Archive for the ‘Chinatown’ Category.

Trying to Understand 70 Years of Racist US Law: New Book Chronicles Ugly History of the Chinese Exclusion Acts

ALEXANDRIA, VA – (July 4, 2012)
From 1879-1943, Anti-Chinese Racism Was Official US Policy
In the early years after the Civil War, the United States at first encouraged Chinese laborers to Cover of "Forbidden Citizens," by Martin B. Goldimmigrate—to build the transcontinental railroad and dig mines. But when white settlers began to feel overrun, western politicians forged an alliance with southern Democrats who wanted to restrict the rights of recently emancipated blacks in the south and persuaded Congress to write a series of federal laws excluding Chinese people from citizenship and immigration rights.

It wasn’t until 1943, during America’s alliance with China in World War II, that Congress finally repealed the Chinese Exclusion laws. After seventy years, one of the most offensive policies ever enacted by Congress was erased.

Forbidden Citizens: Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress: A Legislative History, by Martin B. Gold (published July 4, 2012 by TheCapitol.Net), tells the inside story of the battle over Chinese exclusion, examining all of the exclusion laws using the words actually spoken in Senate and House debates.

“Brings to life the politics of Chinese exclusion in a way no one has.”
— Judy Chu, United States Representative (D-CA), sponsor of H. Res. 683

“A moving account of a regrettable part of American history.”
— Scott Brown, United States Senator (R-MA), sponsor of S. Res. 201

Chinese Exclusion Laws Hold Lessons for Our Time
The Chinese experience facing legalized racism for 70 years provides an important perspective to examine current debates over immigration reform, labor relations, voting rights, trade relations, and an ineffectual Congress. Gold’s book, the first to look in-depth at all exclusion laws as Congress saw the Chinese issue at the time, should be of particular interest to historians, students of Congress, Chinese-Americans and Asian Americans.

“Exceptional scholarly research on the legislative history of Chinese Exclusion Laws.”
— Michael C. Lin, Chairman, 1882 Project

Author Martin B. Gold is a government affairs attorney with Covington & Burling. As a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, Gold spearheaded official recognition of Feng Shan Ho, a Chinese diplomat who saved thousands of Austrian Jews from the Holocaust. In October 2011, Mr. Gold was instrumental in passing S. Res. 201, an expression of regret for the Chinese Exclusion laws. In 2012, he was awarded the “Champion of Justice Award” by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance for his work on the project.

TheCapitol.Net is a privately held, non-partisan publishing and training company based in Alexandria, VA. For over 30 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been training professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs on the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.

Journalists: to request interviews and/or review copies, contact Stuart Johnson: 202-618-1648, PR -at-

Forbidden Citizens is available from your bookseller or online after July 4, 2012, in print and ebook formats. For more information see

Press release: 2-page PDF; Business Wire.

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“Land of Dreams”

A new YouTube video – “Land of Dreams” – featuring Rosanne Cash and other musicians, shows different tourist experiences in the United States.

From Discover America.


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Marion Barry: Echoing the Sandlot Orators from the 1870s

Marion Barry’s statement that Asians “ought to go” is an echo of what American political leaders were saying in the late-1800s. He echoes Denis Kearney, a sandlot orator in California who ended his speeches during the 1870s with the cry of “The Chinese must go!” Forbidden Citizens, § 2.11, Denis Kearney and the Sandlot Orators.

"The Chinese Must Go! But, Who Keeps Them?" Illustration in The Wasp, v. 2, August 1877 - July 1878. From The Bancroft Library The University of California Berkeley.

"The Chinese Must Go! But, Who Keeps Them?" Illustration in The Wasp, v. 2, August 1877 - July 1878. From The Bancroft Library The University of California Berkeley.

In 1882, Congressman John Kasson (R-IA) accurately described this attitude as “one of the most vulgar forms of barbarism.” Forbidden Citizens, § 4.60, House Debate, March 22, 1882: “Who would have them for voters?”. It is still a vulgar form of barbarism in 2012.

"The magic washer, manufactured by Geo. Dee, Dixon, Illinois. The Chinese must go" advertisement ca. 1886

"The magic washer, manufactured by Geo. Dee, Dixon, Illinois. The Chinese must go" advertisement ca. 1886

Starting in 1879, Congress adopted a series of Chinese exclusion laws by majority votes, which did not assure that the laws were sound or just.

The Chinese Exclusion Act (H.R. 5804) passed the House of Representatives April 17, 1882, by an overwhelming majority vote of 201 in favor, 37 opposed, and 53 not voting. The Senate passed the bill, with amendments, on April 28, 1882, on another overwhelming majority vote of 32 in favor, 15 opposed, and 29 senators not voting. The House concurred in the Senate amendments on May 3, 1882 by voice vote and President Chester Alan Arthur approved the measure on May 6, 1882. Forbidden Citizens, Chapter 5. The Ten-Year Exclusion Legislation of 1882.

