6.30.2019

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Sneaking Out for a Burger With My Indian Dad
For children of immigrants, our experiences of America are intertwined with the presence of another culture and its expectations. Shaila Kapoor writes about sharing a simple American moment with her father.

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Why Asian Immigrants Are Uniquely Vulnerable To Trump's Looming ICE Raids
Trump has a plan to deploy Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to raid homes of undocumented immigrants in several cities. This will have a deep impact on Asian immigrant communities.

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How I've Learned That Being a Bisexual Chinese American Woman Doesn't Make Me "Leftover"
Traci Lee explores how cultural expectations have shaped her identity as a bisexual, Asian American woman.

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How a rural Oklahoma truck stop became a destination for Sikh Punjabis crossing America
Today, as the number of Sikh truckers has grown, dozens of no-frill highway stops selling food from India's Punjab region have sprung up along U.S. interstates. Truck Stop 40, on the outskirts of Sayre, Oklahoma, population 4,625, is among the oldest, biggest and best known.

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'I almost got killed': the Hmong refugees who call the US home
As Trump attempts to dismantle the United States' refugee resettlement program, the city of Wausau, Wisconsin is a microcosm of the challenges and opportunities that come from welcoming refugees.

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Philly’s AOC? How Helen Gym became the city’s most progressive Council member.

Assembling large groups of people to fight for what they think is right -- in schools, housing, immigration policies -- is what Philadelphia City Council member Helen Gym has been doing for three decades.

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How Chinese Food Fueled the Rise of California Punk
In the late 1970s, Chinatown restaurants started booking some unlikely dinner entertainment: the rowdy young bands of the nascent West Coast punk scene.

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Here Is One of the Most Honest Sentences in Food Writing I Have Read
As Chef Edward Lee sees the culinary landscape shifting from Eurocentric restaurants in the United States, he notes that food writing still needs to catch up.

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Criticism of BTS Is Often Just Xenophobia in Disguise
Even if you're not a BTS fan, you can still talk about the superstar K-pop group in a way that doesn't revert to western-centric tropes and perspectives.

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'Legion' Newcomer Lauren Tsai on Rewriting History as FX Drama's New Time-Traveling Mutant
In the few short years since breaking out as a fan favorite on the massively popular Japanese reality series Terrace House, Lauren Tsai has leveraged her impressively broad skillset to rewrite what audiences may have come to expect of a post-reality TV career.


6.28.2019

Angry Reader of the Week: Ally Maki

"I'll always be the girl doing voices and writing little short stories in her Sanrio diaries."



Hey, everybody! It is time, once again, to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Ally Maki.

6.25.2019

When Harry Met Sally... starring Asian Americans!

Film Independent presents a live read of the classic romantic comedy, directed by Randall Park.


Steven Yeun and Maya Erskine (Photo: Getty Images/Film Independent)

The origins of the Netflix romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe, starring Randall Park and Ali Wong, can be directly and indirectly traced to When Harry Met Sally... Park, who also co-wrote and produced Always Be My Maybe, has cited the 1989 Billy Crystal/Meg Ryan rom-com classic as his favorite film.

More directly, in a 2016 New Yorker profile of Wong, the Baby Cobra comedian mentioned that she and Park had always wanted to make a romantic comedy together -- "our version of When Harry Met Sally..." Overhwelming fan reaction to that single line, near the end of a 4000+ word piece, is apparently what got the wheels turning to get Always Be My Maybe written, produced, and dropped into your Netflix queue.

The influence of When Harry Met Sally can be seen all over the blueprints of Always Be My Maybe and dozens of other films in the genre -- a genre that, let's face it, has been traditionally very very white. But what if When Harry Met Sally... had actually starred Asians? What if Harry and Sally, rom-com icons, had been played by Asian American actors? On Sunday, we got a glimpse of what that might look like, and it was amazing.

6.24.2019

#NeverAgainIsNow: Fort Sill

A Little Tokyo protest to end all family separation and detention centers.


If you're in Los Angeles, join concerned community members in Little Tokyo this Thursday evening to protest the White House's plans to use Fort Sill in Oklahoma as a detention center for immigrant children and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detention practices in general.

Organizers are demanding an end to the inhumane conditions at ICE facilities, an end to family separation policies, and for compassion and humanitarianism toward all people. All who share concern about these issues are invited to participate.

It's happening June 27 at 7:00pm on the plaza of the Japanese American National Museum.

