Friends Doing Good Giving Circle Party Saturday Dec 14 in LA LA LA

ImageLike to Dance? Like to support Asian American and Pacific Islander community-based organizations? Then come out and join AzN as we throw a dance party for the ages in Little Tokyo LA benefiting the Friends Doing Good Giving Circle. Why? Cause although AAPI makes up over 5% of the US population, only 1% of all philanthropy goes to AAPI groups. And that needs to change y’all! And we can change it one party at a time. FDG Party details as follows:

On Saturday, December 14, 2013, join us as we premiere our giving circle:FRIENDS DOING GOOD
Chynna DTLA - Little Tokyo – 333 Alameda St Ste 115. Los Angeles, CA 90013

*validation provided in Little Tokyo Market Parking Structure

$10 presales available at
$20 recommended donation at the door
100% of proceeds will go towards charity.

King Most
D-Reel (Massive Selector)
Dr Professor
Resident DJ
P R O P S ! -

Photos by

Wanna learn more about FDG?
Follow us: @FriendsDoinGood
Instagram: @FriendsDoingGood
*FDG is proud to be part of the National AAPIP Giving Circle Network & fiscally hosted by Tides Foundation

V3 Con: Vision, Visibility, Voice


Banana I & II is back (and thank Buddha they changed the name)…as the V3 Digital Media Conference! It’s going down August 25th in Los Angeles, and will feature awesome folks like Angry Asian Man Phil Yu, actor & Thick Dumpling Skin co-founder Lynn Chen, APAs for Progress’ Curtis Chin, Disgrasian’s Jen Wang, and more speakers than you can shake a stick at. Official press release below:

The Asian American Bloggers Conference is Back in LA!
The “V3: Vision, Visibility, and Voice” Digital Media event will gather Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the digital space, and strengthen the reach of the AAPI online community

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) digital journalists, bloggers, and social media communicators nationwide will attend the “V3: Vision, Visibility, Voice” Digital Media Conference (V3con) on Aug. 24-25, 2012 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. To kick off the event, an awards reception will be held Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, Calif. The conference aims to showcase AAPIs in the digital space and build a stronger online community.

V3con, presented by the Asian American Journalists Association’s Los Angeles chapter (AAJA-LA), is the sequel to the Banana Asian American bloggers conferences in 2009 and 2011. The event has been expanded to include all forms of digital media, highlighting multi-platform AAPI communications in a one-day conference setting with interactive panels and workshops. V3con also will offer conference attendees unique “bloggable” experiences such as cooking and makeup demonstrations, tours of museums and historical areas near the venues, a bloggers showcase and much more.

“AAJA-LA is excited to bring to V3con some of the top names in Asian American journalism and highly influential communicators in digital media. The media landscape has shifted dramatically in emphasis, impact and resources with the rise of digital media. With this trend, AAPIs have emerged quickly and prominently on the digital media scene. V3 aims to highlight the vision, visibility and voice of AAPIs online,” said Joz Wang, creator and executive director of V3con and president of AAJA-LA.

Studies from the Pew Research Center found that 87 percent of AAPIs used the Internet every day, more than any other major demographic group. AAPIs also visit Twitter and WordPress more than other demographic groups. This data is reflected in the popularity of bloggers and vloggers online – of the 20 most-subscribed-to channels on YouTube three belong to AAPIs: Ryan Higa, with 5.2 million followers; Kevin Wu (KevJumba), with 2.3 million followers; and Michelle Phan, who has 1.9 million followers.

“We’re not just going to wait around to get represented in mainstream media. We’re looking for other avenues to get our voice out there. V3con is a place to share this vision, visibility and voice, and to strategize further on how to push the pedal to the medal at full throttle,” said Lac Su, author of “I Love Yous Are for White People” and one of the original founders of the Banana bloggers conference in 2009.

