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Nisei Week - Little Tokyo, Los Angeles by john cheng

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

This past weekend I was able to attend the Nisei Week parade for the first time in the past 6-7 years that I've lived here. Why it's taken me so long to attend one? I have no excuse. But thanks Sean W. for inviting me to tag along with you.

With the little that I observed on Sunday, I was slapped pretty hard with a bout of nostalgia remembering the Taiwanese festivals that my parents used to take me to. They were no where near as large as Nisei Week's festivities and there was definitely no parade, but they both exuded the same feeling. A sense of identity and belonging in a country where, even though you were born and raised here, you didn't quite fit in. Not 100% American and not 100% (place ethnicity here) in my case Taiwanese.

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

Watching my friend interact with his fellow Japanese-American friends whom he's grown up with attending Nisei Week, Obon, and other festivals really made me yearn for the days where I also had that connection and camaraderie. Why I feel it is currently missing from my life is a whole story on it's own that I'll save for another time. 

At the end of it all I can only say thank you to all of the people who realize the importance of keeping cultural traditions alive for all to witness. Without you, the 2nd generation and on would never have a grasp on where we came from and how far we've come. 

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

©ENGER in photography

626 Night Market by john cheng

Looking for something to do in Downtown LA tonight and tomorrow night? Head over to the DTLA 626 Night Market and show down on some food, visit me at my artist booth, and just have an all around good time. Visit 626 Night Market for more info or purchase your presale tickets at Eventbrite.

Un-Private Collection Series by john cheng

Takashi Murakami photo by Chika Okazumi; artwork © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Takashi Murakami will be in conversation with Pico Iyer at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. This is going to be great! Who wants to go with me?

Thursday, May 29 | 8 p.m.
Orpheum Theatre
842 Broadway, downtown Los Angeles
General admission tickets: $12

 

EightyTwo Bar Arcade by john cheng

When I was younger, I always wanted to run into the nearest arcade and spend whatever quarters I had in my pocket. My parents however, didn't really like the idea. I guess it's because arcades in general had a very shady and negative connotation to them. My parents were probably also trying to teach me how to save my money in the long run as well.

But fast forward 15 years or so and what do you know... arcades are all but extinct! But there is still a glimmer of hope! Scott Davids and Noah Sutcliffe are opening a classic arcade games bar, EightyTwo, together in the downtown L.A. Arts District. Not only can you play classic games, but you can have a ice cold beer while you play! It's also right around the corner from me so no driving involved for me. If you're still having trouble pin pointing where it might be, it's around the corner from institutions like Wurstküche and The Pie Hole.

The two have been renovating the space with Sci-Arc architect Darin Johnstone and plan on opening it in a few weeks. The space will be minimalistic, with polished concrete floors and open exposed beams. It'll combine two rooms that add up to 4,000 square feet, plus a 1,700 square-foot outdoor patio.

-LA Weekly