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asian avenue magazine

August 2013 Volume 8 Issue 8

Connecting Cultures Linking Lives

Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Japanese-American culture in Denver

Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers

National Conference is around the corner

Miss Asian American Colorado

Thuy Trang


restaurant peeks Saigon Basil East Moon Asian Bistro

19th AnnuAl Boulder AsiAn FestivAl Aug. 10-11, 2013 PeArl st. MAll 13th & PeArl courthouse lAwn Boulder, co 11AM - 5PM dAily Free And oPen to the PuBlic


no dogs Allowed

Presented By the Boulder AsiAn PAciFic AlliAnce


America’s Only Downtown Theme & Water Park

Harry Budisidharta

Think Smart.

Criminal Cases | Domestic Violence | DUI

(303) 377-3474 2012 Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Recipient

Open May 4 - Oct 27

Awarded by the Arapahoe County Bar Association & Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Discount tickets available at the concierge desk.

Dear Asian Avenue readers,

As a co-founder of the Miss Asian American Colorado Leadership Program, I am so proud of this year’s candidates and how far the program has come in the last six years. After three months of community service events and leadership workshops, the young ladies in this year’s program united for a finale show on Sunday, June 23 at Colorado Heights University. Congratulations to Thuy Trang, the 2013 Miss Asian American Colorado. Thuy has spent the first part of her summer in Vietnam working on her service project, a documentary of the girls at The Little Rose Shelter. The organization provides shelter, care, education, and assistance for young girls who are at high-risk for, or are survivors of, sexual abuse or trafficking in Vietnam. She is passionate about raising awareness on trafficking and making a difference in the lives of those affected. The 2013 Miss AACO committee cannot wait to see her project come into fruition! In this issue, we also highlight the talents of other young Asian Americans. Sabatino Chen, a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, shares with us his hopes for playing professional basketball in Europe or Asia. Another world traveler, Susanna Park, a third-year student at the University of Denver has already spent time in Uganda and Fiji working on humanitarian projects. Last month, Asian-American high school students came together for the annual Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association summer retreat. Together, they engaged in leadership training and team building exercises. We often say that the youth are our future. And with these talented, aspiring young leaders paving the way, the future is looking very bright!

If you are looking to travel within the States this summer, read Mary Jeneverre Schultz’s recommendations in Moab, Utah. There is plenty to do and it takes less than six hours to drive there. If you are hoping to trek abroad, say to Nepal, read more about Amuda Mishra’s personal account visiting her hometown, Kathmandu, last month. While working on a service project for the Clinton Global Initiative, she organized a Nepali community in the town of Birgunj to create light bulbs made of water bottles. Lastly, the Asian Pacific Development Center and Chinese American Council of Colorado are collecting non-perishable food items this month to be donated to Colorado’s refugee communities. Please see the upcoming events for more information on where items can be dropped off. Annie Guo, President Asian Avenue magazine

asian avenue magazine

staff & support

Publisher & Founder: Christina Yutai Guo President: Annie Guo Production Manager: Peter Bui Designer: C.G. Yao Staff Writer: Patricia Kaowthumrong Staff Writer: Brenda Velasquez Photographer: Trang Luong Intern: Akemi Tsutsui

advisors group

Patty Coutts, Donna LaVigne, Nestor J. Mercado, Sum C. Nguyen, Alok Sarwal, Peter Warren, John Yee, Nai-Li Yee, George N. Yoshida

contributing writers

Eric Berve, George N. Yoshida Mary Jeneverre Schultz, Khanh Vu, Pamela Yang, Andrew Yeh

contributing photographers

Alan Yamamoto Photography, Glenn Asakawa, Jake Edmondson, Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge, Mary Jeneverre Schultz, Asher Bond Vandevort, Jon A. Yamamoto

on the cover

Vietnamese-American Thuy Trang, 18, was crowned the 2013 Miss Asian American Colorado on June 23, 2013. She recently graduated from George Washington High School. As a Daniels Scholarship recipient, she will attend the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall on a full-ride scholarship.


To subscribe, e-mail marketing@asianavenuemag A one-year subscription is $25 for 12 issues, a two-year subscription is 40 for 24 issues. Please make checks or money orders payable to Asian Avenue magazine. For details about special corporate or group rates, please call during business hours: Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm. Shipping and handling included.



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To submit story ideas, letters to the editor, or listings for the Events Calendar, e-mail to editor@

Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 1932-1449) reserves all copyrights to this issue. No parts of this edition can be reproduced in any manner without written permission. The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Asian Avenue magazine. Authors may have consulting or other business relationships with the companies they discuss.

Published by Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 Fax: 303.750.8488


August 2013 |President’s Note

Asian Avenue magazine is in association with the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network.

Golden Shanghai Asian Restaurant

● The Best Chinese Restaurant by 710 AM Restaurant Show ● The Best Chinese Restaurant by the 1430 KEZW Restaurant Show ● Voted 2007 Top 100 Chinese Restaurant in the US

1412 S. Parker Rd. A-134 Denver, CO 80231 (303) 743-7666 (303)743-9079 (303)743-8210

Restaurant Peeks 18 East Moon Asian Bistro swells with creativity,




Sixth annual Miss Asian American Colorado honors Thuy Trang as 2013 winner

August 2013

Event Calendar

Spotlight 8 CU-Boulder graduate Sabatino Chen has heart

set on playing ball overseas


Features 20 Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Denver’s lively

and colorful Japanese-American community

It’s all about the wardrobe with the Colorado Gothic and Lolita Society

Amuda Mishra shares her epic journey to Birgunj, Nepal implementing the project UJYALO “The Light”

21 22

On Scene Mile-high area events 24 Congressional Gold Medal awarded to George

Joe Sakato at Nisei Veterans Memorial Day Service

Paul Maruyama honored with the Japan Imperial Decoration The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays

Rising Star 9 At 20 years old, Susanna Park hopes to

change the world by helping others through humanitarian work





Colorado Asian youth engage in leadership at annual summer retreat

gears up for annual national conference in October

Local Denver organizers host bone marrow typing drive for Save Nina efforts

Chinese media executives return to Denver for the annual CEMMP program sponsored by Anna and John J. Sie Foundation, The Cable Center, University of Denver, and Encore International

Travel 27 There may be more to do in Utah than you think!

Inside Stories 10 Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers

North Denver now has a go-to Vietnamese spot; Saigon Basil has a large menu to feed every palate


On the Cover

Contents 6

from its cultural decor to its original sushi creations

August 2013 | Table of Contents

Visit Moab, Utah for some scenic adventures

Shen Chinese Medicine

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upcoming events Building a Better Community by Fighting Hunger Today Food Drive July 27 to August 31

Locations across metro Denver For more info, visit or contact Gwen Young at 720-237-2388 or e-mail Sponsored by Chinese American Council of Colorado (CACC) and Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC), we would like to invite you to participate in this food drive that will benefit Asian refugees here in our community. From July 27 to August 31, please drop off canned or dried foods to the following locations. Due to the special dietary preferences, rice, noodle, soy sauce, seaweeds, or other Asian non-perishable foods are the best items for distribution. Drop-off locations: Asian Pacific Development Center 1537 Alton St., Aurora, CO Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Contact: Ms. Jinny Kim, 303-923-2920 Pacific Western Technologies 3000 Youngfield St., Ste. 300, Wheat Ridge, CO Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Contact: Mr. Tai-Dan Hsu, 303-274-5400 Ext 18 Pacific Ocean Marketplace 2200 W. Alameda Ave., #2B, Denver, CO 6600 W 120 Ave., Broomfield, CO CH2M Hill 9191 S. Jamaica St., Englewood, CO 80112 Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Contact: Mr. Chien Hsu, 720-286-1809 Colorado Chinese Language School 3950 S. Holly St., Denver, CO (Thomas Jefferson High School) August 18 and August 25, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Boulder Asian Festival

August 10-11, 11am to 5pm

Pearl Street Mall, Courthouse Lawn 1300 & 1400 Blocks of Pearl Street, Boulder Free and open to the public For more info, visit or e-mail

It’s Destination Asia and Pacific Islands! The Boulder Asian Pacific Alliance is proud to announce the 19th Annual Boulder Asian Festival. Enjoy live performances and over 50 Asian and Pacific Island themed booths all weekend on the Pearl Street Mall! Experience Boulder’s largest celebration of Asian and Pacific Island cultures. Taste delicious foods, enjoy spectacular talent of live performers, watch cultural demonstrations, and enjoy crafts from Asia and the Pacific!