6.23.2019

Read These Blogs


Pioneering Filmmaker Esther Eng Made Movies in the '30s and '40s on Her Own Terms
"Esther Eng broke all the rules. In the 1930s and '40s, it was remarkable for a Cantonese American woman to be a producer and director. Even more impressive: She was always upfront about being a lesbian."

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Jeremy Lin, 'Reppin' Asians With Everything I Have,' Is Bigger Than an N.B.A. Title
Toronto Raptors guard Jeremy Lin became the first Asian American to win an NBA championship, but the moment meant more than the sport or its trophy. Lin always has.

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The Bittersweet Joy of Being Professionally Eclipsed by Your 9-Year-Old
When Jeff Yang's son became a prime-time TV star, 'Hudson Yang's dad' became his most prominent title.

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Americans Just Want Immigrants for the Food
Psst, you're doing "humanizing the other" wrong.

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Where Did the All-Too-Familiar Chinese Zodiac Placemat Come From?
Chances are if you've been to a Chinese restaurant in America, you've seen one of these.

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Jon M. Chu: Young Filmmakers Don't Have the Baggage of Self-Hatred
Speaking to the New York Times on the future of movies, Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu says he's mostly hopeful that diversity will take hold, but still realistic.

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Kumail Nanjiani: It's Harder for Smaller Movies to Succeed
Actor/writer/comedian Kumail Nanjiani wonders if small and midsize films will still have a shot in theaters.

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'The Killer' at 30: John Woo Explains How He Shot His Action Classic Without a Script
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of John Woo's action classic The Killer, the famed director recently revealed how he staged some of its unforgettable scenes with no script.


6.21.2019

Angry Reader of the Week: Jeff Chan

"I flunked my Chinese classes growing up and am a disgrace to my family."



All right, internet friends. You know what time it is. It's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Jeff Chan.

6.18.2019

Music Video Premiere: "dec17" by fuvk

"Maybe later on this week we'll take back the words we speak."



Engineers by day, musicians by night! fuvk is the Austin-based bedroom indie pop project (or termed "audio journal") of Shirley Zhu. Started in 2016, the band features Zhu on vocals/guitar, Jiyoung Min on violin and Kevin Javier on cello -- all graduates of the University of Texas with STEM degrees, now working full-time day jobs (Zhu is an analyst at EA, and Min is a software developer at vrbo).

We're proud to present the premiere of their new music video for "dec17" from their EP Golden Girl, directed by award-winning filmmaker Huay-Bing Law.

6.16.2019

Read These Blogs


The U.S. Is Purging Chinese Cancer Researchers From Top Institutions
The NIH and the FBI are targeting ethnic Chinese scientists, including U.S. citizens, searching for a cancer cure. Here’s the first account of what happened to Xifeng Wu.

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'Amphibia' creator wants kids to feel seen with his Thai American heroine
Disney Channel's new animated series Amphibia stars a 13-year-old Thai American heroine named Anne Boonchuy, one of the very few lead characters of Southeast Asian descent on American television.

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So Much for Worshipping Meritocracy
Meritocracy was always the myth at the heart of Amy Chua's "tiger mother" brand. So how does Amy Chua's support for Brett Kavanaugh, and helping her daughter become a clerk for him, dispel this myth?

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Rep. Pramila Jayapal: The Story of My Abortion
Congresswoman Primila Jayapal talks about her deeply personal decision to make a reproductive choice.

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Wang: How To Grieve In Front Of Millions Of People
Last year, Shirley Wang shared the incredible story of her late father's friendship with Charles Barkley. Since that time, she's learned about collective grief and support.

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This PA Native Was Addicted to Heroin and Pills. Now He’s Running His Own Yoga Studio.
David Hem endured a 15-year struggle with drug addiction. Now, though, he's running his own yoga studio, the Healing Fields Philly.

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Asian American and Pacific Islander youth face bullying, lack visibility, report finds
"We need these narratives to be uplifted so that policymakers understand that there are Asian communities in need of support."

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'No-No Boy' went from unknown book to classic thanks to UW Press and Asian American writers. Now, it’s at the center of a controversy.
No-No Boy is widely recognized as a classic of Asian American literature; taught in countless classes, it's a crucial, artful record of a chapter in history many would like to forget. But lately, it's been at the center of a publishing controversy.

