Archive for the 'City' Category


Saying No to Casinos in Chinatown Part 2

Here’s some video that I was able to capture last night during one of the more vulnerable and emotional moments at the forum. This has certainly become a very volatile situation. There was no hearing last night, no dialogue. People were just very angry.

Whether these politicians and investors realize it or not building a casino at this location is institutional and environmental racism against the many minority populations in the Chinatown community. We can debate those terms but the point is that this cannot ultimately be good for the community. There may be economic gain but at what cost?

Philadelphia Inquirer Article, Chinatown Residents Fear Lure of Gaming by Jennifer Lin
“Environmental Racism, Chinatown and the Gallery Casino” by Helen Gym picked up the news

I googled around looking for related things and found these links
• Great Asian American Resource page at the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

From an interview with Dr. Timothy Fong (whose name comes up in every search on this subject), Director of UCLA’s Gambling Studies Program. He said this in his findings,

What did the focus groups reveal?
Number one, gambling was a common thing that a lot of community members did. Number two, it was very socially acceptable. And number three, almost everyone knew one or two people that they knew had a gambling problem. It was a very common thread that they also didn’t know what to do about that person; where to send them, what to say to them, what to do about it.

What was also very interesting was that the casinos were very aggressive in marketing toward Asian communities. But they didn’t blame them for that. They didn’t say that that was a bad practice. This is just a reality. We learn about a lot of bus tours that were marketed for Asian communities. Fliers that were marketed toward that community.

Sign the Petition


Saying No to Casinos in Chinatown

Tonight I attended a public forum as a representative of my church regarding a proposal to place casinos courtesy of Foxwoods at The Gallery in Philadelphia which is right at the entrance of Chinatown. This has gotten some press and after tonight’s meeting I’m sure it will get some more. There were some very angry people there. Typically you don’t find many Chinese folks speaking up about things much less political things but they were out in force tonight. In fact I’m very impressed with this gathering because it’s much more diverse than I had anticipated. There were many voices. Among them were educators, students, long time residents, church goers, business owners and community leaders. They weren’t just Chinese either. There were many non-Asians in the crowd.

Our church (CCCNC) officially took a stance of opposition against this proposal a couple of weeks ago and we’re trying to prayerfully handle this with much grace, wisdom and peace. We know we need to be a voice for the many aliens and poor in our community. We know first hand the effects of gambling among the Chinese as we counsel many compulsive gamblers and the families devastated by their habits. This is probably one of the most important things we’ve been involved in for our community.
Please pray for us.

Representatives from Mayor Michael Nutter’s office (Terry Gillen), Councilman DiCicco and State Representative O’Brien were receiving comments and arguments tonight at the Holy Redeemer School. It was not a good night to be in their shoes. If we want to build the next great American city, this is definitely not the way. The cost will be greater than any economic gain. This is institutional racism.

For More Info:
Asian Americans United for facts, petition, links and more.
Casino-Free Philadelphia, dedicated to say no to any casinos in the city of Philadelphia
Foxwoods Casino PA

PlanPhilly – City Set to See Foxwoods Design
PlanPhilly – City Sees Foxwoods Design

Other Resources
Gambling, Addiction and Asian Culture
Casinos Aggressively Market to Asian Americans, But Few Services Help Addicts
California Provides Glimpse Into Asian Gambling Culture
Resources from The Conference on Assessment & Treatment of Compulsive Gambling Among Asian American held on October 26, 2007 via

“There’s this interest in gambling among the Chinese that transcends anything you see in any other socioeconomic or ethnic group” – Gary Loveman, Chief Executive at Harrah’s

Sign the Petition


Victor Lin Trio Concert in NYC, Oct 3

Catch another fine upcoming performance by The Victor Lin Trio at The Calhoun School: 433 West End Ave (at 81st St) New York City.

Showtimes at 7pm and 9pm

Victor Lin
, piano
Phil Kuehn, bass
Joe Saylor, drums
and special guests!

