Vol. XXXIX July 9 - 22, 2010
AACA 2010 graduation ceremony showcases student success
Reverend Cheng Imm Tan (far right) distributes diplomas at AACA Graduation. (Photo by Natalie Ornell)
By Natalie Ornell Graduating students from the Asian American Civic Association’s (AACA) ESOL and job training programs shared stories of struggle and success during the programs’ annual
graduation ceremony at Tufts Medical Center Woolf Auditorium on June 25th. Keynote speaker and Director of the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians Reverend Cheng Imm Tan emphasized the importance of immigrants
新波士頓人辦公室主任（Director of Mayor's Office of New Bostonians) 陳清音在畢業典禮發表講致詞。
at the graduation, reminding the audience that immigrants are the “soul of the city and the country.” Tan also shared anecdotes that reflected the uncer-
See graduation, page 8
Chinatown Master Plan 2010 community vision for the future
First caps and gowns Twenty children graduated from BCNC’s Acorn Childcare Program
By Natalie Ornell After two years of comprehensive community planning, the Chinatown Master Plan committee presented a completed vision for a better Chinatown to seventy-eight people during a bilingual meeting at the Quincy School auditorium on June 26th. Project Coordinator Kye Liang defined the vision based on Chinatown as a cultural community for immigrants and working families. He emphasized that “Chinatown will develop and diversify its
economy by building on both its cultural identity and strategic location.” The final plan addressed particular issues like affordable housing, public safety, civic spaces, greener buildings, and cultural heritage. Short-term strategies for improving public spaces include improving Harrison Avenue as a pedestrian connection from and between Downtown, Chinatown, and the South End. Additional measures intend to improve visibility and public safety by installing and maintaining lighting.
Other strategies in the Master Plan for increasing safety involve adding a police sub-station in the neighborhood and increasing the visibility of police officers and citizen patrols. The Master Plan also proposes forming a plan implementation committee, as well as holding public forums regularly, in order to make sure that the community stays involved in the project. Long term goals include the creation of a Chinatown branch library and the preservation of affordable housing. In response See master plan page 3
Caption: BCNC Acorn children proudly display their graduation diplomas. (Photo courtesy of BCNC)
Twenty children graduated from the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s preschool program Acorn Center for Early Education and Care (Acorn). Acorn is the first bilingual Chinese-English program in Massachusetts. In addition to being statelicensed, Acorn is nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); only 8% of the country’s childcare centers receive this accreditation indicating Acorn’s high quality
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of care. Upon graduation, these children are ready to go to public schools in Boston, Malden, Everett, Quincy, Watertown, Newton, and Wellesley in the fall. At the graduation children performed songs in Chinese and English including Big Watermelon (Chinese), I Am a Big Apple (Chinese), Zippity Doo Da (English), and I’ve Been Working on the Railroad (English) and later enjoyed a pizza party. Acorn serves eighty-one children per year.
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July 9, 2010
A Publication of the AACA
www.sampan.org 87 Tyler Street Boston, MA 02111 Tel: (617) 426-9492 Fax: (617) 482-2316
Editor: Cody Yiu email@example.com English Section: Contributors: Lillian Chan (Comic), Natalie Ornell (News), Alexander Pavoll (Health), Cliff Wong (Feature) Layout: Tina Wang, Cody Yiu Photography: Cody Yiu
Announcements CHINATOWN Chinatown Main Street Festival July 11, 2010 Time: 11:00AM-5:00PM Boston’s small but central Chinatown stages its annual summer festival. Sponsored by the Chinatown Business Association, Chinatown Main Street Festival celebrates all kinds of Asian arts, from Japanese drumming to Burmese dancing and Peking Opera. Visitors can expect martial arts displays and plentiful food choices - although the neighbourhood is predominantly Chinese, it also contains Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai restaurants. Boston’s Chinatown is next to the downtown shopping district and the shops and arts institutions of the Back Bay neighbourhood, so you can combine a visit to the festival with your explorations of the area. ACDC Films at the Gate Every summer, a vacant lot near Boston’s Chinatown Gate becomes a free, outdoor theater, showing Kung-Fu and classic Chinese-language films under the stars. The Films at the Gate series will take place from Thursday, August 26th to Sunday, August 29th near the the Chinatown Gate. Each night will feature either a classic Kung-Fu or Chinese
