Tag Archives: koreatown

L.A. Koreatown Walking Tour

Attention lovers of all things Korean food!

KoreAm contributor and food blogger Namju Cho will be leading a FREE walking tour of some of L.A. Koreatown’s best eats this Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon.

Starting at the venerable Hodori minimall at Olympic and Vermont, she will share her favorite spots alongside Ktown’s main arteries: Olympic and Western Boulevards.

We’re talking jjajangmyun, dakgalbi, kalguksoo and much more! Register today for the free tour as space is limited. http://foundlakoreatown.eventbrite.com/

Wear comfy shoes and bring some cash to sample snacks and food!

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Friday's Link Attack: K-Town Crash, Dia Frampton, NK-SK Talks

Tow truck crashes into Yoshinoya restaurant in Koreatown; 6 injured
Los Angeles Times

A large tow truck crashed through the front window of a Yoshinoya restaurant in L.A.’s Koreatown on Thursday, injuring six people, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“The truck is halfway in the restaurant,” said eyewitness Mirna Lopez, who works at the dental clinic above the restaurant.

Lopez described a chaotic scene. She said a couple employees suffered injuries and one woman was thrown across the restaurant.

She said she overhead the truck driver apologizing for the crash. He told customers and employees at the restaurant that his brakes failed.

Dia Frampton keeping busy with ‘Voice’ tour, planning solo debut
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Dia Frampton is currently writing songs for her debut solo album, according to the article.

“To be honest, I was a little bit desperate,” Frampton says of her decision to audition for “The Voice.” “With the band, I never would have thought I would have gone to TV. But we’d released our record, and it had come and gone. I was still living at my parents’ house. It got to the point where we were like, ‘Well, let’s go on tour this fall,’ and our guitar player would be like, ‘I have a job and I need to keep it. I can’t go out on tour and make $100 a week.’ It was kind of the same thing with Meg. She has a jewelry business right now, and she’s like, ‘I can’t stop making jewelry. This is how I pay my rent.’

Seoul Sets Terms for Resuming Talks With North Korea
New York Times

North Korea must suspend all activities at its nuclear facilities and allow United Nations inspectors to verify the freeze before six-nation talks can restart to discuss economic and other rewards for the country in exchange for ending its nuclear weapons programs, the chief South Korean nuclear negotiator said on Friday.

Forever 21’s cheap chic
Financial Times (U.K.) (registration req’d)

The retailer, famed for its cheap clothes and fast-changing fashions, sells nothing priced over £40 and shuns sales, believing “the first price should be the right price”. The Oxford Street store is the third of 20 it is opening across Europe, and with three outlets planned in China later this year Forever 21 considers itself a “global retailer”, joining the ranks of H&M and Zara. It poses a clear threat to UK chains New Look, Primark, Peacocks and Matalan, which are struggling to increase sales as consumers trim their spending.

Leadership Hall Of Fame: W. Chan Kim And Renée Mauborgne, Authors Of “Blue Ocean Strategy”
Fast Company

We continue our examination of the business book Blue Ocean Strategy with an interview of authors W. Chan Kim And Renée Mauborgne. We explore their motivation for writing the book, and why more companies are using their strategies.

Winning Scaffold Design Provides Lift Above, Movement Below
New York 1

The Department of Buildings unveiled Tuesday the winning design from an international competition to create a new standard of scaffolding in the city.

Known as the “Urban Umbrella,” the design was chosen through the agency and the American Institute of Architects’ “UrbanSHED International Design Competition.”

A total of 164 different scaffolding prototypes were sent in by architects, engineers, designers and students from 28 different countries.

The winning structure was submitted by New-York based designer Young-Hwan Choi, who teamed up with city-based design firm Agencie Group to take his creation to the next level.

Amateur Video of Recent Mudslides in South Korea

Speak Now: Go West, Young Man

Over the years, KoreAm has documented the impact of the 1992 Los Angeles riots on ours and other communities, and urged an understanding of lessons learned. As we count down to the 20th anniversary next year, iamKoreAm.com will be running a riot article, image or testimonial in this space every week until April 29, 2012. Some will be taken from our pages, while others will be excavated from our own personal archives. We welcome your submissions—first-person memories (no word limit), pictures, poems and (photographed/scanned) artifacts—for this project, too. Please email them to julie@iamkoream.com with the subject line ‘Riots Spot’. Many of us were mere children in 1992, but 19 years later, we have voices. We can speak now.

