A late night game of street ball in Hong Kong (Photo by Marcus Hansson)
Once people discover that I speak some basic Chinese, the typical conversation I have here in Juijiang goes something like this:
A few standard queries regarding my nationality, occupation, marital status, salary, and maybe my opinions on Chinese food.
And then it happens.
“Which city are you from?”
“I am from Seattle.” I say, bracing myself for the nearly inevitable response.
“Ah, Seattle. The Chaoyinsu” (literally “Exceed Sound Speed” – the Supersonics).
Our hapless Seattleite protagonist now must explain how the Sonics have moved to another city, they are no longer called the Supersonics, and how Seattle sports fans constantly suffer from the trauma of having defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
Bad Fate (Photo by Steve Louie)
The first few times my Seattle-based band went to Vancouver, Canada to play D.I.Y. gigs, the city felt perfect.
Apparently, our B.C. buds enjoyed non-stop kick-ass shows with cross-genre bills and supportive crowds free of haters and assholes.
That’s all true, but it’s a bit more complicated.
While Vancouver is beautiful, its rents are high, its daily provisions overpriced. When not enabling puritanical liquor policies and corporate nightlife, local government re-writes bylaws to keep underground music out of sight.
The labor board’s latest ad campaign patronizes: “Hipster is not a real job.” An older one lectures: “Chance your music will get you signed: 0.00563%.” Many of those I’ve met live in creaky communal houses.
Remember a couple years ago when GQ named Seattle one of the worst-dressed cities in the United States?
Well clearly, they weren’t looking in the right places.
The Wing Luke Museum, in the International District, highlights the stories of local Asian Pacific American communities through imaginative exhibits and tours. It’s an unlikely place to find great fashion, but GQ would be pleasantly surprised.
Fashion: From Workroom to Runway showcases the contributions that Asian Americans have made in the fashion industry. Not only does it feature unique designs from local and national Asian Pacific American designers, but it also showcases the essential role that Asian garment workers have played as the backbone of the industry.
To promote the exhibit the Wing Luke is holding a fashion show on Saturday, January 19, featuring the original work of a half dozen local designers in the exhibit.
Homing pigeons in the sky over Kent. They can fly 50mph non-stop for 6 to 8 hours. (Photo by George Dobre)
Eagles are majestic. Doves are romantic.
Pigeons, with their tatty wings and street-living ways, are seen by many as dumb and dirty, referred to as the “rats of the sky.”
But if you ever met a sleek-feathered, iridescent-colored, sharp-eyed racing pigeon, you’d never think of his cousin—that humble creature eating bread crusts in Pioneer Square—the same way again.
Pigeon racing is a centuries-old sport, thought to have originated in Europe.
It attracts enthusiasts around the globe—including a bunch of guys crowded into a Kent basement on a recent Saturday morning, balancing paper cups of coffee and Safeway doughnuts on their laps.
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(Photo from Flickr by NYC Marines)
Imagine a thirteen year old boy trying to stay awake after walking more than three days in the desert. He’s so desperate for water that he drinks from a puddle where a dead body has fallen.
Now imagine that seven years later that boy can’t get a legal job, go to college or visit his family, all because he’s an undocumented immigrant.
That’s the story of Andres Rocete, and hundreds of thousands of children that are brought to the United States in hopes of a better future.
But finally, these youth see a light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which offers them a chance to come out of the shadows to study and work legally in the US.
I talked to three friends who have applied for the program to find out how it’s working for undocumented youth and get tips for other young immigrants thinking of applying: