"In the aftermath of #Sandy, Chinatown residents need your help! CAAAV offices will be open to collect food/water, batteries, and flashlights. Volunteers are needed to pass out flyers and food, check in on tenants, and more. Also, if have access to a photocopier, please contact them. CAAAV offices are located on 46 Hester Street and will be open starting at 10 am today (Wed)." - via the Asian American Writers’ Workshop
One of the three magazines being launched at this party is Open City, a veritable love letter to New York City’s Chinatowns, for which I have begun to do some blogging on the side. Please come to the party! We can say “hi” and enjoy the many entertainments of the smart, funny Asian Americans on the lineup, including DJ sounds by my good friend James Yeh.
And so we talked, immigrant son to immigrant son, food-lover to food-lover, Chinaman to Chinaman. (It isn’t the preferred nomenclature, but it works for us.) We had an honest debate over whether it’s right for chefs to “take” someone else’s culture and sell it, what responsibilities writers and chefs have to make sure people understand where cuisines come from, and, in the end, what it means to be an immigrant in America. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation. It’s long and there is some tough talk in there, but we felt it was worth sharing.
Click through to see the picture which I did not feel quite right about re-posting on this blog to be tumblrd through the Internet. Wang Ziqi and Gu Mingtao perpetrated horrific acts against other human beings, and even in the face of the unsettling expeditiousness of the Chinese justice system it is hard to feel sympathy for them. Still, can the outfit the madam went to her execution hearing in be considered funny? If, you know, objectively it is a funny thing to wear, ever?
It’s likely that the last thing that Wang Ziqiwore in her life was pink cartoon pajamas with rabbit-teddy bears on them. And she still looked like a gangster.
A lot has been made of the way that people on trial, say, the “Manson Girls" have dressed themselves for court. It seems to be a gesture towards a bit of agency when the evidence and one’s words are being very harshly judged. And so, I’m trying to pick up on what message she, this woman who would have been such an excellent candidate for this website were she not recently executed, was trying to send. Buh. What?