Asian Avenue magazine - January 2020

Page 1

January 2020 Volume 15 | Issue 1

Lunar New Year 2020 Year of the Rat

Restaurant Peek

Mr. Hao Grill

Serenity forge Meaningful Video Games Built in Boulder




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What is Chinese Hotpot?


Chinese hotpot is a communal eating experience, in which you order different ingredients to boil inside a simmering pot of broth. Think of it as Asian fondue where everyone at the table cooks their own food!

How to eat Hotpot?

At Aki, first choose your soup base (do you dig hot and spicy? Or are you more into herbal broths?). From there, choose your meats and seafoods ranging from beef slices, pork belly and meatballs to squid, fish fillets, shrimps and clams. Throw in your veggies: mushrooms, cabbage, spinach, sprouts, or boy choy, and the list goes on with over 20 options. Lastly, add your noodles and tofus, and don’t forget the dipping sauces! And the best part is that it is ALL YOU CAN EAT!

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in this issue

Presenting our annual Lunar New Year edition including health and wellness tips on how to live your best life in the Year of the Rat and your Chinese zodiac.



8 13

Event calendar Nathan Yip Foundation’s Chinese New Year Party on Feb. 8, 2020



26-year veteran Denver Public Schools educator Priscilla Rahn runs for CU Regent CD6


How to harness characteristics of the rat for a healthy 2020 Chinese Zodiac: what’s in store for you in 2020?


Mr. Hao Grill is the only Chinese skewer bbq restaurant in Colorado




Lucky dishes to eat for the new year and why the color red is so popular




Serenity Forge, a video game company based in Boulder, makes meaningful games addressing mental health and more Diversity in Hollywood has more Asian Americans on the big screen... and winning awards!



Q&A with Denver commissioner Patrick Walton


28 6

January 2020 | Table of Contents



Put a straw in the coconut



Tips for driving on Denver’s icy streets this winter



The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

ASIAN AVENUE MAGAZINE P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 E-mail:

Find us @AsianAveMag #AsianAveMag

Dear Asian Avenue readers, 2020 marks the beginning of our 15th volume (as we began in 2006)! Our annual lunar new year edition includes your Chinese zodiac horoscope for the Year of the Rat, as well as health tips shared by Dr. Lynn Tran McDonald. We’d like to invite you to our 13th annual lunar new year dinner celebration on Saturday, January 18 at Empress Seafood Restaurant. Join us for a colorful evening topped with a delicious 10-course dinner. This event sold out last year, so get your tickets early at There are also many lunar new year celebrations across town this month and next. Check out our event calendar to join the celebrations at Far East Center, Chinese new year festival in Colorado Springs or performances at the Nathan Yip Foundation dinner in downtown Denver. Learn more about Denver Public Schools’ educator Priscilla Rahn and her motivation behind running for CU Regent CD6. As a biracial Korean American, Rahn is an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in education. Lastly, our restaurant peek features Mr. Hao Grill, the only Chinese skewer restaurant in Colorado which will leave you reminiscent of Asian street food and night markets. Head to Aurora to give them a try!

Annie Guo VanDan, President Asian Avenue magazine | Published by Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 |

Publisher & Founder CHRISTINA YUTAI GUO



Marketing Manager JOIE HA

Senior Designer C.G. YAO


Graphic Designer/Videographer LIJIN ZHAO

Staff Writer AMY NG

Web Designer JASON ZHANG


on the cover


Happy year of the rat! We wish you good health and good fortune in the new year. Be sure to wear the lucky color red and eat lots of noodles and fish. You may also want to start a journal in 2020.

Looking to promote your business? Asian Avenue magazine offers businesses the most cost-effective way to reach consumers in the Denver/Boulder metro areas and beyond. For more information, call 303.937.6888 or e-mail us at for our media kit and ad rates.

contributing writers Gil Asakawa, Denise Gliwa, Jessalyn Herreria Langevin

Aleia Amaya, Smeeta Mahanti, Kevin Zhang Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 19321449) 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.