Here’s an article from KoreAm‘s May 2009 issue.

THE AMERICAN DREAM, RECONSIDERED

by Sung Min Yi

FIFTY thousand Koreans are singing “Go West,” and they’re keeping me awake. I presume it’s the Pet Shop Boys’ version, though it’s hard to tell.

To explain: World Cup 2002. Korea Republic vs. Poland. My parents had warned me that they would wake me up at 4:30 a.m. PST to watch The Game, and I’d blithely agreed to it. And now, here I am, swaddled like an invalid on the couch while my parents are clapping, chanting, burning with religious fervor, their faces aglow, the living room lights still mercifully off. So, here we are and there they are. Fifty thousand plus two Koreans trying to will our team to victory through the power of song.

“Go West,” despite its Gay Liberation associations, has proven remarkably robust in its afterlife as a soccer chant. But for me, the song evokes my uncle, who’s been dead for about 10 years. I thought my mother would have the same reaction, but at this moment, she registers nothing but absolute absorption in the fate of the Reds. My waesamchon. We never saw much of my extended family growing up. So my memories of my uncle are that he owned a series of liquor stores in Los Angeles during the ‘80s and ‘90s, had a pool and cable TV and looked like an Asian John Ritter of Three’s Company fame.

We went to his place twice a year, for New Year’s and the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Our goal was always to perform the ancestral worship ritual as soon as we got there. Everyone rushed to cook the food, stack the fruit, set up the table, the portraits and the incense, and then, the ceremony, with its bowing. Lots of bowing. Afterwards, my uncle left to open the store. Waiting for him to return was always worthwhile because he gave the most saebaedon. But he insisted on working a full day, so part of the ritual always included the interminable wait.

I remember the fever of boredom as we waited, checking the clock, learning to despise the Rose Parade for its wastefulness. Sometimes I wondered how his day was going. The first time we went to visit him at his store, I remember scouring the aisles with my brother, trying to find the single most delicious item we could, while my mom talked to him. We’d inevitably leave with a blade of watermelon Jolly Ranchers, and then it’d be years between visits, always a different store by then, in a different part of town. I’m not sure if the stores themselves got progressively more rundown. I don’t remember if they were in worse parts of town, either. But I remember a rack of second-tier porn titles like Orientail, and people buying loosies, and my uncle, smiling Ritter-esque over it all, unfazed.

Soon Ja Du. Latasha Harlins. Menace II Society. When all the “Blacks vs. Koreans” stuff started happening, the only concrete action I took was a personal boycott of Ice Cube’s Death Certificate album. I never really imagined how it might be affecting my uncle, that customers might be approaching him with newfound swagger, demanding credit or threatening him, giving him looks like he should get it, like all the f—ing Koreans, exactly what you people deserve. We didn’t hear from him until April 30, the second day of what would become known as the L.A. riots. When he finally called, I remember sitting on the stairs, listening while my mother talked on the phone in the kitchen. He’d stayed on his roof all night, shooting into the parking lot when anybody got too close.

I imagined the reddened sky silhouetting his tense body, perched on the roof above a pockmarked parking lot, a blatantly cinematic image that filled me with pride. Everything was fine, my mother said he said. Everything was fine. A year later, two thieves rushed into the store, took $200 he had in the register and ran for the door. One of the thieves stopped, turned and shot him in the chest. We didn’t even have time to visit the hospital. My mother got the call in the evening, just after I’d gotten home from school, and she just sat there, gray, shrinking. I hugged her and she cried into my T-shirt. I tried to stay as still as I could.

The police said there was little hope of catching the thieves. Continue reading

Speak Now: LA Riots A Hard Kick In The Head

Journalist K.W. Lee speaks at an Asian American Journalists Association panel in 2010.
Photo credit: Hyungwon Kang

Over the years, KoreAm has documented the impact of the 1992 Los Angeles riots on ours and other communities, and urged an understanding of lessons learned. As we count down to the 20th anniversary next year, iamKoreAm.com will be running a riot article, image or testimonial in this space every week until April 29, 2012. Some will be taken from our pages, while others will be excavated from our own personal archives. We welcome your submissions—first-person memories (no word limit), pictures, poems and (photographed/scanned) artifacts—for this project, too. Please email them to riots@iamkoream.com. Many of us were mere children in 1992, but 19 years later, we have voices. We can speak now.