This year’s conference features YouTube sensations David Choi and Clara Chung; news anchors Frank Buckley, Susan Hirasuna and David Ono; Lela Lee of Angry Little Asian Girls; Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man; Jeff Yang, columnist for The Wall Street Journal;and film producer Teddy Zee. The panels will include topics such as AAPIs in mainstream media and on YouTube, food blogging, trendsetting in beauty and fashion, utilizing digital media in nonprofit and healthcare realms, anime and manga in the digital space, journalism vs. blogging, and covering sports in the social media era. It will also include an introductory workshop to various social media and blogging tools such as WordPress, Tumblr, Posterous and more.

V3con is presented by AAJA-LA, IW Group, Inc., and the organizers of the Banana bloggers conferences of 2009 and 2011. The conference is sponsored by Verizon Wireless, Comcast/NBC Universal, AARP, CBS, McDonald’s, Union Bank, and Wells Fargo, with in-kind donations from the Japanese American National Museum, Pacific Asia Museum, Panda Restaurant Group, Coca-Cola, Primo and Glaceau Smartwater.

More details, including program, speakers and registration, can be found online at

The New New Chinatowns

For years I’ve been hearing folks talk about gentrifying Chinatowns. This is a real concern in Chinatowns like Oakland’s, where an underutilized BART station (Lake Merritt) is going through a community planning process that can potentially lead to some pretty high buildings, higher population and higher rents and Chinese folks hightailing out.



Now, I could spend this whole blog post writing about how to protect Chinatowns, but to be honest, what does that mean? Part of it means keeping rents low (rental protections), keeping Chinatowns for Chinese folks (street signs in Chinese) and making sure the local amenities appeal to Asian folks and not Audi-driving yuppie parents. But what happens when a business closes (Chinatown knickknacks, boba tea cafes, Chinese breakfast restaurants). What do you replace it with? Another Chinatown staple? A Starbucks with Chinese signage? Should we maintain the look, feel and economic pulse of Chinatowns? What if a family business that’s been running for 40 years suddenly closes and sells to 3rd generation Asian Americans? What if a business gets passed on, within the family, to a 2nd generation Chinese kid? What if a Korean American kid takes over a family Chinese restaurant and turns it in a fusion Chinese spot that’s voted one of the top ten new restaurants in the country like Mission Chinese in San Francisco? What if MC opened up in the heart of Chinatown SF? What would the local CBOs and Chinese Chamber say? So that’s the dilemma I’m proposing to you. What does it mean to be Chinatown: Geography? Tenure? The things you sell? And how Chinese do you have to be to be Chinatown: Full Chinese? Chinese American? ABC? Asian? Asian American? Vietnamese/Filipino/Korean American? 2nd/3rd/4th generation? Angel/Ellis Island Asian?

I don’t know the answer to all of this, but I do know that folks like me who hang out in Chinatowns like second homes need to be thinking about this shit cause our generation and younger need a PLAN. To start, I’d like to provide you a few examples of what Chinatowns might look like a few years from now, businesses I’m calling Chinatown 2.0 cause these aren’t your typical paper money shops. These are hybrid old school/new school uses, Asian American type businesses, or just hip (probably gentrifying) uses that we need to pay attention to before Chinatowns become ethnic Disneylands crossed with Portlandia: food trucks, secret dive bars, and two girls/two shirt stores everywhere. I’ll be including a gentrification meter rating between 1-10 that’ll predict how this business will affect the pushing out of Chinese folks from the premises (1 being 中文地狱 and 10 being American Apparel next door to a Anthropologie).

Li Po Lounge, San Francisco California. Made famous by the latest Anthony Bourdain Layover SF episode and Sweater Funk (a sweaty/grimy soul party every Sunday night). How legit is this place? Old school chinese bar up top with Tsing Tao bottles and the soul party downstairs. Gentrification Meter: 4 before Bourdain, 5 post-Bourdain. Its grimey and the hipsters are hidden downstairs.

San Francisco's Li Po Lounge

San Francisco's Li Po Lounge

Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver, British Columbia. I don’t know much about Van City other than I like everything about it. I especially know nothing about the City’s Chinatown if only cause I learned early on you gotta go south to Richmond to get a taste of real Chinese food. So I don’t know why there’s still a Chinatown in the City and who actually lives there. But that didn’t stop me from including the only real CLUB I’ve ever been to in a Chinatown (sorry Grand Star, which comes up next). Gentrification Meter: 6? On one hand, you got Saul Williams coming up in March at Fortune, but on the other hand, are there Chinese folks that actually live here? Any Vancouverites wanna fill me in?

