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baby band aids and good friday April 10, 2009

Posted by peterong in chinatown, Reflections.
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Yesterday, I went to the pediatrician for the first time with Jamie to get to know our doctor and also to just get used to the idea of bringing Nicolas there. For the last six months I have avoided it because of this poor and embarrassing confession that I am afraid of seeing my son cry. Jamie have endured it for the last several months and she has supported me in this very particular weakness of mine. But yesterday, I decided to “man up” and just go. 

As I pushed the stroller through the streets of Chinatown, Jamie and I discovered Eldridge Street was covered in lanterns and found out that they are filming “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” there. But as we got closer to the doctor’s office, I calmly told myself to not be such “weak sauce.” breathe. it is not as bad as you think. So, when we walked in, it was crowded, maybe from it being the beginning of Spring Break for the NYC kids or just a lot of sick kids. It was great to see so many Chinese grandparents caring for their grandkids, I saw a newborn crying and reminded me that Nico was that small once. There were unapologetic gazes from toddlers who looked at Nico in curiosity. It was quite a wait but Finding Nemo dubbed in Cantonese really made the time pass. Then the call came…”Nicolas…” 

As we walked in, the wonderful pediatrician greeted me and she was sweet in making comments about Nico’s hair. Oh you not happy Nicolas, is that why your hair sticking up? Our little boy was measured and checked on. We found out he has two teeth buds (to our surprise). He has some eczema and we had our conversation then it came time for the needle. Nico was just staring and enjoying his time. Jamie handed him to me and my heart started racing. I can’t watch this. 

the needle went in (more…)

A Community’s Ethnic Tradition in Transition July 26, 2006

Posted by peterong in Asian American, chinatown.
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L.A.’s old Chinatown of family shops and traditions is grudgingly giving way to galleries and lofts. Even Quentin Tarantino is buying in.

By David Pierson
LA Times Staff Writer

July 25, 2006

During the day, the faded red lanterns that crisscross Chung King Road in Chinatown dangle listlessly above a row of Chinese antique and trinket shops that have seen better times.

But on a recent Saturday night, after the gates on the Chinese shops were pulled down, another Chinatown sprang to life near L.A.’s downtown.

Modern art galleries that have filled Chinatown’s storefronts in recent years opened, and the red lanterns were illuminated. A mostly bohemian crowd jostled to view abstract drawings and photographs of Brazilian prostitutes. Amid the fashionably dressed visitors drinking Mexican beer and smoking cigarettes, an elderly Chinese woman scoured the street for empty cans, even accepting ones out of the hands of art patrons.

These days, there are two Chinatowns — one on the rise, the other on the decline.