Southland Parks — A Directory of Asian Gardens in Los Angeles

In Europe, there are several formalized traditions of botanical garden design including the Dutch, English, French, Greek, Italian, and Spanish. In Asia, there are at least long-established Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Persian schools and May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I'm focusing on Los Angeles's Asian-style gardens. The tradition of Japanese-American nurseries stretches back to the 1850s when Japanese … Continue reading Southland Parks — A Directory of Asian Gardens in Los Angeles

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No Enclave — Exploring Hmong Los Angeles

HMONG LOS ANGELES The Hmong are a stateless people who mostly live in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Approximately 281,000 Hmong lived in the US, as of the 2010 census, and the state with the largest population is California. While most California Hmong live in either Fresno or Sacramento Country, several thousand live in Southern California, … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Hmong Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Vegetarian Asian Restaurants in Los Angeles

Eater LA just published a piece titled Essential Los Angeles Vegetarian Restaurants. As a vegetarian I read it with interest but was left a bit unsatisfied. I’ve eaten at seven of the seventeen restaurants on Eater’s list and have enjoyed the dining experience at each, but I do have a few quibbles: Mohawk Bend isn’t a vegetarian … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Vegetarian Asian Restaurants in Los Angeles

No Enclave — Exploring Uyghur Los Angeles

Uyghurs are an Asian people who mostly live in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, which most view as their homeland. There are significant diasporic populations in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Russia. The US also has a small population, most of whom live in either the Washington, DC or Los Angeles metropolitan areas. Unrecognized by … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Uyghur Los Angeles

Nobody Drives in LA — Asian-American Public Art on Public Transit

Every schoolchild hopefully learns about the 19th century Chinese immigrants who built America's rails, the largest network in the world (if embarrassingly outpaced and outdated). The moderately engaged Angeleno will have spied names like Nippon Sharyo, Kinki Sharyo, and Hyundai Rotem our modern (and not embarrassing) local urban trains and correctly surmised that the very trains are Asian immigrants of a non-human … Continue reading Nobody Drives in LA — Asian-American Public Art on Public Transit

No Enclave — Exploring Afghan Los Angeles

Afghanistan is a country in Asia which most Americans probably spent little time thinking about before the 11 September attacks in 2001. Even after the subsequent US invasion and thirteen year occupation of Afghanistan, I don't recall ever seeing a single Afghan face in any media and I'd bet that most Americans wrongly think that Afghanistan is … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Afghan Los Angeles

Saturday Night Yellow Fever

Although the title of this piece might suggest a playlist for Asian fetishists, it's intended to be more of a selection of songs which I think reveal something deeper or at least more interesting about changing attitudes toward Asia and Asians in the mainstream Western collective consciousness. Thus there is no "Big in Japan" or "Turning Japanese," … Continue reading Saturday Night Yellow Fever

No Enclave — Exploring Singaporean Los Angeles

INTRODUCTION TO SINGAPORE The Republic of Singapore is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. Its entire area is just 719.1 km2, making it slightly smaller than Los Angeles’s San Gabriel Valley. However, whilst the San Gabriel Valley is home to about 1.6 million, Singapore is home to an estimated 5.5 million. The area around Los … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Singaporean Los Angeles

High Rising — Los Angeles’s Asian-American Skyscrapers

The skyline of the modern city is largely defined by its skyscrapers; those towering, gleaming symbols of the architectural ambition, developer wealth, humanity's hubris, and  usually crowned with a corporate logo. Before skyscrapers, cathedrals were nearly always the tallest human-made structure; Before them, the ancient pyramids. Their symbolic (and perhaps psychosexual) importance is subconsciously understood by … Continue reading High Rising — Los Angeles’s Asian-American Skyscrapers

No Enclave — Exloring Uzbek Los Angeles

There is no category for Uzbek-Americans on the US Census but roughly 20,000 Uzbeks are estimated to live here. The most visible communities live in the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens or the nearby city of Fair Lawn, New Jersey. The first large wave arrived after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Due to … Continue reading No Enclave — Exloring Uzbek Los Angeles