of Lion Dance and Kung Fu. And furthermore you need 22 people to paddle, a skilled steersperson and a drummer.  A skeleton crew for lion dance (traditionally) is 5. But if you modernized and added music it's two... but then that defeats the whole "work as a team" aspect that is so appealing about Dragon Boat. I mean imagine an event with 75 Lion dance teams. 

If Kung Fu and Lion Dance can culturally move toward what Dragon Boat has developed into in this country I think it would be a good thing. 

The types of teams were very telling. Charlestown High, various Chinatown non profits, banks, corporations.... but also alumni Associations of Chinese American schools and even Chinese Schools. Colleges in Beijing who happen to have enough people in the Boston area that they can form a few boats and race. 

Let's put it this way... of all the things I have to cover on this blog... this restaurant closing, this block being sold.....this festival definitely shows how far Chinese American culture has come. It was a breath of fresh air... or rather, a splash of cold water to the face. 












Saturday, June 10, 2017

Preliminary races

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

Freeze BCB!

Watching the BAAFF Short wave competition (somewhat haphazardly because I brought my children with me) I realized I was wrong to put down my camera. I thought I was moving... but now I am not....well not exactly, and I think instead of bringing my Go Pro to places and waiting for things to happen, I should actually work on Narratives.

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

"Ching Chong"


The following story was posted by a friend on Facebook. I think I do have to set the stage though because my friend is very unassuming. An older gentleman that doesn't look threatening.

"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?!"
Three late teen, early twenties blonde headed boys with mirrored sunglasses were sitting on the ledge. Obviously tourists. The middle one stutters, "I, uh, buh, didn't, uh..." Louder this time, I say, "The F@CK you say?!" More stuttering. Suddenly I realize there's three of them. I look at the one closest to me; tank-top, tattoos, fairly muscular. I look him straight in his mirrors and he looks away. Nice, I'm in control.
Again to the stutterer, with a finger in his face and a slight whisper, "You better watch your little f'ing mouth next time." I walk away, but make sure to turn around once more with the glare.
Thinking about it later, I probably should have asked where his parents were, because I'm sure they were around. I could've made it a "teachable" moment, but I still think I'm in my twenties and can give (or take) a beating. Oh well, at least I scared the 💩 out of him (them) and I hope they'll think twice before ching-chonging another Chinaman. "                                                                                               



"



One Arrest in Connection to shooting on Hudson Street.

Looks like they have arrested one of the suspects after posting a plea to the public regarding information on the shooting with two pictures.

"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

Shooting on Hudson Street

The shooting on Hudson street has been discussed much on social media. Here is a link from the Boston Police Departments website regarding the incident and the ongoing investigation.

Wah Lum opens a branch in Quincy


Wah Lum, which is one of the oldest Kung Fu schools in the Boston area and has branches up and down the east coast has now opened a branch in Quincy 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Chinatown Library Survey

Members of the Boston Chinatown Community. Take a moment to click on these links and fill out these surveys.

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

Hei La Moon Parking Garage sold for 40 million

Oxford Properties buys the block for a little under 40 million.

(Photo Credit Courtney Ho of Chinatown Mainstreet)

The Property, (seen in the distance to the left here during a Chinatown clean up) houses Hei La Moon and Mei Tung Supermarket. It could still simply remain the same for years... or perhaps there are other plans. More details to come. (Also please contact me if you know anything else... and also if you have better photos of the property.)