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President’s Note | asian avenue magazine


Event Calendar Asian Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours Event Wed. Jan. 15 | 6pm to 7:30pm Twin Dragon Restaurant 3021 S. Broadway, Englewood Cost: $15 members $20 non-members

Kick off the new year and grow your network by attending this event. Learn of the Chamber’s 2020 initiatives and programs. Twin Dragon is owned by Shiou Jefferson, a long-standing and well-respected entrepreneur. Come enjoy networking and snacks with the Chamber family! 19th Annual CSCCI Chinese New Year Festival Sat. Jan 18 | 10am to 4pm CO Springs City Auditorium 221 East Kiowa St, Colorado Springs

The New Year Celebration has become a mainstay cultural event in Colorado Springs. Activities for this year will feature the traditional lion dance, taiko drums, kung fu demonstrations, traditional Chinese dances, Chinese yo-yo demonstrations and Chinese musical performances. “Chinatown” offers an assortment of Asianthemed merchants and enjoy hot tea in the “Teahouse.”


January 2020 | Event Calendar

Asian Avenue Lunar New Year Dinner Celebration Sat. Jan. 18 | 6pm to 8pm Empress Seafood Restaurant 2825 W. Alameda Ave, Denver Tickets: $45 General $30 Student Celebrate the lunar new year, the year of the rat, at Asian Avenue’s 13th annual lunar new year event. Enjoy a 10-course Chinese dinner and cultural performances including a welcome lion dance by Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center. The evening will also include a silent auction and gifts for attendees!

The Cosmos x Denver: Women, Wine, & Wellness Wed. Jan. 22 | 5pm to 8pm RiNo Nail Bar 2931 Larimer Street, Denver Cost: $5 plus services cosmosdenvernails. Join The Cosmos x Denver at RiNo Nail Bar, the newest hotspot to get your nails, lashes, and wax done with some drinks in hand! At this event, drinks and light bites will be provided while you and other AAPI women participate in some self-care and discuss how taking care of ourselves can positively affect our health.

2020 Chinese New Year Celebration Sat. Jan 25 | 12pm to 4pm Southridge Recreation Center 4800 McArthur Ranch Rd. Highlands Ranch Cost: Free and open to public; 2pm show: $8 in Advance $11 at Door

Celebrate Asian art and culture at the 2020 Chinese New Year Cultural Fair. See an array of educational, art and craft displays and items for purchase. You won’t want to miss the show by the talented Great Wall Chinese Academy, featuring Chinese and lion dances, folk dances, Chinese martial arts Kung Fu, and instrumental performances. Year of the Rat Lunar New Year Celebration 2020 Jan. 25-26 | 10am to 7pm Truong An Gifts 333 S Federal Blvd, Denver Cost: Free and open to public

Shop for all your Lunar New Years decorations for 2020 at the Truong An Gifts New Years Street Fair. Find special flowers, plants, fruits, decorations, red envelopes, and much more! There will be prize giveaways via raffle and a lot of special sales! On both days, come see dragon and lion dances, firecrackers, and martial arts. A kids fashion show will take place on the 26th.

Chinese New Year Celebration Sat. Feb. 1 | 5:30pm to 9pm Empress Seafood Restaurant 2825 W. Alameda Ave, Denver Tickets: $50 Member | $55 Nonmember | $38 Student Join the Denver Sister Cities Kunming Committee to celebrate the Year of the Rat with friends, food, and festivities! The event profits will go to the new John H. Yee Scholarship Fund. Denver and Kunming, China became sister cities in 1986 when Denver Mayor Federico Peña signed an official agreement.

Chinese New Year Party Sat. Feb. 8 | 5:30pm to 11pm Grand Hyatt Denver 1750 Welton St, Denver Tickets: $250 | $150 Young Professionals (35 and Under) Join the Nathan Yip Foundation in 2020 as they expand upon their popular Night Market concept, ring in the Year of the Rat, and celebrate the Lantern Festival, which is the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebration and falls on February 8, 2020.

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26-year veteran teacher By Mary Jeneverre Schultz

More representation among elected officials and promoting equity and diversity are goals of Priscilla Rahn, a 26-year educator, teacher and principal in the Denver Public Schools system. Rahn, 48, is running for CU Regent CD6, an area covering Henderson, Brighton, Aurora, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, and Littleton. “I’m running for CU Regent in CD6 because I have a passion for education and I am highly qualified to make decisions about how we can strengthen the pathway for Colorado students to earn a college degree,” said Rahn. “It is vital that the CU Board of Regents represents the diversity of the student body. One of the top priorities in education today is addressing the equity and opportunity gap.” EXPERIENCE After 26 years, Rahn is a veteran public school Master Teacher, a distinguished honor held by less than 1 percent of Colorado’s teachers. She also stands as the first teacher in Colorado to be National Board Certified in Early Adolescent/ Young Adult Music. Her work as an ed-