Chinese Section: language film along with short films and performances. Last year, over 600 people attended the series. Date: Thursday to Sunday, August 26 to 29, 2010. The program begins at 7:00pm with a main feature at 8:00pm. There will be pre-performances before the the main feature. Films will have English subtitles or summaries will be provided. Location: Chinatown Gate Films will be shown on the vacant paved lot on Hudson Street between Beach and Kneeland Streets, just south of the historic Chinatown Gate. Folding chairs will be available on a first-come, first serve basis. Please feel free to bring your own seating and Chinese takeout. Films at the Gate is a collaborative project of several Chinatown residents, businesses and ACDC. Proceeds from Films at the Gate benefit ACDC and our youth development program, Asian Voice of Organized Youth for Community Empowerment (A-VOYCE). For more information on participation and sponsorship, please contact: Iris Tan Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 617-482-2380 x 216
MUSIC Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell WHO: Boston Landmarks Orchestra with Conductor and Artistic Director Charles Ansbacher. WHAT: The Boston Landmarks Orchestra will perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 as well as Carl Maria von Weber’s “Invitation to the Dance.” WHEN: Wednesday, July 21 at 7 p.m. WHERE: The DCR’s Hatch Shell on Boston’s Esplanade adjacent to the Charles River and Storrow Drive. WHY: The Boston Landmarks Orchestra continues its Landmarks Festival at the Shell with a performance of Beethoven’s shortest symphony, Symphony No. 8. Beethoven referred to this piece as “[his] little symphony in F major,” not only because of its length but also to distinguish it from Symphony No. 7, which he wrote around the same time. The orchestra will then perform Weber’s “Invitation to the Dance,” a piano sonata transcribed for orchestra that helped initiate the transition into modern dance music. Many pianists have played and recorded “Invitation to the Dance” over the years, including Benny Goodman who used it as the
foundation for the theme song to his 1930s NBC show, “Let’s Dance.” ADMISSION: All concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.LandmarksOrchestra. org or call (617) 520-2200. FILMS The Asian American Resource Workshop is now accepting submissions for the 2010 Boston Asian American Film Festival The 2010 Boston Asian American Film Festival (BAAFF) is dedicated to supporting Asian American films, filmmakers and audiences through opportunities to educate, interact, and engage the Greater Boston community with content relevant to Asian American community and culture. We are seeking narratives, dramas, comedies, shorts, documentaries, animations, music videos and experimental films. The 2010 Boston Asian American Film Festival will be held in late October/early November 2010. Early Bird Deadline – Friday, July 16, 2010 @ 5:00pm. Regular Deadline – Friday, August 14, 2010 @ 5:00pm. Please reference 2010 BAAFF Submissions Application (attached) for guidelines on how to apply. Or visit aarw.org/ baaff2010. Email Baaff@aarw.org if you
Reporters: Jiaxian Cen, Yuanli Zhu, Keehow Ng, Tianqi Zhao
Translation: Gong Quan Chen, Tien Tien, Wei Wang, Zhanglin Kong, Keke Xu Marketing and Advertising: Advertising & Marketing Manager: Tina Wang email@example.com SAMPAN is New England’s only biweekly bilingual EnglishChinese newspaper. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan. Founded in 1972, Sampan is published by the Asian American Civic Association. Sampan is distributed free in Chinatown and the Greater Boston area. All donations to the publication are tax deductible. Subscription: $60/year (1st class mail); $30/year (3rd class mail).
READ E-SAMPAN www.sampan.org would like more information.
Two Boston schools designated International Baccalaureate world schools Schools join elite group of programs; only 11 others in Massachusetts Two Boston schools have been designated International Baccalaureate (IB) world schools. Muriel S. Snowden International School at Copley and the Josiah Quincy Upper School located in Chinatown will serve as IB sites starting immediately. There are now only 13 IB programs in Massachusetts. “These IB designations are a major accomplishment for these two schools and for our city,” said Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent
Dr. Carol R. Johnson. “The students who graduate from these schools will earn a diploma that is recognized in Boston and Bangkok and all points in between.” Students at both schools will spend their junior and senior years studying collegelevel material in six, two-year long courses. Students will also work on substantive research papers, integrative thinking, and achieving goals they set to become people of creativity, action and service.
