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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Little Seoul

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 19, 2014 07:53pm | Post a Comment
INTRODUCTION TO LITTLE SEOUL 

Welcome sign at Brookhurst
Welcome sign at Brookhurst

Drive down Garden Grove Boulevard with your windows up (paying proper attention to the road in front of you) and you might not notice that you're passing through Little Seoul. There are no banners, memorials, murals, monuments or that many fluttering South Korean flags. Pass through on a bus and maybe you'll notice the Hangul signs and blue tile roofs. The best way to experience Little Seoul, despite some drawbacks, is by walking in it – although your hair might pick up the smell like bulgogi by the end of your ramble. The other day I headed over there to explore it, accompanied by Una Zipagan and host of the excellent Notebook on Cities and Culture podcast, Colin Marshall

Another blue tile community
Another blue tile community

*****


The short history of Asian-American television

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 27, 2012 05:30pm | Post a Comment
Since its earliest days, American television screens have never looked much like American reality. Network executives have apparently never been comfortable with too many Asians being on the small screen at one time. Asian sidekicks are cool, Asian guest stars too, maybe an Asian love interest (provided the character is female) There have been only a handful of television shows starring Asians and even fewer with primarily Asian casts. 

Hawaiian Eye

Meanwhile, the internet has become the great democratizer, allowing Asian-Americans (and Canadians) like 
Christine GambitoMichelle Phan, Freddie W, Fung BrosJessica LizamaKev JumbaKevin WuNikki LimoPeter Chao, Ryan Higa, Timothy Traphik DeLaGhettoWong Fu Productions and others to garner millions of followers each and in the process become internet celebrities, if not terrestrial television ones. Nowadays there are far more Asian-American (and Anglo-Asian diaspora) web series than network shows and while television slowly adapts, at this rate it may cease to exist before it even begins to resemble its audience. 

In one corner, consider the web series, which include Alfie the Office DogAway We HappenedAwesome Asian Bad GuysBaby MentalistBFFs, Boystown, Car Discussion with Sung KangChop Socky Boom, Flat3, The FoodThe Ho’s on 7th AvenueHome Is Where The Hans AreI Am Asian, How Are You?, Katana, K-TownKtown CowboysLumina, Manivore, Millions, Mixed Blooms, Model Minority, Mother Lover, Mythomania, Nice Girls Crew, Normal Gays, One Warm Night, On the Clock, Prison Dancer, Riley RewindSilent Terror, Slanted Show, SuperTwins!, The Switch, Trembling Void, That's What She SaidUrban Wolf, Video Game High SchoolWhen it Counts, and others. 

In the other corner, television, which though having existed for many more decades than web series, is rather more anemic. Consider this short timeline of Asian-American television, drawn from network, cable, and syndicated series:

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Garden Grove, The City of Youth and Ambition

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 22, 2010 07:00pm | Post a Comment

Garden Grove in the 1950s
Downtown Garden Grove

This Southern CA-area episode is about Garden Grove, which I journeyed to with Garden Grove native Tita Ortega. To vote for other Orange County communities to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities to be the subject of future entries, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, vote here

Map of Orange County
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Orange County

Garden Grove is is located in North Orange County. In fact, it was whilst living in Garden Grove in 1888 that R.Q. Wickham launched the political movement that would lead to the formation of Orange County. Garden Grove is bordered by Cypress, Stanton and Anaheim to the north; Orange to the east; Santa Ana to the southeast; Westminster to the south; Seal Beach to the southwest and Los Alamitos to the west.

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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Rowland Heights, Los Angeles County's Little Taipei

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 28, 2010 08:30pm | Post a Comment
ROWLAND HEIGHTS

The View from Rowland Heights
A view of lower Rowland Heights from the hills

Little Taipei is a nickname for Rowland Heights, a city in the San Gabriel Valley. To vote for more Los Angeles County communities to be the subject of a future entry, click here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, click here. Rowland Heights is a community neighbored by City of Industry to the north, Diamond Bar to the northeast, Chino Hills to the east, unincorporated Orange County to the south, La Habra Heights to the southwest, and Hacienda Heights to the west.

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Rowland Heights
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Rowland Heights -- made without aesthetic consideration for my eyes only


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California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Koreatown

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 17, 2010 03:00pm | Post a Comment
K-TOWN STAY DOWN!

NB: Since the initial publication of this blog entry, Koreatown's borders have been expanded and made official by the city. A new map reflects this but the text of the blog entry does not. 

Koreatown sign

This blog entry is about the Los Angeles neighborhood of Koreatown. To vote for more LA neighborhoods to be the subject of future blog entries, click here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

In recognition of you, the blog readers' votes, and in recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I headed to Koreatown for answers. While Palisades Park, New Jersey has the highest concentration of Korean-Americans in the United States and Georgia is home to the fastest-growing Korean-American population (in the US), Los Angeles is home to the largest population of Koreans and our Koreatown destroys the competition.
 

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