AsiaXpress Tennis Tournament August 10-11, 11am to 5pm Gates Tennis Center 3300 E. Bayaud Ave., Denver, CO 80209 For more info or to register, visit

Join us for the 15th annual AsiaXpress Tennis Tournament. Play a 9-game pro set: mens, womens - singles, doubles and mixed for all levels. Juniors boys and girls can play singles in beginners or advanced. One free lunch voucher per person per day while still in draw.

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment 4300 S. Cherry Creek Dr., Denver, CO 80246 Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Contact: Ms. Annie Guo, 720-318-2357 CACC is a Colorado registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1997 to promote awareness of Chinese culture, collaborate cooperation and communication among Asian Pacific American organizations and serve Asian communities in Colorado. APDC is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is committed to provide culturally appropriate health and other services to the Asian American Pacific Islander community for the past 30 years.


August 2013 | Upcoming Events

Ultimate in Cultural Diversity of Indonesia Sundays, August 11 and 18

Sun. August 11, from 12:30pm to 3:00pm at Denver Museum of Nature & Science 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver Sun. August 18, from 12:30pm to 2:30pm at History Colorado Museum 1200 Broadway, Denver For more info, visit

Enjoy a traditional piece From the Palace of Java: Golek Dance and Mask Dance. Also, watch the collaboration between Javanese Gamelan and Modern Music (piano, violin), featuring: Henry The Fiddler - The Violinist with Saw Violin. The saw can be turned into a primitive violin, with more complicated tuning arrangements when it needs to be played in harmony with Traditional Javanese Gamelan. It will be interesting musical tuning arrangement!

Karen Wrist Tying Ceremony Sunday, August 18, 9am to 2pm Lowry Community Park 1000 Dayton St., Aurora, CO 80010 Free and open to general public For more info, contact Drucie Bathin at 720-775-4585.

The Karen community, an ethnic minority of Burma, will perform a ceremony with music, dance and elders tying white strings on wrists as a blessing. Denver’s Karen community invites you to participate in a local wrist tying ceremony. Celebrate and join us for lunch.

CollaborAsian Potluck

Saturday, August 24, Begins at 1pm Scott Carpenter Park, 30th and Arapahoe, Boulder, CO 80303 Free and open to the general public For more info, contact Aaron Porras at

CU-Boulder’s CollaborAsian committee is hosting a potluck style BBQ. We ask that each student group bring two large trays of food. Other members are encouraged to bring other food as well. We also want to see everyone rep their orgs! Wear any group t-shirts, Greek letters, and other gear you may have. There may even be some friendly competition! In addition there will of course be outdoor games: frisbee, volleyball, football, etc. All community members are invited!




Fine Asian Foods & Gifts

Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:00AM - 6:00PM, Sunday 9:00AM - 2:00PM 1925 Lawrence Street, Denver, CO 80202 | Phone:303-295-0293 | FAX:303-295-2753

For more information call 720-873-6243 or visit our website today at: William Schoolcraft, MD • Eric Surrey, MD • Debra Minjarez, MD Robert Gustofson, MD • Jennifer Brown, MD

I probably get noticed a little bit more because there are not many Asian basketball players in college, but I also could have been overlooked when I was younger because of stereotypes...

CU-Boulder graduate Sabatino Chen aims to play basketball overseas Patricia Kaowthumrong Asian Avenue magazine

Photos by Asher Bond Vandevort


August 2013 | Spotlight

Although it’s not uncommon for college basketball players to have high expectations for their post-college careers, Sabatino Chen is just focused on his love of the game. Chen, a former senior starting guard for the CU Buffaloes, says he’d be happy playing basketball pretty much anywhere. After graduating from CU-Boulder with a mathematics degree in May, Chen signed with an agent and hopes to play with a team overseas. “My ideal is anywhere in Europe like in Spain or Italy, but we’re also talking to teams in Greece, Taiwan and China,” he says. A native of Louisville, Colo., Chen led the Monarch Coyotes to the second round of the Colorado Class 5A state tournament as a senior. He is Monarch’s all-time leader in rebounds and assists, and second in points, according to the University of Colorado Athletics. Chen spent two years playing for the University of Denver before transferring to CU-Boulder before the 2010-2011 season. He helped the Buffs win the Pac-12 title and was part of the team’s first NCAA tournament appearance since the 2002-2003 season his junior year. Then, he was a key starter/reserve in the Buff’s second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance his senior year. Chen says highlights of his career with the Buffs include being able to be a starter for the first time and going to two NCAA tournaments. He also is thankful for the opportunity to play at the highest level of competition close to home.

“I learned a lot from the coaches about how to get better as a basketball player there,” Chen says. “All the coaches are just really good player-development coaches, and I liked that a lot.” Chen also plans to acquire a Taiwanese passport, so he is eligible to play basketball in Taiwan. Although his heritage may not have directly affected his career, Chen says it might become an advantage if it gives him the opportunity to play for a Taiwanese team. “I probably get noticed a little bit more because there are not many Asian basketball players in college, but I also could have been overlooked when I was younger because of stereotypes, but I didn’t notice anything specific,” Chen says. Dubbed “Super Nin-Chen-Do” and “NinChen-Do 64 by his teammates, Chen enjoys playing video games in his spare time; his favorite is “Call of Duty.” He also likes hanging out with his girlfriend, friends and family.

Park visits Uganda to see the children and schools she helped raise money for.

Park (second from right) works with HELP International in Fiji.

Park was a Resident Assistant at the University of Denver.

The Park family travel to Korea in 2010.

aboutsusannapark School: University of Denver Hometown: Thornton, CO Involvements: Invisible Children, HELP International and New Life Mission Church Quote she lives by: “Keep doing the things that you’re passionate about, then you’ll end up right where you need to be.” Susanna in three words: Bringing Sexy Back or Work In Progress Hobbies/interests: Photography, music, travel, eating, animals, human rights, movies, arts and dance Dream job: Good question. If there’s a job out there that is a morph of NGO, law enforcement, and medical, please let me know.

Invisible Children in Uganda

Susanna Park takes on the world at age 20

Although 20-year-old Susanna Park is only a third-year student at University of Denver, she already has two humanitarian trips under her belt. And she’s far from finished pursuing her passion to “serve and love the global community.” “To realize how small I am compared to this world is a great thing to realize,” Park says. “Simply put, to realize how little you know is a step closer to knowing more. As I meet new people and continue to experience life, my faith in God has given me a humble perspective and a desire to serve and love the global community. Ultimately, to think of myself less and to think of others more is a daily challenge.” Park, who is Korean, is a Colorado native studying international studies with a concentration in international development and health, as well as a concentration in international organizations and security and human rights. “I want to be a world-changer,” she says. “However that happens or whatever that looks like, I believe that if I keep doing what I love, I’ll end up where I need to be.” Park won the “School for Schools” challenge through the Invisible Children organization. As a result, Park was given the opportunity to join fellow winners in other U.S. regions on an all-expense paid trip to Uganda to visit schools they raised money for and meet the faces and builders of Invisible Children in Uganda. This year, Park traveled to Fiji through an organization called HELP International that sends teams out to countries such as Thailand, India and Uganda to work

Patricia Kaowthumrong Asian Avenue magazine

with locals to solve issues related to business, health or education. Because Park has an interest in health, she worked with the Ministry of Health in Fiji. “Several other volunteers and I went to schools and villages and conducted focus groups on topics like diabetes, physical activity and tobacco,” Park says. “We then took these results and compiled a report that we took back to the Ministry of Health.” Park says Uganda was the best experience of her life, but she also hopes to travel to Mali, Kenya, Thailand, India, Cambodia, and Japan over the next few years. “Going to Uganda has opened up my eyes to the beauty of a community rising up from the ashes of war, and to the true value of human relationships,” she says. Park says she looks up to her sister, Esther, who is currently acquiring her doctorate in psychology. She is also inspired by the Asian-American community. “As an Asian-American, I have a supportive community that empowers me as an Asian-American women to dream big,” Park says. “To experience what it is like to be a minority has educational value. At the same time, the prejudice against minorities is hurtful and an unfair experience. However, I am blessed to have friends, family, and educators that have made me realize the value of the human life, regardless of sex, race, sexual orientation, etc.” asian avenue magazine