“This designation has been years in the making and will renew our focus on providing educational opportunities that are among the highest-quality in the City of Boston,” said Snowden International Headmaster Dr. Gloria Coulter. “We believe this program will add significant rigor and meaning to our juniors’ and seniors’ education, even while providing our youngest students vision and direction for their future at our school and beyond,” said Quincy Upper
Headmaster Dr. Bak Fun Wong. Quincy Upper is also moving forward in the application process to offer the IB “Middle Years Programme” for students in grades six through ten. The school will also offer a summer enrichment pre-IB program for students to prepare them for the demands of the “Diploma Programme.” The BPS Acceleration Agenda, unveiled in November 2009, sets a goal of having 100% of BPS students take at least one
college-level course (Advanced Placement, Honors, International Baccalaureate and/or dual enrollment) during high school. Among other innovative models implemented within BPS is the popular Montessori program in the East Boston Early Education Center. The unique program began in September 2009. The IB does not own, operate or manage any schools, rather it works in partnership with 3,001 IB World Schools in 139 countries.
July 9, 2010
Chinatown News master plan, continued from page 1
to a question by the audience about plans to incentivize housing development, Director of the Chinatown Progressive Association (CPA) Lydia Lowe emphasized that Chinatown must preserve the immigrant working class portion of the community and therefore must
focus on low and moderate income housing. She also ruled out recommending a general incentive for developers to gentrify the community. The goals and visions summarized in the Master Plan arose from the input of the community at large. Now that this planning phase has concluded, Liang explained that the Master Plan will move onto
an implementation phase, directed by an implementation committee made of volunteers who will work together with appropriate community groups. Youth from the community also expressed their visions for a better Chinatown. Winners of the Youth Art Contest were announced. The contest was designed to give youth the opportunity to display their
own visions for an enhanced Chinatown. The best works were displayed at the Quincy school and winners received special recognition on stage at the end of the meeting. Angus Mo, a rising 7th grader at the Linden school in Malden, won first place for his drawing of an improved Chinatown which he “drew with his mind.” “I drew a picture with more
alternative energy using solar panels and windows,” Mo said. Angus Mo stands proudly with his first place drawing of a more environmental Chinatown Natalie Ornell is a Sampan correspondent.
Josiah Quincy Elementary School honored for efforts to combat childhood obesity On Tuesday, June 15, 2010 the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association, and the William J. Clinton Foundation, recognized Josiah Quincy School for transforming a healthier place(s) for students and staff. To earn this award, Josiah Quincy School created healthy eating and physical activity programs that met or exceeded stringent standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program, which provides free support and technical assistance to more than 9,000 schools nationwide to help them reverse the national trend in childhood obesity. Schools are eligible for Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum National Recognition Awards based on their level of achievement. A BRONZE National Recognition Award winner, Josiah Quincy School joins
healthier environments for students while facing the challenges of decreased budgets and time,” said Ginny Ehrlich, executive director of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “The successes of these schools confirm that, despite these isPrincipal Simon Ho (left) and teacher Pauline Yee sues, it is possible to travel to National Healthy Schools Forum in New transform a school York to receive Award for Increasing Healthy Eat- culture when staff, ing and Physical Activity. (Photo courtesy of Alli- students and parents lead the charge ance for a Healthier Generation). in making healthy changes.” As a recipient of the 178 other schools that are receivBRONZE National Recognition ing this honor for their healthy Award, the Josiah Quincy School achievements. has set practicing healthy eat“Schools across the country ing habits and making right life are working hard to provide choices as the goals for all mem-
AFFORDABLE SENIOR HOUSING
bers of the school community. In addition, the school Parent Council has endorsed the health initiative by writing and being awarded a Fruit Tasting grant to purchase fresh fruits for all students four times a year. The Health Coordinators from Boston Connects also teach a health centered curriculum in our classrooms weekly. The South Cove Health Center in Chinatown also partnered with the school by sending one of their physicians to teach health awareness to the Second Graders. Mrs. Yee, the physical education teacher of the school has volunteered to organize various before school physical education exercises for students to participate in year round. In addition to the Healthy Schools Program, the Alliance brokers and implements voluntary agreements with industry
leaders to provide young people better access to healthier foods, beverages, physical activity and healthcare. In March 2010, the Alliance announced the results of a three-year effort with the beverage industry to remove full calorie soft drinks from U.S. schools and replace them with lower-calorie, smaller-portion beverages. That initiative helped to reduce calories from beverages shipped to schools by 88 percent from 2004 to fall 2009. Earlier this year, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation became a Founding Member of the Partnership for a Healthier America, the independent, nonpartisan organization created to support the goals of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign.
