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

California Fool’s Gold — A San Diego Neighborhoods Primer

INTRODUCTION 2019 is the sestercentennial of San Diego‘s founding. It’s also the vigintennial of my moving to Southern California — and yet, in those twenty years, I’ve probably visited San Diego no more than a dozen times. Why haven’t I visited California‘s second largest city more often? Certainly not out of any of the sort … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — A San Diego Neighborhoods Primer

Pan-Asian Metropolis — The Art of Benshi/弁士の芸術

From 1 March through 3 March, the Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities and the UCLA Film & Television Archive (with support from the National Film Archive of Japan) a three-day program titled “The Art of Benshi.” Benshi (弁士; also known as katsudō-benshi/活動弁士 or katsuben/活弁) are live performers who accompanied silent films of Japan as well as those … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — The Art of Benshi/弁士の芸術

Pan-Asian Metropolis — 素食夜市小吃園遊會 Happy Lantern Green Night Market

The other day, Una and I went to the 素食夜市小吃園遊會 Happy Lantern Green Night Market — a 100% vegetarian (and mostly vegan) Taiwanese street food festival which took place in Alhambra. If that sounds on the surface impossibly niche, consider the following. Taiwan is the cradle of the night market. Taiwan is, after India, likely the second … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — 素食夜市小吃園遊會 Happy Lantern Green Night Market

No Enclave — Exploring Vietnamese Los Angeles

Metro Los Angeles is home to the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. About two-thirds of the metropolis’s population lives in Orange County — home to the nation’s oldest and largest Little Saigon. Los Angeles County, on the other hand, has the third largest population of Vietnamese-Americans but one which is less than half … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Vietnamese Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis – Visiting Moonlight Forest

A couple of nights ago, Una and I visited Moonlight Forest, a lantern festival currently taking place Wednesday through Sunday nights at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Its one of several local winter light festivals happening right now, along with Griffith Park’s LA Zoo Christmas Lights and Holiday Light Festival Train Rides, … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis – Visiting Moonlight Forest

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