Khanh Vu Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers


Largest Asian American Career Fair


If someone were to ask you, what is the largest Asian American career fair? Most people probably don’t know that the correct answer is the Third Annual SASE (Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers) National Conference and Career Fair. The event will be held in Philadelphia from Oct. 10-12, 2013. Early bird registration for the Conference is $65 before September 10th. The Career Fair is free with conference registration. Over 1,000 attendees are expected at the conference, and more than 70 companies and 180 recruiters are expected at the Career Fair. SASE is a fairly new non-profit organization promoting leadership, career development and networking. With over two million Asian Scientists and Engineers (S&E) in the U.S., SASE will help them network with each other, learn about career opportunities, develop their professional skills, promote participation in their local community, and help them reach their full potential. Asian S&E have not been organized across collegiate and professional ranks and this is reflected in the bamboo ceiling at many corporations. SASE helps change this dynamic through bringing awareness early on to collegiate students and developing their leadership skills while they are in college. SASE will continue its


August 2013 | Inside Story

programming and support to professionals as they grow in their career. SASE has over 50 collegiate chapters and has an expanding professional membership. With its rapid growth, SASE expects to have hundreds of chapters within a few years. In Colorado alone, SASE has four collegiate chapters (Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, University of Colorado Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and a professional chapter. SASE hosted six regional conferences in the spring across the country from Binghamton, New York to San Diego, California with over 800 attendees. If you cannot attend to this year’s National Conference and Career Fair, check out the website in November for information on all of the 2014 regional conferences near you. SASE is on pace to become the largest Asian American organization within the next few years. Come join us and be a part of this large movement! For conference and career fair registration, go to For more information about the Colorado professional chapter, go to For more information about SASE, go to E-mail SASE at ideas@

Above: GE Aviation Vice President and SASE board member gives a speech at the SASE National Conference Below: 2013 SASE Colorado Regional Conference at the Colorado School of Mines

12th annual


The Chinese Executive Media Management Program (CEMMP) celebrated the graduation of its twelfth annual class last month in Denver. The program, made possible by a $1 million gift from the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation has been a successful partnership between the Foundation, The Cable Center, the University of Denver, and Encore International. During each summer since 2000, with the exception of the 2003 during the SARS scare and 2008 immediately following the Wenchuan earthquake, a group of eleven visiting scholars selected from China’s State Administration of Press and Publication, Radio, Film and Television; China Central Television; the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Encore International and China International TV Corporation have come to Denver to study business management and visit area companies. This year the CEMMP fellows visited CableLabs, Comcast, Dish Network, and Starz. They received warm welcomes and precious insight into management and the operations of these media organizations. “Every year these media organizations share their time, insights, and experiences with the CEMMP Fellows. This hospitality and information exchange helps build long term personal relationships and builds the foundation for possible future collaborations,” said professor of Finance at DU’s Daniels College of Business, Ron Rizzuto, Ph.D., who directs the CEMMP and has taught courses since its inaugural year.

John J. Sie, Founder of Starz Entertainment Group and Anna and John J. Foundation

Rizzuto also remarked that, “The interest in what is happening in media and telecommunications in China has increased among U.S. media companies in recent years. This is, no doubt the result of the continued globalization of the media markets and the rapid rate of economic growth in China.”

The interest in what is happening in media and telecommunications in China has increased among U.S. media companies in recent years.

No trip to Colorado would be complete without taking in some of our top attractions. The program’s generous fellowships allowed for group excursions to Rocky Mountain National Park, the attractions of Colorado Springs, and good seats at a Rockies game among other excursions. It’s no surprise then that over the years 106 Chinese fellows from CEMMP have developed a soft spot in their hearts for Denver and the people of Colorado. The fellows’ time in Colorado culminated when the two teams presented their business plans to the faculty and local business leaders. Asian Avenue congratulates CEMMP on a successful program – helping to connect Colorado with China!

Ron Rizzuto, Professor of Finance at DU’s Daniels College of Business and Director of CEMMP Program

asian avenue magazine


By Pamela Yang Finale Show Photos by Jake Edmondson

Thuy Trang

became the 2013 Miss Asian American Colorado on June 23, 2013 after scoring highest in the Miss AACO Leadership Program. Scoring included service projects, program participation, interviews, talent performances, and an on-stage Q&A.

meet Miss Asian American Colorado 12

August 2013 | Cover Story



Thuy Trang wows the audience and judges at the 2013 Miss Asian American Colorado Finale Show on June 23, 2013.

Thuy Trang, a George Washington High School graduate and the oldest child of four, was recently crowned the 2013 Miss Asian American Colorado. The finale event of the Miss Asian American Colorado (Miss AACO) leadership program took place on Sunday evening, June 23rd, at Colorado Heights University Theater, where Trang competed with nine other beautiful “new friends.” Through a series of three parts: talent performance, cultural attire and on-stage interview question, she came out on top and won the title. When asked how she felt about winning the title, she said, “I was surprised! Everyone this year was so great; everyone had a good chance of winning.” “I looked at the audience and I saw my mom and started crying and hoped she was proud. I have big shoes to fill because Vi [2012 Miss AACO] did a great job as Miss Asian American Colorado.” The sixth annual program is a three-month long process that focuses on leadership, individuality and community service. Its mission is to be the foundation for young, Asian-American women, ages 18-25, who seek to gain more leadership skills and networking opportunities. Trang first found out about the program when her good friend, Lucy Tran participated in 2011. She had always admired Tran, calling her a “role model” and felt that the program was “elite.” She said, “I’m always looking for opportunities to grow as a person and push my boundaries to get me out of my comfort zone. I also joined the program to make more Asian-American friends. I left with nine new friends and committee members that I love (Pam the most).” The leadership program is just the beginning of a forever growing sisterhood and an inspiring program that has helped create role models in Asian-American communities across Colorado. 2013 Co-Chair, Pamela Yang says, “The Miss AACO program influences young women to become future role models and leaders in their communities; it has a ripple effect for many of those that join. Every year, the Miss AACO committee is made up of past candidates and the program gives them an opportunity to develop as leaders.” When asked about her impression of the program, Danielle Flower, 2013 Second Runner Up, said, “I am very impressed of the mission and values Miss Asian American Colorado leadership program exhibits… the program exceeded my expectations.” As part of Trang’s one-year title, she must pursue a service project of her choice. She did not wait long to start on her project as she traveled this summer to Vietnam to visit the Little Rose Shelter, a refuge for young girls who are survivors of trafficking. Her service project goal is to make a documentary film that will help create awareness of sex trafficking. Trang says, “Throughout the year, I will be working on my documentary on sex trafficking with the Little Rose Shelter. I want the intro to be the basics of what sex trafficking is, the body of the video will consist of personal, true stories from young girls at the Little Rose Shelter, and at the end, I will show the audience how they can help and support these girls”. While Trang has a very ambitious goal, she had known this is something she wanted to do even before the Miss AACO program. She feels with the 2013 Miss Asian Ameri-

asian avenue magazine


Challenge yourself. Put yourself in situations that you would have never thought you’d do.

– Thuy Trang, 2013 Miss AACO


can Colorado title, it will only take her to new heights. She first learned about the Little Rose Shelter when her high school student government helped raise awareness and funds for the shelter. As a candidate in this year’s program, Trang had already began collecting funds for the shelter and held a fundraiser along with fellow candidate, Marylyn Tran. Together, they made an educational brochure on the issues of human trafficking and recommended ways to support. They presented the brochure at Pho Le Restaurant in Denver during a dinner fundraising event. The restaurant donated 15 percent of the event’s revenues to the cause. They earned $643 for the shelter that night. Trang presented that amount in a check to the Little Rose Shelter during her visit this summer. However, this was not all, the ladies also created a poster saying: “I am a catalyst to end human trafficking.” Every photo taken with the poster was uploaded to the Catalyst Hope Foundation, which contributed one dollar per photo. More information regarding the Catalyst Hope Foundation can be found at Trang is passionate not only about helping to make a difference in these young girls’ lives, but educating her peers in Colorado and overseas about the importance of ending human trafficking. When asked why this service project was important to her, she said, “It feels very unfair that these girls have no choice and parents sell them into these situations and/or they are abducted. It’s saddening to me because I realize that both my sisters are around these ages.” On a more positive note, Trang was able to visit her family’s home in Vietnam, where her mother and father emigrated. Her dad, Hong, is from Saigon and her mother, Loan, is from the city Hue. Her parents met in Denver, Colo., wedded, and had Trang as their first child. She has lived in Denver all her life. While away in Vietnam fulfilling a remarkable duty, Thuy left behind her three younger siblings, brother Phi (16) and sisters Huyen (14) and Kelly (12). All but the youngest sibling have a traditional Vietnamese name. When asked about it, Trang simply replied, “I August 2013 | Cover Story

