E is for…Estado…n…Europeans

E is for…Estado…n…Europeans

Friday, 5 April 2019 E is for…Estado…n…Europeans One of the issues faced in this search for music this time around is that many of the Bengali bands do not have much of a presence on Youtube, they are more active on India-oriented sites which are not so seamlessly shared on the Blogger platform (or maybe that’s just me?!). Some of the YT videos are often cringeworthy quality because they’re uploaded by some fan like yours truly, with great love but zero technical knowledge. Okay, whinge over, back to the day’s business and letter – first I have for you Ekalabya , a band from Kolkata, with E Mon Okaron . These guys have been singing for the last 20 years, debuted late 90’s sometime on television. They’ve cut 5-6 albums since then. The next one I’m giving you is from Escape Velocity , formed in 2001 in Kolkata. They sing both in English and Bengali, here they are with Firiye Dao (Give it back) – take a listen. Lastly this rather Dylanesque track from Anjan Dutta … Ekhono Tai (Even so). Dylan wields an Extraordinary influence on Bengali contemporary musicmakers and songwriters, maybe he does so on other non-English speaking, South Asian cultures also and I’m clueless. Estado Portuguesa da India…European influences The first European explorer to arrive in India was Vasco da Gama in 1498, making landfall in Calicut on the Malabar Coast. By 1517, the first Portuguese ship had sailed into Chittagong in present day Bangladesh. They called it ‘Porto Grande’ or the Great Harbour. In the mid-1530s, the then ruler issued a permit for them to establish a trading post. The port grew to be a major trading hub. By the closing decade of the 16 th century, the Portuguese had established their presence in settlements further north sailing upriver at Hooghly, Bandel and Satgaon. These, together with other settlements became the Estado Portuguesa da India, the overseas empire of the State of Portugal, the capital of which was at Goa on the Western coast on India. The Mughals subsequently subdued the Portuguese and won back the Bay of Bengal settlements, by the mid-18 th century the latter had lost control of the region. But for 150 years, the Portuguese ships plied between Africa, America, Europe and the Bay of Bengal, and Bengal became an entrepot in Portuguese trade. The impact of their presence on Bengalis is widespread and enduring. Unlike the later British colonisers, the Portuguese mingled and married more freely among Indians, taking Christian converts along the way and building some of the oldest churches in Bengal. The Bandel Church was first established in 1599 and rebuilt in 1660, it still receives pilgrims today. Many Bengali Christians (who make up less than 1% of the Bengali population) have Portuguese surnames. Portuguese contribution to both language and cuisine of Bengal has been profound. Several fruits and vegetables, an integral part of the Bengali kitchen today, were brought in by the Portuguese – chili, groundnuts, cashew, pineapple, pawpaw, sweet potato, cauliflower. They also introduced cottage cheese to Bengal, which is the basis for those most delectable Bengali desserts, famous the world over. Prior to the coming of the Portuguese, curdling of milk was considered inauspicious in Bengal. The Portuguese were the first to offer European style baked goods and chocolates to Bengali. Loanwords from Portuguese are common too – the Bengali words for wardrobe, nail, steel, soap, bucket, basket, window, balcony, button, chair, church, guava, bread (Western, leavened) and many more come from Portuguese. There are lingering influences in the arts and architecture as well. But it is not just the Portuguese whose left their prints on Bengali culture. The French, the Danish, the Dutch – they all came to trade in Bengal and each of them made an impact. The Dutch first arrived roughly a century after the Portuguese, made their base at in Chinsurah and stayed more than two centuries. There is the riverside promenade in Chinsurah and inconspicuous architectural details in derelict buildings here and there. The Dutch were the first set up a European style school and orphanage in Bengal. Dutch sailors have left their influence behind in the trick taking card game 29, played widely in Bengal and the wider delta region even today. As an offshoot, the words for card suites – heart, spade, diamond, and trump have come into Bengali from the Dutch. Interestingly however, the Bengali word for Dutch itself (Olondaj) has been adapted from its French counterpart (Hollandaise). The French landed at the end of the 17 th century – and established a base at Chandernagar (present day Chandannagar). They lost it to the Brits in 1757, regained it again in 1763 and lost it again in 1794. It was restored to the French again in 1850, but by then the city of Calcutta downriver had completely eclipsed its importance. It remained part of French India and was administered from their Indian capital at Pondicherry. Chandannagar was ceded to the government of India five years after India became independent. But the French impact on Bengal is harder to pin down. There is the French Governor’s residence, of course, now converted to the obligatory museum, and French is still taught from the same premises. There are the old bungalows, buildings with pastel walls in the Franco-Bengali style – they have French architectural features combined with an essential Bengali staple – the courtyard. The Sacred Heart Church with its vivid and beautiful stained glass, imported from France. There is the waterfront Strand, with a graceful French style edifice vaguely reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe – on it is a plaque dedicating it to the memory of Dourgachourone Roquitte, who was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 1841. The arch was built by Shamachourone Roquitte his son, the names being rendered in the French style – very uncommon. Since 1980’s Chandannogore has emerged as a hub of electric lighting for festivals. Light artists from Chandannagore create the complex lighting displays for the communal marquees at Durgapuja – Bengal’s main festival. They also supply ‘animated lighting’ for other festivals around the country. Now, the Son et Lumiere is originally a French invention of the 50’s – food for thought, hmm? Another commonality between the Bengalis and the French is their attitude to food. Bengalis are the only Indian community who serve a la russe as the French do, i.e. they take their meal in a fixed sequential order – course by course. And my word, do they both take their food equally seriously! Apart from food, Bengali-French uncanny parallels extend to other aspects of life too – such as politics, and literature and films. Read more about the Bengali-French similarities here . Lately renovated. The Denmark Tavern. The Danes landed up at Frederiknagore (Serampore/Srirampur) in 1755, and remained there for nearly a century. Under their watch nearly a hundred buildings were put up, including the Lutheran church St Olav’s, known locally as the Danish church. The seal of the Danish king Christian IV and an inscription on the bell testify to the origins. Recently, the church has been restored by an initiative of the Danish government. Serampore College was established here and recognised by the Danish king in 1827, becoming the first European style degree granting university in India. There are also cemeteries with Danish/European graves. Further restoration is on-going. Read about the initiatives here . Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2019 Posted by

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6 Buzz-Worthy Calgary Restaurants

Over the last decade or so Calgary has grown into a city filled with exciting new restaurants. Whether you’re looking for Asian fusion, cool cocktails or a solid meal made with locally sourced ingredients, these six places are buzz-worthy spots to see and be seen.
1. Alumni Specializing in sandwiches and boozy drinks, Alumni isn’t exactly fancy, but it does offer a tasty and relatively affordable night out. The menu really is pretty much just sandwiches — but they’re all made to perfection and go great with one of the bar’s classic cocktails. The hot chicken sandwich is a fan favourite, but the rosemary beef dip and chicken Parmesan are also highly recommended.
2. Bar Von Der Fels A little wine bar that’s always guaranteed to have an interesting bottle open and ready for a glass pour, Bar Von Der Fels also has a fantastic food menu. The food offerings in this small restaurant change regularly, but the chef’s creative small plates are always surprising and delicious.
The dining room at Calcutta Cricket Club. [Calcutta Cricket Club]
3. Calcutta Cricket Club An Indian restaurant that is also a hip cocktail bar, Calcutta Cricket Club focuses on Bengali-style cuisine. Lighter bites like the chips and curry and kati roll sandwiches go great with something from CCC’s extensive cocktail list, or you can sit down for a more formal dinner with dishes like duck vindaloo or the three-course Taste of Calcutta tasting menu.
4. Donna Mac Billed as a friendly neighbourhood restaurant, Donna Mac has a youthful vibe and a menu filled with fresh dishes. The menu changes frequently, but you can expect comfort food like pork schnitzel or mac ‘n’ cheese as well as sophisticated small plates. The kitchen also looks out for vegan customers, with a rotating plant-based Blue Plate Special always on offer.
A piece of sushi at Calgary’s Shokunin. [Shokunin]
5. Shokunin Chef Darren MacLean gained a fair bit of attention after appearing on Netflix’s The Final Table chef competition last year, which has made his Japanese restaurant Shokunin one of Calgary’s busiest spots. While Shokunin does offer larger dishes like ramen and whole fish, the best way to go is with a selection of small plates like fatty chicken skewers, scallop isoyaki and chicken skin chips.
6. Ten Foot Henry One of Calgary’s top vegetable-forward restaurants, Ten Foot Henry is not strictly vegetarian, but the kitchen offers a variety of small plates that can be used to build either an entirely veggie meal or a combination of vegetarian and meat dishes. Everything from the carrots with salsa verde and hummus to spaghetti with pistachio pesto is delicious, but be sure to save room for the unbelievable butterscotch pudding.
These are just a few to get you started. Calgary’s food scene is full of cool places to explore — there’s never any shortage of good things to eat in the city.
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Sahrawat launches Tuesday Test Kitchen

News Sahrawat launches Tuesday Test Kitchen
Diners will soon be able to enjoy a taste of all three of chef Sid Sahrawat’s restaurants under one roof, with the launch of his Tuesday Test Kitchen.
Taking place on the first Tuesday of each month, the experience will see customers served two dishes each from Sidart, Cassia and Sid at The French Café. Hosted in the private dining room, The French Kitchen, at Sid at the French Café, diners will also get to see Sahrawat doing what he does best, as he cooks, plates and introduces each dish.
“People often ask me which of our three restaurants I think they should visit,” Sahrawat said. “This new format will give our diners a little taste of each restaurant under one roof, in a fun and communal atmosphere. The style of food at each of our establishments may be different, but they all follow our ethos of using the best produce in innovative ways to give our diners an elevated experience. I’m really looking forward to welcoming guests to our table and showcasing this for them.”
The Tuesday Test Kitchen’s menu will change each month, delivering a superb taste of the cuisine on offer at Sahrawat’s entire stable, where the dishes are always made with the best of New Zealand’s seasonal produce and finished with the chef’s signature flair.
Diners can enjoy the contemporary Indian food for which Cassia has become famous, the flavours of the progressive Indian cuisine now found at Sidart, and the European-style menu offered at Sid at The French Café.
The Tuesday Test Kitchen is priced at $175 per person, which includes canapés, the six dishes from the Sahrawat stable of restaurants, the choice of a glass of champagne, Seedlip cocktail or beer on arrival, as well as Vittoria water and after dinner tea or coffee. Share this:

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Dine India

pershorepatty April 2, 2019
Located conveniently only minutes from junction 4 of the M5 and in the Worcestershire village of Catshill, is one of Bromsgrove’s finest Indian restaurants. Dine India has a formidable reputation with locals, built upon their desire to offer quality Bangladeshi and Southern Asian food with customer service that will go over and above your expectations.
The wine menu boasts a range of hand selected wines from a local supplier, and offers a great choice in both price and variety. Great care and thought goes into everything at Dine India and it’s all about the detail. A complimentary dessert is offered to all guests as well as tea or coffee, an after dinner shot and some sweets to finish.
Dine India offers high quality Indian cuisine with some unique touches, excellent service and reasonable prices, making it a very popular choice with locals and visitors to the area.
Click here to read my review of Dine India for WR Magazine. Current Offer

