The Monterey park I remember (2023)


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(Video) Remembering the victims of the Monterey Park shooting

The Monterey park I remember (1)

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born inyear of the pig, I grew up with the symbol ofgood luck and prosperityall over. Pigs were an auspicious birth sign, and my parents took it seriously. Glass, wood, and ceramic pig figurines graced every shelf in our home, and eye-catching stuffed pigs lined my dresser and on top of our cabinets. But the colleagues I invited often found my parents' obsession with pigs strange and overwhelming, so I avoided embracing my Chinese astrology counterpart as a child.

(Video) Loved ones remember grandfather killed in Monterey Park mass shooting

All of that changed one day when my 6-year-old uncle took me to the place he loved.SUPERCO appliance storeat Garvey and Atlantic in Monterey Park, California. In the parking lot, I noticed a large picnic blanket covered with children's toys. An elderly Chinese woman was sitting next to her on the sidewalk, a black visor shielding her eyes from the sun. In the sea of ​​fluorescent animals, a pale pink stuffed pig caught my eye. I call her Piggy," I said in Mandarin to my uncle, who knew my distaste for pigs and was surprised by my choice. Every other American child's stuffed animal; I could keep that part of my heritage that went with me everywhere while he was he always felt like a "normal" kid.

For many people reading the news this week, Monterey Park is just one of, placethere is the countrydeadliest mass shootingMonths ago a shooting occurred last weekend11 dead and nine injuredin a dance studio across the street from a Lunar New Year festival. But for me, Monterey Park is full of memories. San Gabriel, my hometown, borders the northeast corner of theasian majorityThe city is approximately 7 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, nestled between the Alhambra to the north and Rosemead to the east. When we were kids, we would visit her at least once a week to run errands or grab a bite to eat. In the afternoon I had a bad day at school, I ate my feelings with spam noodle soupJJsor baked spaghettigood coffee. Whenever she had a persistent cough, we would come visit.chinese medicine doctorand stock up on herbs. Whenever my mother felt the odd urge to cook fresh seafood, we would pull a live fish from the clear glass tanks at the HK supermarket; Once we got home and found that the fish was still alive.

Often referred to as the first"Chinatown suburb', Monterey Park is actually best described as the first parkethnic suburb, a group of residential and commercial districts created to preserve their specific ethnic identity. No single factor has fueled Asia's population boom as muchstarted in the 1970saround the San Gabriel Valley. White flight, fearDevelopers like Frederic Hsieh, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which made it easier for hundreds of thousands of previously excluded Asian immigrants to enter the country, played a role in ethno-cultural change in the region. But the change was undeniable. 1987 became theTHEtime plansreportedthat the influx of Asians into the San Gabriel Valley "had a profound impact on nearly every institution of civic life, affecting the way schools, police, city halls, courts, and post offices conduct their day-to-day business ".

Although we lived in the Asian sanctuary of the San Gabriel Valley, I attended mostly white private schools in Pasadena where there was diversity in the classroom.miCulture was a rarity in the student body. Since school was almost my entire social fabric, I felt tremendous pressure to assimilate whiteness from first grade through adolescence. I often felt that I had to defend my mother's accented English or explain too much why it was sobake by(The Chinese pork) I brought to school looked very different from the beef jerky, but it was basically the same.

There are some other memories that carry such visceral pain that it feels like it happened yesterday. In first grade, the only other Chinese boy told me that he "speaks English" when I came up to say hello on the first day of school. In third grade, a white friend I had after school told me that my father "smelled like a beggar" because he didn't speak English and lit incense sticks at our Buddhist altar. In the sixth grade, on Lunar New Year, I watched a group of white boys steal the red envelope from a Chinese classmate's backpack, empty the contents into their own wallets, and throw the gold-lined red envelope into the trash. When I saw that, I was filled with an anger that I can't put into words to this day.

The Monterey park I remember (2)

Photo: Courtesy of Eda Yu

(Video) Monterey Park grieves, remember victims of Star Ballroom Dance Studio | USA TODAY

But in the bustling Chinese community of Monterey Park, my parents and I found a confidence that we lacked in most of the blanks. My mother became a graceful, elegant woman who held her own when she haggled for mahogany chairs, a far cry from the boxy woman she used to shop with in Old Town Pasadena. My father used to ask us for it in restaurants in Cantonese.miTaiwanese, a stark contrast to the way he stuttered basic English sentences at Denny's. And when we visited during Lunar New Year, I felt completely invincible as I looked at the red lanterns hanging in every window and the festive spirit of the city washed over me. I didn't know it then, but Monterey Park's refusal to assimilateAmerica's racial binaryhelped me proudly embrace my Asian-American identity throughout high school and college.

Of course, as I got older, a lot of things changed. I moved from SGV, first to the Bay Area and then to Los Angeles. SUPERCO went out of business shortly after I bought my first rice cooker to take to college. Our Chinese medicine doctor has Lucia's mother's, a cupcake house we used to frequent, now cites await two hourson busy nights. I was last in Monterey Park a few weeks ago and on an unusually rainy night I met a friend I hadn't seen at JJ's in years and we chatted for hours over mum tea and toasted spaghetti just like old times.

(Video) Remembering the Monterey Park shooting victims

My partner and I were talking about going to the Lunar New Year Festival on the night of filming, but we didn't finish cleaning the house in time. A few hours later, a friend texted me and asked, "Are you okay? Have you been to the Lunar New Year Festival in Monterey Park?" That's when I saw the tweets and headlines. I sent him a message. I texted my mom asking if anyone in our family was leaving and called a friend who was there that same day, thankfully everyone I knew was safe and responsible.

It seemed surreal that such extraordinary violence could occur at the same intersection where my family was picking weeds, where the SUPERCO was, where I picked up Piggy. Since then I can only think about the desire I have to return to the city, fill my favorite restaurants with the people I love the most andhelp the families of the victimsand Star Ballroom and get up again. Monterey Park has done a lot to lift me up over the years. Now it's my turn to do the same for this community.


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The Monterey park I remember


1. Lunar New Year massacre: Vigil held to remember 11 killed in Monterey Park shooting
(FOX 11 Los Angeles)
2. Hundreds gather in Monterey Park to honor 11 victims killed in Lunar New Year mass shooting
(KCRA News)
3. Monterey Park shooting victim described as 'kind' used body to shield dancing partner
4. Monterey Park Mass Shooting Victims Remembered By Lawmakers On House Floor
(Forbes Breaking News)
5. Vigils in Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay remember those killed in California mass shootings
(KCRA News)
6. Monterey Park shooting: Names of all 11 victims released
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