What’s old is new.

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Fuleen Seafood Restaurant

Recently I shepherded a group of 7 amigos to the Fuleen Seafood Restaurant … Classic Cantonese cuisine with nice service and a very good value. Another great place to bring a group of hungry amigos for a delicious Cantonese dinner in Chinatown. The dishes I ordered … perriwinkles in black-bean sauce, flour-coated fried oysters, prawns with walnuts, garlic-scented sauteed chicken, garlic sauteed pea-shoots, fermented bean-curd sauteed water spinach, chow-mein with prawns. Fresh cut Florida oranges for desert. The total bill was $125.00. We were allowed to bring our own red wine … come soon for a very frugal Manhattan-Yankee dinner in Chinatown …
Fuleen Seafood Restaurant, 11 Division Street, New York, 212-941-6888 [MenuPages | NYT | NY Mag | Yelp | Citysearch]

Best deal for hard economic times

After casting my vote at Hunter College with a minimal wait … the TV media was very sensational about long lines … I went to Chinatown and ate at my local hawker stall on south-east corner of Canal & Mott Streets …. three deep-fried vegetable spring rolls for $1.00 and fried vegetable chow-mein for $1.25 … I walked to the Hong Kong supermarket on Hester Street and bought a can of cool coconut juice for $0.89 … the best deal for this hard economic times … cheaper then the cost of the tip at a 4-star fancy up-town restaurant …
Hong Kong Supermarket, 157 Hester Street., New York [Yelp]

King’s Seafood Restaurant

Another great discovery for Fine Cantonese cuisine in Chinatown … King’s Seafood …. a very fine replacement for the defunct Nice restaurant … the menu comprising: Beijing duck, jumbo prawns with walnuts and broccoli in a mayo sauce, Hong-Kong style T-bone steak (medium rare), half-chicken in garlic sauce, salt-and-pepper pork chops, the whole flounder done two-ways, chicken chow-mein, beef chow-fun, saute “dao-miu” with garlic … duck meat with green chives …. a very sumptuous dinner for everybody to enjoy … for less then $30 a person…bring your own wine or champagne …
I also went there to try their dim-sum lunch …. very, very good food and service but 2.5 times more expansive then Chatham ….
King’s Seafood, 39 East Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, 212-233-3359 [Yelp]

Best Shanghai’s “soupy pork dumplings”

For the best Shanghai’s “soupy pork dumplings”
in Manhattan, please go to the Grand Sichuan, 24th Street & 9th Avenue at Chelsea. Very well prepared fresh whole fish in a delicate sauce for $18.95. Beef tripe and tongue in a very hot red-sauce. Garlicky cool cucumber slices. Silky soft bean curd ma-po to-fu is very hot and spicey for $8.95. I love the string-beans for vegetables. The service is very polite and efficient. Can get very crowded at the prime dinner time. 229 9th Avenue, 212-620-5200 [openlist | Yelp]
For the very best in Flushing, please go to Joe’s Shanghai …. including soy-sauce braised pork shoulder, crispy fried wheat noodles, Shanghai bok-choy and prawns. Very crowded and busy at dinner time. 13621 37th Avenue, Flushing, 718-539-3838 [openlist | Yelp]

$6 dinner … includes dessert … at Sanur

Last Sunday, I ate a very delicious Nyonya plate of rice with a choice of 3 dishes and a styro-foamed cup of clear soup … for $3 … a real taste of Penang island on the island of Manhattan … also, 2 curry-puffs and 2 Nyonya Kuehs (coconut cakes) for $3 to go … a perfect solution when I eat alone in this big City …
Sanur Restaurant, 18 Doyers Street, 212-267-0088 [AGINY | TCEDG | MenuPages | Citysearch | Yelp]

Chinese barber shop & Eldridge Street

Chinese barber shop shop on Eldridge and Hester Streets … hair-cut for $5 … shampoo and head massage $2 … shave $1 … tip $2 … a grand total of $10!!! Cut, shampooed and shaved by a lovely Chinese lady. I was so happy. Can’t wait to return for another treat …
p/s: the barber shop is located next door to a Chinese sausage factory … Eldridge Street is a great street for everything Chinese … and inexpensive … a world away from the tourist traps on Mott and Canal Streets …

Beijing duck … Erin-go-brah

Dear EL: Yes, definitely the NICE Restaurant in Chinatown for Beijing duck … $36 for two courses … get the 2nd stir-fried with the duck meat and green snow peas or Chinese celery … a bottle of Cote du Rhone will do very nice or a 12 year old Irish whiskey “Old Bushmill” … great appetite …
other highly recommended dishes are the boneless squab served with green lettuce … Beijing pork chops … beef with scallions … salt & pepper squid … prawns with Chinese kai-lan (broccoli) … bring along an ice-cream cake … to clean the palate … Erin-go-brah