know, a lot people ask me about that, I think the name was chosen to be Americanized.” And just like that, I realized that Trang and her family were living the “American Dream.” Trang’s parents came to the United States to better their lives. Her mother, only 18 years of age at the time, came to the U.S. alone with no family, shortly after the Vietnam War. Trang says, “My mother was pale-skinned and Americans helped her get over here because of her skin color... many believed she was half-white.” “My mother, she is very kind to others, hardworking and sacrifices a lot for the family”. Trang’s work ethic must come from her family. This work ethic has led her to graduating George Washington High School as a Daniels Fund Scholarship recipient. She will be attending the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall, studying Biochemistry. She hopes to become a pediatrician in the future and travel to third-world countries to help them. Trang said, “In these countries, they have really poor health and don’t have the resources. I am able to give them those resources.” Trang is sincere and passionate when she speaks. She likes to be involved in many influential organizations. For instance, she was the president of the Asian culture club at George Washington High School and also

student body vice president. While juggling these roles, she also participated in a hip-hop dance team. She hopes that as a freshman at CU-Boulder, she can partake in the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA), join various student groups in the premedical field, and be a part of student government. Trang has so much potential in her future. She is already doing great things at only the age of 18 and can only shine brighter. She is already a role model and a leader. In her own words, “I would like to thank everyone who supported not only me, but the other girls in this program.” “Miss AACO is a great platform for young girls and ladies to find leaders in themselves. My advice for young girls is to challenge yourself; put yourself in situations that you would have never thought you’d do.”

Trang’s family: Nhat Trang, Chao Trang, Thuy Trang, Kim Loan Nguyen (mother), and Tieu Trang.

“I wish I could visit more often and stay here with them! This shelter is doing such great things. It’s raising girls who have been through a lot to keep their head up, because with hard work and determination they can do whatever it takes to succeed and reach their dreams. This is my favorite picture because the little girl wearing my crown told me she wanted to be a model when she grows up, but so many kids at school make fun of her darker complexion. I let her wear my sash and crown and she started crying. I told her that when I come back, I want to see her model her heart out. I can’t wait to visit again! I plan to study abroad here and live with these girls for a semester.” -Thuy Trang, 2013 Miss Asian American Colorado

Miss Unity (First Runner-Up): Akemi Tsutsui Miss Akemi Tsutsui, 19, is three-fourths Japanese-American; both of her parents are from Japan. Tsutsui put on a very fierce talent on the night of the finale show, portraying a strong, renaissance woman. She was able to showcase all of her talents in one segment. She is fine artist, opera singer and a karate student. She said, “I felt that my talent went really well. I was able to express all my different talents in a single performance and everything was executed to the best of my ability.” Tsutsui has practiced karate for 16 years, and she hopes to continue for years to come. Don’t be fooled by her petite figure because she even placed Gold at the U.S. Open Karate tour-

nament this May. Her karate training has been under her father Sensei Isao Gary Tsutsui. Her family owns a dojo called Colorado Budokan in Denver. Tsutsui has learned a lot of values through karate. She has learned how to work hard and the concept of self-discipline; these are values she hopes to pass down to the youth. Her service project is to host karate field days for children. As an only child, born and raised in Denver, she is currently studying at the University of Colorado Denver (CU-Denver) with a major in Fine Arts, but hopes to change it to Ethnic Studies with a minor in Fine Arts. Tsutsui had originally been accepted to UC Irvine, where she planned to pursue Asian American Studies. Unfortunately, tuition costs were high, so she stayed in state, enrolling at CU-Denver to study fine arts. “I went to CU-Denver to continue my art education previously from Denver School of Arts,” she

said. Since CU-Denver recently opened up an Ethnic Studies major, Tsutsui can now pursue her original educational goals. Tsutsui said, “I joined this program because I wanted to be more involved in Asian American community and services in Colorado… the program has exceeded my expectations because of what the girls [candidates] have been able to do and I have been able to make really good friends.” When asked about how she felt winning the title, she said, “Miss Unity, I am greatly honored and privileged. I am very grateful to have gotten any title and to contribute to the Asian American community holding this title.” Her plans for the future include educating the youth about karate and engaging in Asian American social issues through art. “I want to continue my work as a fine artist with the view on Asian Americans and the Japanese community as a portrait artist and continue advancing the success of our dojo”.

Miss Impact (Second Runner-Up): Danielle Flower Danielle Flower, 19, is Filipino-American and was born in Cebu, Philippines. Her birth family was unable to take care of her and she was put into an orphanage as an infant. Dave and Michele Flower adopted her when she was six months old. Her brother, Josh Flower, was adopted a few years before her from Manila, Philippines. Her family had lived in Denver for seven years and then moved to Monument, Colo. When asked about what she was most nervous for during the finale show, she said, “I was most nervous about the service question due to my introverted personality.” However, Flower answered the question with confidence and grace. She was knowledgeable of her project, to work with Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity to surgically heal smiles and facial deformity. Her project’s goal consists of bringing awareness about cleft palate and cleft lip. In

addition, she would like to create “Smile Bags” for the organization. These homemade bags would be sent to the Operation Smile staff, where their volunteers would fill the bags with various hygienic products, and be sent to the children recovering from surgery. For her talent, Flower performed a martial arts routine consisting of back flips, somersaults and karate techniques. From a young age, she has been involved in gymnastics. She grew up with this athletic sport, which allowed her to compete competitively until she was 15 years old. During the last few years, she began the art of karate to gain self-defense and life skills. She continues this passion by being a gymnastics coach as well as teaching karate classes to young children. Flower joined the Miss AACO leadership program because she wanted to be more involved in the Asian-American community and to serve the community as well. Despite the long drives from Mon-

ument for Flower to attend the Denver-based events, she made an effort to be present and share her radiating personality. It was no surprise that she was recognized as Miss Congeniality by her peer candidates. This fall, she will transfer to Casper College in Wyoming to study Occupational Therapy. In the future, she hopes to be an occupational therapist at the orphanage, The Children Shelter of Cebu for a year to get experience and give back to her birthplace. Flower’s mother is also an occupational therapist at Kilmer Elementary. She is excited for her service project and honored for the title. She says, “I learned no matter what leadership style you have, you have the ability to make a change in the community.”

asian avenue magazine


2013 Miss AACO Candidates, Committee, Mr. AACO Gentlemen

2013 Co-Chairs: Mai Choua Lee and Pamela Yang

Finale Show Co-Chairs: Dao Than and Rebecca Newton

Mr. Asian American Colorado gentlemen perform for the third year at the 2013 Finale Show. 16

August 2013 | Cover Story

Judges: Harry Budisidharta, Nai Li Yee, Tarika Cefkin, Sam Thomas and Dr. Ranee Shenoi

Emcees: Sean Choi, Chris Jose and Julie Thao

2012 Miss Talent Thao Dao returns to open the finale show with a color guard performance.

Congratulations to the 2013 Miss Asian American Colorado Leadership Program Candidates

Miss Asian American Activist

Miss Network Savvy

Finale Show Miss Talent

June 23, 2013

2013 candidates in their cultural attire: Danielle Flower, Kalia Lisa Lo, Yukari Usui, Jennifer Khat, Jiyeah Kim, Thuy Trang, Marylyn Tran, Catherine Song, Feyone La and Akemi Tsutsui. asian avenue magazine


East Moon Seafood - Jumbo shrimp, sea scallop, whitefish, and lobster tail

Peter Bui Asian Avenue magazine

East Moon Asian Bistro Wagyu Beef in Spicy Daikon Sauce

8162 S. Holly St. Centennial, CO 80122 Tel: 303.779.9999 HOURS: Every Day 11AM to 9:30PM Denver Bomb Roll - Lobster tempura, crab meat wrapped with cucumber & spicy mayo