Can you spot an Chinese folks in this crowd? Oh there's one! Two, three.... Three...

Grand Star Jazz Club, Los Angeles, California. So hip, Blacklava sells a shirt for this spot. New York tribute night be damned, this spot is so cool and confusing. On one hand, you have Britney making cameo appearances and on the other hand, step one foot outside and you’re a drunk walk away from a big bowl of steaming jook. Gentrify Meter: 7. Did I mention Britney Spears in the same sentence as jook in the previous sentence???

Still see a lot of Asian American folks here no matter what party is going on.

So what can you do? If you’re Chinese, open up a new business in Ctown, USA. Just be culturally sensitive and if you’re gonna sell food, it damn well better be good. And please, no more vinyl toy shops. The ones in San Jose JTown and Chinatown LA haven’t been customer magnets unless you want 12-yr old kids loitering and playing street fighter on your in-house Super Nintendo. I really wish I could have showed you some viable Chinatown retail businesses that fit this Chinatown 2.0 category, but I really don’t know any. Please send them our way if you do know!

Thank You David Stern and the NBA League of Owners

You really do sound like a super hero league and not the collection of rich white people playing with million dollar toys and trading and buying African American and foreign players like the modern day slave owners that Jesse Jackson loves to refer you as.

So why all the fuss now? Well, you totally f’d up the CP3 deal yesterday. But I’m actually kinda happy about it. Not only does it keep the Lakers from getting the Rook that lands them the Bishop that is Dwight Howard, but it also chips away at the lowly Hornets, owned by the NBA since they couldn’t find a buyer that wasn’t a rich Silicon Valley mogul sitting in a city with a basketball ready arena that’s only being used for hockey games and Taylor Swift concerts. And no disrespect to the City of New Orleans, but I am not in the camp that thinks professional sports helps build up a city economically. Au contraire mon frere, I think they’re all an economic drain with their free land grants, tax exemptions and inconsistent/low paying jobs. So what now? Well, its a lose-lose all around according to the worst source for sports best source for news ever, the NY Times. And then what? Glad you asked. I have the next few outcomes all chronologicalized just for you:

  1. NBA officially cancels all trades for Chris Paul no matter how beneficial to the Hornets they are
  2. NBA decides they cannot run an NBA team and puts the Hornets back up for sale.
  3. No one is willing to buy the team for the $450 million that the NBA paid, except for one man, Larry Ellison, who everyone is afraid will move the team from the 38th largest city in the USA to the 10th largest city
  4. The season ends and Chris Paul pulls a Lebron, I mean a Bosh, and free agents his way to the Lakers
  5. The value of the Hornets drops significantly without a CP3 and without any of the players/draft picks they could have gotten from the Lakers
  6. The NBA realizes they can’t afford to run the team AND they also realize they can’t afford to have 30 teams in cities with no market and no population, especially since there’s only one each of the cities of Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. Larry Ellison calls again.
  7. The NBA decides to “take care” of the 5 teams with the lowest fan attendance by: retracting 2 teams:  the Indiana Pacers/Memphis Grizzlies, continuing the Nets to Brooklyn move, allowing the Maloofs to move the Kings to Las Vegas, and FINALLY allows Larry Ellison to buy the Hornets (for the original $450 million he offered) and move them to the San Jose Arena in a newly remodeled for basketball Shark Tank/Hornets Nest (Only $17 million to remodel for bball folks).
  8. The Warriors move to San Francisco and free agents actually return phone calls.

If you don’t want this to happen, call up the NFL and ask them how they share revenue so teams like the Green Bay Packers will never ever leave Wisconsin.

Banana 2 Recap

It’s been just over a week since the Banana 2 convening of APIA bloggers went down in Studio City, Los Angeles on February 26th. And boy howdy, what an incredible gathering it was.