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April 2, 2019 – Arts Etc

April 2, 2019 – Arts Etc By 0 Visual Arts
Hedreen Gallery – Lee Center for the Arts on the Seattle University campus off Capitol Hill has the following – “An Object Lesson” has work by Markel Uriu, a Seattle artist who combines organic materials to explore ideas of impermanence, maintenance and decay using the premise of “invasive species”. On view through Sun., May 19, 2019. Veteran Northwest artist Romsom Bustillo draws upon his island upbringing seeped in a colonial/native history and iconography. The final result in patterns and mark-making on paper are images that stay rooted in the memory. Opens May 21, 2019. Wed. – Fri. from 1 – 6pm. 901 12 th Ave. 206-296-2244.
Gould Gallery presents a group show entitled “Memory And Place” with Iranian artist Morehshin Allahyari , interdisciplinary artist Trinh Mai and landscape designer/public artist Sara Zewde. April 3 – May 3, 2019. 11am – 4pm. Wed. – Sat. 3950 University Way N.E. Free. Go to uw.edu/publiclectures/artists for details.
Non-Breaking Space Gallery has a show entitled “Set v. 15” by Na Kim on view through April 9, 2019. Kim uses fine art and graphic design to tease out a combination of geometrical forms from a series started a few years ago in New York. 532 – 1 st Ave. S. For details, go to [email protected] .
Works by George Tsutakawa are included in a show of artists whose works are on consignment in a show entitled “Semi-occasional Secondary Market Exhibition of Excellent Pictures” at Greg Kucera Gallery, Inc. Many of the artists represented are from the Northwest. April 4 – June 1, 2019. 212 Third Ave. S. in Seattle. 206-624-4031 or try [email protected]
At Oxbow Gallery, South Korean artist Chanhee Choi, a DXARTS PhD student uses her traditional technique and blends it with contemporary media such as video, neon lights and games in an installation that examines gender roles in today’s world. On view through April 29, 2019. 6119 – 12 th Ave. S. For details, go to [email protected]
Originally from Japan, Mieko Mintz is known for her unique wearable designs using hand-blocked and stitched textiles from India to make contemporary pieces from her studio in New York City. KOBO at Higo presents new spring arrivals of her one-of-a-kind garments made of vintage sari material and handstiched kantha. Open daily at 604 South Jackson St. 206-381-3000 or [email protected]
Northwest artist Saya Moriyasu is busy these days and her work can be seen all over the region. She has a solo exhibit entitled “Quiet” through April 13, 2019. Sharing the space is Amanda Knowles with new print-based works. G. Gibson Gallery at 104 W. Roy St. in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. 206-587-4033. She also has two new pieces on view in the region. “MAYA” is a bronze sculpture that went up last year at the corner of Yesler and Broadway at the Batik Apartments across from the Yesler Community Center. Also her “Portraits of Ladies and Man Servers” is an installation made of porcelain on view at AC Hotel in the lobby through May 28, 2021. 208 – 106 th Pl. NE in Bellevue,WA.
Madrona Wine Merchants and Fred Birchman present a two person show of work by community artists Amy Nikaitani and Michelle Kumata. Nikaitani will show sumi paintings, ink drawings and watercolors. Kumata presents work from her “Nihonmachi Portraits” series. The show will be on view through April, 2019. Go to https://madronawinemerchants.com/blog/ . For artists interested in showing at this space, contact Fred at [email protected]
Tacoma-based sculptor June Sekiguchi visited Laos a few years ago and it left a deep impression. So deep that she hopes to summon the powerful flow of the muddy Mekong River within the gallery walls providing visitors with a bridge to cross it as well. Set for the month of Oct., 2019. ArtXchange Gallery at 512 First Ave. S, 206-839-0327 or [email protected] .
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s “Momentum” series presents “A Dialogue With Nature: Artist Talk with Z.Z. Wei” on April 20, 2019 at 7pm in the Museum’s Frank Buxton Auditorium. Tickets are $5 – $7. This local artist hails from China and came to the Northwest in 1989. In his talk, he will use video and slides to explain how moving to this country transformed him as a person and artist. He is fascinated by the life and landscape of rural America. 550 Winslow Way E. on Bainbridge Island, WA. 206-842-4451 or try [email protected]
The Friends of Asian Art Association presents a double art event (re-scheduled from February’s snow storm) set for Sunday, April 28, 2019 from 2 – 4pm. Dr. Shiang Yu Lee will give a talk in which she explores the mysteries of the hidden meanings in the Chinese language. Inspired by the Da Vinci Code to dig into the structure and compositions of Chinese words, moving beyond their obvious meanings. Also on view will be paintings by Dr. Agnes Lee that capture the meanings and feelings in Chinese calligraphy expressing them using the meticulous repetition of Chinese characters. An upcoming exhibit of her work will be held at Clarke and Clarke Arts & Artifacts Gallery on Mercer Island. Both Shiang Yu Lee and Agnes Lee’s double event will be held at Lake City Library at 12501 – 28 th Ave. N.E. Pre-registration at http://friendsofasianart.org/ . Another event is “Honey Church Transformed – A Tour & Talk set for May 4, 2019 from 10:30am – 1:30pm. 21301 Tyee Road in Mt. Vernon, WA. See this former Seattle Asian antique institution in their new digs in a rural setting with entertaining stories provided about their antique adventures by owners, John and Laurie Fairman. Pre-register by April 29, 2019. Members get in with two free guests if paid by April 29, 2019. Pre-register for this event by going to http://friendsofasianart.org/eventflyer3.html .
The Museum of Northwest Art presents “Continuum: Works from the Permanent Collection and the Lucy and Herb Pruzan Collection” is an edited visual history of Northwest art from the 1930’s to the present. Includes the work of Paul Horiuchi, Akio Takamori and many others. Opens April 6, 2019. 121 South 1 st St. in La Connor, WA. 360-466-4446.
“Yahaw – Together We Lift The Sky” is a year-long indigenous community-based project culminating in the inaugural exhibition at Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s ARTS at King Street Station which opens March 23, 2019 from noon – 7pm. “Yahaw” will feature the work of 200+ Indigenous creative at over 20 sites across Seattle and beyond. Curated by Tracy Rector, Asia Tail and Satpreet Kahlon. Learn more at Yehawshow.com. On view through August 3, 2019.
A JCCCW Exhibition entitled “Genji Mihara: An Issei Pioneer” is ongoing. Mihara was an Issei first-generation Japanese immigrant leader who helped to build Japanese culture and community in Seattle. Open M – F from 10am – 5pm. Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington is at 1414 S. Weller St. Free. For details, go jcccw.org.
“MY WAR: Wartime Photographs by Vietnam Vets” is a group show that runs from April 5 – June 3, 2019. Showcasing photographs, poems and journal entries by twenty-five Vietnam veterans from around the U.S. At the San Juan Islands Museum of Art. 540 Spring St. in Friday Harbor, WA. 360-370-5050 or go to www.sjma.org.
Asia Pacific Cultural Center has a show every month of a local Asian American artist every month in their gallery.4851 South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. 253-383-3900 or asiapacificculturalcenter.org.
Seattle Art Museum has the following – “Pure Amusements: Chinese Scholar Culture and Emulators”, an installation of Chinese works ranging from prints to sculpture and furnishings to ceramics. The focus is on objects created for, and enjoyed during the intentional practice of leisure. Ongoing. Opening at the John McCone Gallery on the 3 rd floor on March 16, 2019 in the same location is “The Gentleman Warrior: Art of the Samurai” which features two complete sets of samurai armor, screen paintings and a print of the legendary battle between the Tara and Minamoto clans. Seattle Art Museum is located at 1300 First Ave. 206-654-3210 or try www.seattleartmuseum.org .
Henry Art Gallery has a group show entitled “Between Bodies” through April 29, 2019. It includes sculpture, augmented reality, video, and sound-based works that delve into intimate exchanges and entwined relations between human and more-than-human bodies within contexts of ongoing ecological change. Candace Lin and Patrick Staff are among the participating artists. Located on the UW Seattle campus at 15 th Ave. NE + NE 4lst Street. 206-543-2280 or try henryart.org.
Pacific Bonsai Museum shakes up this Japanese tradition with LAB (Living Art of Bonsai), an experimental collaborative for bonsai innovation This project is a re-sequencing in the order of influence between the bonsai artist, ceramicist and stand maker. The project kicks off in 2018 and continues through 2020. A video trailer from a film about this new process can be viewed at http://www.bonsaimirai.com . Other shows include “Gnarly”, a tribute to “bonsai renegade” Dan Robinson who helped create the Northwest bonsai scene with his innovative designs. Also on view will be “Living Art of Bonsai: Principles of Design” which emphasizes key elements of the art form. Both shows on view May 11 – Sept. 29, 2019. For more information, go to http://www.pacificbonsaimuseum.org . The Pacific Bonsai Museum is at 2515 S. 336 th St. in Federal Way, WA. 206-612-0026 for information.
Portland Art Museum has the following –Sara Roby championed realism and works of art founded in the principles of form and design. A group show entitled “Modern American Realism: Highlights from the Smithsonian’s Sara Roby Foundation Collection” includes the work of Yasuo Kuniyoshi and many other great American artists and it remains on view through April 28, 2019. “The Map Is Not The Territory” on view until May 5, 2019 is a reconsideration of the art of the northwest region. This group show includes the work of Rob Rhee and Henry Tsang among others. It covers the Eastern edge of the Pacific including Oregon, Washington, Vancouver, BC and Alaska. Curated by Grace Kook-Anderson. “Three Masters of Abstraction – Hagiwara Hideo, Ida Shoichi And Takahashi Rikio” looks at some Japanese modern abstract artists. Through May 5, 2019. “APEX: Steven Young Lee” showcases this contemporary ceramic artist who takes inspiration from the museum’s Korean collection and reconsiders these objects with a contemporary twist. Lee is based in Helena, MT. On view through August 11, 2019. 1219 S.W. Park Ave. 503-226-2811 or try [email protected] .
Bellevue Arts Museum previously had a retrospective for the late N.W. jewelry artist Ron Ho. They follow it up with “Ron Ho: A Jeweler’s Tale” which looks more closely at his inspirations and how his Chinese roots and world cultures influenced and fed into his own work. With a reconstruction of his studio and the screening of a new documentary entitled “Ron Ho: Becoming Chinese, A Jeweler’s Tale”. May 10 – Sept. 15, 2019.510 Bellevue Way. 425-519-0770 or go to bellevuearts.org.
KOBO at Higo at 604 South Jackson features many small arts & crafts/textile shows and activities inspired by Asia or work by Asian American artists. There is another branch of KOBO on Capitol Hill at 814 E. Roy St. 206-726-0704.
New and recent shows /activities at the The Wing include the following – “ “Lore Re-Imagined: Shadows of Our Ancestors” is curated by Chieko Phillips. It brings together three artists who make work that engages the cultural traditions of previous generations. Satpreet Kahlon uses the embroidery and textile techniques passed on by her mother and grandmother to create soft works with strong cultural subtexts. Alex Anderson uses his ceramic studies in China to probe the moral and physical decay behind seemingly flawless facades. Megumi Shauna Arai’s “Unnamed Lake” uses sashiko (Japanese hand-stiched embroidery) to reflect on the physical, mental and emotional applications of mending. Remains on view through April 14, 2019. “Wham! Bam! Pow! – Cartoons, Turbans & Confronting Hate” remains on view through Feb. 24, 2019. This is an exhibition of work by New York-based cartoonist Vishavjit Singh who wields art and humor to fight intolerance and challenge stereotypes. “A Dragon Lives Here”, part 4 of the ongoing Bruce Lee exhibition series has just opened. This concluding part hones in on Bruce Lee’s Seattle roots and how this region played a key role in shaping Lee and his groundbreaking career. Toddler Story Time set for Thursdays at 11am always has events centered around a kid’s book and an art activity afterwards. A new addition to The Wing’s daily Historic Hotel Tour is “APT 507” which is the story of Au Shee, one Chinese immigrant woman who helped build Seattle’s Chinatown. Her living room is interactive with objects meant to be felt, opened and experienced. NOW let’s look at future shows The Wing is planning this fall and into 2019. “Worlds Beyond Here: The Expanding Universe of APA Science Fiction” is a show that remains on view through Sept. 15, 2019. From onscreen actors to behind-the-scenes writers, creators, artists and animators, learn about the impact Asian Pacific Americans have had and continue to have in science fiction. A mix of literary and pop culture works helps viewers to see how science fiction reflects the times they were written in. It addresses issues related to identity, immigration and race, technology, morality and the human condition. Curated by Mikala Woodward. Includes work by Tamiko Thiel, Simon Kono, June Sekigiuchi, Stasia Burrington, relics from George Takei’s Sulu character on Star Trek, clips & stills from the film, Arrival” based on Bellevue writer Ted Chiang’s story and much more. A group show tentatively titled “Open Housing” shows how community members across the Central Area, Chinatown-ID and Southeast Seattle gather to explore how racial restrictions on where people could live shaped the Seattle we know today and set a vision for those neighborhoods for the next 50 years. March 8, 2019 – Feb. 16, 2020 in the New Dialogues Initiative area. Carina del Rosario curates an exhibit entitled “Wide Angle/Close up: A Self Portrait of the Asian Pacific Islander American Community” from May 10, 2019 – April 19, 2020. Includes photography, video, and photo-based installations by photojournalists that document the community from the inside out. Set for the George Tsutakawa Gallery. “Chinatown in the 1970s” recreates Seattle’s Chinatown in the 1970’s and explores the values and customs that continue to shape the neighborhood today. July 20, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020 in the KidPLACE Gallery. The Museum is located at 719 South King St. (206) 623-5124 or visit www.wingluke.org . Closed Mondays. Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm. First Thursday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm. Third Saturday of each month is free from 10am – 8pm.
Poet Jane Wong, currently teaching at Western University enters a new realm with a debut exhibition centered on family entitled “After Preparing the Altar, the Ghosts Feast Feverishly” at Seattle’s Frye Art Museum. Wong explores the themes of hunger and waste and their meaning for immigrant families. Expect altars, sculpture poems and texts that evoke a New Jersey childhood in the Chinese restaurant her parents ran. If she can do with images what she does with words, this show will be sure to haunt. June 1 – Sept. 1, 2019. 704 Terry. 206-622-9250 or go to fryemuseum.org.
“Key to the Collection” is a group show that opened Dec. 22, 2018 and it lets TAM show off some of the treasured gifts from their collection including their legacy of Japanese woodblock prints and various other items. Familiar Faces& New Voices: Surveying Northwest Art” stays on view through the summer of 2019. This group show is a chronological walk through of Northwest art history, illustrated with the works of noted artists from each time period as well as lesser-known but just as important figures. Different works will be displayed throughout the run of this show. Includes the work of Patti Warashina, Roger Shimomura, Joseph Park, Alan Lau (full disclosure, that’s me) and many others. Tacoma Art Museum at 1701 Pacific Ave. 253-272-4258 or email [email protected] or go to www.TacomaArtMuseum.org .
“Land of Joy And Sorrow: Japanese Pioneers of the Yakima Valley” is an ongoing exhibit that traces the story of the Japanese families who settled in the Yakima valley. Yakima Valley Museum at 2105 Tieton Dr. in Yakima, WA. 509-248-0747.
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center presents the following – “Oregon Nikkei: Reflections of an American Community – ongoing. Beginning this year, visitors can see artifacts of the collection up close as the stacks will be open to see as the staff does filing. 121 NW Second Ave. in Portland. 503-224-1458 or go to www.oregonnikkeir.org .
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art located on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene has the following – “Graceful Fortitude: The Spirit of Korean Women” is on view through May 5, 2019. It includes art created by, for and/or about Korean women in all media from the twelfth to the twenty-first century. “Reflections of the Cosmic Web: Intricate Patterns in Daoist Art” remains on view through April 7, 2019. “Vibrance and Serenity: Art of Japanese No Traditional Theatre is on view through August, 2019. It covers the history and performance of No theatre using selected prints by Tsukioka Kogyo (1869 – 1927). 1430 Johnson Lane in Eugene, Oregon. 541-346-3027.
Vancouver Art Gallery has the following – Opening April 19 and remaining on view through Sept. 2, 2019 is “Moving Still: Performative Photography in India” which explores the themes of migration, gender, religion and national identity through the lens of performative photography. Curated by Diana Freundi and Gayatri Sinha. 750 Hornby St. Vancouver BC Canada. 604-662-4719.
Nikkei National Museum presents the following – The museum has numerous online exhibits as well as offsite exhibits. Check their website for details. The Nikkei National Museum is at 6688 Southoaks Crescent in Burnaby. 604-777-7000 or go to nikkeiplace.org.
Chinese Cultural Centre Museum has the ongoing exhibit “Generation to Generation – History of Chinese Canadians in British Columbia.” 555 Columbia St. Vancouver, BC. 604-658-8880. Admission by donation.
“Blue Green Landscape” is a show of new paintings by Zheng Baizhong on view through April 15, 2019. At Poly Culture Art Center at 100-905 West Pender St. in downtown Vancouver, BC Canada.
An ongoing exhibit entitled “Call for Justice: Fighting for Japanese Canadian Redress (1977-1988)” is on view at Nanaimo Museum at 100 Museum Way in Nanaimo, Canada. 250-753-1821 or go to nanaimomuseum.ca.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has two shows and a video installation related to Japan. “Fiona Tan: Ascent” has the international artist presenting a montage film and accompanying photo installation that studies the significance of Mt. Fuji in Japanese visual culture. Opening March 9 is “Quiet Nature: The Woodblock Prints of Walter J. Phillips. This exhibit considers the influence of Japanese printmakers on the artist and his important role in popularizing the Japanese woodcut tradition in Canada. “Landscapes of Edo: Ukiyo-e Prints from the AGGV Collection” showcases key works from the museum’s extensive collection of Japanese prints. Opening July 5 and on view through Sept. 15, 2019 is “Imagining Fusang: Exploring Chinese and Indigenous Encounters”, a group show where artists explore and speculate upon early encounters and interactions between indigenous peoples and Chinese communities that settled on Vancouver Island. Curated by Haema Sivanesan.1040 Moss St. in Victoria, BC. 250-384-4171 or go to aggv.ca.
