Tag Archives: New York Times


Korean Nail Salon Owners Unhappy with New York Times Exposé

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Korean nail salon owners in New York are voicing their displeasure over a lengthy New York Times report published on May 7 that delves into the exploitation and abuse of manicurists.

The in-depth investigation noted the prejudice and “stark ethnic hierarchy” imposed by Korean nail salon owners in particular, along with issues of wage theft, physical abuse and desperate conditions that are so prevalent in the nail industry. Part two of the investigation, “Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers,” looked at the potential health risks that nail salon workers faced due to a number of harmful ingredients in nail products.

Sang-ho Lee, president of the Korean American Nail Salon Association, told Yonhap News Agency that he plans to send the NY Times a letter of protest asking them for an official apology, as well as a corrective story.

“We are strongly protesting that (the newspaper) looked into only about 150 salons, which is an extremely small part of a total of some 6,000 shops, and carried a biased report that only highlighted extremely bad parts about them,” Lee said.

“Most Korean-run businesses are not engaged in such nonsense [sic] things as racial discrimination and ethnic caste system,” he added.

On Sunday, just a few days after the NY Times report was published, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered emergency measures to crack down on unfair labor practices and health hazards nail salon workers face in the New York State area. A new multiagency task force will conduct salon-by-salon investigations and eventually create new rules to protect workers based on findings, Cuomo said in a statement.

Some of the new measures include requiring salons to post signs informing workers of their rights, provide masks and gloves to reduce health risks from chemicals and regularly ventilate the salon to reduce fumes. Salons will also be required to be bonded in order to ensure that workers are paid if salon owners are found guilty of wage theft. These emergency measures will eventually become permanent within a few months.

“We will not stand idly by as workers are deprived of their hard-earned wages and robbed of their most basic rights,” Cuomo said.


Image via Shuttershock


‘Top Chef’ Winner Kristen Kish to Co-Host New Travel Channel Show, ’36 Hours’

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Top Chef Season 10 winner Kristen Kish is set to co-host a new show on the Travel Channel with former American professional soccer player Kyle Martino.

Based on a popular New York Times column of the same name, 36 Hours will follow Kish and Martino as they travel to a new destination in the world and spend 36 hours sight seeing, sampling local cuisine and meeting “fascinating local insiders,” according to a press release.

New York Times editors and contributors will craft the two globetrotters’ itineraries for each one-hour episode, bringing their extensive research and expertise to the table. While a list of destinations have yet to be disclosed, the show’s trailer hints that the pilot episode is set in New York City’s Chinatown.

So far, six episodes have been green-lit. While the premiere date has not been announced yet, the New York Times said that “episodes will be timed to coincide with new or updated” editions of the its 36 Hours column.

“I am beyond ecstatic,” Kish told the Daily Dish of her new show. “Two years ago when my mentor and former boss suggested that I try out for Top Chef, I never could have imagined where I’d be today. It goes to show you the power of an amazing show combined with hard work and dedication can really lead to incredible things.”

Kish is the first-ever Korean American chef to win Top Chef. Born in Seoul, she was adopted at the age of four months by a family in Kenton, Mich. She served as a chef de cuisine at Barbara Lynch’s Menton, one of Boston’s premier restaurants.

Watch the trailer for 36 Hours below:

Read KoreAm‘s April 2013 feature story on Kish here


Featured image by John Wilcox/Bravo.


[VIDEO] NY Times Explores Hot Spots in LA’s Koreatown

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

The New York Times recently gave a crash course on how to spend 36 hours in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, introducing readers to the vibrant neighborhood’s thriving night-life and rich culture.

The guide features some of the trendiest restaurants, bars, theaters and cultural sites in K-town, including Wi Spa, where Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead and Conan O’brien bonded over painful body scrubs and sitting naked in steam rooms.

You can read the New York Time’s full guide on LA’s Koreatown here.


Featured image via the New York Times

Thursday's Link Attack: David Chang's New Mag, Daniel Dae Kim, Toilet House

David Chang Launches ‘Lucky Peach’

The Momofuku chef known for his exquisite ramen recently launched a new quarterly magazine for foodies and the early reviews of the publication, which hit newsstands yesterday, were largely positive.