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Asian Americans are throwing stereotypes about their food in your face
"These films have given audiences an immersion into the way these themes weave across all of our diverse Asian American experiences. And they've done so, perhaps unsurprisingly, in part by using one of the most universal and accessible languages of all: food."

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Randall Park on That Ali Wong Sex Scene, Keanu Reeves and His Commercial for Chinese Liver Pills
Randall Park's first acting gig was a commercial for liver pills, which aired on the local Chinese station in Los Angeles. It was entirely in Mandarin, and to this day, he still doesn't exactly know what the commercial was saying. He got paid $200.


6.12.2019

Angry Reader of the Week: Yuh-Line Niou

"I'm angry about why we don't love each other enough to be angry for each other."



Hello, internet friends. It is time meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Yuh-Line Niou.

Of course the Trump Administration is holding migrant children at a former Japanese American incarceration site

Fort Sill has been selected "as a temporary emergency influx shelter" to detain 1,400 children.



History repeats itself. After running out of room at government shelters, the Trump Administration has opted to use an Army base in Oklahoma to hold growing numbers of immigrant children in its custody -- at the same site where innocent Japanese American citizens were detained during World War II.

Fort Sill, an 150-year-old installation once used as an incarceration camp for Japanese Americans during World War II, has been selected "as a temporary emergency influx shelter" to detain 1,400 children until they can be given to an adult relative, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

More here: Trump Administration to Hold Migrant Children at Base That Served as WWII Japanese Internment Camp

6.09.2019

Read These Blogs


How Ali Wong And Randall Park's New Rom-Com 'Always Be My Maybe' Came To Be
I had a blast talking to Randall Park and Ali Wong about their Netflix romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe for the upcoming summer issue of Character Media.

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Dispute Arises Over 'No-No Boy,' a Classic of Asian-American Literature With a Complex History
John Okada's 1957 novel about a Japanese American draft resister has been republished by Penguin Classics, but a copyright claim raises questions over its ownership.

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Stonehenge
"In their attractive, polished faces, I saw that Stonehenge was as familiar to them as having a gun held to my face was to me." Min Jin Lee on writing and cultural referents.

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Going Home With Ocean Vuong He's best known as an award-winning young poet, and he's now getting attention for his novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. But Kat Chow first knew him as a talented writer a couple of years ahead of her in high school.

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When being Asian American means bacon and eggs and hamburgers
An ode to the Bay Area’s Asian American-owned diners, burger joints and sandwich shops.

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The Bookstore That Tells the Stories of Asian American Activism Florence Makita Hongo founded and manages the Asian American Curriculum Project in San Mateo.

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For the Original K-Pop Stars, Survival Depended on Making it in America The Kim Sisters' success in Las Vegas allowed their family in war-torn Korea to eat.

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Shannon Lee Talks 'Warrior' And How Hollywood Honors And Exploits Her Father's Legacy Shannon Lee is the executive producer of Cinemax's Warrior and daughter of martial arts legend Bruce Lee.

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Ali Wong And Randall Park On Rapping, Rom-Com Tropes And (Keanu) Reeves
Ali Wong and Randall Park talk to NPR about their version of When Harry Met Sally.

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The Lyrics to Always Be My Maybe's 'I Punched Keanu Reeves' Rap, Annotated by Randall Park
The lyrics to Always Be My Maybe's signature track, annotated by star/writer/emcee Randall Park.


6.07.2019

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 68: They Call Us Soleil Ho

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

On this episode, recorded live at NCORE 2019 in Portland, we welcome back Soleil Ho, restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. We talk race, culture, politics, identity and, of course, food.

They could save their brother's life... if the U.S. would let them in the country.

Tu Le needs a bone marrow donor. His brothers in Vietnam are perfect matches, but their visas were denied.



Two Vietnamese brothers who petitioned to travel to the United States to donate bone marrow to their dying brother in San Jose were denied temporary visas by the U.S. government.

Tu Le is suffering form Myelodysplastic syndrome, an aggressive form of blood cancer. He is dying. Le is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant to survive. His brothers are both matches. A perfect 100% genetic match. But they have been denied temporary visas by the U.S. government.

Le's brothers, Lam Le and Hiep Nguyen, applied for B-2 tourist visas at the end of May, citing a medical emergency. According the family, they were denied entry on June 3. These men have what is necessary to save their brother's life, and the United States government is like... nope.