Co-curators Carolyn Brotler Palmer, Mikiko Hirayama and Janice Okada present “Translations: The Art And Life of Elizabeth Yeend Duer -Gyokusho” through April 6, 2019. This exhibit showcases the movement of ideas, aesthetics, politics and people between England, Japan, and Victoria, Canada by looking at the work of Anglo-Japanese artist Elizabeth Yeend Duer (1889 – 1950). Born a British citizen in Nagasaki to an English father and Japanese mother, Duer studied Nihonga (Japanese Style painting) with Atomi Gyokuchi, she took on the artistic identity of Gyokusho and immigrated to Victoria in 1940. Lucky to escape internment during WWII, she Japanized her new environment with Nihonga-style paintings of local indigenous wild flowers. At Legacy Downtown at 630 Yates St. in Victoria BC, Canada. Hours are 10am – 4pm, Wd. To Sat. Go to uvac.uvic.ca for details.
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco has the following. Coming soon to the Larkin St. steps in front of the museum is a giant white sculpture that turns a puppy into the size of an elephant. “Your Dog” is by Yoshitomo Nara. “Kimono Refashioned” is a major exhibition on the evolution of the Japanese kimono created by the Museum in collaboration with the Kyoto Costume Institute. It runs through May 5, 2019. 200 Larkin St. 415-581-3500.
“Then They Came For Me” is a group show of black and white photography that documents the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. It includes work by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake and many others as well as videos, drawings by Mine Okubo and documentary material of the era. Originally organized by Alphawood Exhibitions of Chicago, the show has also shown at ICP in New York. A Bay Area version of this show presented by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation in partnership with the National Japanese American Historical society and J-Sei will reconfigure the show pertaining to the West Coast and it will be on view through May 27, 2019 for free at the “Futures Without Violence” Building located in The Presidio at 100 Montgomery St. Hours are Wed. – Sun. from 10am – 6pm (last admittance by 5:30pm). There are Public Tours on Thursdays from 4 – 6pm. Other activities include the following – Free screenings of the documentary film on the internment entitled “And Then They Came for Us” by Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider every Sat. & Sun. Performance workshops for “Ikkai:Once” take place on March 24, 2019 from 2 – 4pm. It is a dance exploring the expression of culture-based stories and events related to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII while at the same time questioning our current state of democracy. KAMBARA + DANCERS has partnered with Japanese American visual artist Dana Kawano to support this work design. 415-923-9795 or go to [email protected] .
Berkeley Art Museum has the following – “Boundless: Contemporary Tibetan Artists At Home and Abroad” on view until May 26, 2019 features work by internationally known contemporary Tibetan artists such as Tenzing Rigdol, Gonkar Gyatso and Tsherin Sherpa alongside more historical pieces. “Ink, Paper, Silk: One Hundred Years of Collecting Japanese Art” is on view through April 14, 2019. Includes work by Okamoto Shiki, the Kano School, Nagasawa Rosetsu, Sakae Hoitsu and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. “Masako Miki/ MATRIX 273” includes work by this Japanese Bay Area artist who creates felt covered forms drawn from Japanese folk belief in Yokai (shape shifters). Through April 28, 2019. 2155 Center St. in Berkeley, CA. 510-642-0808 or go to [email protected] .
The Museum of Craft And Design present “Wanxin Zhang – The Long Journey” on view through July 14, 2019. The artist spent his formative years in China under Mao’s regime. After moving to California in the early 1990’s he became inspired by the work of Voulkos, Arneson and De Staebler. This exhibition is a survey of his ceramic sculpture from 2006 to 2017 in which California Funk meets the Chinese historical monumental clay figure tradition. Presented in partnership with the Catherine Clark Gallery with an exhibition catalog. 2569 Third St. in San Francisco. 415-773-0303 or try [email protected]
LACMA or Los Angeles County Museum of Art has “The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka” through June 23, 2019. This is the first comprehensive survey of Sri Lankan art organized by an American museum. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. 323-857-6010.
The Japanese American National Museum has the following shows – “Common Ground: The Heart of Community.” This overview exhibit of Japanese American history is ongoing. Opening May 25 and going on through Oct. 20, 2019 is “At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America”. This multi-media exhibition celebrates and explores the emergence of a politically defined Asian Pacific American consciousness and identity. It draws on the archives of Visual Communications and the museum itself. 100 N. Central Ave. in Los Angeles. 213-625-0414 or go to http://www.janm.org .
“Chiura Obata: An American Modern” is the first retrospective of this noted Bay area artist whose work reflected the glories of the American landscape from the Grand Canyon to Yosemite. His influence could also be felt at UC Berkeley where he had a distinguished teaching career. He also helped found art schools in internment camps during WWII. Curated by ShiPu Wang with a catalogue. The exhibition travels to the following sites. June 23 – Sept. 29, 2019 at Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.
The Freer/Sackler Gallery on the Smithsonian Mall shows you how religion and art mix in “Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice Across Asia through Nov. 29, 2020. 202-633-1000 or go to FreerSackler.si.edu for details.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has the following – “Seeing the Divine: Pahari Paintings of North India” through July 21, 2019. Through Oct. 27, 2019 is a major sculpture exhibition from the 18 th & 19 th century era in the Pacific Islands entitled “Atea: Nature And Divinity In Polynesia.” “Celebrating the Year of the Pig” through July 28, 2019. “Essential Korea” through Sept. 22, 2019. “Streams and Mountains Without End: Landscape Traditions of China” through August 4, 2019. “The Tale of Genji – A Japanese Classic Illuminated” through June 16, 2019. ”Children to Immortals: Figural Representation in Chinese Art” through Feb. 23, 2020. 1000 Fifth Ave. New York, New York. Go to metmuseum.org for details.
The Rubin Museum of Art has the following shows – “Tibetan Buddhist Art” gets a full survey including offerings from the museum’s own collection and objects from the Musee Guimet in Paris, the Cleveland Museum of Art and other institutions. Feb. 1, 2019 – July 15, 2019. “The Power of Intention- Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel” brings together select examples of traditional and contemporary art to illuminate the relationship between our intentions, commitments and actions. On view March through Oct. 14 th . 150 W. 17 th St. New York, New York. 212-620-5000×344 or go to rubinmuseum.org.
The Japan Society has the following – “Radicalism in the Wilderness: Japanese Artists in the Global 1960’s” is a look at the radical experiments of artists from 1960s Japan little known in the U.S. such as Yutaka Matsuzawa, The Play and GUN art collectives. On view through June 9, 2019. 333 East 47 th St. 212-263-1258.
The Museum of Chinese in America has the following –“With a Single Step: Stories in The Making of America” chronicles the history of the museum through Dec. 31, 2020. From May 2 – Sept. 15, 2019 is “The Moon Represents My Heart: Music And Belonging” which explores the tradition of music in Chinese communities. 215 Centre St. New York, NY. 855-955-MOCA or go to mocanyc.org.
The Asia Society Museum in New York presents the following – “In Focus: A Complete Map of the World – The Eighteenth Century Convergence of China and Europe” takes Ma Junliang’s complete map of the world as the starting point to consider interactions between China and Europe during the eighteenth century. Now on view through May 5, 2019. “M. F. Husain: Art And the Nation” focuses on the artist’s mural-sized painting created for Indira Gandhi’s Congress Party rally in 1975. On view through August 4, 2019. “Reza Arameshi: 12 Noon, Monday 5 August, 1963” is a show in which the artist Reza Aramesh examines the power balance between the captor and and captive and the aestheticization of violence in media coverage of wartime atrocities. On view through June 9, 2019. “Masterpieces from the Asia Society Museum Collection” is a group show on view through August, 2019.To find out more, go to AsiaSociety.org/NY. 725 Park Ave. New York City, New York. 212-327-9721 or go to www.asiasociety.org for more details.
The Noguchi Museum has the following – “Akari Unfolded – a Collection by Ymer & Malta” and Akari – Sculptures by Other Means”. Both shows up through April 14, 2019. 9 – 01 33 rd Rd, Long Island City, NY. 718-204-7088.
China Institute Gallery presents “Art of the Mountain: Through the Chinese Photographer’s Lens” on view through August 28, 2019. Located at 100 Washington St. (visitor entrance is at 40 Rector St . on the 2 nd floor) in New York. 212-744-8181 or go to www.chinainstitute.org .
Tallur L. N. is an Indian sculptor who combines Indian craft traditions and novel sculptural techniques to infuse ancient iconography with contemporary meanings. “Multiplicity” is a show that has around thirty works in a variety of mediums, from carved stone and wood to cast bronze and concrete to found objects. May 5, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020. Grounds for Sculpture at 80 Sculptors Way in Hamilton, New Jersey.609-586-0616 or [email protected] for sculpture.org.
Pakistani-born artist Huma Bhabha’s rugged style of figurative sculpture working with a variety of material from clay and Styrofoam often evokes science-fictional imagery like the aliens currently on the roof of the Met. This large retrospective allows us to see the range of her interests in all phases of her career from masks to photographs and drawings. Through May 27, 2019. Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr. in Boston, MA. 617-478-3100
Museum of Fine Arts Boston has the following – “Conservation in Action – Japanese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light” on view through June 30, 2020. 9300 Avenue of the Arts. 465 Huntington Ave. Go to mfa.org or call 617-267-9300.
“Empresses of China’s Forbidden City”, the first major international exhibition to explore the role of empresses in China’s Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Includes many works never seen before in the U.S. Freer/Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Mall in Washington D.C. Through June 23, 2019.
A show of prints by the late Seattle artist Munio Makuuchi is set from August – December, 2019. Art historian Margo Machida will write the catalog essay. 20 Elm St at Bedford Terrace in Northhampton, MA. 413-585-2760 or go to [email protected] .
The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Chinese Galleries have undergone a $2 million renovation. The new galleries opened to the public on Feb. 3, 2019. They feature a variety of works from treasures created for the afterlife to costumes of the imperial court. There will be a family festival celebrating the Lunar New Year at that time. 2500 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 215-684-7860 or go to philamuseum.org.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art has the following – “Without Boundaries: Fiber Sculpture & Paintings by Women Artists” featuring work by Yayoi Kusama through July 21, 2019. “Emblems of a Prosperous Life: Women’s Robes of Late Imperial China (1700s-1800s) through June 30, 2018. Minneapolis Institute of Art. 2400 Third Ave. S. Call toll free at 888-642-2787.
“American Muse” is the title of a show of new work by Seattle native Roger Shimomura. On view April 5 – May 25, 2019. Preview opening on April 4 from 6 – 8pm. Public Opening April 5 from 7 – 9pm. Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art. 2004 Baltimore Avenue in Kansas City, MO. 816-221-2626 or go to SherryLeedy.com.
“Being Japanese Canadian: reflections on a broken world” is a group show that focuses on the internment camp experience during WWII for Japanese Canadians. Includes the work of Lillian Michiko Blakey, David L. Hayashida, Emma Nishimura, Steven Nunoda, Laura Shintai, Norman Takeukchi. Marjene Matsunaga Turnbull and Yvonne Wakabayashi. On view through August 5, 2019. “Gods in Any House: Chinese New Year with Ancestor Portraits and Deity Prints” is also on view though Sept. 29, 2019. Royal Ontario Museum at 100 Queens Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Go to rom.on.ca for details.
Hito Steyerl looks at the relationship between networked technologies, image distribution and societal control. In this new commission for Serpentine Galleries, she works with technology to create a neural network that generates novel imagery and connections. Serpentine Galleries in London from through May 2019. Kensington Gardens. 020-7402-6075.
Indonesian-born, Amsterdam-based filmmaker Fiona Tan mixes found and original footage in her work to blue categories. Here, she uses color advertising footage from Agfa to explore notions of authenticity and normalcy in West Germany. May 4 – August 11, 2019. Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany. Heinrich-Boll-Platz, 50067 Koln, Germany. +49 221-221-26165 or [email protected] .
“Peekaboo” is the playful title of a show that details the career of artist Tomoo Gokita comprised of figurative and abstract pieces, an installation and a series devoted to wrestling and music. April 14 – June 24, 2019. Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery has the following shows. 3-20-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo,Japan. +81- (0) 3-5353-0756.
Fukuzawa Ichiro was one of many Japanese artists who traveled extensively abroad in the early twentieth century with a seven year stint in Paris where he was influenced by Max Ernst and other Surrealists. In his painting and writing, he was a vigorous supporter of avant garde movements on his return. Almost ninety works in this retrospective attest to his transcultural range full of social critique and humor. National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Through May 26, 2019. 1-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. +81 3-5777-8600.
The Mori Art Museum has their 15 th Anniversary Exhibition entitled “Roppongi Crossing 2019: Connexions – Japanese Contemporary Art Here And Now!” on view through May 26, 2019. Also on view is “MAM Collection 009: Ken + Julia Yonetani” also on view through May 25, 2019. Coming up is the highly anticipated exhibition for Berlin-based installation artist Shiota Chiharu entitled “Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles” which is on view June 20 – Oct. 27, 2019. A show tentatively entitled “The Future And Arts” is set for Nov. 19, 2019 – March 29, 2020. T106-6108, Tokyo, Minato City, Roppongi, 6 Chome – 10-1 Japan. +81 3-5777-8600.
“teamLab*Borderless” houses works by this hi-tech art group in the Mori Building Digital Art Museum. With computer-graphic projections of animals, plants and objects from nature to light sculptures and a forest of lamps. On view indefinitely. Aomi Station, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan. 03-6406-3949.
A new Hong Kong opera house recently opened in the West Kowloon Cultural District at Hong Kong’s Kowloon waterfront. Vancouver BC-based Revery Architecture (a firm started by the late Chinese Canadian architect Bing Thom who did the original design) completed this project known as Xi Qu Center. The building includes a Grand Theatre, a smaller Tea House Theatre, professional studios, a seminar hall and a large open atrium for common space and exhibitions. The design was inspired by traditional Chinese lanterns and blends traditional and contemporary elements to “reflect the evolving nature of the art form.” Excerpts from dailyhive.com.
Japanese architect Junya Ishigami will design the Serpentine Pavillion, a temporary structure put up each summer in London’s Hyde Park. The architect said the design would “resemble a hill made out of rock while simultaneously appearing so light it could blow away in the breeze like a billowing piece of fabric.” The pavilion will be on view June 20 – Oct. 6, 2019. Ishigami won Main Prize in the Venice Biennale of Architecture for an installation entitled “Architecture as Air”.
Andy Warhol is no longer the top-selling post-war artist. According to ArtNet, he was dethroned in 2018 by French-Chinese painter Zao Wou-ki.
Japanese architect Arata Isozaki received the 2019 Pritzker Prize. The award is considered the profession’s highest honor. Isozaki grew up in the bombed and leveled city of Hiroshima which taught him how homes and cities could be rebuilt even amidst rubble. His work is known for defying categorization and not set in any given style. Rather, he adjusts to every situation differently as needs dictate. He studied with another Pritzker Prize winner, Kenzo Tange and started his own firm in 1963. Some of his noted designs are the MOCA in Los Angeles, the Palau Saint Jordi Sporting Arena in Barcelon and the Ark Nova inflatable concert hall created in collaboration with British sculptor Anish Kapoor designed to stage performances throughout the world. The latter was originally made after the Fukushima tsunami disaster to provide portable concert facilities in exceptionally damaged areas.
Hawaiian artist Sean Yoro has racked up six million views on instagram with a promotional video of him painting a mural in New Brunswick, Canada from a paddleboat that could be seen whether the tide was coming in or out. “Discover Saint John”, an online magazine devoted to cannabis culture hired the artist to paint the mural. They have also commissioned him to do a new work on the seawall at Market Slip in late July. Performing Arts
The Chapel Performance Space has the following – Nonsequitar presents cellist/composer Ha-Yang Kim’s “TERMINALS”. It is a full-length meditative audiovisual work inspired by the peripatetic quality of contempory life. With Hahn Rowe on guitar, violin/viola & electronics, Heather Bentley on viola and video artist Ursula Scherrer. Set for April 27 at 8pm. Chapel Performance Space. 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. Go to gscchapel.com or [email protected] for details.
“Never Again Is Now: The Art and Activism of Millennial Nikkei” is a free event co-presented by the JACL and DENSHO. Starts at noon on Sunday, April 7 at The Wing. Includes spoken-word poetry, dance, taiko drumming all honoring the legacy of previous generations. The line-up consists of spoken-word poets Kurt Yokoyama Ikeda & Troy Osaki, Canadian photographer Kayla Isomura’s demonstration of The Suitcase Project, the Gabrielle Kazuko Nomura Gainor Dancers, Seattle Kokon Taiko and more. Free but RSVP on Facebook encouraged. The Wing is located at 719 S. King St. in Seattle’s CID. For details contact [email protected] or call 206-295-0998.
Shen Yun is a celebration of Chinese culture brought to the stage with dance and music. April 2 – 7 at McCaw Hall. 321 Mercer St. in Seattle Center.
“Song of the Earth” is the title of a taiko concert by Yuichi Kimura and Daichi no Kai. The group hails from Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. They will perform a piece in requiem for the Hanshin Earthquake. Sunday, April 14 at 2pm. Broadway Performance Hall at 1625 Broadway Ave. on Capitol Hill on the campus of Seattle Central Community College. Organized by Hyogo Business & Cultural Center. Contact [email protected] for details.
Khanh Doan makes her debut at Seattle Repertory Theatre in the role of Emmy Helmer in their production of Lucas Hnah’s “A Doll’s House, Part 2” as directed by Braden Abraham. This play imagines circumstances that force lead character Nora who left her family to return 15 years later. Cast also includes Michael Winters, Pamela Reed and Laura Kenny. Carey Wong is Scenic Designer. Through April 28, 2019. Opening night is March 20. On the Leo K. Stage. Seattle Rep is at Seattle Center on the corner of Second Ave. and Mercer St. 206-443-2222 or go to SeattleRep.org.