BCB attended last year — and major props to Lac Su (I Love Yous Are for White People) and Steve Nguyen (channelAPA) for masterminding and producing the conference through pure sweat, love, and determination from the very beginning. But Banana 2, with over 200 attendees, a slick venue (including a big-ass twitter wall), and a well-oiled agenda, was leagues ahead of the inaugural 2009 convening.

pic by Diana Wei

I was juiced to moderate the “niche communities” panel, titled: “Fixated: Topic-specific Blogging”. While I’m happy to report that I met my ambitious goal of not upchucking during the Q & A or falling off the stage, what really made the session a success was the engaging, sharp panel of bloggers: N’jaila Rhee (Blasian Bytch), Jot Vorapaychith (Live LAO’d), Jason Sperber (Rice Daddies) and Marvin Gapultos (Burnt Lumpia & Manila Machine). Check ‘em out, they are ’bout it ’bout it.

pics by Diana Wei

And although AzN didn’t fulfill his dream of meeting Gary Sinise at the after-party on the CSI:NY set, he can say that he parked in the same lot as his new fave show of all time forever and ever amen…Outsourced.

Hope to see y’all next year at an even bigger and better B3!

UStream of the Topic-specific blogging session and other B2 panels here.

Post-panel interview with Ted Nguyen here.

Lots o’ pics here.

Excellent recap by Hyphen’s Sylvie Kim here.

Friday Fuckery: Yellow Peril L.A. Release Par-tay!

For those of you in the Los Angeles area: be sure to drop by the Banana 2 After-after-party and launch of the Yellow Peril by ChimCo.  What is the Yellow Peril you say? Well, you’ll have to come through to find out. Don’t yell at me! Sweet Jeebus, my nerves. Did I mention you can also partake in sake, shochu, & food specials starting at $5? There, better?

Plus it’s AzN’s 16th Bday (plus a million years)! Don’t tell the barkeep he ain’t sippin’ on no Shirley Temple.

See you there!

Saturday February 26th

9 pm to 2 am

The Far Bar (J-Town)

347 East 1st St, Los Angeles

FRIZEE (with giveaways & drink specials, fool!)

This Saturday! BCB at BANANA 2

Hey BCBers! We wanted to remind you that Sherdizz, AzNHeartthrob & CBruhs will be at the Banana 2 APIA Bloggers Conference this Saturday February 26th in Studio City, Los Angeles! Let’s all meet up and talk about blogging, blog about talking, talkybloggydrinkybloggyfunfunyeeahhboyyeee.

More info and full agenda here and here.

CBruhs will be moderating the panel called “Fixated: Topic-Specific Blogging” at 3 pm — so feel free to come through and heckle her. But be nice to the kick-butt panelists (N’jaila Rhee from Blasian Bytch, Cubicle Jot of Live Lao’d, Jason Sperber from Rice Daddies, and Marvin Gapultos of Burnt Lumpia) — or CBruhs will go all wild style on your azz (I don’t know what that means either).

See you there!

BANANA at USC This Saturday November 21

Not only will you be able to meet AzNHearthThrob & Cbruhs, but you’ll have the opportunity to criticize all the major Asian American bloggers in one spot: “YOU ALL ARE SO CRITICAL AND DON’T DO SHIT OTHER THAN SIT IN YOUR ERGONOMIC DESK CHAIRS AND TYPE JUNK ALL DAY ABOUT MING NA WEN AND LUCY LIU ON YOUR MACBOOK PROS!”

Criticize us all you want, just make sure you come out and join us for drinks at the afterparty (and the hotel lobby). Or parade through the USC campus with me and violate vandalize Tommy Trojan with blue and gold spray paint.

BANANA: APIA Bloggers Roundtable-Nov 21st

For all you folks who want to see our fugly mugs in person or give us a piece of your mind/rotten tomato, here’s your golden opportunity:


Peep the blogroll!

