No Enclave — Exploring Malaysian Los Angeles

According to the 2010 census, there were 26,179 Americans of Malaysian background. Malaysian-Americans consist of people of a variety of ethnic origins, including Malay, Malaysian Chinese, Tamil, Banjar, Minangkabau, Indonesian, Iban, Filipino, Nepali, Tausūg, and Dusun. The state with the largest population of Malaysian-Americans is California; smaller populations live in New York, Texas, Illinois, Virginia, and Hawaii. In Los Angeles … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Malaysian Los Angeles

Those Useless Trees — The Aoyama Tree

Although not native, many Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla) dot the Southern California landscape. The oldest of these Australian immigrants might be those planted by agriculturalist Elijah Hook Workman on the Los Angeles Plaza in 1875. Around that same time, one was planted in Anaheim which later served as the model for the Disneyland's Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. One planted … Continue reading Those Useless Trees — The Aoyama Tree

No Enclave — Exploring Mongolian Los Angeles

As of 2010, there were 18,344 Americans who self-identified as Mongolian-American. The census of that year also showed that 4,993 Mongolians were living in California, making it home to more Mongolians than any other state. About 2,000 Mongolians are estimated to live in Los Angeles. Although relatively low-profile and not thus far recognized with a designated enclave, a good … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Mongolian Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Los Angeles’s Asian Radio

Los Angeles is the world’s great Pan-Asian city, a melting pot within a melting pot. Arguments could be made for multicultural metropolises like Birmingham, Honolulu, London, New York, Toronto, and Vancouver which in some case have more numbers or larger percentages but none come close to matching Los Angeles’s sheer breadth and vibrancy. In the … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Los Angeles’s Asian Radio

No Enclave — Exploring Sri Lankan Los Angeles

INTRODUCTION As of 2010, there were 45,159 Sri Lankans living in the US. Substantial immigration began in the 1990s when many fled the violence of the Sri Lankan Civil War. The majority of Sri Lankan-Americans live in the vicinity of either New York City (where there's a Little Sri Lanka on Staten Island), central New Jersey, or Los Angeles -- the latter … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Sri Lankan Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Los Angeles’s Asian Supermarkets

Supermarkets are wonderful places. My old landlord, a friendless and frankly unlikeable person, told me that Gelson's was her favorite place to spend Thanksgiving (alone). Joe Strummer wrote of getting lost in one, an experience apparently so traumatic that he required Mick Jones to sing his lyrics. The group Supermarket recorded just one song, called "Supermarket," the lyrics of which consisted … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Los Angeles’s Asian Supermarkets

No Enclave — Exploring Nepali Los Angeles

INTRODUCTION TO NEPALI LOS ANGELES As of 2010, there were only 6,231 Nepali-Americans living in California. However, after Bhutanese, Nepalis make up the second fastest growing population of South Asian immigrants in the US, spurred in large part by the Nepalese Civil War. Although most have so far settled in New York, Washington, DC, Texas, Boston, Somerville, … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Nepali Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Asian Chain Restaurants in Los Angeles

For the self-congratulatory members of the cult of culinary authenticity, starvation is preferable to eating at a chain restaurant. Fast food in particular, with its industrial model of production, is the profane opposite of "artisanal." The apparent mission of the chain --  to appeal to as many people as possible -- is anathema to the foodie’s pornographic fetishization … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Asian Chain Restaurants in Los Angeles

No Enclave — Exploring Pakistani Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to a large population of Pakistani-Americans, second in size only to the New York-New Jersey area, but the population is fairly diffuse and there is no Little Pakistan, official or unofficial. For this episode of No Enclave, I explore Pakistani-Los Angeles and Southern California. Pakistan is a nation in South Asia. … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Pakistani Los Angeles

Fastfood Undead – A Taco Bell reborn as a Thai Original BBQ

I’m not a big fan of Taco Bell, the restaurant chain founded in Downey in 1962. I’m not a fan of their food, anyway -- or the chain in general as it exists today. I am, however, a fan of the iconic architecture from the Golden Age of Fast Food (1940s-1980s) and I’m an even bigger … Continue reading Fastfood Undead – A Taco Bell reborn as a Thai Original BBQ