Chinatown

“Neighborhood Design Session” reveals Oakland’s Chinatown residents’ safety concerns

On Tuesday evening, about 120 people gathered at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center to attend a “neighborhood design session” held by the city. The session was a public meeting to discuss challenges in Oakland’s Chinatown and to generate ideas for the city’s “Downtown Oakland Specific Plan,” which will lay out a long-term vision for the area. “There are three big ideas that we are working with as part of this plan,” said Gregory Hodge, a social change entrepreneur at Khepera…

Refugee advocate with criminal past changes life, helps others

Nghiep Ke Lam remembers when he learned that “violence is okay.” He was around 8 or 9 years old and was living in San Francisco, California. He still often thinks of the moment when six bullies surrounded him and told him, “You have two choices.” The first choice was to fight with one of them; the second choice was to be beaten up. Lam pointed out one kid and said, “I’m going to fight with him.” They fought until the…

Oakland residents feast on traditional Chinese New Year’s dishes

Being Chinese, one does not simply eat. Eating is a favorite cultural pastime, and has a process to it that is treated with such reverence that the Chinese say, “Dining comes before the Emperor does.” This respect for delectables escalates with the arrival of the Lunar New Year, which begins with the second new moon after the winter solstice. The holidays—much like a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas when families reunite—start when the moon is but a sliver in the…

Annual Lunar New Year Bazaar held in Oakland’s Chinatown

It was a rainy week, and people were itching to head outdoors by the time Saturday rolled around. Many found themselves drawn to the hubbub at the center of Oakland Chinatown, where the annual Lunar New Year Bazaar was held. Offered two weeks shy of Chinese New Year, the street fair is meant to usher in the popular holiday as Chinese American families began their preparations.