Tickets are $10, $5 for students and seniors
RSVP here:

Related Post:
Victor Lin CD Release Party


Chinese in the Mainstream: Three Delivery? Sigh.

three delivery wallpaper
Next week (June 27) Nicktoons will premiere “Three Delivery“, a cartoon about three Chinese teenagers saving Chinatown from evil one delivery at a time…
I don’t know about this one.
Is three delivery a play on “free delivery”?
Why do Chinese always have to be associated with take-out and kung fu?

The artwork is somewhat nice. The clips off the site were so-so. Not as funny as The Notorious MSG. It hasn’t grabbed me. I’m still a little taken back by how it all seems very backwards in these times. We’ve come so far from this image.
Please, just don’t suck.

Official Nicktoons Site
Also check out…Why is TV so White? Entertainment Weekly pulls out a very interesting article on the topic of why there is such a lack of diversity on TV.

Related Posts:
Chinese in the Mainstream: Learning from Kai-Lan


Q Conference, NYC, Part 4: Green the Ghetto

Q Event

So I missed posting anything on Earth Day last week but I wanted to highlight a part of the Q conference that I was blessed to experience. We each had an opportunity to participate in what was called a Learning Journey. These were experiences throughout the city where we can learn how to engage culture. I was fortunate to journey with 50 other leaders to experience Sustainable South Bronx [SSBX], an environmental justice project created by Majora Carter to “Green the Ghetto. They’ve really made an impact in the community and address real needs. They’ve installed about 4 green roofs on buildings which has generated green collar jobs as well as providing a way to reduce the temperature below the roofs for residents which further reduce air condition needs. SSBX is one of the leaders of the green collar revolution.

When we arrived at Hunts Point we hiked up many flights of stairs to a roof that had been greened. Our guide explained how SSBX gave him a chance when no one else would because of his record. Now he loves horticulture and being green. He’s found a purpose for his life.
Q Conference Sustainable South Bronx Q Conference Sustainable South Bronx
Q Conference Sustainable South Bronx Q Conference Sustainable South Bronx

Q Conference Sustainable South Bronx

Apart from the green roofs the real impact has been Majora’s initial project, Hunts Point Riverside Park, the area’s first new park in 60 years. She was able get over $3 million in contributions and once where there was landfill is now two acres of green space for local residents to stroll, play and kayak on the water. The park is an amazing third place for the community.

Q Conference Sustainable South Bronx Q Conference Sustainable South Bronx

What I find most exciting about SSBX is their ability to do something many others fail to do which is change culture and the way a community thinks. I was there with my friend Samuel Chez. We both grew up in Brooklyn in a different era (as if we were that old) and we were reminiscing about what it was like for us to grow up in the city. The thought of kids growing up in the ghetto having access to a park like this where they can learn to canoe left us both agreeing this is the real deal.

• Fermi Project / Q co-founder Jeff Shinabarger shares his experience
• Charles Lee also was with us in this learning journey shares his thoughts.
Sustainable South Bronx [SSBX] official site
Watch Majora Carter’s TED Presentation

My Q Conference blogging Part 1 | 2 | 3


We Need To Get Out

This is one of those days. It’s clear skies and somewhere in the 70s outside here in Philly. It’s supposed to stay that way at least for a few days. I’ve been plugging away for hours on this Sunday’s message in my office with the lights off [I can’t stand fluorescents]. We’ve started a new series recently called ‘Heaven on Earth‘. I look outside my window and I’m thinking yea…

Sometimes we need a reminder to just unplug and get out.
This little comic [We The Robots] is a perfect reminder…enjoy!

Is it possible that God intends to bring heaven down to earth and that the in-breaking of that reality of hope and peace is to be found increasingly in the everyday lives of his people?
Truly, we need to get out. Love, laugh and learn.

Here’s a promo for the message series, “Heaven on Earth”
Heaven on Earth Promo - CCCNC


Q Conference 2008, NYC

Q Event
Here at The Q Conference by the Fermi Project in New York City for a few days.
Already heard from some amazing presenters and met some equally amazing change agents, innovators and doers disguised as people.
All I got to say so far is wow.

I’m getting so messed with here. My brain is struggling a bit after hearing from the mind of Francis Collins, author of The Language of God and director of the Human Genome Project.
Q: How can evolution and faith be reconciled?

Also I was pretty blown away by the passion and challenge of Bill McKibben.
Q: Can the church help make 350 a reality? Yea, it’s our problem.
Check out

Faced with the challenge of actually engaging culture directly was a panel on Christianity in a Pluralistic Society, featuring Veritas Forum, Socrates in the City, WorldFaith.

Tim Keller concludes the day doing his thing on Grace and the City

Don’t stay away from the city because of cowardice, ignorance, selfishness, comfort, etc…


I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

U2 I Still Haven’t Found What I’<p><p>m Looking For

I just stepped off a plane from LA hours ago and I’m headed to NYC for an event at OCM that will feature Acrobat, a band led by Andrew Au to cover U2 songs for the night, Peter Ong and myself to cover the intersection of faith, love and social justice.

“You broke the bonds and you loose the chains, carry the cross and all my shame, all my shame, you know I believe it…”

OCM Church: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For


The Keller Effect [ii] The Book Tour, Philly Dates

Tim Keller The Reason for God

If you’re in the Philly area…

Tuesday, March 11, 10:10-11:20 a.m. – Westminster Theological Seminary
Catch Keller and the Westminster Theological Seminary Apologetics Department in a conversation on apologetic method.
Van Til Hall – Rust Auditorium. No reservations needed, but seating is limited.
2960 Church Road, Glenside, PA 19038

Tuesday, March 11, 7:30-9:00 p.m. – Penn Museum, University of Pennsylvania
Keller will speak about his book The Reason for God and will then answer questions from the audience.
The public is invited, and no reservations or tickets are needed.
Penn Museum, Harrison Auditorium (2nd Floor), 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA
If you’re not in Philly check out these other opportunities on The Reason for God Website

New York City Dates

  • March 2 – Open Forum at Hunter College in New York City
  • March 3 – 6:00PM at NYU, Kimmel Student Center, 60 Washington Square South

This Is A Bust

This Is A Bust Cover
Award-winning author Ed Lin has a new book out called, This is a Bust.
Haven’t read any of Lin’s books but the stories are based in Jersey and New York City Chinatown. This is a Bust is a murder mystery in 1976 NYC Chinatown through the eyes of a Chinese-American cop.
Here’s a description through Kaya<

A Vietnam vet and an alcoholic, Robert Chow’s troubles are compounded by the fact that he’s basically community-relations window-dressing for the NYPD: he’s the only Chinese American on the Chinatown beat, and the only police officer who can speak Cantonese, but he’s never assigned anything more challenging than appearances at store openings or community events. Chow is willing to stuff down his feelings and hang tight for a promotion to the detective track, despite the community unrest that begins to roil around him. But when his superiors remain indifferent to an old Chinese woman’s death, he is forced to take matters into his own hands. This Is a Bust is at once a murder mystery, a noir homage and a devastating, uniquely nuanced portrait of a neighborhood in flux, stuck between old rivalries and youthful idealism.

Sounds like pretty cool stuff. I’m more won over by the book cover. It’s a picture of the old Pagoda Movie Theater on East Broadway, one of the few great movie houses in Chinatown. These theaters showcased Chinese kung fu and comedy flicks. I remember watching movies at the Music Palace on the Bowery as a kid. Classic nasty theater floors. Dubious characters. Silhouetted gang fights in the middle of the movie screen.

This has got to be one of the best covers I’ve seen in a long while. Brings me back.

If you’re around NYC tomorrow (Thursday, January 17), Ed Lin will be reading and signing This Is a Bust at the Museum of Chinese in America at 7:00pm. 70 Mulberry Street, 2nd floor (at Bayard Street). $3/5 members/non-members. To RSVP for event, and for more info on MOCA programs, you can call 212-619-4785 ext 106

[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.


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