Pan-Asian Metropolis — Thai Los Angeles

Los Angeles is widely recognized for its ethnic diversity. There are several communities — including those of Armenians, Guatemalans, Mexicans, and Salvadorans — which are larger in Los Angeles than in anywhere else outside of their respective homelands. The same is true of numerous Asian peoples, including Cambodians, Filipinos, Koreans, Persians, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese which … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Thai Los Angeles

California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Thai Town (ไทยทาวน์)

  Both apsonsi and LADOT signs mark the entrances to Thai Town This entry is about the Los Angeles neighborhood of Thai Town.   Siam Square Thai Town is roughly bounded by Hollywood Blvd on the north, Normandie on the east, Western on the west, and Sunset (or Fountain by some accounts — although there’s nothing Thai … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Thai Town (ไทยทาวน์)

Where Fools Fear to Tread — A Snapshot of Hawaiʻi (Oʻahu and Kauaʻi)

INTRODUCTION as spring turned into summer, Una and I visited Hawaiʻi. Una had never been there before. I, on the other hand, have always enjoyed telling people that I’d only ever been there in utero, when my pregnant mother and father visited in the 1970s. I don’t know how far along in her pregnancy my … Continue reading Where Fools Fear to Tread — A Snapshot of Hawaiʻi (Oʻahu and Kauaʻi)

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Vietnamese Cabarets of North Orange County

INTRODUCTION I’ve been aware of the Vietnamese American music scene based in North Orange County since at least the early 2000s. I had no idea just how big it was, though, until I stumbled across singer Thiên Phú‘s blog, VietCeleb, which has profiles of about 400 Vietnamese artists, with a large percentage of them associated … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Vietnamese Cabarets of North Orange County

Los Angeles’s Neighborhood Councils

In 1999, the City of Los Angeles established DONE (which stands for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment — municipal types love an acronym). DONE, in turn, established the neighborhood council system “to promote more citizen participation in government and thus, ideally, make government more responsive to local needs.” This year I’m running in the Silver … Continue reading Los Angeles’s Neighborhood Councils

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Q&A with filmmaker Elizabeth Ai about her latest project, NEW WAVE

If you’re American and you recognize names like “Bad Boys Blue,” “C.C. Catch,” “Sandra,” or “Modern Talking,” there’s a good chance that you, or someone close to you, is Vietnamese. For the uninitiated non-Viet Americans, those are the names of three German (and one German-Dutch) pop bands whose songs have been compiled, covered, and claimed … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Q&A with filmmaker Elizabeth Ai about her latest project, NEW WAVE

No Enclave — Hongkonger Los Angeles

 INTRODUCTION Hong Kong has long been one of those globally prominent places up there with London, Paris, Rome, and Tokyo — and yet surprisingly little has been written about the Hongkonger diaspora. There’s next-to-nothing specifically about Hong Kong emigration to Los Angeles — despite the fact that nearly as many Hongkongers live in the US … Continue reading No Enclave — Hongkonger Los Angeles