This is a mash-up of artwork currently on view in NYC that intrigue me... 

...because they explore the immigrant history of NY through two communities: the Latino Americans and the Chinese Americans. I haven't viewed these in person but just reading about them piqued my curiosity. 

As a kid of Indian immigrants, I never tire of tales about the American experience through the lens of those who built their new lives in major cities like New York. I grew up hearing, "In the early '70s, there was only one store that sold our spices," or that "there was much anxiety about navigating the subway-bus system," or that "we started the first cultural association to keep traditions alive." 

Nuyorican/Boriqua 

The work of Bolivar Arellano, photojournalist for 100-year-old Spanish language newspaper, El Diario-La Prensa, is being preserved and exhibited at Columbia University's Latino Arts and Activism Collection. It's an inspired chronicling of the public lives of the Puerto Rican community in the '70s. One of my favorite images is the one of Miguel Pinero, "founder of the Nuyorican literary movement," and a poetess on the NYC subway.  

This leads to a shout-out to one of my fave alt-art NY fixtures, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe (used to attend their poetry slams during my spoken word phase...oh, also attended the live Broadway production of the delicious Def Poetry Jam back in 2003). Yeah, I set my thesis to a rhythm and inflected the crap out of it during my oral defense...nah, that didn't happen...wish it had. I need a separate blog post on my deep love of this art form. 

125-Year Legacy of  the Lee Family

Talk about family history. The Lee family founded a grocery store in the 1880s and then an insurance company in the 1930s and, only recently known to the current generation, a Chinese film distribution company (in the '20s) and a movie theater (that dissolved in the '50s). All in the heart of Chinatown.

I'm personally thrilled this exhibit is on display at the Museum of Chinese in America; there's a transcending of the neighborhood's global tag as the place for luxury brand knock-offs. 

And how cosmic crazy is this? Douglas Lee, one of the descendants, is a film and TV exec! Ancestral roots are thicker than...

Of course, CT (unused acronym; don't worry, it's not a trendy designation) has some of the city's culinary gems. Arggh...another long-standing establishment I never entered while in NY (customer rated as serving the best dim sum since 1920): http://nomwah.com/.

 

Do share your memories of great eateries/shops/nightlife spots in CT. 

 

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