East Moon Asian Bistro’s owner and head chef, Steven Chen, always had a “passion to make food that looks and taste good.” Sushi is one of his favorite platforms to do just that. Chen started his career nine years ago in New York City by attending culinary school where he learned the techniques and skills for Japanese cooking. This is when he quickly discovered sushi was an excellent way for him to express his creativity. After spending a few years in Denver honing his skills at sushi establishments, in November 2011, he took the opportunity to open his own restaurant. The contemporary décor of East Moon Asian Bistro in itself is a creative expression. The dining area is decorated with furniture and ornaments from places like Thailand providing a modern Asian look that carries over into the food. East Moon offers appetizers such octopus carpaccio. The fresh thinly sliced pieces of octopus are drizzled with a refreshing and light jalapeno vinaigrette that hits the palate with just a touch of heat – a great palate cleanser to start your meal. For tuna lovers, the menu offers thick slices of tuna tataki, which is lightly seared tuna served a long with a tasty butter dipping sauce. East Moon has traditional sushi rolls on its menu, but also presents its own creations like the Denver Bomb Roll which uses cucumber to wrap lobster tempura and crab meat into a roll, topped with a spicy mayo. The restaurant serves all-you-can-eat sushi on Tuesdays (Lunch $15.95, Dinner $26.95). Beyond sushi, East Moon has a variety of Thai dishes and other non-sushi dishes similar to the East Moon Seafood house special. This colorful entrée contains a mix of jumbo shrimp, scallops, white fish, lobster tail and vegetables stir-fried in a sweet and spicy Thai basil sauce. Like any highly regarded restaurant, Chef Chen uses fresh seasonal ingredients to make its East Moon specials. Depending on the time of year or when he is able to source such ingredients, patrons can find exquisite treasures such as uni (sea urchin gonads) or toro (fatty tuna). The uni is served on top of a fried peach leaf which provides a crunchy contrast to the soft and delicate uni. The melt in your mouth buttery toro is made even more luxurious by being topped with caviar and gold flakes. Lastly, some lucky patrons may even get to eat cool, raw Wagyu beef with a spicy daikon sauce. Anyone who loves beef should not miss the opportunity to try a one-of-a-kind dish like this. While East Moon has a variety of selection on its menu, the sensational sushi alone should bring you in for a visit. Appetizers Shrimp and Chicken Spring Rolls $7 Chicken Lettuce Wraps $7 Spicy Sashimi Salad $8 Assorted sashimi mix garlic chili with spicy soy vinaigrette

Sea Urchin (Uni) and Fatty Tuna (Toro)


August 2013 | Restaurant Peek

Sushi Entrees Tuna Sushi Dinner 8 pieces tuna & tuna roll $19 Tekka/Hamachi Don $21 4 tuna & 4 yellowtail sashimi on a bed of rice


Special Rolls Green Dragon Roll $10 Eel, cucumber inside; avocado & masago on top Fire Roll $13 Spicy tuna, jalapeno wrap, salmon, super white tuna inside; wasabi tobiko, sriracha, jalapeno on top

Ninja Roll $13 Shrimp tempura, spicy tuna inside; eel & avocado on top

SAIGON BASIL APPETIZER DISH - Grilled pork, chicken, golden fried paste shrimp, soft shell crab, and egg rolls served with lettuce, cucumber, beansprouts, mint, rice noodles & homemade sauce

LAU DO BIEN - Seafood fire pot, shrimp, squid, crab, mussels, fish ball & vegetables served with sour & spicy soup

Peter Bui Asian Avenue magazine

COM DAC BIET - Rice combination plate with grilled pork chops, chicken, shrimp, egg roll & lean egg


Pho - Beef Rice Noodle Soup Small $5.95 | Medium $6.95 | Large $7.95 Rare steak, well done brisket, flank, tendon, tripe. meatball

Vietnamese Egg Rolls $6.95 Served with homemade sauce, lettuce, mint, cucumber, beansprouts & rice noodles Wonton, Roast Duck Egg Noodles

Vietnamese cuisine has grown in immense popularity over the years mainly due to restaurants such a Saigon Basil. The healthy preparation of Vietnamese dishes and the uncanny way the cuisine balances flavors and textures makes the food very gratifying; and Saigon Basil does this better than most. After four months of remodeling and renovation, the restaurant opened its doors in April of this year in Northglenn. Even though Saigon Basil has only been opened for a few months, the family owned and run establishment has 15 years of experience in the restaurant business. And their main focus has always been on high-quality, flavorful food. The menu contains all the greatest hits of Vietnamese entrees and appetizers but items like their signature Saigon Basil appetizer plate make them stand out from the others. This do-it-yourself dish gives diners the freedom to fill their spring rolls with grilled and fried meats varying from grilled chicken and beef to deep fried shrimp cakes and soft shell crab which is all served with a plethora or greens and vegetables and their house nuoc mam (fish sauce). With its enormity, this appetizer can be a meal in itself; it feeds 4-6 people. The com dac biet (special combination rice plate) and pho dac biet (special combination pho) – some of the most popular Vietnamese dishes

– are prepared exceptionally well at Saigon Basil The variety of juicy meats are grilled perfectly in the com dac biet and its portion is more than generous. The restaurant’s take on the unofficial Vietnamese national dish, pho, is just as good if not better than most pho establishments. The broth is deep and clean and the meats and noodles are cooked just right. Although the before mentioned dishes are very popular, they are not what draw in patrons on the weekends. The house specialty entrée lau do bien – seafood fire pot – is the weekend champ. Lau do bien is served family style with tons of fresh vegetables and a vareity of shrimp, squid, crab, mussels and fish balls all cooked in a sour and spicy broth. The essence of what Vietnamese cuisine is can be found in this dish as is the reason why in any given weekend you will see several families at Saigon Basil enjoying this meal. Saigon Basil’s dining area is exceptionally spacious and clean with pleasant décor. The space is perfect for parties and large family dinners. They also have a full bar and offer very reasonable drink prices. Saigon Basil is naturally becoming a popular destination for people in the north Denver area, but is worth the drive even for those living on the opposite side of town.

10665 Melody Dr. HOURS Northglenn, CO 8023 Mon to Sat: 10AM - 10PM Tel: 720.502.3040 Closed on Sunday


Bun Bo Hue - Hot & Spicy Beef Soup $7.95 Combination Seafood Chow Fun $9.95 Seafood and mixed vegetables served with soft rice noodles stir-fried Ca Kho Tho - Vietnamese Fish $12.95 Traditional-style, sliced sautéed fish cooked in a hot pot Bo Luc Lac - Shaken Beef $12.95 Cubes of sirloin steak marinated in fresh garlic, shallots & ground peppercorn sautéed with butter and garlic asian avenue magazine


Photos by Glenn Asakawa

Cherry Blossom Festival Bridges Generational Gap with Mix of Modernity and Tradition Celebrating over 40 years of success, the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival took place June 22-23. Tents lined the street with a stage at the far side adjacent to which stood the Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple where visitors could view bonsai and flower arrangement exhibits or listen to cultural lectures. A creatively-choreographed Taiko drumming performance kicked off the festival followed by martial arts demonstrations, folk dancing and singing involving traditional instruments like the koto. “This festival helps promote heritage,” explained Michelle Asakawa, a member of the planning committee and wife of Japanese-American photographer and festival emcee Glenn Asakawa. “Helping to ensure that kids grow up with an understanding of where they come from; there’d be a big abyss, a disconnect [particularly between younger and older family generations] if they didn’t have that,”

Asakawa continues. “So many of the kids like the anime and cosplay but don’t know about the traditional arts… so there’s a nice mix of modern and historical here.” Fourteen-year old Brian Horiuchi has inherited essential Japanese values growing up in the Denver Buddhist Temple involving tradition, community and respect for elders, demonstrating these values through impeccable manners. “Growing up in the temple has taught me a lot about respect: it has to be earned. And the elders are so grateful; the smiles on their faces when we help them, gives me such a great feeling inside.” Half Japanese, half Spanish in descent, Horiuchi performs for Denver Taiko; he is a mentor for Junior Taiko and treasurer for the Young Buddhist Association, volunteering every year for the festival. “I enjoy my fair share of anime, but I like all the old arts too,” he laughs. “This festival is my favorite time of the year.”

Brenda Velasquez Asian Avenue magazine


August 2013 | Feature

Colorado Gothic & Lolita Society Members Participate in Japanese Fashion Subculture Colorado Gothic & Lolita Society members (left to right:Teresa Carnes, Helen Shih, Mina Barr and Rae Deming) take a photo in Sakura Square.