Mi Kang makes her ArtsWest debut playing the role of Jenny in the play, “JOHN” by Annie Baker as directed by Erin Murray. Also stars Marianne Owen, Suzy Hunt and Sean Lally. The shadow of infidelity hangs over a young couple struggling to rebuild their relationship while at a weekend bed & breakfast. Ghosts haunt the living. Through April 7, 2019. Th. – Sat. at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm. 4711 California Ave, SW. 206-938-0339.
Seattle playwright Heidi Park grew up as the only person of color in a white adoptive family and she always felt like a black sheep. Now she shares her experiences with us, the audience in her play entitled “Black Sheep” starring Aimee Decker and Anna Saephan. Directed by Mario Gomez. Performances Th. – Sat. from May 2 – 4 at 7:30pm and performance space. 1406 – 18 th Ave. 206-937-6499 for more information.
Gerlich Theater/The Meany Center For The Performing Arts – Looking forward to the 2018/2019 season, look out for the following. Time for Three is a ground breaking string trio that transcends tradition as well by mixing elements of pop and rock into their classical foundation. They perform on April 18, 2019. Yekwon Sunwoo won the Gold Medal at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He makes his Seattle debut in a program of Schumann, Liszt, Beethoven and Schubert. One performance only on Sat., May 4, 2019 at 7:30pm. The Alexander String Quartet with Joyce Yang on piano explore the music of Mozart together on Wed., May 22 at 7:30pm. You can order online at meanycenter.org or call 206-543-4880 or visit the ticket office at 41st Street between University Way NE & Brooklyn Ave. NE. Tickets available via FAX too at 206-685-4141.
“Music of Today: International Experimental Music Ensemble” features UW the faculty improv band known as Indigo Mist (includes Cuong Vu on trumpet) in a program of original material with special guests Ngo Tra My on dan bau and Joe Zwananengburg on flutes On Friday, May 10 at 7:30pm. The Gerlich Theater/Meany Center for the Performing Arts.4040 George Washington Lane NE on the west edge of the UW Seattle campus.
The Horse In Motion is an innovative Seattle experimental theatre group whose mission “is to engage our audience in new experiences that expand and reshape how we interact with art, our community and the world.” They are known for making each space a total environment into which the audience can feel immersion into the theme of the play. From May 17 – June 3, 2019 they will present “The Arsonists” by Max Frisch as directed by Bobbin Ramsey. Amber Tanaka is in the cast. This fiery absurdist political parable that is guaranteed to put everyone in the hot seat will be staged at Gallery Endo in Pioneer Square where the great Seattle fire raged over a century ago. It poses uncomforatable questions about the clashes of capitalism, morality and political discourse. For tickets and information, go to www.thehorseinmotion.org.
The UW School of Music presents IMPFEST XI, the Eleventh Improvised Music Project Festival with guest artists Lucia Pulido on voice and cuatro (May 24) and Stomu Takeishi on bass (May 25). Meany Studio Theatre. May 24 & 25. 206-543-4880 or go to www.music.washington.edu.
Future Seattle Opera productions include the following – “Rigoletto – The Cost of Corruption” August 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23,24, 25 & 28, 2019. Yongzhao Yu makes his Seattle Opera debut as the Duke of Mantua. “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird – The Man Behind A Legend” with music by Daniel Schnyder and libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly. Plays Feb. 22, 23, 26, 29 AND March 1, 4, 6 & 7, 2020. Kelly Kuo will make his Seattle Opera debut as conductor for the orchestra for this production.
Conductor Ludovic Morlot ends his 2018/2019 tenure with the Seattle Symphony with a varied and stimulating series of concerts. Some highlights include the following – Avi Avital is a mandolin virtuoso who leads a group with Jessica Choe on piano through a fresh interpretation of Vivaldi and Telemann on Friday, May 3 at noon & 8pm and Sat., May 4 at 8pm. A Family Concert Series program entitled “Carnival Of The Animals” takes place on Sat. May 4 at 11am , 2018 with Pablo Rus Broseta conducting and Hannah Song on violin, Kristy Park on cello, Jessica Choe on piano and Elizabeth Morgan on piano. A Brahms Concerto Festival 1 takes place on Thursday, May 9 at 7:30pm featuring Zee Zee on piano. All concerts at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. Go to seattlesymphony.org for details.
“Beyond Ideas” is the title of ArtsWest’s 2018-2019 season. Some highlights include Julia Cho’s “Office Hour” May 2 – May 26, 2019 and Justin Huertas’s musical, “The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion” June 20 – July 28, 2019. Learn more details about the entire new season at artswest.org. ArtsWest is located in West Seattle at 4711 California Ave. SW.
UW theatre graduate Mikko Juan spent the fall touring Eastern Washington in Seattle Children’s Theatre production of Ramon Esquivel’s “Between and Below”. Now he returns to Seattle in the lead role in “Urinetown: The Musical”, a joint production of 5 th Avenue Theatre and ACT as directed by Bill Berry. Set for The Falls Theatre from April 6 – May 26, 2019 at ACT downtown. 700 Union St.
The “Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour” with vocalist Ceceile McLorin Salvant headlining makes a stop in Seattle on April 7, 2019 at the Moore with a top roster of diverse, international talent including Yasushi Nakamura on bass. 206-467-5510.
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s “Devi” is a new drama/dance piece adapted & directed by Moumita Bhattacharya on stage from April 19 – May 11 at ACTLab. It tells the tale of a poor teenager who becomes a powerful leader against British colonial rule in the 1800’s. Another collaboration between Pratidhwani and ACTLab with eight Indian dance forms and a large cast. Go to acttheatre.org/devi for details.
Canadian playwright Ins Choi’s award-winning family comedy “Kim’s Convenience” (CBS television adaption was recently added to Netflix) comes to Taproot Theatre’s 2019 season titled “Family Ties”. On Stage May 15 – June 22, 2019 as co-directed by Scott Nolte and David Hsieh. A Korean Canadian family learns to live with their own faults, get along and forge ahead in this heartwarming comedy about the foibles and blessings of family. Go to taproottheatre.org for tickets. 204 N. 85 th St, in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. 206-781-9705.
Indian composer Reena Esmail presents compositions merging Western techniques with traditional Hindustani instrumentation and musical themes. She brings a newly commissioned piano trio composition with Piano Ki Avaaz – Joshua Roman, David Fung and Kristin Lee. May 21, 2019 at 7:30pm. At Town Hall Seattle. 1119 Eighth Ave. Doors open at 6:30pm.
Closing Café Nordo’s 10 th Season of supper-club musicals is “7 th & Jackson” written by the multi-talented Sara Porkalob and set for July, 2019. Three Seattle friends haunt the speakeasys listening to jazz before WW II and share a dream to open a night club of their own. When the bombing of Pearl Harbor and rising WWII tensions tear apart homes, the friends separate but never lose sight of their dreams. Café Nordo is at 109 South Main. Go to www.cafenordo.com to find out more about their new season and how you can get tickets.
Edmonds Center for the Arts has the following set for 2019. Sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar performs on April 24, 2019 at 7:30pm. 410 Fourth Ave. N. 425-275-9595.
Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in Tacoma presents the following events at various venues. Their info # is 253-591-5894. Broadway Center presents sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar on Sun., April 28, 2019 at 7:30pm.
Some of the upcoming concerts Earshot Jazz is planning for 2019 include the Japanese pianist/composer/multi-instrumentalist Satoko Fujii & her Trio and New York-based guitarist/composer Miles Okazaki and his group “Trickster”. Okazaki grew up in Port Townsend. Miles Okazaki Trickster which features Matt Mitchell, Anthony Tidd & Sean Rickman will perform on April 13, 2019. Satoko Fujii Trio with Natsuki Tamura and Alister Spence will perform on May 7, 2019. For more information on future concerts, go to earshot.org for details.
Sakura-Con returns to Seattle’s Washington Convention Center April 19 – 21 where all fans of anime come to play. This member-only festival is a must for fans of anime, manga and cosplay. Presented by the Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association. 705 Pike St. Go to sakuracon.org for details.
UW’s Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist Concert this year features Heri Purwanto – Javanese Gamelan Music & Dance as performed by Puwanto and students. Tuesday, June 4 at 7:30pm. Gerlich Theater/Meany Center for the Performing Arts. On the west edge of the UW Seattle campus just off Red Square. 206-543-4880 or [email protected]
Seattle center and its Armory building continue to be the focus of cultural celebrations all year around with most of the events being free and family friendly. April 6 – 12, 2019 brings the annual Northwest Folklife Festival again. This year’s theme is “Movin’ Around the World: Spring” with a focus on youth. Catch music, dance and hands-on activitires from world cultures. 11am – 2”30pm. Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival comes to Seattle Center April 26 – 28 with this annual celebration of Japanese culture in the form of live performances, demonstrations, kids activities, food booths and art shows. May 5 from 11:45pm – 5pm, celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month with lion dances, drill teams, drumming, martial arts and performances. May 18 brings “A Glimpse of China” showcasing Chinese cultural traditions with live performances, arts activities and food. June 1 and 2 brings the annual Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival. With workshops, exhibits, performances and demonstrations all celebrating Filipino culture and the 120 th anniversary of Philippine independence.
Lauren Yee’s “Cambodian Rock Band” with songs by Dengue Fever as directed by Chay Yew will be performed March 6 – Oct. 27, 2019 at the Thomas Theatre as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This musical play tells the story of a young woman trying to piece together her family history thirty years after her father fled Cambodia. 15 South Pioneer St. in Ashland, Oregon. 1-800-219-8161.
Tasveer and The Gardner Center present the South Asian women’s ensemble known as Yoni Ki Baat presenting their latest take on Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” on April 12 (7 – 9pm), April 13 (7 – 9pm) and April 14, 2019 (2 – 4pm) at Seattle Art Museum’s auditorium. Part of their 13 th annual Aaina Festival. 1300 First Ave. 206-654-3210.
On the Boards has announced twelve artists/companies selected for the 2019 NW New Works Festival set for June 12 – 16, 2019. Among the names are Dakota Camacho, a rapper/hip hop dancer/performance artist, choreographer/dancer Imana Gunawan, flautist/taiko player Leanna Keith and dancer/choreographer Naomi Macalalad Bragin. Congratulations to all!
First Voice & J-Town Task Force in San Francisco present a series of concerts that address the past, the present, the future and infinity with “J-Town Culture Bearers”. Masaru Koga and Friends perform on April 13, 2019 at 3:30pm at JCCCNC at 1840 Sutter St. This acclaimed flautist/saxophonist/composer leads a group through compositions from “Hanabi”, his newly released recording. On Sat., April 13 at 8:30pm at the J Town East Mall – Suite 501, catch award-winning jazz drummer/composer Akira Tana & Otonowa in a concert entitled “Pacific Bridge”. Since 2011, the drummer has led musical pilgrimages to Japan in the tsunami-stricken area, building musical bridges between Japan and the U.S. Composer/bassist Mark Izu performs a program with his group entitled “Memories, Movies & Music” on Sunday, April 14 at 3:30pm in the J Town East Mall – Suite 501. They perform live to rarely seen Japanese American home movies from the 1930s. Finally on Sat., April 20 at 4pm at JCCCNC, catch SFBATCO performing “Hapa Voices” with director Jamie Youen-Shore and composer Othello Jefferson. See singers, dancers, musicians from the SFBATCO collective perform excerpts from their popular, sold-out run of the musical, “I, Too, Sing America”. All events are free but you must RSVP at www.firstvoice.org . For more information, go to [email protected]
Stephanie Hsu has the lead role of Christine in a musical of teenage geeks in love entitled “Be More Chill.” After a sold-out downtown run, it has just opened on Broadway. Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout has cited on his blog that it’s one of the strongest new musicals of the past decade and compares it to “Hamilton’ for its vibrant contemporary pop-music style.
Retired tech financier Mandle Cheung never lost his love for classical music even when he founded his own tech company and went to work to support his family. When he retired in 2016 he connected with classical musicians in Toronto’s Korean community and set about assembling a classical orchestra with the assistance of orchestra manager Sharon Lee. Now at age 70, he indulges himself conducting the Mandle Philharmonic. Excerpted from Ludwing van Toronto online newsletter. Go to Ludwig-van.com for complete details. Film & Media
“Japanese Currents – An Annual Survey of Contemporary Japanese Cinema” takes place April 5 – 14, 2019 in Portland presented by the Northwest Film Center. This 17 th annual series looks at recent, noteworthy Japanese films ranging from anime to documentary to comedy, sci-fi and drama. April 5 is Akiko Ohku’s “Tremble All You Want”. April 6 is Kazuo Hara’s Sennan Asbestos Disaster”. April 6 also brings Mamoru Hosoda’s “Mirai”. Also on April 6 is “Cure” by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. April 7 brings “Mori, The Artist’s Habitat” by Shuichi Okita. April 12 is “We Make Antiques” by Masaharu Take. April 13 is “Complicity” by Keichi Kaura. April 13 is “Night is Short, Walk On Girl” by Masaaki Yuasa. April 13 also brings “The Kamagasaki Cauldron War” by Leo Sato. April 14 is “Forgotten Planets” by Takayuki Fukata. All screenings at Portland Art Museum’s Whitsell Auditorium at 1219 SW Park Ave. 503-221-1156 or email [email protected] .
Seattle’s Cinerama presents their second annual “Anime Film Series” from April 19 – 25, 2019. 2100 4 th Ave. April 19 brings “Spirited Away” and “Akira”. April 20 screens “The Red Turle”, “Princess Mononoke”, “Country Bebop: The Movie” and “Ghost in the Shell”. April 21 is “Grave of the Fireflies”, “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Paprika” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service”. April 22 is “Wolf Children”, “Tokyo Godfathers” and “Castle in the Sky”. April 23 is “Redline” and “Your Name”. April 24 is “Summer Wars”, “The Wind Rises” and Mind Game”. Go to cinermama.com for tickets and email [email protected] for information.
Grand Illusion Cinema presents Hiroyasu Ishida’s anime feature-length film “Penguin Highway”. It tells the story of a budding Japanese kid genius who already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his suburban town miles away from any sea, he tries to solve the mystery with the help of a kind dental assistant. April 19 – 25. 1403 NE 50 th in Seattle’s University District. 206-523-3935.
April 10 – 12 brings the return of a classic King Hu Film entitled “The Fate of Lee Khan” in which a band of women warriors hunt down a corrupt Mongol Court official who’s stolen a secret map. “Ramen Shop” by Eric Khoo follows a young chef’s search for ancestral roots and the perfect bowl of ramen from a long forgotten recipe. Screens April 19 – 25. “Hotel by the River” is another shaggy dog story by Hong Sangsoo about an aging director trying to make peace with his sons when he encounters a mysterious pair of sisters by a river. Screens April 26, 27 & 28. Northwest Film Forum at 1515 – 12 th Ave. 206-329-2629.
Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival presents 4 days of films directed by women from April 11 – 14, 2019 at Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, WA. The honored guest this year will be Freida Lee Mock, director of “Maya Lin: A Clear, Strong Vision”, “Anita” and the forthcoming “RUTH: Justice Bader Ginsberg in Her Own Words”. For details, go to cascadiafilmfest.org.
GKIDS and Fanthom Events bring Kitaro Kosaka’s “Okko’s Inn” to the U.S. Kosaka is the famed anime Studio Madhouse director and worked on numerous classic Studio Ghibli films. The story revolves around an orphaned young girl who goes to live in the countryside with her grandmother who runs an inn with an onsen near a waterfall. She eventually becomes the inn’s next caretaker and comes to know the inn’s friendly spirits that only she can see. A string of new guests will put the inn’s motto “to welcome all and reject none” to the test. The English dubbed version screens on Mon., April 22 at 7pm. The Japanese version screens on Tues., April 23 at 7pm. Go to www.FanthomEvents.com or www.Okkosinn.com for local participating theatres and their box offices.
SIFF Uptown has the following – “Ash is Purest White”, the latest film by Jia Zhangke looks at how the individual is caught within the societal pressures of a constantly changing China. When a triad gangster is threatened, his girlfriend takes action setting in motion a domino-fall of change that alters their relationship forever. Screens April 5 – 11, 2019. Chinese filmmaker Bi Gan’s latest experimental drama entitled “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” about a man searching for the woman he loves. Opens for an extended run on Friday, April 12, 2019. 511 Queen Anne N. 206-324-9996 or go to http://siff.net .
Advance news of the annual Seattle International Film Festival set from May 16 – June 9, 2019 brings news of these Asian films that are included. “House of Hummingbird” by Kim Bo-Ra from South Korea is the story of a shy 14 year old girl who struggles with social pressure, her budding sexuality and indifferent family in the summer of 1994 when a sympathetic teacher steps in to help. “3 Faces” is a mock documentary by Jafar Panahi from India. The film stars the film director and a TV star who go on a road trip to save the life of an aspiring actress. Go to siff.net for details.
BIA’s “Momentum” Series presents the SmARTfilms: Best of Port Townsend Film Festival. Screening on April 9, 2019 at 7:30pm is “Yellow is Forbidden” by Pietra Brett Kelly which is a portrait of Guo Pei, Chinese fashion designer and looks at contemporary global power dynamics and the opposition between art and commerce. $10 – $12. Screening April 16, 2019 at 7:30pm is “Ballets Russes” by Daniel Geller & Dayna Goldfine. From 1909 to 1929, the Ballet Russes traveled the globe, becoming one of the most famous ballet troupes in the world led by impresario Sergei Diaghilev. A 2000 reunion of surviving members is used to re-visit the troupe’s history. Sono Osato, Japanese American dancer was part of this famed dance company. $10 – $12. All screenings in the Museum’s Frank Buxton Auditorium. Bainbridge Art Museum at 550 Winslow Way E. on Bainbridge Island, WA. 206-842-4451 or try [email protected]
Set for major studio release on May 17, 2019 is “The Sun is Also a Star”, an adaptation of Nicole Yoon’s bestselling young adult novel about a Jamaican teenager who falls in love with a Korean American man just as her family is about to be deported. Stars Charles Melton and Yara Shahidi in the lead roles. Directed by Ry Russo-Young.
“All is Well” is a provincial TV show that premiered in China in March and has been streamed endlessly. The story is of a fictional family and the daughter who can barely talk to her widowed father and one of her brothers. The father is a cranky nuisance who expects his sons to pay for his excessive, lavish tastes. The sons resent this but don’t want to be called “unfilial” and thus argue incessantly. Since the show opens up the issue of devout attachment to traditional values, viewers caught in the same situation are binge watching to see how this family drama plays out. The Written & Spoken Arts
