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

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 the … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Vietnamese Los Angeles

Thoughts on Interactive Fiction and Fantasy Cartography on the Anniversary of the Publication of the First Gamebook

Edward Packard‘s Sugarcane Island, is largely credited with kicking off the 1980s gamebook craze, exemplified by the beloved Choose Your Own Adventure series. Gamebooks, along with other forms of interactive fiction (including text-based computer games, fantasy cartography, and fantasy role-playing games) all flourished during my formative years and had a profound influence on my choice … Continue reading Thoughts on Interactive Fiction and Fantasy Cartography on the Anniversary of the Publication of the First Gamebook

California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Pioneertown

INTRODUCTION This entry into the California Fool’s Gold series is about Pioneertown. Pioneertown has actually received zero votes or requests from readers, and that’s usually how I determine which communities to cover. However, a friend’s band was playing there, so I decided I would use the occasion to explore this small town that I’ve long … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Pioneertown

Nobody Drives in LA — The Los Angeles Grand Tour

The Grand Tour, for the unfamiliar, was a custom that arose in Britain in the mid-1600s, which involved upper class young British men touring around Europe as part of their cultural education. By the 1800s, the custom had spread from the British upper classes to the nouveau riche of Europe, the Americas, and the Philippines. … Continue reading Nobody Drives in LA — The Los Angeles Grand Tour