6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Photos: Chinatown Wars, Madame Wong's And Hong Kong Cafe

Support Provided By
ch_pri_04_wars

Once a bustling area, Chinatown was becoming a ghost town in the late 1970's and 1980's. By this time the original business owners of New Chinatown had turned their backs on this urban center and relocated to other thriving suburban areas. In the resulting vacuum, Madame Wong's restaurant and The Hong Kong Café began booking L.A.'s emerging punk bands, revitalizing the next phase of the region's life. Madame Wong hosted alternative bands during the weekday night shift, attracting a new generation of migrants to Chinatown - disillusioned and disenfranchised youth from East Los Angeles and beyond. Other venues like the Hong Kong Cafe followed suit, and soon Chinatown was its own musical Mecca. Future icons like X, the Undertakers, Black Flag, and Guns 'n' Roses all made their way in Chinatown in the late 1970's and early 1980's, with groups like The Police crossing oceans to play here as well. Madame Wong preferred the more refined New Wave sounds of bands like Blondie over the untamed energy of punk locals such as the Undertakers - who played at the Hong Kong Café - and thus the Chinatown Punk Wars began. New Wave vs. Punk, nose ringed and spiked vs. preppy hats and thin ties, all played out against the backdrop of the deserted Chinatown in Los Angeles, generating a radically different experience of the neighborhood than ever before. Today, one just has to walk through Chinatown's Main Plaza to see the legacy of a cultural syncretism that included both the history of L.A.'s ethnic population and the new idioms forged by the new generations of early immigrant populations.

Support Provided By
Read More
Ed Fuentes, artwork Colette Miller (preview)

In Remembrance of Arts Journalist and Advocate Ed Fuentes

Collaborator and friend James Daichendt remembers Ed Fuentes, a longtime advocate of the arts, who passed away this week.
mount_baldy_photo_by_daniel_medina

The San Gabriels: The Remarkable History of L.A.'s Threatened National Monument

An exploration of the rich history and culture of the San Gabriel Mountains and its eponymous river.
Boyle Heights Street Vending. Credits: Feng Yuan

Is Los Angeles Finally Legalizing Street Vending?

Trend-setting entrepreneurs versus “illegal” street vendors is a confusing dichotomy that has become the center of many conversations.