Seattle Public Library’s “2019 Seattle Reads” event which takes place in April has selected the graphic memoir by Thi Bui entitled “The Best We Could Do” which details the experience of Vietnamese immigrants settling in a new land. Thi Bui will be in Seattle April 13 – 16, 2019. She visits the Central Library on April 13 at 7:30pm, the Northgate Community Center on April 14 at 1:30pm, the Centilla Cultural Center on April 14 at 7pm, the Greenwood Branch of Seattle Public Library on April 15 at 7pm, Asian Counseling and Referral Service on April 16 at 6:30pm and Reading Groups with the Vietnamese Friendship Association on April 10 at 6:30pm at the Columbia Branch of Seattle Public Libray and Northwest African American Museum on April 7 at 6pm. There will be book group discussions about the book all over the city at Seattle Public Library branches as well. For more details, go to www.spl.org/seattlereads .
UWALUM.COM/GOLECTUES present their Spring 2019 series of lectures from various departments on the Seattle campus. A sampling include the following – The Graduate School presents a forum entitled “Memory & Place” on April 3 at 7:30pm in Kane Hall 130. Priya Frank moderates a discussion with artists Morehshin Allahyari , Trinh Mai and Sara Zewde (whose work is in a group show) about art, memory and how we pay homage to places that hold value in our hearts and minds. The Department of Applied Mathematics in their Distinguished Boeing Colloquia Series has Kavita Ramanan from Brown University address the topic of “A Bird’s Eye View of Stochastic Networks: From Local Balancing to Biochemical Reactions” on May 9 at 4pm at Smith Hall 205. Asian Languages And Literature presents tow lectures on Japan. On April 16 at 7pm in Kane Hall 210, Ross Henderson, PhD student in Japanese Literature addresses the topic of “A Fist Full of Incense: Basara and the Medieval Origins of Japanese Maximalism”. On May 21 at 6:30pm in Kane Hall 225, John Treat, Professor Emeritus from Yale University talks about “Yi In-jiks ‘The Widow’s Dream’ and the Origin of Modern Korean Literature in Japan”. All lectures are free. Register now at uwalum.com/golectures or call 206-543-0540.
Open Books has the following events – Filipino American poet Rick Barot reads with Portland poet David Biespiel on April 13 at 7pm. Barot is poetry editor of NER and Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. His newest book “The Galleons” is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2020. 2414 N. 45 th St. 206-633-0811 or [email protected]
Seattle fiction writer Richard Chiem will read from his new novel entitled “King of Joy” (Soft Skull) on April 9, 2019 at 7pm at King’s Books in Tacoma,WA. 218 St. Helens Ave. 253-272-8801.
The University Book Store in the University District has the following events – Local writer E. Lily Yu joins Nisi Shawl and Alberto Yanez in a reading from an anthology entitled “New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color” (Solaris) that was edited by Shawl. April 18 at 6pm. S.K. Ali, a Toronto-based young adult Muslim author talks with G. Willow Wilson and Somaiya Daud about her new young adult novel “Love From A to Z” on April 27 at 6pm. This book is a love story between troubled mixed-race Muslim teenagers who have secrets to hide but find an understanding through their new-found relationship.
Elliott Bay Book Company continues to sponsor readings in their Capitol Hill bookstore as well as co-producing events all over the city. Below you will find a partial listing of some of their events. Events are at the bookstore located at 1521 Tenth Ave. unless otherwise noted. On Wed., April 3 at 7pm, Soniah Kamala comes to the store with her delightful take on Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. Entitled “Unmarriageable” (Ballantine), the book moves Austen’s novel to a Pakistani setting. She will talk about the novel with local Seattle University Professor and Examiner contributor Nalini Iyer. On April 6, 2019, the Gardner Center presents Saturday University with the University of Toronto’s Shiho Satsuka talking about “The Charisma of Wild Mushrooms: Matsutake and the Forest Revitalization Movements in Japan” at 10am at Seattle Art Museum. On April 20, 2019, the Gardner Center’s Saturday University presents the University of Indiana’s Pedreo Machado talking about “Eucalyptus and Empire” at 10 am at Seattle Art Museum. On April 27, 2019, the Gardner Center’s Saturday University has the University of Michigan’s Erik Mueggler speaking about “The Golden Mountain Gate: Text and Experience in the Botanical Exploration of Southwest China” at 10 am at Seattle Art Museum. Translator Mui Poopoksakui will talk about translating Duanwad Pimwana’s “Bright” (Two Lines Press), the first ever novel by a Thai woman to appear in English translation. The story is of a boy deserted by his father and then raised and adopted by the community. Co-presented by Seattle Art Museum. The event takes place on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 7pm in the SAM lecture hall. 1300 First Ave. downtown.
Science author Michio Kaku addresses the topic, “Our Future Beyond Earth” on Wed., April 10 at 7:30pm. Seattle First Baptist Church at 1111 Harvard Ave. Presented by Town Hall Seattle. 206-652-4255 or [email protected]
Hugo House, that venerated Northwest center for writers and poets re-opens in brand-new digs with expanded space but in the same location. Catch their readings and celebrate their new space. “I think I’m Ready to See Frank Ocean: A Reading with Shayla Lawson and Jane Wong” takes place on April 18, 2019 at 7pm. Free. 2019 dates for “Word Works: Writers on Writing” will feature craft talks by Andre Dubus III on March 9, 2019, Min Jin Lee on May 2, 2019 and Steve Almond on May 21, 2019. Lee, who wrote the novel “Pachinko”, a powerful family saga of Koreans living in Japan will speak to the way in which our faith in the world and in our writing can open our work to new horizons. Writers Arlene Naganawa and J.P. Kemick help students explore the urban environment as writers. August 5 – 9, 2019 for grades 6 – 8 as part of the Scribes Summer Writing Camps For Teens in one and two week sessions available between July 8 – August 16, 2019 at Hugo House. Email [email protected] or call 206-322-7030 if you are interested in this class. Also with the opening of the new Hugo House, the writing center rolls out a new series of classes/workshops with a varied number of subjects taught by a talented group of writers like Nisi Shawl, Sonora Jha, R. O. Kwon, Anne Liu Kellor, Michelle Penaloza, Richard Chiem, Diana Xin, Anglela Garbes, Lora Shinn, Aimee Bhausar and Shankar Narayan. 1634 – 11 th Ave. 206-453-1937. Go to hugohouse.org to find out more.
Seattle Arts & Lectures returns with their always stimulating series of writers, poets and a new journalism series. As part of the Poetry Series, acclaimed poet Kimiko Hahn will come April 25, 2019 for a program entitled “Poems For The Planet” which will include her, Nicaraguan American poet Francisco Aragon and a group of friends. It’s a celebration of both Earth Day & National Poetry Month with eco-poetics as a mode of creative resistance. Co-sponsored by Copper Canyon Press who will be releasing the anthology “Here: Poems for the Planet” which includes work by some of these poets. 7:30pm at Seattle Central Community College’s Broadway Performance Hall. Call for more information at 206-621-22.
Bellevue-based science fiction writer Ted Chiang is best known for the film “Arrival” based on his short story entitled “Story of Your Life” and his writing in that genre has won every major literary award in his category. Now a collection of his stories, both classic and new entitled “Exhalation”. He will read from that collection at this Literary Luncheon sponsored by Third Place Books in Ravenna at 1pm on Thurs., May 30.
Penguin Classics have inducted four Asian American authors to their series and each title will be supplemented with introductions and forewords by some of the most influential Asian Americans writing today. Titles will be on sale starting May 21, 2019. They include – “The Hanging On Union Square” by H. T. Tsiang with an introduction by Hua Hsu and Edited with an afterword/notes by Floyd Cheung. “East Goes West” by Younghill Kang with a foreword by Alexander Chee and afterword/notes by Sunyoung Lee, “No-No Boy” by John Okada with an introduction by Karen Tei Yamashita and “America Is In The Heart” by Carlos Bulosan with a foreword by Elaine Castillo and an introduction by E. San Juan, Jr.
The winners for The Association For Asian American Studies 2019 Book Awards have been announced. “The Love Robot” (The Operating System) by Margaret Rhee for Creative Writing (Poetry), “Letters to Memory” (Coffee House Press) by Karen Tei Yamashita for Creative Writing (Prose), “Porous Borders: Multiracial Migrations and the Law in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands” (University of North Carolina Press) by Julian Lim for History, “Writing Human Rights: The Political Imaginaries of Writers of Color” (University of Minnesota Press) by Crystal Parikh for Humanities & Cultural Studies (Literature), “Chinatown Opera Theater in North America” (University of Illinois Press) by Nancy Yunhwa Rao for Humanities & Cultural Studies (Media & Performance Studies) and “Migrant Returns: Manila, Development, and Transnational Connectivity” (Duke University Press) by Eric J. Pido for Social Science. Winners will be honored at the AAAS Awards Reception at Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin on Sat., April 27, 2019.
Jamie Ford’s popular best-selling novel “Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” has already been adapted to the stage locally by Book-It Repertory and is moving slowly towards a movie but a musical version of the book may be coming as well. Seattle native and composer/lyricist Paul Fujimoto (now based in New York) has teamed up with Broadway veteran Lainie Sakakura (writing, acting, choreography) to secure the rights for the novel’s musical adaptation. They are presently talking to 5 th Avenue Theatre about a possible collaboration. Ford himself recently wrote a new short story solely about the character Keiko now included in the anniversary reissue version of the book.
Below is a partial list of new books by or about Asian Americans and new titles on Asia. If you are interested in reviewing any of them, please let us know –
“Bright” (Two Lines Press) by Duanwad Pimwana as translated by Mui Poopoksakal received an Honorable Mention for the Global Humanities Translation Prize. An authentic look at a working-class community in Thailand and the first-ever novel by a Thai woman writer to appear in English.
“Hour of Excavation” by Hiroki Tsukuda is an exhibition catalog published by Galerie Gisela Capitain. His work has a collage-like architectural intensity born of childhood memories.
“You Are Never Alone” (Owl Kids) by Elin Kelsey and art by Soyeon Kim. This collaborative team tackles the overwhelming topics of global warming and environmental distress in a gentle and positive way for kids.
“Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix” (The sequel to “Forest of a Thousand Lanterns” (Philomel) by Julie C. Dao. This Vietnamese American author concludes her fantasy story of an Asian princess who must dethrone an evil empress to save herself, her friends and the kingdom.
Hwang Sok-Yong is one of South Korea’s most well-known authors. In 1993 he took a trip to the North to promote exchange between the two Koreas. For that, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. He was pardoned in 1998 by a new president. His work has received Korea’s highest literary prizes. Now Scribe, a publisher in Australia has published three of his novels all translated by Sora Kim-Russell. “Familiar Things” (Scribe) tells the story of a family exiled to an island that serves as a landfill joined by a community of exiles, outlaws and people driven from the city by poverty. “At Dusk” (Scribe) looks at a successful architect from a poor neighborhood who achieves success only to be investigated for corruption. It looks at the world he left behind and what he gave up to move ahead. “Princess Bari” (Scribe) re-purposes a Korean myth about an abandoned princess traveling to the ends of the earth into a modern fable of a North Korean girl who escapes and tries to make a life in London. The author shows us a bewildering mix of cultures, religions and languages against the haunting backdrop of the modern world.
“Territory of Light” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Yuko Tsushima as translated by Geraldine Harcourt tells the story of a young woman left by her husband who struggles to start a new life in Tokyo with her two-year old daughter. In the months to come, she must confront what she lost and what she has become.
“Solo – A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One” (Knopf) by Anita Lo. This acclaimed chef shows you how to yourself by preparing delicious, accessible food to keep your singled life empowered and on track.
“My Cat Looks Like My Dad” (Owl Kids) by Thao Lam. This Canadian author/illustrator brings us a witty and uplifting picture book story that speaks to families of all varieties about how family is really what you make it.
“King of Joy” (Soft Skull) by Seattle writer Richard Chiem is his first novel after his acclaimed book of short stories. It is an imaginative meditation on emotional survival, isolation and the beauty and limitations of human connection.
“When I Found Grandma” (Groundwood) by Saumiya Balasubramaniam and illustrated by Qin Leng. This is a charming look at how a grandchild and grandparent navigate cross-cultural differences and find the bond of love.
“Privileged Minorities – Syrian Christianity, Gender, and Minority Rights in Postcolonial India” (UW) by Sonja Thomas. This is a study of Syrian Christian women and how this community illuminates larger questions of multiple oppressions, privilege and subordination, racialization and religion and secularism in India.
“The Story of Lee – Vol. 3” (NBM) by Sean Michael Wilson & Pirarelle. The conclusion of this graphic novel of a girl recently transplanted from her native Hong Kong to life in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In “Island of Sea Women” (Scribner), Lisa See switches her subject from Chinese American history towards examining the relationship between two Korean women pearl divers on Jeju Island through the troubled years of a nation at war and under colonial rule.
“On Haiku” (New Directions) by Hiroaki Sato. In a series of essays, noted Japanese translator of that country’s poetry into English zeros in on the many styles and genres of haiku poetry generously supported by his translated examples.
“Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls – A Memoir” (Bloomsbury) by T. Kira Madden tells her story as the only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol abuse and her own search for identity as a queer biracial teenager in Boca Riton, Florida. Madden appears at Elliott Bay Book Company in conversation with Kimberly King on March 24 at 3pm.
“The Plotters” (Doubleday) by Un-Su Kim is a thriller that takes us behind the scenes of political intrigue in South Korea told through the eyes of a jaded for-hire assassin who moves through corridors of power and alleys filled with corruption. Translated by Sora Kim-Russell.
Noted fiction writer Yiyun Li returns with “Where Reasons End” (Random House) where the writer imagines a conversation between a mother and her child lost to suicide in a timeless world, the space between life and death.
“Arid Dreams – Stories” (Feminist Press) by Duanwad Pimwana as translated by Mui Poopoksakul (due out in April 2019) renders her home country in all its complexity as her characters brimming with desire and disenchantment come alive in these pages. One of the first books by a Thai woman to be published in English internationally.
“This Fish is Fowl – Essays of Being” (Nebraska) by Xu Xi. Part of the American Lives Series edited by Tobias Wolff. A range of essays from a writer whose origins stretch across Indonesian/Chinese/American/Hong Kong. Her pieces concern “Dreamers” in the U.S. and Hong Kong after the Occupy Movement and many other topics all dancing around the question of what it means to “belong” in this world.
“Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation – On the Social and Psychic Lives of Asian Americans” (Duke) by David L. Eng & Shinhee Han. A critic and psychotherapist use case histories to explore the social and psychic predicaments of Asian American young adults from Gen X to Gen Y.
“Ai Weiwei: Beijing Photographs, 193 – 2003” (MIT) is an autobiography in pictures of one of China’s most celebrated contemporary artists and its most outspoken domestic critic.
“Betraying Big Brother – The Feminist Awakening in China” (Verso) by Leta Hong Fincher looks at the feminist movement in China and how it could reconfigure that country and the world.
“An American Family – A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice” (Random House) by Khizer Khan. A story of family and faith written with a poet’s sensibility, this Muslim American father tells his timeless immigrant story that led from from Pakistan to America.
“Dreamers – How Young Indians Are Changing the World” (Harvard) by Snigdha Poonan. More than half of India is under the age of twenty-five. The author traveled through the small towns of Northern India to investigate the phenomenon that is India’s Generation Y.
“Invocation of Beauty – The Life And Photography of Soichi Sunami” (Cascadia Museum of Art) by David F. Martin. This is the catalog for a recent exhibition on this early Seattle Camera Club member who went on to become the staff photographer at the Museum of Modern Art and a pioneer photographer of early American dance.
“The Village By The Sea” (NYR Books) by Anita Desai is a classic survival story of teenagers living in both village and city and how their bond pulls them through difficult times.
“Doing Justice – A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and The Rule of Law” (Knopf) by Preet Bharara. After a long career as a prosecutor, the author lays out a path toward reaching truth and justice in our everyday lives using by example captivating tales of true crime.
“China Dream” (Counterpoint) by Mia Jian. This novel set for May 2019 release by this Chinese writer-in-exile is a satire that takes the reader through the horrors and absurdities of totalitarian power as it is epitomized today by the current Chinese government.
“River of Fire” (New Directions) by Qurratulain Hyder transcreated by the author from her Urdu original. Considered the imost important novel of twentieth-century Urdu fiction. This writer conjures up a country’s memory, forming a rich tapestry of history, human emotions and redefining Indian identity.
“The Little Book of Life Hacks: How To Make Your Life Happier, Healthier And More Beautiful” (St. Martin’s) by Yumi Sakugawa. This author, illustrator and comic book artist uses all those skills to craft a book that will guide your personal life from the inside out, step by step. Common sense tips profusely illustrated in a charming comic book style.
“Descendant of The Crane” (Albert Whitman) is inspired by a Chinese fantasy and is a novel of a princess whose father is murdered and the things she must do to bring the killer to justice.
“The Body Papers – A Memoir” (Restless) by Grace Talusan. Winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, this book powerfully explores the author’s experiences with sexual abuse, depression, cancer and life as a Filipino immigrant.
“My Old Faithful” (University of Massachusetts) by Yang Huang won the Juniper Prize for fiction. Ten interconnected short stories that move from China to the U.S. during a thirty-year period paint a nuanced portrait of family life affected by social and economical change.