ucator has sent her to urban, suburban and rural schools in Alaska, Texas and Colorado, holding many positions that include teacher, regional team specialist, principal, evaluator/coach, summer ELA site leader, high school tennis and volleyball coach and higher education student teacher supervisor. “Teaching is one of the hardest, most important and most rewarding careers. When I started teaching 26 years ago, the teaching profession was more respected. People went into teaching for a life-long career,” Rahn said. “Unfortunately, I know many teachers who have quit after three to five years of teaching because it requires mastery of many skills like classroom management, organization, creativity, flexibility, interpersonal and cultural connections, lesson and unit planning, time management, patience, sympathy, social/emotional supports and I could go on.”

Rahn (left) with her mom Lee Soon Shaw, an 8th degree Grand Master in Korean martial arts


January 2020 | Spotlight

“Everyone believes it is necessary to have accountability, but the education landscape has become dominated by testing outcomes,” Rahn continued. “I am committed to culturally responsive teaching, brain science and supporting the whole child so that all young people can pursue their passions.” INFLUENCES Her Korean/African American bi-racial ethnicity provides her an extra sense of perspective in understanding students, who are from immigrant families. She feels her ethnicities give her a chance to reach out, connect and provide a pathway to college. “The city of Aurora within CD6 has the 5th largest Asian population in the state. There is a model minority myth that all Asian students perform well in school. As the daughter of a first-generation immigrant from Korea, I am committed to supporting the immigrant, refugee, migrant

Denver Public Schools recognizes May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Priscilla Rahn runs for CU Regent CD6 and multi-lingual community,” Rahn said. Rahn is also the daughter of a 29-year African-American army veteran. “I was an army brat my entire life and loved every minute of it. CD6 houses Buckley Air Force Base. I understand the impact that moving every few years has on education continuity.” “I am uniquely qualified to empathize and support newcomers and military families when it comes to college readiness and ensuring seniors of active duty military, who transfer into Colorado, can graduate on time.”

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION To make some changes in the educational field, Rahn believes she needs to step into a leadership role. Her work in diversity and inclusion encompass the following roles. For more than 20 years, Rahn has served the diverse needs of students in Denver as Chair of the DPS Asian Education Advisory Council. In addition, she evaluated and supported new teachers in becoming ELA certified so that they could provide equitable access to education content for Spanish speaking and multi-lingual students.

HOBBIES & INTERESTS This busy resident of Highlands Ranch holds a full plate of outside activities when she is not at Hamilton Middle School, located near Hampden and Tamarac Avenues. With her 14-year-old son, she snowboards, exercises and loves movies. She also runs an Etsy website of homemade organic soaps, lotions and oils, and she doesn’t stop there. She manages a YouTube channel, showcasing her culinary skills called “KB Cooking Made EG.” Learn more and support her campaign at

Asian Education Advisory Council meeting

Japanese teacher visit on August 28, 2019

Rahn with Midori Takeuchi Consul-General of Japan in Denver

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 Priscilla Rahn for CU Regent | asian avenue magazine


Upcoming Event

Nathan Yip Foundation Names Tran and Trong Lam as Honorar y Chairs of its 17th Annual Chinese New Year Celebration Event will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020 The Nathan Yip Foundation will honor community philanthropists, leaders and entrepreneurs, Tran and Trong Lam at its 2020 Chinese New Year Party. The celebration will be held on Saturday, February 8 at the Grand Hyatt Denver downtown, and will feature spectacular entertainment and performances, food and a traditional Night Market to ring in the Year of the Rat. Linda and Jimmy Yip, who founded the Nathan Yip Foundation in 2002 after they lost their only son, Nathan, at 19 years old, have dedicated their lives to empowering students and educators through direct support. They, along with the organization’s small staff, Board of Directors, and advisory committees, engage the local Denver community to support rural education in both Colorado and China. “The naming of our long-time supporters Tran and Trong Lam as Honorary Chairs of this year’s event is very special,” said Jimmy Yip. “Their journey to America, perseverance, and hard work is an example to all young people.” The Heroic Story of Trong & Tran Lam The Lams are owners of three Pacific Ocean Marketplace stores in the Denver metro area, and their journey to this success was long and hard. Trong left communist Vietnam by boat at 17-years-old in 1979 and was sent to Hong Kong to live in a refugee camp. After about a year, he was re-located to Colorado to join his sister who had arrived

