'You Seem So Western' | KCET
'You Seem So Western'
I have many offline and online relationships, some cross into both, some not at all. Last Sunday, an online moved into offline. It was a meeting to finally take the virtual into the real; I showed up expecting the person I had gotten to know and I wasn't surprised by whom I met. However, the person across from me sipping from a cup of coffee, looked up at me and said "You seem so Western".
I have learned to keep my lips together when my brain explodes. In my frontal lobe the synapses were firing messages to my lips, messages like "WTF. Did you expect a rickshaw to pull up? A Charlie Chan accent? Madame Butterfly?!" Of course, I didn't say all that, instead I gently let out a sigh and said "I was born in Canada to immigrant parents. I am Chinese Canadian and I took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America in 2000, so that I could vote in my adopted country".
I am not sure what they expected, but I was over it. Really? We are a country of hyphenates, we are Chinese American, Japanese American, Filipino American, Viet American, Korean American, Thai American, we are all hyphenates in a country that revels in its history of immigrant ships coming from abroad.
This subject is close to my heart because of my family history, but mostly because of my personal experiences as a someone taken at face value. I will be writing about the experience of being a Hyphenate, of being able to see Los Angeles in multi-layers, of being able to cross bridges, and of co-existing in a city of 224 languages; from Little Tokyo to Chinatown to Historic Filipinotown to Koreatown to Little Saigon to Thai Town and to that city called Los Angeles.
The art of Jasper Johns has changed over the decades. His works have taken on a whole new set of meanings in our present-day political climate. All of which makes this landmark exhibition at the Broad as fresh and timely as it was 60 years ago.
Today, Baskin-Robbins is nearly ubiquitous, with ice cream shops found everywhere from Canada to Colombia, the United Kingdom to Korea. Yet, the roots of this globally dominant brand run deep in suburban Los Angeles.
KCET's Val Zavala is retiring. Complete a "Val-entine" to share your memories.
Val Zavala, anchor, producer and award-winning journalist, of KCET’s “SoCal Connected” is retiring after three decades of covering Los Angeles.
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