Seattle author Lori Tsugawa Whaley’s “The Courage of Samurai: Seven Sword Sharp Principles for Success” was an inspirational on-line bestseller derived from the principles of “bushido”, the Japanese warrior code of behavior in 2016. These principles helped the author recover from major injuries and pain. Now it will be re-released in a new edition with Tuttle Publishing in 2019 sporting a new title and cover.
“Zhi Lin – In Search of the Lost History of Chinese migrants and the Transcontinental Railroad” (Tacoma Art Museum) is part of the museum’s Northwest Perspective Series and served as the exhibition catalog. Lin’s art follows and docuents the ghosts of Chinese railroad workers that laid the tracks to untie this country. With essays by Rock Hushka, Shawn Wong and Shelley Fisher Fishkin.
“The Shape of a Life – One mathematician’s Search For The Universe’s Human Geometry” (Yale) by Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis. An accomplished mathematician chronicles his life as a youngster leading a Hong Kong gang to his introduction to learning and the thrill of humankind’s spirit of discovery.
“In A Day’s Work – The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers (The New Press) by Bernice Yeung. The author examines the case of sexual harassment against some of America’s most low-paid women who perform vital jobs that keep our economy intact yet are afforded little protection in the workplace.
“Sakura Obsession – The Incredible Story of The Plant Hunter Who Saved Japan’s Cherry Blossoms” (Knopf) by Naoko Abe. When a British man visits Japan, he falls in love with its cherry trees and brought back hundreds of cuttings with him to England. When the cherry trees in Japan declined, he brought back cuttings from England and re-ignited the growth of cherry trees in Japan and around the world.
“Writing Human Rights – The Political Imaginaries of Writers of Color” (Minnesota) by XCrystal Parikh. The author shows how the literature by writers of color have always been preoccupied with human rights and why.
“Chinatown Opera Theaer in North America” (Illinois) by Nancy Yunhwa Rao. The author documents a unique magical and theatrical genre in North American history and makes it come alive in a backstage of performers, performances and repertoire.
”My Footprints” (Capstone) by Minnesota poet Bao Phi explores how themes of struggle, perseverance and family encourage the healing powers of a child’s imagination. Powerfully illustrated by Basia Tran.
“People Like Us – The New Wave of Candidates Knocking at Democracy’s Door” (The New Press) by Sayu Bhojwan looks at how immigrant Americans are changing the political landscape, promoting reform and providing a voice for our multi-racial country.
“The New Silk Roads – The Present And Future of The World” (Knopf) by Peter Fran Kopan. An examination of how China’s commercial and political power is changing the way the world works.
“The End of the Moment We Had” (Pushkin) by Toshiki Okada as translated by Sam Malissa. Two short stories look at characters bound by a generational hunger for human connection and reveals an unsettlingly honest voice in contemporary Japanese fiction.
“Practical Equality – Forging Justice in a Divided Nation” (Norton) by Robert L. Tsai. Tsai, an expert on constitutional law, looks at great Supreme Court decisions and wrestles with the everyday political challenge of defending the principle of equality under less than ideal circumstances.
“You’re Safe With me” (Lantana) by Chitra Soundar and illustrated by Poonam Mistry. A modern fable that reads like a folktale illustrating the importance of motherly love amongst animals in a forest.
“The Unpassing” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Chia-Chia Lin traces the tragic journey of a Taiwanese immigrant family struggling to make a new home in Alaska. Scheduled for a May 2019 release.
“Migrant Returns – Manila, Development, And Transnational Connectivity” (Duke) by Eric J. Pido. The author examines the complicated relationships among the Philippine economy, Manila’s urban development and Filipino migrants visiting or returning to their homeland.
“Kaya’s Heart Song” (Lantana) by Diwa Tharan Sanders and illustrated by Nerina Canzi. This book is a lesson on mindfulness set in the jungles of Malaysia where a little girl discovers her own song.
“Friend of My Youth” (NYR Books) by Amit Chaudhuri looks at the city of Bombay and the nature of identity and the passage of time.
“Moth And Wasp, Soil And Ocean – Remembering Chinese Scientist Pu Zhelong’s Work for Sustainable Farming” (Tilbury House Publishers) by Sigrid Schmalzer and illustrated by Melanie Linden Chan. This book tells the story of a pioneering environmentalist in rural China who helped develop sustainable agriculture without pesticides.
Bellevue-based writer Ted Chiang is back with another stunning collection of stories entitled “Exhalation” (Knopf), each tackling some of humanity’s oldest questions. It covers a twenty year period with some rare classic work and new stories as well. His work has won every fantasy and Sci-fi award including the Hugo, the Nebula and Locus Awards.
In “Internment” (Little Brown), Samira Ahmed fights against Islamophobia and complicit silence in a futuristic novel when all Muslims are herded into internment camps.
“Monsters I Have Been” (Alice James) by Kenji C. Liu is a book of poems that uses existing texts and remixes them to investigate the relationship between toxic masculinity and the forms of violence it promotes in society.
“Time for Bed, Miyuki” (Princeton Archtectural Press) by Roxane Marie Galliez and illustrated by Seng Sounratanavanh is a picture book story about family, nature and love that serves as a welcome companion to your own children’s bed-time journey.
In “Soft Science” (alice James) by Franny Choi, the poet uses the myth of the cyborg to explore queer, Asian American femininity.
“The Pilipinx Radical Imagination Reader” (Philippine American Writers And Artists Inc.) edited by Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano and Anthony Abulencia Santa Ana. A Collection of a multiplicity of voices from the Philippine diaspora exploring visions we carry for our communities in this historical moment.
“Girls of Paper and Fire” (Little Brown) by Natasha Ngan is a richly textured fantasy novel about a lower caste girl who must serve a king but when love intervenes, how far will she go for justice?
In “Mitochondria Night” (Coffee House), poet Ed Bock Lee turns his analytical lens to trace paths through time, genealogy & geography and deals with issues of war, generational trauma and colonialism.
“Tales of Japan – Traditional Stories of Monsters and Magic” (Chronicle) with illustrations by Kotaro Chiba drawn from the works of folklorists Lafcadio Hearn and Yei Theodora Ozaki, these tales are by turns terrifying, exhilarating and poetic.
“Conversations in Maine: A New Edition” (University of Minnesota) by Grace Lee Boggs, JHames Boggs, Lyman Paine and Freddy Paine. After the Detroit Rebellion, two veteran activist couples get together to re-think the fundamentals of activism. An essential text for a new generation of radicals.
“You’re Snug With Me” (Lantana) by Chitra Soundar & Poonam Mistry is a lavishly illustrated picture book depicting the beauty of the polar region.
“The Gilded Wolves” (Wednesday Books) by Roshani Chokshi is a new young adult series about heist and adventure set in Paris, filled with opulent balls, succulent sights and a brazen group of teens.
“Dragon Dancer” (Lantana) by Joyce Chng and illustrated by Jeremy Pailler tells the story of a Chinese festival and what it symbolizes for Chinese communities as told through the eyes of a dragon dancer.
“Stone House on Jeju Island – Improvising Life Under A Healing Moon” (Seoul Selection) by Brenda Paik Sunoo. A Korean American woman challenges us to reimagine our definition of “home” as she moves from Southern California to an island off the tip of South Korea and re-examines her own life.
“The Paper-Flower Tree-A Tale From Thailand” (Enchanted Lion) by Jacqueline Ayer. What happens when an old peddler visits a small village with a tree of paper flowers? When he leaves a gift of one of the flowers to a little girl, will her life change?
“Oculus” (Graywold) by Sally Wen Mao is a book of poems that explore history and the future informed by science, history, the natural world and the character of actress Anna May Wong.
“Thirty Minutes Over Oregon – A Japanese Pilot’s WWII Story” (Clarion) by Marc Tyler Nobleman and Illustrated by Melissa Iwai. This picture book based on a true story recounts the incident of a Japanese pilot who bombs the continental U.S. during WWII and comes back 20 years later to apologize.
“The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali” (Scholastic) by Sabina Khan. Unable to come out to her conservative Muslim parents, an American teenager keeps a secret. When discovered, she is sent into exile back to Bangladesh. When and where does she find the courage to take control of her future?
“The I Wonder Bookstore” (Chronicle) by Shinsuke Yoshitake. In this charming illustration of the love of books, the author imagines a small bookstore which is a place of magical delight for bibliophiles.
“Toddler Hunting And Other Stories” (New Directions) by Taeko Kono as translated by Lucy North. Reflecting off mirrors of fantasy, reality, pain and pleasure, this Japanese writer doesn’t flinch as her detached gaze catches the beauty as well as the grotesque elements of the human condition.
“Riding A Donkey Backwards – Wise and Foolish Tales of Mulla Nasrudin” (Candlewick) as retold by Sean Taylor & the Khayaal Theatre and illustrated by Shirin Aol. Middle eastern tales of a famous trickster/storyteller beloved all over the Middle East.
“Learning To See” (Morrow) by Elise Hooper is a biography told in novel form about photographer Dorothea Lange, the woman who revealed the real America with her searing, uncompromising lens (including documentation of the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII).
“Gondra’s Treasure” (Clarion) by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt is a cute picture book about a baby dragon who carries traits of both her parents yet carries her own true personality as well.
“Game of Stars” (Scholastic) by Sayantani Dasgupta. A fantasy novel about a teenage girl who journeys to the kingdom beyond to battle her father and discovers what it really means to be a hero.
“American Sutra: A Story of Faith And Freedom in the Second World War” (Harvard University) by Duncan Ryuken Williams tells a religious history of Buddhism in Japanese America during the WWII internment experience.
“Ghost Work – How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass” (HMH) by Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri. An anthropologist and a computer scientist team up to unveil how services delivered by tech companies can only function smoothly thanks to the judgment xand experience of a vast, invisible human labor force. Often underpaid and overworked, the authors show how this work force can create opportunity rather than misery for those who do it.
“The Handsome Monk And Other Stories” (Columbia) by Tsering Kondrup as translated by Christopher Peacock. A collection of one of the most critically acclaimed authors in Tibet today. With a distinct voice rich in black humor and irony, he describes the lives of Tibetans living within contemporary China.
“Too Young To Escape – A Vietnamese Girl Waits to Be Reunited With Her Family” (Pajama Press) by Van Ho and Marsha Forchuk Skyrypuch. A young adult story of a girl left behind in Vietnam who waited to be reunited with her immigrant parents and the experiences she went through.
“The Karachi Kitchen – Classic and Contemporary Flavors of Pakistan” (Wise Ink) by Kausar Ahmed beings you a new world of flavor through the culinary arts of a multi-cultural region that sits at the intersection of South Asia.
“North Korean Art: Paradoxical Realism” (Seoul Selection) by BG Muhm is the catalog for “Imagined Borders”, an exhibition held at the 2018 Gwangju Biennale. A close-up look at the “Socialist Realism” of North Korean art.
“Farmer Falgu Goes Kite Flying” (Karadi Tales) by Chitra Soundar and Kanika Nair is a whimsical tale of a little girl who learns how to fly a kite on a windy day.
“The Bear and The Paving Stone” (Pushkin) by Toshiyuki Horie as translated by Geraint Howells. In three stories that probe the unavoidable connections of our past, the author creates a haunting world of dreams and memories where everyone ends up where they began.
“Here And Now And Then” (Mira) by Mike Chen. In this fantasy novel, a seasoned operative must live two lives in two different centuries and bridge this monumental divide to make things right in the universe.
“Bronze and Sunflower” (Candlewick Books) by Cao Wen Xuan as translated by Helen Wang. When a city girl becomes orphaned, the poorest family in the village takes her in and a traumatized boy and a lonely girl become the best of friends.
“Politics of Seeing – Dorothea Lange” (Prestel) is the catalog for a major retrospective of this major 20 th century photographer who used her work as a political tool to effect change.
“My Grandma And Me” (Candlewick) by Mina Javaherbin as illustrated by Lindsey Yanbrey. A charming tale of a little girl’s memories of her Iranian grandmother.
“Anyone Will Tell You” (Sibling Rivalry) by Wendy Chin-Tanner. This Oregon-based poet and graphic novelist explores and subverts form as an expression of the relationships between gender & identity, parent and child, self & the other, humanity & the environment and earth & the cosmos.
“The Banished Immortal – A Life of Li Bai” (Pantheon) by Ha Jin. Novelist/poet Ha Jin looks back at the life of this major Daoist poet of the Tang Dynasty whose uncompromising attitude towards life produced some of the most enduring verses in the world.
“Farmer Falgu Goes to the Kumbh Mela” (Karadi Tales) by Chitra Soundar and Kanika Nair. A picture book that exposes kids to a Hindu festival as a village farmer goes to the city to see the event but somehow keeps missing the highlights until…. With vivid artwork enhancing the festive atmosphere.
“Hybrida” (Norton) by Tina Chang is an engrossing new collection of poems that confront the complexities of raising a mixed-race child in a post-Trayvon Martin era.
Akashic Books celebrates the career of Los Angeles-based writer Nina Revoyr (“Southland”, “Wing Shooters”) by releasing her latest novel “A Student of History” as well as reissuing her 1997 debut novel entitled “The Necessary Hunger”. “A Student of History” examines the toxic ruling-class legacy of prejudice and entitlement in the city of angels. “The Necessary Hunger” is a story about women’s basketball, class, racial identity and friendship. Go to AkashicBooks.com for details.
“Long River” (Tin Fish) is a book of poems by Chinese poet Yang Jian. In a country “hellbent” on industrial progress, the words of this poet is the voice of conscience. Translated by Ye Chun, Paul B. Roth & Gillian Parrish.
“John Okada – The Life & Rediscovered Work of The Author of No-No Boy” (UW Press) edited by Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and Floyd Cheung. Through a mosaic of different perspectives, these essays put the flesh back on the bones of this iconic pioneer Asian American writer.
“Émigré” (Tin Fish) by Geneve Cho is a defiant reply to this administration’s anti-immigrant stance. In numerous languages, the poet preserves the voice of emigrant history.
Fran Manushkin based her character of a Chinese American girl on her great-niece but makes her even more challenging, mischievous and inquisitive. “Katie Woo – Katie Blows Her Top” (Capstone) details her efforts to replicate a live volcano with friends and how the experiments fail until the end. “Katie Woo – Daddy Can’t Dance” (Capstone). In this tale, Katie enlists her dad to participate in a Daddy-Daughter dance contest with funny results. Both books illustrated by Tammie Lyon.
“An Indefinite Sentence – A Personal History of Outlawed Love And Sex” (Atria) by Siddharth Dube. The author comes of age in the earliest days of AIDS. This memoir details the fight for rights for gay men and sex workers and how he pushed to decriminalize same-sex relations and sex work in India.
“Beijing Payback” (Ecco) by Daniel Nieh is a fast-paced revenge thriller. When his father is murdered, a son discovers his criminal past and returns to Beijing to enact revenge.
“Ruth Asawa” (David Zwirner) is a major catalog of an exhibition held at David Zwirner Gallery in New York with essays by Tiffany Bell and Robert Storr on this major American sculptor/educator based in the Bay Area. It covers her drawings, paintings and the noteworthy wire sculptural work as well as her career in children’s art education.
“The Twice-Born – Life and Death On The Ganges” (F S & G) by Aatish Taseer. The son of a Sikh journalist and an assassinated Pakistani politician, the author uses his return to the city of Benares as a way to grapple with the questions of identity and belonging.
“The Tenth Muse” (Ecco) by Catherine Cheng looks at the life of a female mathematician and a life caught up in stories of legacy, identity and the ways the mind can set us free.
“Enemy Child” (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House) by Andrea Warren is the story of a boy imprisoned in a Japanese American internment camp during WWII and how it shaped his life. A boy who would later become the noted American politician and public servant, Norman Mineta.
“Sightlines” (Copper Canyon” is Southwest-based poet Arthur Sze’s 10 th collection. In it, he turns his lens on contemporary reality in all its stunning complexity.
“Yugen” (Seven Stories Press) by Mark Reibstein with art by Ed Young is a children’s book told in haiku and pictures about the mystery and beauty of the universe. It captures a boy’s sadness, mindfulness and wonder in evocative text and images.
“The Stolen Bicycle” (Text) by Wu Ming-Yi as translated by Darryl Sterk is an intimate portrait of a Taiwanese family, a history of a bicycle and a complex weaving of magical tales and places. When a novelist takes a journey to discover what became of a missing father and a stolen bicycle, worlds open up.
“The Nine Cloud Dream” (Penguin Classics) by Kim Man-Jung as translated by Heinz Insu Fenkl is translated for the first time in over forty years. This book is considered to be a masterpiece of Korean literature. It tells the story of a young monk considered a prodigy who goes astray and then embarks on a spiritual journey across Tang Dynasty China.
“Nightingale” (Copper Canyon) by Paisley Rekdal is a poetry of transformation. By re-writing myths central to Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” she contemporizes the tropes of violence, dismemberment, silence and fragmentation.
‘Vietnamese Food Any Day” (Ten Speed Press) by Andrea Nguyen. This popular cookbook author shows you how to use easy-to-find ingredients to create true Vietnamese flavors at home – fast.
“Coloratura” (Oklahoma) by Li Er as translated by Jeremy Tiang marks the first time this prominent Chinese writer has been available in English. It looks at a mysterious character during the Chinese civil war whose story is told by three narrators and a chorus of witnesses. It this man a hero, a nationalist or communist, a spy, a poet or a scholar or perhaps all of the above? News/Opportunities
Mutsuko Soma, owner of the award-winning soba restaurant Kamonegi has acquired a space nearby where she will open a sake bar called Hannyatou. She hopes to also have a facility on site where she can make and house tsukemono pickles, koji, miso an other staples of Japanese cuisine. Go to hannyatou.com for details.
Friends of Asian Art Association is an all-volunteer organization that connects its members and the community to educations, cultural and social events tied to Asia and its diverse art forms and culture. Enjoy year-round activities and meet new friends who share similar interests by becoming a member. All are welcome to the activities but members get special discounts and perks. Go to [email protected] for details.

