On Halloween night, I went to San Francisco's Castro neighborhood, which is a SF tradition. On that night thousands of people converge on the city's favorite gay neighborhood, including lots of people who don't usually step foot there (let alone in any of SF really) otherwise. I had not been to the Castro on Halloween in 4 years. I was actually there to be an extra on a friend's friend's friend's movie. (His movie takes place on Halloween.) Honestly, I'm not sure what the attraction is with the Castro on Halloween. I'm all for people watching, but walking around in a big crowd of people who are just, um, walking around, is not very exciting, even if they are in costume.
Erin May Ling Quill's explanation for why there are no Asian Americans on TV and in the movies is making the rounds on the Internet. No great bombshells, but she's someone on the inside and sheds some light on how Hollywood works.
No piece, no peace, hook a brother up.
Last Saturday I went to a very San Francisco occurence- the Exotic Erotic Ball. It's conveniently placed just before Halloween so people are already in a costume mindset and with enough time after Burningman for people to have found treatment for whatever they've picked up out there. Being that this is San Francisco, though, I imagine this event could happen anytime of year and the markers would just change to being between Folsom Street Fair/Cinco de Mayo/Pride/any other excuse to dress up and be seen. Personally, being rather vanilla (and lazy), all three of these time markers pass me by without much notice, but this time around, as is my usual excuse, I was part of the entertainment/background, playing with the SF Samba School, so I just had to stick around to check out the event I would have otherwise not attended.
Our friends at the Asian American Theater Company have got some events coming up you should check out. First, on Saturday November 5th, is Sweet, a fundraiser with wine, chocolate and theater. (Sounds like a good combination to me.) The party starts at 6 and goes on til 4 am.
Also, running November 3-20 is the world premiere of Banyan by Jeannie Barroga. AATC describes Banyan as a modern-day variation on the Wizard of Oz, incorporating Pilipino fantasy, folklore and humor.
Want to go to both? You can get a discount on entry to both events for $50 (saves you $15). We've got the secret password for you. Just enter the code "Sweet" when you purchase tickets online. (Click on the links above to find out more and buy tickets.)
Graduate students at Yale are protesting what they say is discrimination against Chinese graduate students at the University. Xuemei Han, 26, is at the center of this particular protest, saying that her "imperfect English" is the real reason behind her department asking her to leave.
It seems like debate and controversy about Asian graduate students and their English skills have been a hot topic for years. There was a great post on South Asian issues blog Sepia Mutiny back in June that I thought was a good perspective on the issue.
I would be really interested to find an Asian American student who is interacting with an international Asian graduate student. Do they have the same issues? Most of the students who complain seem to be Anglo students -- check out the all-American girl in the NY Times article who complained about her prof at Berkeley. Now, how many Asian American students were there in her same class? Did they have the same problems? Are Asian American students or immigrant-family students better at deciphering accents?
Sports Illustrated reporter Michael Bamberger, rather than just covering the story, seemingly broke a journalistic taboo and became part of the story, by telling LPGA officials that he thought Michelle Wie cheated on a drop ball at the Samsung World Championship on Saturday.
Get out your wallets and head to the mall! Banana Republic launches its new "East Meets West" line as a tie-in to promote their Memoirs of a Geisha getaway sweepstakes. The clothes themselves aren't that bad (I guess), but come on, East Meets West? I'm so over it.
Henry Hwang, founder of the first Asian American bank (and father of playwright David Henry Hwang) passed away last Saturday at the age of 77. His story is the stuff of immigrant fairytales: arrive in the U.S. with nothing but a few bucks, toil away in a Chinese laundromat, get a CPA, start a bank, and eventually sell it for 90 million big ones. No wonder he was a big Republican supporter and Reagan crony.
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