Here’s an article from KoreAm‘s September 2010 issue.

18 Years and Counting

Korean Americans have made great strides since the 1992 Los Angeles riots, but how will we leverage those gains to head off the fire next time?

By Peter Hong

A few minutes before a community “town hall” meeting on the 1992 Los Angeles riots was to start, the panelists fretted over whether they would outnumber the audience. Soon enough, though, the small hotel meeting room in Hollywood filled up with a couple dozen members of the Asian American Journalists Association, which was hosting the event last month at its national convention, and their guests.

Many, if not most, of those in the audience were young children in 1992. Looking at the sparse and youthful crowd, I thought, “You may well have your own Los Angeles riot soon enough.”

I was about their age in 1992, and I remembered how an historical curiosity for them was for me a defining, life-shaping event.

This was actually the second time AAJA held a town hall on the riots. The last time, in 1993, hundreds packed a large auditorium for something like a massive therapy session. There was plenty of shouting and some tears, with the whole horrible mess still fresh in everyone’s hearts and minds.

Anger and determination were the emotional byproducts for a few years after the last flames went out. News organizations pledged to diversify their staffs, politicians and business leaders promised to elevate living conditions in the inner city, and some Korean Americans in school or the early stages of their careers made their own vow: “Never again!”

In my case, I decided to return to Los Angeles from my fledgling reporting career in Washington, D.C. I’d planned to spend a career reporting on national politics, but the riots awakened Continue reading

Speak Now: LA Riots Burn A Dream

Over the years, KoreAm has documented the impact of the 1992 Los Angeles riots on ours and other communities, and urged an understanding of lessons learned. As we count down to the 20th anniversary next year, iamKoreAm.com will be running a riot article, image or testimonial in this space every week until April 29, 2012. Some will be taken from our pages, while others will be excavated from our own personal archives. We welcome your submissions—first-person memories (no word limit), pictures, poems and (photographed/scanned) artifacts—for this project, too. Please email them to riots@iamkoream.com. Many of us were mere children in 1992, but 19 years later, we have voices. We can speak now.

Here’s a Timepiece from KoreAm‘s April 2009 issue, marking the 17th anniversary of the riots.

PERHAPS there’s some irony to the fact that Alex Ko used the medium of filmmaking to confront the demons that haunted him ever since the Los Angeles riots destroyed his parents’ video rental store 17 years ago. His film Pokdong (“riots” in Korean), released in 2007 when he was an MFA student at USC, is about the immigrant dreams that brought his parents to the United States in the 1970s, culminating in their opening of a Koreatown business. Footage from old home videos capturing joyful family birthday celebrations at the store are included in the documentary.

But the violence of April 29, 1992 literally burnt that dream to the ground, also leaving a family deeply scarred. Hyung Kyu Ko, who himself studied film in Korea, had planned to go to his grave without ever talking about what happened with his two sons. But he agreed to cooperate with Alex’s film, explaining, “My son is asking me, so I will do my best.”

The Ko family finally talks about the riots in Pokdong:

Continue reading

Koreatown Community Outreach Event for Parents of Toddlers

Best Start Metro LA is hosting an info session and discussion in Koreatown for parents of children five years and younger. The event, set for June 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Ambassador School of Global Education on West 8th Street, will offer neighborhood parents a chance to weigh in on what programs young children in the community should have.

The event will have separate presentations in English, Korean and Spanish. Parents who register and attend this free event will receive a gift card and be entered in a raffle. Yay!

More details after the jump.

Continue reading

The Hidden Population

Thanks to some innovative data crunching, we already know a large part of Los Angeles Koreatown is not participating in the 2010 census. The silver lining: It’s not too late to come out of the shadows and be counted.

By Julie Ha

In unprecedented fashion this year, the U.S. Census Bureau took pro-active measures to target those hard-to-count minority groups, with in-language ads in the ethnic media, accompanied by partnerships with nonprofit community organizations on the ground. All worked together to connect the dots between getting counted and much-needed government resources flowing into a community. Groups also tried hard to dispel the myth that the census would be used to deport undocumented immigrants.

And yet, as of April 2, about a month after census questionnaires arrived in mailboxes, only 39.5 percent of Los Angeles Koreatown residents, heavily dominated by Latino and Korean immigrants, had returned their 10-question forms. That’s compared to a national average of 67 percent and a Los Angeles County average of 64 percent.

What gives, Koreatown? Continue reading