The Chicago Tribune published an extensive review of the new venture, calling it “a powerhouse lineup of food porn.”

It’s part-literary magazine, part-conversation between friends and a whole lot of attitude about the state of noodles and cooking, the first of what will be a sprawling quarterly mix of ideas, art and recipes in exploration of a single topic.

LA Weekly called it “an enormous amount of fun.”

Yes, recipes. 22 recipes. David Chang recipes, mostly. Worth the price of admission themselves. So that you can make your own tonkotsu broth to spill on the journal’s pages. Or make cacio e pepe from instant ramen. Or instant ramen gnocchi. Or bacon dashi. And if that isn’t highbrow enough, Chang provides a recipe for Alain Passard’s famous egg, called here the Arpege egg, too. Knock yourself out.

‘Lost’ Star Daniel Dae Kim Was Going To Be Comic Relief In ‘The Adjustment Bureau’

Kim had a part that was ultimately cut from the sci-fi thriller starring Matt Damon, a “blackly humorous” role, according to an IndieWire interview with director George Nolfi.

“[Kim] did a great job—just two scenes—and they’re in there so people can see what it would have looked like if we had gone that direction. I ultimately decided that the Bureau needed to be a little more dark or it would risk being silly. It’s already such a difficult concept to kind of sell in a realistic way, so that’s why it’s out.”

In other DDK news, veteran actor Terry O’Quinn will join the cast of “Hawaii Five-0,” reuniting the two former “Lost” cast members.

Kim said the show is lucky to have the actor on board.

“He’s a great actor who brings a sense of professionalism to every project he works on and I’m excited to work with him again,” Kim said in a release.

O’Quinn, 58, played the mysterious and obsessive character John Locke on “Lost.”

Asian New Yorkers Surpass a Million, and Band Together
New York Times

Asians, a group more commonly associated with the West Coast, are surging in New York, where they have long been eclipsed in the city’s kaleidoscopic racial and ethnic mix. For the first time, according to census figures released in April, their numbers have topped one million — nearly 1 in 8 New Yorkers — which is more than the Asian population in the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles combined.

That milestone, in turn, has become a rallying cry for Asian New Yorkers who have been working for years to win more political representation, government assistance and public recognition. Many leaders have seized on the one-million figure as a fresh reason for immigrants and their descendants who hail from across the Asian continent to think of themselves as one people with a common cause — in the same way that many people from Spanish-speaking cultures have come to embrace the broad terms Latino and Hispanic.

Check out the cool interactive map to see where Asian American New Yorkers live. Chinatown? Obviously. Flushing? Check. Jackson Heights? Yes. Bay Ridge, Brooklyn? Didn’t know that.

My Life As An Undocumented Immigrant
New York Times

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas wrote a stunning first-person piece for the New York Times Magazine which revealed that he is an undocumented immigrant. Vargas came to the U.S. from the Philippines when he was 12 years old.

At 16, he tried to get his driver’s license and was hit with a bombshell.

When I handed the clerk my green card as proof of U.S. residency, she flipped it around, examining it. “This is fake,” she whispered. “Don’t come back here again.”

Vargas’ story is engaging, in-depth and thought-provoking and is sure to spark heated discussion on the highly-sensitive issue of immigration.

There are believed to be 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. We’re not always who you think we are. Some pick your strawberries or care for your children. Some are in high school or college. And some, it turns out, write news articles you might read. I grew up here. This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own.

Photo via NY Times. Continue reading

NYT's gift guide for non-white people

Gawker has a wonderfully snarky post on the offensive gift guide that the New York Times has created for people “Of Color.”

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the gifts themselves—I think it’s really cool that there’s a children’s book that tells the story of Justice Sotomayor, and we’ve long been fans of Taylor Chang-Babaian’s Asian Faces makeup guide. Still, the guide just shows how we’re so often lumped into that group known as The Other.

Says Gawker: “It’s a celebration of the racist assumption that ‘people of color’ are defined by their colors—but white people get to self-define with their interests, hobbies, and desire for ‘Home and Decorating Gifts for $25 and Under.'”