I was born and raised in the South End near Chinatown. I have a Chinese last name and a white face. My dad took me to the gambling halls, (before he died) and my mom put me in the Kwong Kow Chinese School. I went to Josiah Quincy, I was involved in positive community stuff, but got to see some negative stuff too. I went away to boarding school and realized how important Chinatown was to me ever time I returned on vacation. In College I got involved with Chinatown Crime watch and became slightly more involved with the politics of things through the Woo Ching's Kung Fu School and the Kung Fu Federation which is still managed in large part by Henry Yee (though he is no longer President).
I was a blogger on the Chinatown blog set up by Kye Liang, and my posts focused mostly on my personal everyday experience in Chinatown, especially the events like Chinese New Year, August Moon, Double Ten, and then all the banquets where we did lion dance too like Oak Tin Association, Chinatown Resident Association, Tai Tung Association, and on and on until one would wonder how you could have a New Year's banquet in April.
I gave recently started submitting a column to the Sampan and focusing on some Chinatown stuff on my other Blog Kung Fu Dad.
But this blog is going to be more about other people's thoughts and opinions.
There is a crucible right now in Chinatown, as big Condos move in and rent gets higher and higher. People have been moving out of Chinatown for years, but somehow now it is coming to a turning point. Flags are up in Chinatown to draw attention to the housing crisis, and my Facebook Feed is full of "Woah is me. Our beloved Chinatown! Alas soon it will be no more."
But at the same time that people are saddened by this, there is still a side to Chinatown that is whores and drugs and garbage in the street, Neglect and ghetto at the same time that Developers are coming in saying, "this neglected plot of land is a gold mine. let's do something with it and clean it up."
There a ton of factions within the Chinese Community and probably a million different opinions from people who actually live in Chinatown, from people who just are involved in the community but live in Lexington, Newton, or even Roxbury and Dorchester, and probably from people who simply are the big shot developers. Who are they?
And I am sure that the seedy side of Chinatown, that still exists, must have an opinion too. What is it?
This Blog is designed simply to shine a light on these issues, opinions, and stories. It will hold up a mirror to Chinatown without judgement. The judgment will come from the people interviewed themselves.