SENIORS LIVE ROYALLY AT CASTLE COVE Castle Cove Cooperative Apartments D & West Second Streets A unique community of seniors managed by CSI Support & Development Services of Maiden A cooperative apartment is a building controlled by the members. All major operating decisions are voted on by the members. Coop apartments help to keep quality housing affordable.
Constitution Cooperative Apartments, where residents have a voice in the management of their building, is currently accepting applications for studio and one bedroom apartments. Heat & eletricity included. Located in the heart of City Square in Charlestown, this active senior housing co-op is within walking distance to shopping, banks, churches and is on an MBTA bus line. Rent is based on 30% of income (income limits apply) to qualiﬁed seniors 62 and older and to younger persons who are mobility impaired requiring the special design features of accessible units.
Call 1-800-225-3151 for leasing information.
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We have: Our own separate apartment A non-profit organization; any profits are put back into coop services to benefit its members. Open voluntary membership without social, political, racial or religious discrimination. A building democratically controlled by the residents. Each building has their own activities run by a committee of residents, such as entertainment ● bingo ● gift case We have A library ● game room ● community room lounges on each floor ● our own laundry room
The success of a Cooperative depends on the active participation of its members. If you would like more information or to apply, please call
Chinatown South Cove NeighYouth borhood Council supports liquor ABCD Summer Works license for new Dumpling Café
By Natalie Ornell The Chinatown South Cove Neighborhood Council (CNC) met on June 21st and voted in support of a beer and wine license for the new Taiwanese restaurant Dumpling Café, set to open in July 2010. Located on 695 Washington Street next to the Malaysian Penang Restaurant, the Dumpling Café will serve traditional Taiwanese dishes from 7 to 15 dollars and will open from 10 am to 2 am with food service ending prior to closing time. The restaurant will have a forty person capacity and will be handicapped accessible. Dumpling Café manager Jennifer Li said, “We welcome everyone to come. Dumpling Café is very popular for dumplings or buns, oyster
July 9, 2010
The Chinatown South Cove Neighborhood Council (CNC) met on June 21st and voted in support of a beer and wine license for the new Taiwanese restaurant Dumpling Café. (Photo by Keehow Ng) pancakes, and stinky tofu. Our chef, Mr. Sam Wang, attended a culinary institute in China and cooked in a famous hotel in the Fuzhou province called Waimao Zhongxin for fifteen years.” All members of the council voted in support of the new restaurant’s license;
however, the license will still need to be awarded from the City Licensing Board and approved by the safety committee. The newly renovated Dumpling Café will replace a former adult bookstore. During the meeting, the CNC also showed support for affordable housing
developments to both ACDC (Parcel 24) and CEDC (Oxford Street). The committee will reconvene on Monday, July 19 at 90 Tyler Street. Natalie Ornell is a Sampan correspondent.
Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) employs more than 2,000 young Bostonians with paid seasonal jobs and work experiences in Massachusetts. The ABCD Summer Works program will kick off its first day of work for students after the July 4th holiday weekend. The youth employment initiative helps prepare more than 2,000 youth and young adults ages 1424 for future careers while fighting teen unemployment. During this time of rising national unemployment rates, the job prospects for teenagers who want to work are even worse. Students seeking summer work experience, generally 16 to 24 years old, are struggling to find jobs.
ABCD has offered summer jobs through their ABCD Summer Works program to youth throughout the City of Boston. This program offers more than just summer employment. The participants receive guidance, comprehensive work readiness and life skills workshops in collaboration with local neighborhoods in Chinatown, Roxbury, Dorchester, and East Boston. Should I get a summer job? This summer, students are applying to fast-food restaurants and retail stores to make their earnings. There are benefits for teenagers who have summer jobs. They have the opportunity to bring home some money, See summer page 5
For over 45 years COMMUNITY YOUTH VOICE provides a section in the SAMPAN newspaper as an outlet for youth and young adults to voice their concerns within the community, celebrate artistic expression, and share personal stories through various creative medias such as journalism, arts, poetry, and painting.
