America’s Chinatown

April 13, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

Bonnie Tsui fondly remembers her childhood trips from Long Island to Manhattan’s Chinatown for visits to her extended family and for special celebrations. “It was where we went to be Chinese,” says Tsui, author of “American Chinatown: A People’s History of Five Neighborhoods,” which explores Chinatowns in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu and the newest in Las Vegas. “We went there to shop on weekends, and for weddings and banquets.” A freelance writer based in San Francisco, Tsui, a contributor to The New York Times, Travel + Leisure and the Boston Globe, appeared at a book talk sponsored by CUNY’s Asian American/Asian Research Institute to discuss why these communities still seem so exotic and mysterious to outsiders. “Being around Chinatown, but not from it, I felt that I could understand and see both sides of that fascination.”
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