More here: Vietnamese men denied visas for life-saving transplant for brother in San Jose


6.06.2019

These Are Some Badass Bruce Shoes

Bruce Lee Converse All-Star Sneakers by Milton Wong



This dope new pair of Bruce Lee Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars features art by Hong Kong illustrator Milton Wong, depicting Bruce in his iconic yellow jumpsuit from Game of Death. Custom made-to-order, these shoes are exclusive to the Bruce Lee Family Store and available in both High Top and Low Top styles.

Here are some more images:

6.03.2019

Do not watch this show on an empty stomach.

YOMYOMF's unscripted series 'Family Style' offers a lively look at Asian food.



Family Style is a 12-episode unscripted food and travel series that offers a lively look at not just Asian food, but the traditions, culture and backstory of the food and the dish that's brought to the table. Shot in Vietnam, China and the Philippines as well as Hawaii and Los Angeles, the series is produced by Stage 13 and YOMYOMF.

The series is led by the Foodie Fam -- eight talented friends bound together by their knowledge and love for culture, cuisine and sharing family moments around the table. The cast includes Stacy Fan, Lana McKissack, Gilbert Galon, Arvin Lee, Anthony Ma, Oates Wu and Sujata Day.

Highlights of the first season include a visit to the Night Markets of Saigon, Singapore and the San Gabriel Valley; how to make Kare Kare, the Philippines' revered hearty stew; the legend of the Pork Highway in Oahu; Sri Lankan, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Burmese cuisine and more.

Check out the trailer:

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 67: They Call Us Always Be My Maybe

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

On this episode, we offer our honest takes on The Good, The Bad and The WTF of thew new Netflix romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe, starring Randall Park and Ali Wong. Spoiler warnings all around.

6.02.2019

Read These Blogs


'Always Be My Maybe': Here's the Story Behind That 'Stay Angry' T-Shirt
You may have spotted the limited edition 2017 "Stay Angry" Subscriber Drive shirt in the new Netflix romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe. Here's the story behind the shirt and its placement in the movie.

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'Always Be My Maybe's' Ali Wong and Randall Park are doing it for the Asians
"What Wong and Park are helping to change with their new Netflix rom-com is the landscape of what entertainment looks like: Who gets to play the lead in movies. Who gets to fall in love in rom-coms."

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Randall Park's Small-Town L.A.
The star of Fresh Off the Boat has made Always Be My Maybe, a rom-com inspired by his own life.

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Q&A with Los Angeles star chef Niki Nakayama, who taught Ali Wong how to 'kaiseki it out'
To prepare for her role as a woman returning home to open a restaurant, Always Be My Maybe star Ali Wong hired L.A. chef Niki Nakayama to serve as a culinary consultant.

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Queer Muslims Are Still Rare on TV. One Writer Wants to Change That.
A recent episode of the CBS drama "The Red Line" featured a gay romance involving a Muslim character. Fawzia Mirza, the episode's writer, discusses how it came to be.

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How Indian Americans came to dominate the National Spelling Bee
Indian Americans have won every Scripps National Spelling Bee since 2008, a reign that is the result of a confluence of factors.

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The Scripps Spelling Bee Is Broken. Please Don't Fix It.
Too many winners is not always a bad thing.

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5 Korean American Creatives Share Their Writing Habits
Writers Nicole Chung, Andrew Ahn, R.O. Kwon, Don Lee, and Karen Chee reveal their creative processes.

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Asian American Chefs Are Embracing Spam. But How Did It Make Its Way Into Their Cultures?
How did a product of American industrialization make its way into Asian and Pacific Islander cuisines?

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An American life: He's 38, an undocumented immigrant and a school is being named for him
A school district in Northern California is naming a campus for Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist who disclosed in a magazine story his status as an undocumented immigrant.

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I Make a Podcast about Stories in the Philippine Diaspora. Here's What I've Learned So Far.
Paolo Mardo is the host and producer of Long Distance, a podcast showcasing stories in the Philippine diaspora. She shares a couple of things she's learned while making the show's first season.

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Japanese Breakfast, a.k.a. Michelle Zauner, Talks with Noah Cho About Food, Family, and Grief
""I found myself dwelling on these parts of Korean culture as a way to reconnect with my identity and also the memory of my mom."

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Kishi Bashi Uses The History Of Japanese Internment To Explore America Today
Musician Kishi Bashi talks to NPR about the World War II incarceration camps that inspired his latest album Omoiyari, reckoning with his identity as a Japanese American and more.


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