Where Fools Fear to Tread — A Snapshot of Taiwan (Taipei & the East Coast)

MY TRIP — INTRODUCTION In August 2010 I went on a trip to Taiwan. Like most Americans, I had little knowledge of the island in East Asia. In school, we learned that Taiwan was formerly called Formosa (although I don’t believe it was mentioned by whom). Later it became Taiwan. The Nationalists (the “good guys” … Continue reading Where Fools Fear to Tread — A Snapshot of Taiwan (Taipei & the East Coast)

No Enclave — Exploring Taiwanese Los Angeles

Diversity has long been part of the fabric of Los Angeles and Southern California. Humans first arrived here at least 13,000 years ago and more than twenty Native American nations made their home here before the Spanish Conquest. The Spanish pueblo of Los Angeles was itself founded by people of Native, African, European, and mixed ancestries and … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Taiwanese Los Angeles

Made in Taiwan – Taiwanese Cinema and Television

Taiwan’s official status is complicated. Some view it as a renegade region of China, others as the sole legitimate government of the mainland (the Republic of China). Still others believe it to be an island with a unique history stretching back tens of thousands of years and with a distinct culture influenced by Austronesian, Han, and Japanese history, … Continue reading Made in Taiwan – Taiwanese Cinema and Television

Vegetarian and Vegan Los Angeles

As far as I know, there haven’t been any comprehensive surveys of global vegetarianism and veganism. Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that India is home to the largest population and percentage of vegetarians in the world, followed by Taiwan or Israel. Vegetarianism is also popular in Austria, Australia, Brazil, and Germany. The US is not an especially vegetarian … Continue reading Vegetarian and Vegan Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Orange County’s Lost Chinatowns

INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN ORANGE COUNTY Today, Orange County is widely recognized for its prominent Asian-American population. There are significant numbers of of Vietnamese, Koreans, Taiwanese, Filipinos, Indians, Japanese, Cambodians, Chinese, Pakistanis, Thais, Indonesians, and Laotians living there, as well as many smaller groups. Metro Los Angeles (which includes Los Angeles and Orange counties) is in fact home … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Orange County’s Lost Chinatowns

No Enclave — Emerging and Unofficial Ethnic Enclaves of Los Angeles

The Los Angeles metropolitan area is widely recognized for its diversity, something which is reflected in its many ethnic enclaves. Those ethnic enclaves include ones that have been officially recognized, as well as ones which have only been colloquially recognized, and they’ve risen and fallen on waves of immigration and assimilation. The earliest of Los … Continue reading No Enclave — Emerging and Unofficial Ethnic Enclaves of Los Angeles

Greater Streets — Los Angeles Squares, or When is a Square Not a Square?

If you ever walk, bicycle, or take public transit in Los Angeles, you’ve no doubt noticed those nearly ubiquitous tan or beige-colored signs with brown lettering, a City of Los Angeles seal, and text designating an intersection or section of road a “square.” If you’re a motorist, you may’ very well have missed them, because … Continue reading Greater Streets — Los Angeles Squares, or When is a Square Not a Square?

California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Westwood

INTRODUCTION TO WESTWOOD Westwood is a neighborhood in Los Angeles’s Westside. It’s widely known for being home to the University of California, Los Angeles although locally it’s almost equally well known for its small shopping district, Westwood Village. People who’ve lived in Los Angeles longer than I are prone to speaking about Westwood with an elegiac tone normally … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Westwood

Los Angeles Linguistics Part 2: Regional Differences

Most metropolitan areas — at least the ones I’m familiar with — are divided both into neighborhoods and larger, multi-neighborhood administrative divisions or regions. Paris has its arrondissements, New York City its boroughs, Busan and Seoul have gu (구), Taipei has qū (區), St. Louis and New Orleans both have wards, Mexico City has municipios, and on. Their names vary, then, but the concept is generally the … Continue reading Los Angeles Linguistics Part 2: Regional Differences