Lac Su, author of the much-propped I Love Yous Are For White People (see AZN’s review here), in partnership with Steve Nguyen, TV/film producer and head of LA, have organized a (FIRST!) massive roundtable of APIA bloggers, including some heavies like Angry Asian Man and 8Asians, and advocates like Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and AARising . Believe you us, BCB is deeply honored to share table and flyer space with these folks.

During the filmed event, we’ll be discussing the future of the online APIA community’s voice, how we can work together on relevant issues, and other fun stuffs. This will be followed by an audience Q & A and meet & greet, and here is your chance to give AZN your phone number and let me stare deeply and creepily into your eyes and compliment your haircut. This is your cue to buy me a drink. Single malt, please. Wait, where are you going? Cheapskate.

See you there!  More info here.

Saturday November 21st

4 to 6 pm

Uni of Southern Cali

Taper Hall Room 201

FREE, Cheapskates!

Lac Su’s I Love Yous are for White People: The Asian American Identity in America

I Love Yous Are for White People is definitely a great read. I was going to write a review, but my boy Minority Militant has one already, which you can check out here. I just wanted to touch on what I found most compelling about the book, the subject of Vietnamese American identity, and what it meant to me when I was reading the book. There are some spoilers below, because I mention some of the folks in the novel… So be warned!

The only time you'll see Dodger Blue on BcB. The ONE exception.

Lac came over to LA-LA at a time when Vietnamese folks were still new to the states and Westminster was developing as a Little Saigon. So he, like many Vietnamese folks coming over, was jumping from one world to the other (VN to the US) and then discovering his own identity in a city with a ridiculous amount of diversity: A Latino street gang, a Vietnamese American graffiti gang, a predominantly Chinese (then White) high school, a loving Latino American family and Lac’s own Vietnamese family all played prominent roles in his life. The book depicts pivotal moments in Lac’s life where he was given a choice of several different worlds. Because to accept one, is to reject the other. There was hardly any overlap when you’re rolling with a Latino gang or a Vietnamese American graffiti gang. Lac’s description of growing up Vietnamese in America surrounded by Latinos is a unique perspective that not many get to experience in the world.

Reading about Lac’s childhood at that time, in that place, gave me some insight on how the “American transition” for folks back then was like. The way Lac grew up learning about “nhau” felt like he was seeing it as something inherently foreign, but surprisingly familiar. I think we all feel that way about our Asian motherland’s culture when we experience it as Asian Americans. What does it mean when I go to “nhau” spots in OC to eat pig intestines and drink Beer 333 and end up relating to it no differently than when I hit up Korean bars and eat Dukbokgi with soju/OB beer or Teppanyaki with Kirin at a Japanese spot. I feel like I am so far removed from the experience, that although I speak the same language and grew up in a Vietnamese household, in some ways, I am fetishizing my own culture like I grew up as a My Trang. I can’t speak for Lac when it comes to this outsider looking in perspective, but I can definitely tell you that this is how I felt while I was reading his book.

So I would say this book easily appeals to all folks that are close to the immigrant experience, but still on the cusp of both cultures. For all the folks that took ESL classes in school and learned very early on that its hard to stay friends with your elementary school rainbow collation friends forever, this book is for you. For those of you that are repulsed by the mere mention of coagulated duck blood you should probably read The Lost Symbol (doesn’t Robert Langdon get into the craziest situations?!). For those of you that just came over from Viet Nam, and not entirely fluent in English yet, this book is for you if you bug Lac to get the book translated, especially for his pops.

And to Lac, my biggest criticism is the same as TMM’s, I felt the book was cut short. I  wanna hear about your life in high school and what it was like during that time to be in an interracial relationship. That would provide a lot of people, including myself, that have tried to figure out if losing the comfort of being two nondescript Asian folks dating or the ease of speaking your native tongue to Vietnamese folk is worth the sacrifice of all the stares you get when you’re out with a girl of a different race. I’d like to say yes, to some degree, for the right person, but I’d like to hear the story from your own perspective, Lac. Your idol, Augusten Burroughs, blessed us with more than one book, and I hope the same for you.

And send me an iTunes playlist of your music too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Etta James next to Tupac on a playlist before…