Archive for the 'Chinatown' 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


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


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


aint the way it’s supposed to be – in philly [ii]

kwok wai ho
i’m still processing my feelings about this whole event, the senseless act of violence that had taken the life of a member of our community, a friend, a brother, a father. i’ve been thinking about the impact it has on our church community. the latest news is that a suspect has been arraigned. he’s one of ten young boys being identified.

how do we make sense of it all?

was it a hate crime? what makes it a hate crime? what about all the other witnesses? how do you help heal a community? how do you help heal a family? what’s my role in all this?

all in the same breath this week, my 10mo. old nephew was in the ER with a 105 degree fever. my boy hosive requested prayer for his 8yr old nephew who was in a tragic accident that broke his spine in several places. by week’s end, that young soul passed on.

these kids whatever their motivation was probably never suspected that they would be identified as murderers after that night. a fleeting moment would change their lives, our lives from here on out. foolishness.

this morning i attended the funeral for mr. Kwok Wai-Ho. amongst the many family members i saw many friends from childhood. they probably did not recognize me. it’s been almost 15 years. i’ve filled out according to one friend i was able to reconnect with. it was not the most appropriate time or place to play catch up.

i preach tomorrow morning. i had planned on preaching from ecclesiastes weeks before.
who would have known that it would be the most appropriate book for such a time as this? God.
that’s the point i guess.
everything is just – hebel
this is a silent alarm.

here’s some new news links for updated stories: msnbc, foxphilly
read how a community blog forum responds – phillyblog


the future of chinatown

there was a recent article on the future of chinatown in the christian science monitor. there is no truer chinatown than what we experience in new york city but as the article points out it has felt the squeeze as it becomes harder for new immigrants to live there. as a result, chinese communities in flushing and brooklyn have thrived each with its particular culture. philadelphia is still able to attract many new immigrants but they live primarily in south philly not chinatown. south philly is closer to an ethnic enclave than philly chinatown is. the pressure of the squeeze has never been more visible with clear boundary markers and new construction for nice modern condos. our faith community seeks to help the community of chinatown flourish as well as track those of Chinese descent to engage them where they choose to live. many of our fuzhou congregants live in south philly and many of our graduate students live around upenn. many of the actual restaurant workers are hispanic. what does this all mean? well we’re still trying to figure that out but will keep you posted.

Urban development will ultimately win out, and as part of that trend, Chinatown will become a tourist destination, predicts Michael Liu, a research associate at the Institute for Asian-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
“The question is, who will this new Chinatown benefit?” asks Mr. Kwong, the author. “Making Chinatown a tourist destination … is not something to be handled by the location population.”

your turn:
if your church is located in a chinatown, please share your observations and how does your church engage the life and politics of chinatown

also reference peter kwong, the new chinatown
read a brief history of chinatown, philadelphia
another look at philadelphia chinatown through citypaper
phillyblog forum on chinatown
i heart the pcdc [philadelphia chinatown development corporation]
chinese churches committed to the community of chinatown – chinese christian church and center | chinese gospel church of philadelphia

[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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