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8 Herbs and Spices to Keep in Your Kitchen

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We’re all acquainted with the phrase ‘Spice it Up’ and how it can be used for multiple reasons and on occasions — here we shall only talk about one, Your Kitchen!
In most homes, kitchen is where the heart is at and spicing it up, quite literally, is always a good idea. Spices are, of course a great way to make scrumptious food, but at the same time can be extremely beneficial for your health. Research suggests that spices and herbs have been used to treat multiple ailments for hundreds of years in most parts of the world.
Here is our list of 8 spices and herbs that should definitely make way to your kitchen
1. Black Peppercorns
The good old salt and pepper combo is a must have for all of our meals. Well at least most of them. The slight pungency in taste and the raw aroma can make any recipe better, especially in case of an emergency. Let’s be honest all of us have last minute kitchen emergencies!
Much like most spices and herbs out there, black pepper too, has health benefits. Black Peppercorns help with digestion and also allow for better dental health. Go ahead and stock your kitchen up!
2. Oregano
The herb of all dressings! Oregano is one herb that majority of people are familiar with but don’t necessarily have stocked at home. It is one of the most aromatic herbs out there and can make almost everything taste better — instantly!
Please notice how we said almost everything since it might not apply to the Italian takeout in your fridge from last week! Jokes apart, Oregano is an absolute essential with the flavor it provides and the antioxidants it has. Antioxidants work in multiple ways to improve our health and are known for being a counter treatment to cancer .
3. Cinnamon
Cinnamon is one versatile spice! The taste and texture are as such that it allows being used for sweet as well as savory dishes. I mean imagine the variety that the spice offers you. It can come handy when you are trying to make this recipe by Nonna Box for dessert or when you have to spice up your regular grilled chicken. Ceylon cinnamon, also known as true cinnamon, is known for its medicinal properties .
Not only does the spice allow you variety, but it also helps keep your health in check. Scientists have deduced that the spice is good for heart health and helps keep the cardiovascular system healthy.
4. Cilantro/Coriander
Known by two different names across the world, Cilantro/Coriander is a fantastic seasoning option to have in your kitchen cabinet. From meat to salsa and even to pasta this herb is a great choice for seasoning.
Even though the taste is not very significant the tantalizing savor and scent can change your dining experience. It looks pretty and tastes decent and more importantly — it turns your meal into a high-end experience within seconds.
You don’t want to miss out on something as multipurpose as Cilantro. Oh, and it’s wondrous for your health too!
5. Cayenne Pepper
This tiny bright red pepper can do wonders for your food as well as your health. Size, in this case definitely doesn’t matter, as it is the basic ingredient in a multitude of sauces and gravies. Cayenne pepper provides just that tinge and a little bit of heat that can turn the dish around and make your taste buds happy!
Speaking of its health benefits, cayenne pepper has often been associated with a boost in immunity and isn’t that the core of everything health related? Cayenne pepper, powdered or otherwise, is a great addition to your kitchen directory owing to the amazing properties and its multiple health benefits. The pepper is also used as a treatment for headaches in some parts of the world.
6. Peppermint
You can love it or you can hate it but you cannot deny the unique flavor that peppermint can add to your homemade meal!
It has one of the most distinct aromas out of all herbs and can be used for several kinds of foods and desserts. Toss that minty lemonade or go for a warm peppermint mocha right in the comfort of your kitchen by adding peppermint to your weekly grocery list.
Need we add that it has health benefits too? Well okay if you insist. Peppermint leaves, in the form of tea, have been linked to a decrease in congestion and headaches. We all need that after a hard day at work, don’t we?
7. Garlic Powder
It can be a problem to chop garlic to perfection every time it is your turn to cook at home. For ease and convenience, you can always get yourself dehydrated garlic powder that works just as well as the actual thing.
For anyone who cooks, it should come as no surprise that garlic is the main ingredient for several major recipes belonging from various parts of the world! Be it something along the lines of an Indian Curry or the Italian Agliata, Garlic is king! Of course, we weren’t going to stop before highlighting the health benefits! Garlic is rather efficient with lowering Cholesterol levels. Get yours now!
8.Basil
The Basic Basil! We saved the best herb for the last. It is one of the most common herbs used around the globe owing to its intense flavour and persistent taste. Basil can be used in dishes like lasagne, pies, curries and even salads. What more can you ask for? It is commonly available, fits in with almost every cuisine in the world and does wonders for your inner system! The herb is extremely rich in antioxidants which are known to fight cancer and inflammation .
These aren’t just spices and herbs, they are super spices and herbs that make your food and your health better with every passing day! So jot down these essential spices before you head out for your next grocery trip. They will surely up your cooking game and let you boast about your cooking skills among your friends. That’s all from us, share your kitchen essentials with us if we missed them! Views: 7