Brenda Velasquez


Asian Avenue magazine

uring the Cherry Blossom Festival, a group of young women gathered nearby to participate in a popular Japanese fashion subculture called Gothic & Lolita (G&L), whose aesthetics are based on Victorian-era clothing. A standard Lolita outfit consists of a knee-length skirt/dress enhanced by petticoats and framed by puffy-shouldered blouses. Common accessories include stockings, parasols and over-sized Mary Janes, all adorned with bows, ribbons and lace. The group, members of the Colorado G&L Society, set up shop in Sakura Square, pooling

Miracle Touch

together a mixture of apparel and accessories for a swap meet. The band included 31-year old Mina Barr, manager of a retail pet food store, who attended the festival in full kimono, showing interest in traditional arts while being part of a modern Japanese fashion movement. Meanwhile, Helen Shih, a 23-year old Taiwanese nurse from Illinois attended in full Lolita. Introduced to the extravagant fashion in high school, Shih recalls her positive beginnings. “I always got great reactions, although my mom was a little annoyed at first, especially because it’s so costly [one brand name dress could cost up to $400].” In fact, because of the fashion’s costly na-

ture, swap meets are a useful method of acquiring affordable Lolita apparel. Rae Deming, a 20-year old art student at Red Rocks Community College has practiced Lolita for seven years, also gaining exposure in high school. “I was already into Japanese culture through anime,” she recalls, mirroring the experience of many Japanese culture-loving youths in the U.S. Deming’s family have always been supportive of their creative daughter, even helping to fund her wardrobe. She joined the Colorado G&L society a year ago attending many of the meet ups which include tea gatherings and picnics; this was their second Cherry Blossom Festival meet.

Massage & Reflexology 30 min Foot Massage $15 30 min Back Massage $20 60 min Foot & Back Massage $25 60 min Back Massage$35 Our massages soothe aches and relax your body. Restore balance and rejuvenate your energy at an affordable price!

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Humble table, wise fare By Venerable Master Hsing Yun

You are big and I am small, we are not going to fight. You are right and I am wrong, we have good relations. You have and I do not have, there is no dispute. You are happy and I suffer, there is still joy. asian avenue magazine



Bringing and to Birgunj, Nepal


After planning for over six months, I was at Denver International Airport on the 25th of May to turn my ideas into reality, to bring light to those who needed it more than us and deserve it as much as we do. It was time for me to fly to Nepal to bring my prototype to life. UJYALO, the name of my venture, didn’t just start as a happy accident; it was a well-caressed idea to tackle the very real problem of energy scarcity in Nepal. Ujyalo, which also means the light in Nepali, was born after watching a video from “A Liter of Light” organization in one of my classrooms. While I was trying to fathom how a thrown plastic bottle could be used to create light, I was also thinking, in parallel, about its scope in Nepal. The concept was easy. 55 watts of light could be created by mixing distilled water and bleach in a plastic soda bottle. I was fascinated, thrilled and excited to bring this idea to Nepal, where Ujyalo would not only serve as an alternative source of energy but also a medium to shift


August 2013 | Feature

perceptions about energy in developing countries and as a catalyst for social and environmental innovation. After two days of flying and transit stops in a couple countries, I was in Kathmandu, Nepal, the city where I spent 17 formative years of my life. Physically not much has changed since my last visit in 2010. Kathmandu was still a bustling city with natives and foreigners from everywhere, houses hovering over one another, crazy traffic, fancy restaurants and pubs, temples at every nook and corner, breathtaking mountain range surrounding the city, outrageous amounts of energy and a dream hub for many to come and liberate their ideas and follow their hearts. Kathmandu is ever full of life and charm. Despite all the liveliness, Kathmanduites and almost all Nepalese in general suffer from the growing scarcity of electricity. I was here with Ujyalo to alleviate some of this issue and my venue was Birgunj. Birgunj is one of the industrially growing cities in Nepal, right across from the Indian border. We targeted rural communities of the city, especially families that couldn’t afford electricity or did not have access to electricity during the day. With a goal of installing 1000 units of solar sustained “bottled water bulbs” Ujyalo started its quest in early June. The first

Amuda Mishra Founder, UJYALO

phase of the project was a huge success with a lot of positive response. Within a week we had installed 132 units of bottle bulb in 84 houses. While Ujyalo was on its way to embark changes in energy and innovation, my attention was drawn to a few societal flaws we as Nepalese still had to overcome. One of them was omnipresent gender discrimination. While one of the aspects of the project was also to uplift the status of women by providing stay-at-home women some light during the day so that they can possibly pursue a career, I myself struggled to get out of the cycle of scrutiny of some of my family members and the society. I was constantly hounded to answer why a single woman at the age of 26 was travelling to these remote villages and volunteering her time and energy to help “these” people as opposed to earning money and having a family. I think the three things the society wasn’t able to put together were: “volunteer”, “remote places” and most importantly “single woman”. As there is a long way to go to shift the perception of individuals in Nepal about alternative energy and innovation in particular a “bottle bulb” project like Ujyalo, we also have a long way to go to embrace the concept of female volunteers and philanthropy in itself.

About Ujyalo- From 1 Liter to 55 watts

Amuda Mishra in Birgunj, Nepal prepares a “bottle-bulb” with water and bleach that can generate 55 watts of light.

Ujyalo has been on the ground since June installing “bottle-bulbs” powered by sunlight, water and bleach. With the help of Sano Paila, Ujyalo’s collaborative partner, 132 units of these light bulbs have been installed in 84 houses. Due to the heavy monsoon season in Birgunj, the project has been temporarily suspended and will resume again in August. All 1000 units will be installed by October of this year. Meanwhile the team for Ujyalo has been working on fostering community relations and educating community members and partners about the new “bottle-bulb” system. The future goal of Ujyalo is to expand all over Nepal and install as many “bottle-bulbs” as needed. Ujyalo and the team would like to thank its sponsors especially Gold Sponsor Abroad Nepal and Microsoft, collaborative partner Sano Paila, media partner Asian Avenue magazine, and individual donors for the tremendous support. You all have made an impactful change in a small community half way across the world now where people have access to light to build better future and life!

For more information about the project, visit:

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Red Coral Restaurant 1591 S. Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80222 Tel: 303-758-7610

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John Holly’s Asian Bistro 2422 S. Downing St. Denver, CO 80210 Tel: 303-722-8686

Star Kitchen Seafood Restaurant 2917 W. Mississippi Ave.Denver, CO 80219 Tel: 303-936-0089 |

Min’s Massage 2200 W Alameda Ave. Denver, CO 80223 Tel: 303-936-6265

Makan Malaysian Cafe 1859 S. Pearl St. Denver, CO 80210 Tel: 720-524-8093 |


Shen Chinese Medicine 244 Washington Denver, CO 80203 Tel: 303-905-1730 |

BAKERY Celestial Bakery, Deli & BBQ 333 S. Federal Blvd. #128 Denver, CO 80219 Tel: 303-936-2339 Vinh Xuong Bakery 2370 W. Alameda Ave. #15 Denver, CO 80223 Tel: 303-922-0999

BOBA/CAFE Lollicup 1589 S Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80222 Tel: 303-504-6022 |

Japon Sushi and Japanese Cuisine 1028 S. Gaylord St. Denver, CO 80209 Tel: 303-744-0330 | Sumo Sushi - All You Can Eat Sushi 2353 S. Havana St. | Aurora, CO 80014 Tel: 303-695-7787 Sushi Mango 3624 E Highlands Ranch Pkwy. Highlands Ranch, CO 80126 Tel: 720-348-0773 |


SUPERMARKET M Mart 2000 S. Havana St. Aurora, CO 80014 Tel: 303-695-4803 Pacific Ocean Market Place 6600 W. 120th Ave. Broomfield, CO 80020 Tel: 303-410-8168 Pacific Ocean International Supermarket 2200 W. Alameda Ave. #2B Denver, CO 80223 Tel: 303-936-4845


Seoul Korean BBQ Restaurant 2080 S. Havana St. Aurora, CO 80014 Tel: 303-632-7576 |


China Taipei Chinese Restaurant 8100 S. Quebec St. #B-14 Centennial, CO 80112 Tel: 303-773-0155

Seoul BBQ & Sushi 2 311 West 104th Ave. Northglenn, CO 80234 Tel: 303-280-3888

Pho Ta 2200 W. Alameda Ave. #38 Denver, CO 80223 Tel: 303-922-7888 |

Empress Seafood Dim Sum Restaurant 2825 W. Alameda Ave. Denver, CO 80219

Silla Restaurant 3005 S. Peoria St. Aurora, CO 80014 Tel: 303-338-5070

Pho Mai 6765 W 120th Ave. Broomfield, CO 80020 Tel: 303-466-6346 |

Tel: 303-922-2822

asian avenue magazine


Hope in a Hopeless Time Eric Berve For Asian Avenue magazine

George Joe Sakato, Medal of Honor, Congressional Gold Medal Recipient Photo by Alan Yamamoto Photography

When I was in elementary school, I would always ask my mom why my grandpa had two Japanese katana* shelved in his basement, and she would tell me he was in the army during World War II, but he was lucky enough to never have to see the field of battle. I always idolized him for this, but as I grew older, I began to realize just how lucky he was to have returned home. In a time filled with segregation and intolerance, hundreds of persecuted Japanese men went to war for America to fight, and many of them died fighting for the freedoms they desired so very much. But they have not been forgotten.

I had the honor to volunteer at the 67th Annual Community Memorial Day Service at the Nisei War Memorial on May 27, where the memories of the brave souls lost during the war are honored to the highest degree. We were fortunate enough to have Mr. George Sakato, one of the few Japanese-American Medal of Honor recipients, and speak during the service; while his body has aged, his mind and heart remained as strong and vivid as they were 60 years ago. Because of the courage of Mr. Sakato and other men who fought for their country, we are able to live our lives without the hatred and intolerance that they must have felt for so many years. *Katana were one of the traditionally made Japanese swords that were worn by samurais of feudal Japan.

Japan Imperial Decoration honored to Paul Maruyama George N. Yoshida Advisor, Asian Avenue magazine

On June 21, at the Official Residence of the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver, Consul General Ikuhiko Ono conferred the Japan Imperial Decoration The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette to Paul Kuniaki Maruyama. The conferment decoration recognizes lifetime achievement and commitment contributing toward mutual understanding and friendship between the United States and Japan. Maruyama is a retired Air Force LTC, and is the founder and president of the Japan America Society of Southern Colorado. Through his leadership he helped form the John Manjiro Whitfield Foundation and the Manjiro Grassroots Summits in Colorado Springs. He is the author of Escape From Manchuria (published in both English and Japanese), and is an instructor of Japanese language at the Air Force Academy and Colorado College. Attending the ceremony were Maruyama’s long-time friends from San Jose State University—Yoshihiro Uchida, retired, and Colorado U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, retired. Uchida and Senator Campbell have also been decorated by the Japanese government with the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun. They and Maruyama all graduated from San Jose State University, and all three were on the 1964 U.S. Olympic team that competed in Tokyo— coach Uchida and Ben Campbell heavyweight, and Paul Maruyama lightweight. Unprecedented, as it was a special occasion to meet and talk with three recipients of the Imperial Decoration, and distinguished guests including Kimiko Side (a recent recipient of the Imperial Decoration), Judge Kerry S. Hada, members of Japan America Society of Southern Colorado, and the Maruyama family. Photos by Jon A.Yamamoto


August 2013 | On Scene

Above: Left to Right, Back Row: Ikuhiko Ono, Consul General of Japan in Denver and Mrs. Eiko Ono; Front Row: Paul Maruyama,Yoshihiro Uchida, Ben Nighhorse Campbell, LaRae Murayama, Dan Kikuchi Below:Yoshihiro Uchida, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Dan Kikuchi, Paul Maruyama, Judge Kerry S. Hada

Chinese students visit U.S. for American cultural experience

CAPYA Second Annual Summer Retreat Andrew Yeh Executive Director, CAPYA

On June 28, the Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association (CAPYA) hosted its annual summer retreat. The retreat kicked off the start of CAPYA’s yearlong high school leadership program. Over the course of a few days, Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) high school students from all across the Denver metro area engaged in team building, leadership development, personal growth, and small group activities. Each small group was led by a junior counselor, an incoming college freshmen, who had completed the leadership program in the previous year and a senior counselor, a college student who was previously a junior counselor. The small groups engaged in discussions,

shared AAPI culture, learned various icebreakers, and performed a skit allowing students to open up and feel welcome in a fun and educational way. The summer retreat also included workshops presented by local community AAPI leaders; the workshops taught students different AAPI stereotypes and identity development skills. CAPYA’s mission is to provide educational opportunities for AAPI youths. For more information, please visit or e-mail

Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network (CACEN) hosted the 2013 American Cultural Study Tour and Homestay Program summer camp last month. For one week, 24 high school students from Kunming, China visited Denver. Students participated in English language conversation classes and explored the city with excursions and cultural tours. The program is designed for students to be fully immersed in American culture, living with host families and learning about American daily life. The program offers exposure to American culture that just cannot be found in the classroom. Students get to see the famous Rocky Mountains, visit the state capitol, enjoy Elitch Gardens’ amusement park,

appreciate American arts and structures, and taste authentic American food. In addition to learning about American culture and traditions, students have the opportunity to make meaningful friendships with other classmates as well as the American families and counselors they meet during this once in a lifetime experience. Culminating the students’ stay, a farewell BBQ was held at Cook Park for host families and students to enjoy one last American burger together. CACEN is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2009. The organization’s mission is to promote Asian cultural education and awareness through various activities. Learn more at www.

Denver hosted a bone marrow typing drive on July 14 as part of the “Save Nina” efforts for a Los Angeles woman, Nina Polvanich Louie, who has lymphoma. Lymphoma can be treated, but Nina has not found a match in the registry. Leah Choi, the Denver organizer said, “I believe that one of the greatest bonds between anything in this world is the bond between a mother and a child.” “On this level, I sympathize with Nina. She is fighting for her life and like any good mother, her number one priority is her son. She deserves more time with

him and with this mindset, I organized the bone marrow drive.” More than 250 drives have been set up around the world with nearly 10,000 people typed. These drives have helped find bone marrow matches for two other patients so far and the hope is for Nina to be next. Choi said, “Although Nina is a complete stranger, we truly came together as a community to help a fellow Asian-American, a wife, and a young mother.” For more information or to get a free home typing kit, visit

Save Nina Bone Marrow Typing in Denver

The Save Nina Bone Marrow Typing Drive on July 14 brought the community to the Chinese Evangelical Church of Denver with 90 people typed to help save Nina!

asian avenue magazine


Battle in the House after immigration reform passes Senate

Although a comprehensive immigration reform bill passed the Senate, proponents of immigration reform now must gear up for a tough fight in the House of Representatives. “First the House of Representatives has to pass its own version of the bill, which will be very difficult with all of the Republican opposition. Then the House and Senate versions will have to be reconciled by a conference committee, and then passed by each house again,” explained Atlanta Immigration lawyer Karen Weinstock. The House of Representatives bi-partisan “Gang of Seven” is said to be working on its own immigration bill, which is still being reviewed by the House’s legislative counsel. There is little known of the substance of the Gang of Seven bill. It is said to be more conservative than the Senate bill. It would require a slightly longer path to citizenship of 15 years, as opposed to 13 years in the Senate bill. It would require applicants to admit that they have violated immigration laws. It also would require that the legalization process be halted if a workplace verification system is not put in place in five years. “It will be a tough fight overall, but I hold out hope that comprehensive immigration reform in some form will pass into law this year,” said the immigration attorney.

After jet crash on July 6, Asiana Airlines will bolster its pilot training


siana Airlines of South Korea said that it will increase training for its pilots after the crash of one of its Boeing 777 jets at San Francisco International Airport. Asiana will give special safety training, including an enhanced program for visual approaches and automated flight, to all of its pilots. It will also strengthen the training

Indian-American Nisha Biswal nominated by Obama to head South Asia bureau


resident Barack Obama nominated Nisha Desai Biswal, an accomplished Indian-American administrator, to head the South Asia bureau in the U.S. state department. When confirmed by the Senate, Desai will become the first person of Indian or even South Asian origin to head the bureau, which oversees U.S. foreign policy and relations with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan.

programs for those switching to a new type of jet, a senior executive said in a presentation to the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. On July 6, three Chinese high school students were killed and more than 180 injured. The students were on their way to a three-week summer camp in California.

Senate committee OKs bill to help veterans who were denied benefits


bipartisan Senate panel approved a bill that would help Filipino World War II veterans who were wrongly denied their benefits under the 2009 Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) Fund. “We are very pleased that the Senate allowed the issue of service verification to be included in the package of bills that was marked up,” said Filipino veteran advocate Ceasar Elpidio, a leader of the Nevada Organization of Filipino American Veterans of America & Families. “We need to keep up the pressure on Congress to ensure that our veterans are properly recognized for their services to this great country.”

With shark fin ban, a slice of Asian culture ends in California

Jeremy Lin documentary ‘Linsanity’ to be released in October



etchup Entertainment has acquired Evan Jackson Leong’s “Linsanity” and will release the documentary on Oct. 4. The film follows Lin’s life from his childhood in Palo Alto, Calif., to his meteoric ascent to stardom in early 2012 with the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association, giving rise to the term “Linsanity.” August 2013 | National News


heck it out on YouTube! Asian-American comedians David and Andrew Fung have teamed up with singer AJ Rafael and ethnic food store 99 Ranch Market for a musical tribute to Asian cuisine.


hark fin ban in Califirnia starts on July 15. So far, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, the Pacific territories Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands, have also enacted legislation prohibiting the sale of shark fins. New York is pursuing similar legislation.

Moab, Utah lures international visitors, specifically those from China pressure from the tourism industry. The TPA created a tourism marketing and promotional fund, and streamlined the process for obtaining a US tourist visa for residents of countries like Mexico, Brazil and China, the three largest applicant countries. Earlier this year Obama promised to further increase the visa processing capacity for these countries by 40 percent.

Mary Jeneverre Schultz Twitter: @Jeneverre

Movies, unique rock formations and uranium are a common thread for this desert town. Just 5.5 hours away from downtown Denver, Moab is evolving into an international desert location, luring an increasingly diverse and international group of travelers every year. These visitors are looking for new activities and ways of experiencing the area. The Asian market makes up about 11 percent of their guest business, according to Dave Wiggins of Widness & Wiggins PR, a spokesperson for Moab Adventure Center.

Arches National Park and Canyon lands Both Arches National Park and Canyon lands attract the international tourists, who want to capture the images of these amazing rock formations. Thrill seekers will salivate in activities such as climbing the areas called Wall Street for its challenging steep rocks inside Canyon lands. Jet boat tours can view these daring climbers as they cruise on the Colorado River. According to Arches National Park’s statistics, 30 percent of the 757,781 entrants in 2003 were international travelers. Skip Interstate 70 and take a detour through Scenic Byway 128, a 44-mile drive. This beautiful drive, could take about one hour without stops, along Colorado River takes the motorist through spectacular red canyon cliffs, overlooks and pullouts throughout the weaving 2-lane roads. On a good summer day, rafters are visible from the road, making it great people-watching activity. More than 500,000 visitors will check out

Access Moab’s spectacular backcountry in style and comfort aboard the world’s most serious 4x4. Professional guides operate custom Hummer® vehicles with raised seating in the rear for optimum passenger viewing.

Jet boat cruises are an ideal way for tourists, who want a water sport without getting wet.

Moab, Utah for all its adventurous excursions, according to the Moab Tourism Council. The rocks, river, trees, huge red rock cliffs and beaches provide a unique driving experience in the area. If time permits, take a side route to Onion Creek Canyon and Fisher Tower, made famous for the recent commercial on Citi credit card. Visitors can take a break from driving for a photo opp. The sections with narrow river gorges are phenomenal. The more open areas have wonderful views of classic western rock outcroppings and buttes. The spectacular Fisher Towers en route alone are worth spending a few hours wandering around. Don’t miss this area! Campsites and picnic spots are littered throughout the highway. During the summer, these camp sites are booked solid. Spend some time planning to secure a reservation.

Why the increase of Asian travelers? China is another developing country that has been making its presence felt in Utah. Chinese tourists have become particularly sought after in America because of the amount of money that they spend while on vacation. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s annual report indicated Chinese tourists spend about $6,000 per visit compared to the $4,000 average for other nationalities. In addition, the U.S. Travel Association shared the drive to attract Chinese travelers is also fueled by the massive increase in visas issued to mainlanders, which has risen 438 percent since 2004 and is expected to become America’s biggest in-bound market by 2016. The increase in tourism from developing countries is in part due to the Travel Promotion Act (TPA), which was passed by the Obama administration in 2010 as a result of

Desired tours The increasing Asian demand for more traditional, bus-based site seeing, together with domestic and European tourist’s interest in adventure sports, mean that Moab’s tourism industry will most likely grow in both directions. The unparalleled terrain that Moab offers will continue to draw adrenaline junkies and shutterbugs alike. Several tours are available from Moab Adventure Center. They include: rafting, Hummer safaris, river jetboat, horseback riding, canyoneering, hot air balloon rides, stand up paddle boarding, and high rope courses. Local tour guides share their personal accounts of touring with Chinese and Japanese tourists. The tour guide of a hummer safari retold from the summer of 2012. A 12-person tour group from China could not speak English, only the translator. During the entire tour, no one said a thing. To get a rise from the group, the tour guide put up his hands and rolled backwards on a steep include – that was the only time the whole tour screamed in terror for their safety. Another tour guide from a rafting trip shared his encounter with a Japanese tour group. No one spoke a word, even the translator. Three quarters through the trail, the tour guide grabbed a low-lying branch and

Actor John Wayne worked a local ranch and rode several trails to prepare for several of his cowboy roles in numerous Western movies. Photos by Mary Jeneverre Schultz

asian avenue magazine


climbed up on it. After a good 10 seconds, the stoic group realized their tour guide disappeared and started screaming for help. The tour guide jumped into the river and swam to them, chuckling to himself.

The Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge houses this museum at its main building, downstairs from the lobby/check-in area. Just ask any hotel employee for its precise location. Photo Credit: Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge

Movies In 2012, locals shared witnessing the backdrops for 2013 summer movies such as Will Smith’s After Earth and The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp. Along with boosting the local economy, these films increase Moab’s international visibility. This is a big draw for Asian tourists in particular. All the tour guides know their locations for previous movies, commercials or television series. In hummer safaris, guides are knowl-

edgeable of the desert landscapes and why films selected a particular terrain, while river guides can point out specific spots on the Colorado River for old movie sets. For a better overview, visit the Movie Museum at the Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge, located on Scenic Byway 128. This museum showcases films and commercials of Hollywood while displaying cowboy artifacts in ranching and black & white images. It gives a great overview of the desert community. Most of the posters are captured in this Movie Museum. A life-size image of John Wayne is displayed for fans of this Western movie star. Movies include: Back to the Future 2 and 3, Forrest Gump, Thelma & Louise, Austin Powers, and Lone Ranger.

Uranium Before Moab became the Mecca for adventure seekers, uranium played a big part of its history. Geologist and scientists were the visitors of the 1940s and 1950s. The desired metal became the sought-after chemical elements when world forces chasing the position for nuclear power. Tour guides for jet boats through the Canyon lands will point out several plants through the area to interested visitors curious about the history and geology of this city in Utah. To plan your trip in Moab, Utah, contact Moab Adventure Center at (866) 904-1163.

Mary Jeneverre Schultz added Moab to her bucket list ten years ago when husband, Frank left her for a four-wheeling trip with just the boys. Follow her on Twitter @Jeneverre for more adventures in Moab.

Planning a Trip to Moab Moab Adventure Center 225 South Main Street Moab, Utah 84532 (866) 904-1163

Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge/Movie Museum Mile Post 14, Hwy 128 Moab, Utah 84532 (866) 812-2002 (435) 259-2002 Arches National Park Moab Area Travel Council 84 North 100 East Moab, UT 84532 (800) 635-6622 Other useful websites:

Honey in Mouth but Dagger in


A Honey Tongue, a Heart of Gall said of treachery and craftiness

口蜜腹剑 Li Linfu, Prime Minister during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty, was a cunning and sinister person who knew how to curry favor with those above him. Jealous of those who were talented and prestigious, he racked his brains to elbow them aside and even murder them. He fawned on the influential eunuchs so that they might put in a good word on his behalf in Xuanzong’s presence. Consequently, he wormed himself into the good graces of the emperor and held a high official post for 17 years running. Li Linfu always feigned humbleness, politeness and kindness and spoke cajolingly, but he was vicious inwardly, always ready to harm others. By and by, people saw through his hypocrisy. “Li Linfu has honey in his mouth.” They said, “but a dagger in his heart.” 28

August 2013 | Travel & Chinese Idiom

- History as a Mirror

Calligraphy by Harrison X. Tu, Confucius Classroom in Denver


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Asian Avenue magazine - August 2013  

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