Archive for the 'urban planning' Category


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


the gates.central :: 2.26.05

the gates.central :: 2.26.05

The Gates NYC

design 102 ::. design for life
i really appreciated all the great comments on my last post. lots of substance. it really got me going. here are some further thoughts in designing living – homes
design involves all of life to serve life
these days some communities are being built with openness and accessibility in mind. many of these architectural designs involve expansive windows that invite the world outside in. how would you like your family activities to be on display for all to see?

my good friend e. and her hubby just moved into a new dorm type apartment structure where they can easily peep into other people’s spaces from across, above, or below. now this may not make many people feel very comfortable. afterall, it goes against the design principles of modern suburbia that tend to separate, divide. people cherish their privacy. but what do we really have to hide? why do we hide especially when we are part of a “community”? during my stay here in jersey, i don’t know many people who care about their neighbors or even know who they are.

i grew up in a very italian part of brooklyn where everybody knew everybody. these older pizanos would sit outside on the sidewalk on summer afternoons just chillaxing. i saw them everyday on my way home from school. they watched me grow up. these fellas were even very protective of me, looking out for my safety and sometimes calling me out on my poor decisions or rejoicing in my achievements. that was a great supplement to my home-life. they cared for the neighborhood and those living in it.

the idea behind designing communities where everyone can see your family or individual business is about cultivating community responsibility. neighbors are to look out for their neighbors. it requires that people get involved in each other’s lives. it literally removes the walls and barriers that keep us from each other. the result should be a more secure, close and loving community. we like to hide behind our masks. we’d like for everyone to think that we have the picture-perfect family or perfect life. we know better today there’s much more behind those smiles in family portraits. we desire authenticity and acceptance.

in a recent conversation, it was asked, why don’t we live or like to live in glass houses? the answer — because people like to throw rocks, especially in the church. we like walls and darkness because we don’t want others to know everything in our lives. we need something to hide behind to show that we are better than we actually are. we’re afraid of being judged. our homes, our lives are fragile things. they must be handled with care.

taking church a step further ::.
the church needs to rethink its sense of architecture among other things. rather than asking people to go to “church”, invite them to see your home first. in other words, let them see how you live. between you and the people you hang with (e.g. fellowship, family), are you living in living together in redemptive practices of reconciliation, accountability, care and obedience? imagine what it would be like if your neighbors saw “church” happening in your open and accessible home? ++++++

Movement 001 Movement 002 Movement 003
movement 1 :: movement 2 :: movement 3

we need to rethink design/architecture/urban planning and its relationship to(1) being part of the Kingdom; and (2) being responsible stewards of creation. i’ve been long wild about sustainable design. i can’t believe i consider myself a treehugger. whowouldathunkit?

[Sustainable design is the art of producing objects using only renewable resources, and which themselves, in operation, deplete only renewable resources. Such designs are called ‘sustainable’ because they serve human needs without destroying the resource base on which human civilization is based. Thus, they can be used into the indefinite future.]

there is a restoring factor to design and not just aesthetics and functionality. design should aid the soul and not just the eye or body. when we design something it ought to have a purpose larger than itself. it ought to serve life.

some good conscious links ::
::Habitat for Humanity ::
a widely respected, nonprofit organisation that seeks to “eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world”
::Architecture for Humanity ::
AfH has a long, honored tradition of doing astoundingly cutting-edge work. they will be applying 100% of the money raised for this project to the reconstruction itself, with zero overhead costs. please consider making a donation.

:: food ::
share restaurant nyc

desire is to connect people with the food that they eat and with the friends they eat with. cuisine is seasonal American, all served in tasting portions that are meant to be shared. portions are slightly larger than appetizer size to encourage sampling of various menu items.
the menu revolves around ingredients that are purchased fresh from farmer’s markets and local suppliers. since food should both taste and do good, share supports small farmers who are sensitive to the environment and practice sustainable agriculture.
share’s philosophy is to eat with the earth’s cycles; the menu changes with the seasonality of the ingredients. A strong emphasis is placed on using pure ingredients and natural resources such as organic and wild (not farm raised) products. sauces are integrated to enhance and elevate the natural flavors of the base ingredients. we feel that it is important to reconnect people with the land through the food they eat.
in the back of the house, owner-chef Kay Chun, runs the kitchen using her food education and industry knowledge to ensure that the food is of the highest quality. owner-manager Winston Shih runs the front of the house to create an intimate environment with friendly service and close attention to customer needs. “


wonderful things ::. back from chi-town where we…

wonderful things ::.

back from chi-town where we spent some much needed time with good good friends. ain’t nuthin like food, folks, and fun. we saw all 20mins of bluesfest.

here are some of the most fantabulous things we came across ::.


a beautiful tribute to a hero / a public prayer booth / a caterpillar roll at sushi wahi / legosman and legoskid

more on the prayer booths :: this art piece is part of an annual sculpture exhibition on the navy pier walk, also one of the world’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibits headed by leading critics and curators to explore issues in contemporary sculture. there are 28 pieces chosen from artists all over the world. public art is extremely difficult to do.


prayer booths designated by a clasped pair of hands at the top of the booth lure in patrons who can kneel on a bench while their prayers are taped by a recording device inside. artist dylan mortimer created the prayer booths. inside, viewers will find a set of instructions: “To Operate: Lower the kneeler, rest arms at the base of the enclosure, and knees on the kneeler.” mortimer says he doesn’t know if people will actually pray there. “But one way or the other, I think it will get them to question prayer in the public realm.” the piece was also featured in kansas city in 2003. mortimer plans to head up to SVA in nyc for his graduate studies.

.::. ?upgrade? .::.

in an attempt to keep up with gmail yahoo has upgraded their services. i can always use another 100mb of junk mail. now i’ve got 2gb combined with a gmail account. it’s a disaster waiting to happen. which one is better? i haven’t really tested out gmail. help me out people…whats the word? oh, i hooked up another gig on spymac. so that’s 3gs.

urban hedonism planning ::.

it’s great to visit chicago with like-hearted friends where we can discuss issues like gentrification and a heart for the poor. i thought i was the only one who cared about such things enough to even try to double major in urban planning. at the same time going to such nice urban places always get me questioning, why am i here in nj? chicago is indeed a carefully planned city. it is attractive. however, there are incredible disparities between the rich and poor. the metropolitan area is becoming vastly middle-class with young urban professional transplants. why wouldn’t you want to live there? you have a gym, starbucks on the corner, jamba juice across the way, a pleasant night life, a piece of property that may appreciate up to 20 percent and of course a view of the lake. here’s the other side, one out of eight people standing in a checkout line at a chicago supermarket probably can’t afford to buy the groceries in their cart. more than 840,000 people live in poverty in the metropolitan chicago area, a number that would surpass indianapolis as the 12th largest city in the u.s., said the 2003 report on illinois poverty. there is so much development visually unfolding before our eyes as we walked around. almost every block. old warehouses becoming tomorrow’s condos. it’s beautiful to look at but in the books it’s truly unbalanced development. the people who are getting dislocated are not just those in the projects, the obviously poor, but it seems that there is no mid-range housing options for the city’s bravest-firefighters, social workers, and government workers. these are people like me, those who tend to the soul(s) of the city. this urban planning is bent on feeding the pleasures of the flesh. a new american dream has dawned.

[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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