CHIEF U.S. PROBATION OFFICER
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July 9, 2010
summer continued from page 4
learn to start paying some of their own expenses, and save for a rainy day. They’ll be occupied, less likely to get into trouble and won’t be complaining that it’s a boring summer. Also, did you know that getting a job, even as early as the summer after your freshman year in high school, can make you more attractive to colleges? During summer 2010, at least 30 students were selected through a lottery process to take on a wide variety of jobs including day care, tutoring, peer leaders, office assistant, and youth organizers, throughout the Chinatown neighborhood. All summer jobs are possible with federal and private funding. We need the support of Congress for more such opportunities for our youth.
Sun tips for adults
Health By Alexander Pavoll, MPH Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, and ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun is the major cause. It is never too late to start protecting and taking care of your skin, so pick a sunscreen that protects you against both UVA and UVB radiation. What to expect as you get older Skin starts to wrinkle as you get older. This is caused by things in the environment and UV light from the sun, which makes your skin less elastic. Gravity causes the skin to wrinkle as it gets dryer and looser. Reducing your exposure to the sun can help your skin stay healthy as you get older. Ways to keep your
skin healthy • Drink liquids to prevent dry skin and dehydration • Wear sunscreen and try to stay in the shade when you are outside during daylight hours • Wear a hat and sunscreen even when it is cloudy outside • Use moisturizers like lotions, creams, or ointments to soothe dry, itchy skin. They should be used everyday • Try taking fewer baths and using milder soap to help your dry skin. Warm water is better than hot water for your skin. • Placing a humidifier in your room to add moisture to the air often helps too. • Do not smoke. If you do smoke, try to quit. The chemicals that go into
Invitation to Bid Old Colony – Phase One Project Information
your body when you smoke damage many things, including the parts of your skin that keep it firm and healthy. Years of smoking causes your skin to weaken and wrinkle. • Don’t go tanning. Sunlamps and tanning beds expose your body to high amounts of UV rays. When to see a doctor • You find something that looks like a blood pimple or a piece of skin that does not heal. This could be basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, the most common forms of skin cancer. • If a dark looking liver spot or freckle on your skin is elevated and oddly shaped, this could be melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer and less common.
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Alexander Pavoll, MPH, is the Injury Prevention Coordinator for the Trauma Service at Tufts Medical Center Article funded through the Asian Health Initiative of Tufts Medical Center
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vides medical care to both adults and children, including diagnostic evaluation, treatment and follow-up for skin disorders. To be seen by the Department of Dermatology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, call (617)-6360156.
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• You have a skin growth that is larger than the size of a pencil, changes in size, color, or shape over time, starts to hurt, and is an odd shape (not round). • You have a lesion anywhere that does not go away. Eye Care The same harmful sunrays that can hurt your skin can cause eye problems as well. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens that develops over time, and sunrays plays a big role in their development. Like sunscreen, make sure that the sunglasses you choose to wear protect against both UVA and UVB light. Combine sunglasses, clothes, and sunscreen to help protect your whole body from the sun.
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Seeking experienced manager for cabinet level position in a vibrant city with a multi-cultural population of 101, 000. Principal responsibilities include directing and coordinating the City's physical planning and development efforts in affordable housing, zoning and land use, urban design, neighborhood and open space planning, transportation, environmental planning and economic development. Plays major role in directing sustainability policy, manages a staff of 50 and a budget of $5.3 million as well as federal, state and local grant and capital funds. Demonstrated related experience, along with excellent communication, negotiation, planning and management skills required. MA in planning, public administration, or related field & knowledge of the local community preferred. $135,000 - $156,700 + excellent benefits. Closing Date 8/5/10 Other positions currently available include:
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To place an advertisement, please call 617426-9492 ext 206 or email email@example.com To submit an article or event listing, please email news@ sampan. org
July 9, 2010
The last picture show
Lalli Woods, Concord 1241 to 1251 Elm Street, Concord 01742
ies. Like everything else in “the good old days,” life seemed more real and personal. Little is known about the history of Chinatown theatres in Boston. Therefore, I will attempt to provide some information of the Boston Chinatown Cinemas from my memories.