just a few months prior. “I was only 18-years-old when I arrived in Colorado,” said Trong. “I lived with my sister in Aurora for a short time and then went to join my uncle in San Jose, California. It was in San Jose that I finished high school, but then came back to Colorado, because I loved it here so much.” By 1985, Trong gained US citizenship and sent for his family. Over time, he was able to bring his family of eight to Colorado where they shared a two-bedroom apartment in Westminster. Trong worked hard as a busboy at many Chinese restaurants to earn money to pay for college. He studied at University of Colorado Denver and eventually earned a degree in Mathematics in 1988. After graduating, Trong immediately began working in retail stores in general merchandising with a dream of someday opening his own store. With money saved and a small business loan, Trong opened his first store on Federal Blvd near Alameda Ave in 1989. In 1989, he also met his future wife, Tran, in Denver. Eventually, they had twin girls and a son. The success of his first store spurred Trong to open a second store in Broomfield in 2005. Understanding how blessed they were to have such a loving family and successful businesses, Trong and Tran began to give back to the community through donations and sponsorships. “We felt very blessed with our success,” said Trong. “It is important for us and for

all businesses to invest in the communities they serve,” he added. In 2014, after many years of hard work, the Lams opened a 100,000-square-foot Asian food-centric plaza in Aurora. Fifty-seven thousand square feet of the plaza is devoted to their third Pacific Ocean supermarket – twice the size of the existing stores. Trong and Tran, with the help of their children and other family members, have built one of the largest specialty supermarket chains in the Rocky Mountain region. “We are so proud to be honored by The Nathan Yip Foundation,” says Trong. “We applaud the foundation’s efforts in working with students in rural Colorado and hope that our story of hard work and success will inspire other young people to reach for their dreams.”

Chinese New Year Party The Nathan Yip Foundation’s February 8, 2020 New Year party, honoring the Lams, will be held at the Grand Hyatt Denver beginning at 5:30 pm. Monies raised will be directed to Nathan Yip Foundation educational projects in rural Colorado and China. This year’s event will expand the popular Night Market, ring in the Year of the Rat and celebrate the Lantern Festival. For more information or tickets, visit the Nathan Yip Foundation website at nathanyipfoundation. org or phone 303.817.8400. Upcoming Event | asian avenue magazine


Cover Story

EATING TO THE NEW YEAR By Jessalyn Herreria Langevin It’s time to say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020. To help bring good luck, fortune, and prosperity into the new year, here are a few New Year’s food traditions to adopt or continue for the celebration.


In northern China, dumplings are a traditional new year’s dish as the shape is reminiscent of the old Chinese ingots (ancient money). Eating dumplings is said to increase the chances of getting rich in the new year.


In China, fish is considered a symbol of luck, wealth, and abundance as its pronunciation is equivalent to the Chinese word for surplus. Traditionally, the fish should not be turned over or flipped as this symbolizes a boat being flipped. In addition, the scales of the fish represent coins, indicating fortune.

The color red is popular for those celebrating Chinese New Year. It symbolizes good luck, good fortune, happiness, and joy. No wonder red is worn during this auspicious celebration. Most people believe red represents vitality, celebration and fertility. Chinese brides wear red during their wedding to bring on more prosperity for the couple. LEGENDS According to old stories passed down for generations, there was a monster called “Nian” (年 = year) who would come out on New Year’s Eve and devour villagers, crops and livestock. Villagers discovered that this beast was afraid of firelights, blasting sounds and the color red. So ev-


January 2020 | Cover Story

Also, the fish should never be finished as this symbolizes hope that the coming year will be one of abundance. Ensuring a good year, the entire fish, from head to tail, is displayed intact for a promise of a full year from beginning to end. It represents moving forward. Also, others believe since fish swim in schools, the symbolism showcases abundance.


Long, uncut noodles are a symbol of long life. The longer the noodles signify the longer one’s life. In the Philippines, the birthday meal includes a noodle dish. This tradition is found in both China and Japan and most Southeast Asian countries. Oh, there’s a catch, don’t break the noodle until it’s in your mouth to ensure good luck. In Japan, long buckwheat noodles symbolize long life, and are

therefore lucky—but only if you eat them without chewing or breaking them. So get your slurping technique down. Then, buckwheat noodles also symbolizes resiliency.