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The Taste of Conquest by Michael Krondl looks appealing, but i haven’t yet read it.
Stirring the Pot: A History of African Cuisine is adjacent to the regions you are interested in and could have some good information.
A Taste of Thyme is more of an academic writing style, but it has different chapters that examine a facet of Middle Eastern food life that would have good information for you.
660 Curries isn’t a history book, but Iyer goes into great detail discussing spices, and if I’m not mistaken, history and background of particular curries. It’s my go-to reference for Indian cooking as well.

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How To Make Sun Dried Potato Chips , Aloo Chips

Sun Dried Potato Chips , How To Make Aloo Chips April 3, 2019 by anjanaskc 13 Comments
Potato Chips- Homemade and delicious!
Potato Chips- In my maternal home arrival of summer starts with making sun dried items and pickles. I have so many fond memories of my childhood summer afternoons spent helping my grandmother and mother in making different types of frymes, papad and vadis.
They both are experts in making these home made aloo papad and aloo chips .Our big terrace was fully covered with so many muslin sarees on which Aloo papad , sabudana papad and Moong daal vadies are spread to dry in the heat and then in the evening we again go to the terrace to turn the semi dried papads and often while making Aloo Papad the feast begins from the starting, where me and my sisters will start eating the yummy spiced up potato mash while making the papads and then start eating the semi dry papad when we go to turn all the papads in late afternoons .
But the love and interest of making papad and vadis is still in me so though there are so many variety easily available in the market but I still love to make my own batch every year.This year my daughter also helped me in making papad, kachri and sun dried potato chips which makes me so happy to see that she has also inherited this interest 🙂
Sun dried Potato chips are made in two patterns ,one is plain sliced and one is with the crisscross pattern . For making the crisscross pattern you need a potato slicer with a serrated blade but you can make the plain one with any potato slicer, mandolin, with a food processor or even with a sharp knife.
After slicing, the chips should be washed thrice to remove the starch completely and then blanched in hot water. It is preferred to dry them in direct sunlight but you can also dry them inside a room like I did. Try to choose good quality, fresh, white and starchy potatoes – as the quality of potatoes also effects the quality and colour of the potato chips.
I have also posted the recipe of making –
Potato Chips from Scratch – Homemade and delicious! Prep Time 20 mins Course: Home made, snacks/starters, Sundried Cuisine: Indian, North Indian Cuisine Author: anjanaskc I/4 tsp Alum Powder / Phitkari 2 Tsp Red Chili Powder To Sprinkle 1 Serrated Potato Slicer/ Mandolin Muslin cloth OR Plastic Sheet Enough Cooking Oil To deep fry Instructions Wash and peel the potato skin (peeling is optional and depends on personal choice) Fill enough water in a large pot and add alum powder in it and mix wel With the the help of potato chips slicer start making chips.For the crisscross pattern you have to use the serrated potato slicer which I have shown in the picture. To make crisscross pattern first you have to put peeled potato on the slicer and then slice a chip by applying slight pressure on it. Then for the next chips slightly twist the potato and make the next slice .So keep twisting the direction of potato after every chips. If you want to make plain chips then you can use any normal potato slicer or a sharp knife. Keep soaking all the potato chips in the water filled bowl in which you have mixed alum for about an hour. When you finished making all the chips then drain the water and wash the chips three times in fresh water so that all excess starch is removed and on your last rinse you will see the water will be clear unlike the prior washes where the water will have milky traces of starch. Boil enough water in a big pan and add some salt (enough to make the water taste salty) and a pinch of alum powder. When water starts to boil add the drained potatoes in it. Keep stirring gently till the water starts boiling again (about 2-3 minutes) Drain the blanched potato chips over a colander to drain all the water. Spread hot chips on a muslin cloth in a single layer,avoid overlapping. They will dry in about 2 days time or depending on the heat in the climate When they become dry and crisp store in a air tight jar and use till they last. How to serve- Heat enough oil in a big,deep and wide pan. When the oil is hot add some sun dried chips and fry on medium heat. Drain on a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Sprinkle a dash of chili powder or chat masala and serve Notes Note- Try to choose big, round,white and even size potatoes to make chips. Alum is added to make chips white in colour as some times potato chips turn slightly black after drying.But don’t add too much else the chip may become red while frying. Peeling potato or not depends on your preference ,but I always peel potatoes before making chips. You can add any spice of your choice on the fried chips, you can add dry mint powder, mango powder, black salt, roasted cumin powder, dry tomato powder, chat masala on fried chips to enhance the flavour. Sliced potatoes should be completely submerged in water to avoid discoloration. Some times sweet variety of potatoes makes the chips red so choose a good variety of potato. Adding salt in the water is optional ,you can also sprinkle salt after deep frying,but I prefer to do this way.

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Dan’s Taste of Summer Presented by Out East Returns Memorial Day

Southampton, NY, April 03, 2019 –( PR.com )– Dan’s Papers Celebrates Its 60th Summer All Year Long.
Dan’s Taste of Summer presented by Out East, the Hamptons real estate marketplace, is back for the season, offering incredible culinary events highlighting the best of the Hamptons, the North Fork and New York. Chefs from the North Fork and South Fork as well as Manhattan and across Long Island are gearing up to bring Hamptonites their best dishes while they listen to music, drink local wines, beers and signature cocktails and mingle the night away at some of the most picturesque venues on the East Coast. In its 60th summer, Dan’s Hamptons Media is proud to bring back Dan’s Rosé Soirée, Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork, Dan’s GrillHampton presented by New York Prime Beef, Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, and Dan’s Corona MonTaco. New to the summer event lineup is Dan’s Chefs of the Hamptons, bringing together the premier chefs from the South Fork for a dinner supporting Guild Hall of East Hampton, and Dan’s 60 Summers Gala, celebrating the 60th summer of Dan’s Papers and the release of the book 60 Summers: Celebrating Six Iconic Decades on the East End. Let’s raise many a glass to 60 more summers to come. Tickets for all events are on sale now at DansTasteOfSummer.com.
Dan’s Rosé Soirée (Sunday, May 26th, 6:00-8:30 PM/Rosé After Dark VIP After Party presented by Whispering Angel 8:30-10:30 PM)
Southampton Arts Center (25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, New York 11968)
Dan’s Taste of Summer presented by Out East presents this annual kickoff to summer in the Hamptons. As the unofficial libation of the season, there will be over 30 different rosé wines from local Hamptons and North Fork wineries, France, Italy, Spain and beyond, including Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Provence Rosé, Whispering Angel, Mirabeau, Montauk Wine Co., Jamesport Vineyards, Clovis Point and more. The event will also feature tastings from top restaurants in the Hamptons and New York City such as Rahi, Kingfish Oyster Bar, Jing Fong, Calissa and Union Cantina. Dance the night away to tunes provided by DJ Ria, and keep the celebration rolling at the official Rosé After Dark VIP After Party, presented by Whispering Angel, featuring live 80s and 90s music provided by The Ronald Reagans, plus exclusive wine pours and food provided by North Fork Chocolate Company and Shock Ice Cream. You won’t want to start your summer anywhere but here.
Dan’s Chefs of the Hamptons (Saturday, June 29th, 2019, 7:00-10:00 PM)
Topping Rose House (1 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, New York 11932)
Taking place at the historic Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, there is no better setting for Dan’s Hamptons Media’s first ever Chefs of the Hamptons event. This exclusive event is the first time such a lineup of the Hamptons’ most-beloved chefs, including Drew Hiatt & Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Topping Rose House, Joe Realmuto of Nick & Toni’s, Eric Miller of Bay Kitchen Bar, Sam McCleland of Beacon, Jeremy Blutstein of Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina, Courtney Sypher of Sen, Jason Weiner of L&W Market, and Carissa Waechter of Carissa’s Bakery will come together for a one-night-only intimate dining experience. Chefs of the Hamptons will dazzle guests from its cocktail hour through its multi-course pairing dinner. All dishes will use locally sourced ingredients matched with exceptional wines and cocktails. A portion of ticket sales will help support Guild Hall and its vital role in the Hamptons community each year.
Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork (Saturday, July 13th, 7:00-10:00 PM)
The Halyard at Sound View Greenport (58775 County Road 48, Greenport, New York 11944)
Honoring the culinary and wine creators of the North Fork, Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork is taking place at the beautiful Halyard, with its exquisite views of the Long Island Sound. Back for its second year, this premier North Fork culinary event unites these talented chefs for one night only. Participants include Stephan Bogardus of The Halyard, Matty Boudreau of Preston House & Hotel, Brian Wilson of North Fork Table & Inn, Noah Schwartz of Noah’s, Jennilee Morris and Adam Kaufer of Grace & Grit and more. The night starts with a cocktail hour followed by a carefully crafted 5-course pairing dinner and desserts. All dishes will feature locally sourced ingredients paired with wines from the wineries of the North Fork. Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork redefines the farm-to-table and grape-to-glass experience.
Dan’s Grill Hampton presented by New York Prime Beef (Saturday, July 19th, VIP 7:00–8:00 PM/GA 8:00-10:30 PM)
Fairview Farm at Mecox (18 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton, New York 11932)
The Hamptons vs. New York City. At the 7th annual Dan’s GrillHampton presented by New York Prime Beef event, eight East End chefs including defending champion Matty Boudreau of Preston House & Hotel, Scott Kampf of Union Burger Bar, Peter Ambrose of Events by Peter Ambrose and Arthur Wolf of Smokin’ Wolf BBQ and eight New York City chefs such as Justin Bazdarich of Speedy Romeo, Mark Rosati of Shake Shack and Matt Abdoo of Pig Beach will go head-to-head in the showdown of the summer. Guests will sample each chef’s dish while enjoying the live music of the Back to the Eighties Show with Jessie’s Girl and sipping on cocktails, wine and beer, then vote on their favorite dish of the night while mingling with celebrity judges such as Adam Richman and Scott Feldman and ultimately choose which team, Hamptons or New York City, will win the overall competition.
Dan’s Taste of Two Forks (Saturday, July 20th, 6:30-7:30 PM VIP/7:30-10:00 GA)
Fairview Farm at Mecox (18 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton, New York 11932)
Dan’s Hampton Media is excited to bring back for its ninth year—Dan’s Taste of Two Forks. Bringing together the best restaurants and wineries from the North Fork and South Fork, Dan’s Taste of Two Forks is the premier food-and-wine celebration of the season. Top chefs from more than 40 restaurants and winemakers from over 15 vineyards will be serving up the best bites and drinks on the East End. Confirmed restaurants include The Frisky Oyster, Mirabelle, North Fork Chocolate Company, Spiro’s, Southampton Social Club and Saaz Indian. DJ Phresh will keep the tunes coming all night long while guests fill themselves to the brim with the best of the best. Dan’s Taste of Two Forks is the most sought-after ticket.
Dan’s 60 Summers Gala (Friday, August 2nd, 6:30-9:30 PM/VIP After Party 9:00-11:00 PM)
Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina (32 Star Island Road, Montauk, New York 11954)
In 1960, Dan Rattiner published his first paper in Montauk, and every year since, Dan’s Papers has been capturing the spirit of the Hamptons. Celebrating its 60th summer—and Dan Rattiner’s 80th birthday—in 2019, Dan’s Papers invites everyone to go back to where it all started. Taking place at Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina, the 60 Summers Gala will showcase food and wine of the Hamptons from restaurants such as Scarpetta, Showfish, Gosman’s and Duryea’s, while toasting to an incredible history and 60 more years to come.
Dan’s Corona MonTaco (Saturday, August 3rd, VIP 6:30-7:30 PM/GA 7:30-10:00 PM)
Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina (32 Star Island Road, Montauk, New York 11954)
It’s an East End fiesta as some of the most celebrated chefs from the Hamptons and New York City spice up the night with their take on Mexican, Spanish and South American cuisine. Now in its third year, this tasting event features fresh culinary takes on such classics as enchiladas, mollete, burritos, tostadas, ceviche and, of course, tacos, plus endless margaritas, cerveza, top-shelf spirits and more, while guests eat, drink and dance the night away on the waterfront in Montauk.
About Dan’s Taste of Summer presented by Out East:
Dan’s Taste of Summer presented by Out East, produced by Manhattan Media’s Dan’s Hamptons Media, has quickly become the largest epicurean events series on Long Island, hosting upwards of 5,000 food-and-wine lovers annually. Since the first Dan’s Taste of Two Forks in 2011, Dan’s Taste of Summer presented by Out East’s signature events—Rosé Soiree, Taste of Two Forks, GrillHampton and MonTaco—have become can’t-miss nights on the jam-packed Hamptons summer social calendar. Follow @DansTasteOfSummer on Instagram for the latest scoop on Taste of Summer 2019 and use tag #DansTOS when sharing about the events. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit DansTasteOfSummer.com.
About Dan’s Hamptons Media:
Dan’s Hamptons Media, LLC, is a Hamptons’ leader in media, offering a combination of print, websites, live events and a suite of innovative digital, mobile and social marketing solutions. In addition to its iconic print product, Dan’s Papers—which, as it celebrates its 60th summer, continues to be a well read publication with circulation on the East End—Dan’s Hamptons Media’s portfolio includes: DansPapers.com, a go-to website in the Hamptons and on the North Fork for What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Stay and Where to Play; Behind the Hedges magazine and BehindtheHedges.com, a real estate source in the Hamptons; Dan’s List, a users guide to the best of the best businesses East End; the Dan’s App, a dynamic app updated daily with original content on the East End; and a large Social Media footprint in the Hamptons, with nearly 50,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For inquiries & to be a part of Dan’s Taste of Summer, contact Steven McKenna at SMcKenna@DansHamptons.com
Dan’s Hamptons Media
Steven Mckenna
631-537-0500
Contact via Email
danstasteofsummer.com
release/781599

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Resort Fan Pages – Cancun

Here goes my rant of the day….resort fan pages have taken the fun out of travel planning. I love travel planning. Researching and planning are almost as much fun as the trips themselves. I thoroughly enjoy finding out as much as I can. My philosophy on resort reviews is to take the best and worst reviews with a grain of salt and to look for common themes among the rest, both good and bad. Like everyone, I want the most for my money. However, I think resort fan pages have created a sense of entitlement with guests and have created too much hype for special requests and treatment.
I realize that social media pages are the property of the page administrator(s). The administrator sets the rules and controls the content. No one is forcing me to be a member. But I still enjoy reading about places I’ve stayed and may return to. That is why I joined the page. Unfortunately, honest commentary on resort experiences is often met by the resort cheerleaders arguing how their experiences were different and discounting someone else’s less positive experience.
IMHO, these pages have led to people requesting every single perk possible and then being upset when they received something different. Everyone wants the best room in the best building with the best view with the most privacy. Everyone wants to get that room via a free upgrade. Book what you want and be prepared to pay for it. Why are you booking a huge resort and then expecting privacy? Everyone wants their outdoor space to have privacy where they cannot be seen by others. Just be honest and say, we want to be naked and/or have sex. If you want privacy, book a small resort that offers private patios and plunge pools. If you want to be naked, book a resort that allows such. How is a resort going to accommodate everyone requesting nearly the same things? I believe a resort should reward its frequent customers. If someone has stayed multiple times, I believe they should receive the better room and extra amenities. If you’re a first-timer, as long as you get the room category you booked and paid for, you get what is available. Someone has to get the run-of-the-house rooms.
Food is subjective. Generally, you get what you pay for. Even if the resort has better than average food, unless you are at a small resort, the food is mass-produced. Things will not be the same as they are when you are at home. Mexican beef and dairy is not the same as that from the US. Likewise, ethnic cuisines—Thai, Indian, Italian—are not the same at a Mexican resort as they are in their home countries. Just because you didn’t like something, doesn’t mean it’s bad. It means you didn’t like it. I hated a very popular soup at a resort. It didn’t mean the soup was bad, it meant I didn’t care for their recipe and preparation.
Don’t complain about things that are clearly easy to research. Ten minutes online will tell you your resort’s dress code, room set up and liquor options. If those things are a deal breaker for you, go elsewhere.
The staff are not your friends. Really, they’re not. It’s their job. Higher end resorts train their staff incredibly well to treat you like royalty. If you have been to the resort multiple times, they likely remember you. But unless you have been to their home or they have been to your home (and there are very few people for whom this is the case), they are employees of a place you like to go—nothing more, nothing less. I think it’s unfortunate when resorts reward employees for being mentioned on TripAdvisor or any other site. I’ve received great service from countless employees whose names I will never know.
Rant over. I don’t expect this will go over well with some people. I don’t think anyone ever started a resort fan page with bad intentions. The pages are very handy in providing quick answers to questions. I think it’s unfortunate the pages have diverted traffic from other review sites when the pages often encourage unrealistic expectations and proprietary behavior from members.

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