Six Units of New Construction Available Two 2BR units $154,700 (80% Area Median Income) One 2BR units $226,900 (90%-110% Area Median Income) Three 3BR units $299,900 (110%-130% Area Median Income)
Information Session: Thursday August 12 2010, 7:30pm 141 Keyes Road, Concord MA 01742
Applications accepted: Through September 10, 1:00pm Housing Lottery: September 21, 2010 Application and Information: Housing@Sudbury.Ma.US 278 Old Sudbury Road, Sudbury, MA 01776, 978-639-3388
Many generations enjoyed another packed night at Films at the Gate last summer. (Photo by Jeremy Brown)
Income and Asset Limits, Use and Resale Restrictions Apply
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Jonathan Realty Co (617) 929-1990 50 Redfield St. # 105 Dorchester, MA 02122
Our Low-Income Section 8 Housing waiting list for one-bedroom units will be closing on Wednesday, July 14th at 4 p.m. because the wait time is expected to be longer than one year. All hand delivered or faxed applications must be delivered to the office before closing at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14th. All mailed applications must be postmarked on or before 7/14/2010. No applications will be given out or accepted after the waiting list is closed. Jonathan Realty does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, familial status, national origin, age, sexual orientation, military history or source of income.
The Apartments at The Groves Lincoln, MA Eight (8) new construction affordable rental units are being of offered for renters 62 years of age or older. Maximum Rents from $1,170 per month for a One Bedroom and $1,300 for a Two Bedroom. Utilities except for sewer and water and certain amenities are not included. Applicants must have a maximum household income of: HOUSEHOLD SIZE One Person Two Person
INCOME LIMITS $45,100 $51,550
Information session Tuesday July 13, 2010 7pm, The Groves Great Room 19 Cambridge Turnpike, Lincoln, MA 01773 Application Deadline August 19, 2010, 1pm Contact the Lottery Agent for more details Beth Rust (978) 639-3388 housing@Town.Sudbury.Ma.Us www.grovesinlincoln.org
For the past few years, Chinatown has been treated with the “Films at the Gate program.” On four consecutive nights, there are feature films and Kung Fu exhibitions. The event is sponsored by the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) as an effort to provide Chinatown viewers with a glimmer of the past. How can a series of outdoor kung fu movies and exhibitions help one relive the past? To answer this, one has to examine the past. The Films at the Gate provide an exposure of ethnic cinema in a group setting, but also re-establish memories of social life in Chinatown. Today, how often do Asians sit together and enjoy a movie? Those who grew up in Chinatown from the 50’s through the 80’s embraced the Asian cinema not only as a pastime, but also as an integral part of social life. For many in Chinatown’s past, movie night was an event, a time to relax, see friends, meet significant others, or merely to get out of the house. For the restaurant worker, it was an opportunity to forget the 60-hour workweek, for the average immigrant, a place to enjoy familiar surroundings and a household language, for our mothers and aunts, a get-away from the garment factory, and for the American-born Chinese, an opportunity to see friends or brush up on Cantonese. If the movie was in Mandarin, the cinema helped improve needed reading
skills. Each theatre represented its own unique environment and its own character. To just about everyone from Chinatown, the cinema was a vital part of our lives. With today’s technology, the Chinese movie house is simply a part of history, gone by-thewayside. Just as the protagonists in the movie “The Last Picture Show” succumbed to progress as they viewed the theatre’s final showing, many of us shared that experience when the Chinese Cinemas closed, giving way to cable television, movie rentals, DVDs etc. It would be unfortunate for anyone who has never attended an old Chinese movie house to have missed out on such an enriching experience. That’s why the Films at the Gate are so important. The Films at the Gate recreate for a new generation that sense of community so well remembered by those who experienced the old Chinese Cinemas. Those Chinese Cinemas were reminders of a simpler more innocent era in Boston’s Chinese Community. There was a certain warmth and comfort for the moviegoers. One could hear “Chinglish” throughout the theatre. What other theatre would provide the pungent aroma of a Charsue Bow or curry turnover? If one listened carefully, one might catch up with the latest gossip in 2 different languages. Today, one must rely on technology for local information. In those days, one just had to go to the mov-
• CHINESE MERCHANT’S ASSOCIATION The first of these historic gems to my recollection, is the Chinese Merchant’s Association. Located at the corner of Hudson and Kneeland Streets in Boston’s Chinatown Proper, the Merchant’s Association actually served as a movie house from the late 50’s through the 70’s. Better known for other things than the cinema, the Merchant’s Association provided black and white movies. The productions may have lacked sophistication, but to the people of Chinatown, it was a weekly event. During the late sixties, the theatre was literally cut in half. Due to the Mass Turnpike Project, the Albany Street properties were razed. Only half of the Merchant’s Building remained. On the other side of Kneeland Street, (the even side of Hudson Street) a famed ethnic neighborhood was next to go. Nevertheless, the Merchant’s Association did provide Chinatown with entertainment for several decades. Today, the Merchant’s Association’s still stands in the same location. Several failed eateries have graced the same location, fondly remembered as a oncethriving movie house in Chinatown. • STUART THEATRE During the 50’s through the 60’s, the Stuart Theatre, a small, dank, low-admission movie house, showed double featured “B” movies by day and Chinese movies by night. The atmosphere was less than luxurious and the stench of the daytime customers was somewhat unappealing. Nevertheless, the Stuart Theatre served
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its purpose. Today, the same location provides lunch and dinner for local diners (MacDonald’s Restaurant and part of the Empire Garden Restaurant) •CENTER THEATRE According to an old timer in Chinatown, the Center theatre once showed Chinese movies to the people of Chinatown. There’s not a lot of information regarding the era, but it’s worth mention-
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ing. Today, the former Center Theatre is replaced by the Empire Garden Restaurant on Washington Street, adjacent to the former Stuart Theatre. • STATE THEATRE The State Theatre ran during the heyday of Boston’s infamous Combat Zone (1970’s). Located at 617 Washington Street, the theatre provided “less than wholesome” X-rated movies by day and wholesome Chinese movies by night. A few “less-than-enlightened” Chinatown youths occasionally arrived early to enjoy the X-rated stuff. They, one might add, were a small minority. To my recollection, the local eateries in the Washington Street area highlighted Chinese movie night at the State Theatre. One can still almost smell the aroma of a Dino’s pizza, King Pizza’s bar-b-q chicken (that’s right, chicken at a pizza place!), or a delicious “Dirty John’s” hot dog. Today, the former State Theatre is replaced by the P & K Food Company, down the street from the Chinatown MBTA Station.
2 Person: $37,560 3 Person: $42,240 4 Person: $46,920
The Greenway crowded with spectators watching the gripping Shaolin Soccer. (Photo by Jeremy Brown)
Filmmaker Nathan Quattrini (center) strikes a pose with two actors from his short films Five Minutes Flat and American Chop Suey. (Photo by Jeremy Brown) the theatre featured Asian films. Unlike their predecessors, these Asian films were predominantly in Mandarin with subtitles. The cinematic quality was surprisingly of high quality. I enjoyed attending the National Theatre and personally had a favorite seat. Located directly behind another seat with a missing back, my favorite seat always ensured a clear view of the screen. The former National Theatre is currently replaced by the Boston Center for the Arts Complex.
• NATIONAL THEATRE In the 80’s with the Deadline to submit applications: July 21, 2010 eventual demise of the Combat Zone, the need TO REQUEST AN APPLICATION for an alternative cinema call Khristine Hopkins / 508-487-2426 ext. 3 for the Chinatown crowd prolonged. The National Resident selection is based on competitive review of Theatre (located in the application, with scoring based on uniformly applied criteria in compliance with Fair Housing Laws. South End of Boston) on Tremont Street took up the slack. Chinese movies were shown to the people of Chinatown and the South End. The National Theatre showed second • CHINA CINEMA run Across the street from the movies The Residences at Merrimac Landing, Merrimac Way and also Chinatown Gate next to at 95 Middlesex Road (Rte 3A), Tyngsborough, Massachusetts the Central Artery, the Chiserved na Cinema occupied the as a Eight newly constructed two-bedroom, one and one-half bath, first floor of a garage. For neighEnergy Star certified townhomes with fully applianced kitchens. borhood several decades in the 70’s Located just 28 miles north of Boston, minutes to and 80’s the theatre ran cultural major highways and a short ride to Lowell. longer than any of its councenter $1,000 per month terparts. Unlike the others, by day. the China Cinema ran ChiTwo Residents will be selected by lottery. nese martial arts films exnights clusively. The China Cinper In order to qualify, total household income cannot exceed the ema was an established-3 week, following maximum income limits per household size: One person household: $45,100 Three person household: $58,000 Two person household: $51,550 Four person household: $64,400 Enjoy our BEautiful Country ViEws at linColn VillagE. To request an application and information packet, 1 Bedroom Immediate Openings For 55 years of age & older please contact: Housing Resource Group, LLC at (781) 820-8797 Rents start at $663. Income requirement of $1,515 gross monthly or visit the Tyngsborough Public Library, 25 Bryants Lane 2 Bedroom High Rise Wait List Open
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Chinese language theatre that was unique in that it showed Chinese movies exclusively. A friend once reported seeing Kareem Jabaar sitting in the theatre one day. How did he ever fit in that tiny seat? In 1987, the theatre could no longer compete with cable television and emerging video rental stores and closed its doors. This represented the ending of an era. Today, a Chinese deli and the entrance of the Hei La Moon Restaurant replace the former landmark known as the China Cinema. In light of this overview, one can appreciate the treasure that the Chinese cinema house provided for members of the community. It served the people in multifaceted ways. It was a fitting place to gossip, see friends, read subtitles, or simply, a quiet place to sleep. Another world, the Chinese movie house was an extension of our homes that - seemingly and with time - faded away. The Movies at the Gates, but for a fleeting moment, bring back those precious moments. Cliff Wong is a former board member of the Wang YMCA of Chinatown.
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Chinatown News graduation, continued from page 1
The graduation ceremony was held at Tufts Medical Center Woolf Auditorium. (Photo by Tianqi Zhao)
Keynote speaker and Director of the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians Reverend Cheng Imm Tan reminded the audience that immigrants are the “soul of the city and the country.” (Photo courtesy of AACA)
PACE graduates: (from left to right) Doane Brown, Markell Greaves, Aaron Murrell, and Roger Cooper (student speaker). (Photo by Jill Uchiyama)
Graduates proudly hold up their certificates. (Photo courtesy of AACA)
tain moments of her own immigrant experience when she moved to the United States thirty-two years ago. She congratulated students for finding their way to AACA and reminded graduating students that their successes not only benefits themselves but also “the whole country” because “immigrants constitute more and more of the workforce.” According to Tan, in Boston alone, immigrants earn 4 billion dollars and generate 1.2 billion in state and federal taxes. Immigrants own 5,700 small businesses creating over 1,300 jobs. Ad-
ditionally, 61% of new entrepreneurs are immigrants. Tan advised the graduating class and families to engage in the communities - something that should be a top priority. “If you are not seen, if your children are not seen, you will not get what you need. While it’s important to take steps to succeed economically, you need to get involved and understand what your kids are going through in school. Get involved in the community. As [President of AACA] Mary Chin was saying: give back, give back, give back.” Students also spoke
about their experiences in AACA’s programs during the ceremony. Student speaker Roger Cooper, a recent graduate from the Partnership for Automotive Career Education Program (PACE), was moved to tears as he described his journey through the program. “When I first started the program I was broke. [Director of PACE] Jill Uchiyama worked very hard with me to get through the program. I almost dropped out due to my financial issues, but she helped me out. I was the first one in my class to find a job out of fifteen students. I learned how to change tires, improved
my skills in breaks, and learned new things every day. Things have gotten better since I started the program. Through this program I gained new friends and new connections and made a new career for myself. I never knew what I wanted to do in my life until I worked on my first car.” Uchiyama attested to Cooper’s success, noting that his boss, Paul Dickson at Sullivan Tires in Watertown, commented that he and Gilberto Ortiz, another PACE graduate, “were the best guys he had.” Program Manager Kristan Camp told the story of a man named
Abdul Jalil Abdul Karim. Once a lawyer in Afghanistan, Abdul Karim was working in food service at a local hotel until he enrolled in classes at AACA. After completing the Adult Basic Education English Transitional Program (ABE) and then the Accounting Skills, Computer and English Training program (ASCENT), he is now an employee in a Human Resources department. Concluding the event, Brian Butler, owner and founder of Boston Green Building, spoke about the developing partnership between AACA and his company. As part of the partnership, Boston Green
Building hosted interns from AACA’s Building Energy Efficient Maintenance Skills program (BEEMS). “We were very thrilled with our intern. It was a learning curve at first but it was a great experience. We look forward to bringing more AACA trainees into our organization. We’re really excited about the program,” Butler said. Natalie Ornell is a Sampan correspondent.