Mandarin Oranges

In Singapore, mandarin oranges are often gifted as the word “orange” sounds like good fortune and gold. When sliced, the mandarin oranges look like gold coins. The shape and sweetness of the fruit are common denominations in the Philippines and throughout Spanish countries in Europe.

Why is red a popular color during Chinese New Year’s festivities? into red envelopes to

ery year before New Year’s Eve, the Chinese would wear red, paste red spring couplets on their doors, let off firecrackers and play the drums.

RED ENVELOPES OR ‘HONG BAO’ Children and grandchildren expect red envelopes from relatives and godparents. In the form of lotto tickets, scratch tickets or even cash, these items are inserted

wish the received prosperity and good luck in the upcoming year. RED DÉCOR Every street, building, and house, where Spring Festival is celebrated, is decked out in red. Red is the main color for the festival. Red, also a primary color, has a bold, defiant tone to it.

With the Lunar New Year on January 25th, we are yet again cycling back to the first animal on the zodiac sign this year, which is the year of the rat. For many people who are not familiar with the qualities of the rat, there may be a skepticism as to what special gifts this animal may offer. Traditionally, most people see rats as pests, and a nuisance to get rid of. However, there are many lessons we can learn from the qualities of rats and what they represent. If you were to take the time to reflect on these qualities, you can apply it to your own health and wellbeing as you move forward into the new decade.

1) Rats are conventionally misunderstood & misjudged. Rats are considered pests, carrying harmful diseases. While true that they may inhabit unsanitary environments, they are also fastidious about their cleanliness. They groom themselves religiously throughout the day. Rats do not intentionally make people sick or harm people, they are merely just trying to survive. Tying this into your own personal life, who is a person you have misjudged recently, or what situation do you feel like you’re holding onto with feelings of angst, limitations or fear? Do you find yourself blaming this person or situation? Suspending your judgements for a moment, what has this person or situation allowed you to learn? What are you willing to take responsibility of?


January 2020| Cover Story

2) Rats are survivors. They find ways to adapt & flourish. Rats can navigate and scavenge in the unlikeliest of places. Despite their environment, they find ways to adapt to and thrive. The energy of the rat asks you to question yourself during times where you feel stuck: What resources do you have in your life that you can use to better yourself, whether it’s physically or mentally? And be honest with yourself, what excuses are you making up that’s keeping you in the same place? And most importantly, do your actions and choices align with your purpose in life--- your WHY? Chances are if you are feeling stuck or you’re not feeling excited about what you’re doing, then it’s time to start redefining that.

3) Rats are sociable & loving. Rats stick together in packs. Each member serves a purpose and by working together all members can live in harmony. Majority of you lead very fast-paced lives, wearing multiple hats. It’s easy to feel like the to-do list is never ending, and every moment is back-to-back with different projects. Let the rats’ sociable and loving qualities be a reminder to celebrate with those in life, and to choose to surround yourself with people who build you up. Finally, let Gusteau from the movie animation Ratatouille summarize the powerful rat that you are inside of you: “You must be imaginative and strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define

LESSONS OF THE RAT How to apply the qualities of the rat to your own health and wellbeing

By Dr. Lynn Tran McDonald

your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.”

1) Start a personal journal. On one end of your journal, go through and check in with yourself and answer some of the questions asked in the preceding paragraphs. Start to find a specific time of the day where you simply allow yourself to write down whatever comes to your mind. This is a great way for you to see how you’ve grown overtime and have a place to express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas. On the opposite end of your journal, write down what you’re grateful for each day and write down quotes that inspire and resonate with you.

2) Find an accountability partner(s) and check in with each other daily.

3) Develop a meditation/breathing practice. One more quality that rats are known for is their focus and intelligence. The practice of mindful breathing and meditation is amazing in calming the nervous system and slowing the conductance of brainwaves to a state of creativity, connection to intuition, and healing. Allowing you retain better memory, learn better, and develop greater clarity in thinking.





Start by asking each other the following variations of questions. Often times, these questions spark insightful, honest, and supportive conversations. Ask each other: • What are you grateful for today? • What are your wins today? And what are your challenges? And how can I help? • What was something new you learned today?

DR. LYNN TRAN MCDONALD is a neurologically based chiropractor, yoga and meditation teacher, and educator at Metro State University. She is passionate about womens’ health, postpartum mothers, and people who struggle with sleep problems and chronic stress. She runs a private practice in Wheat Ridge called Wild & Precious Optimal Living offering chiropractic and community health classes.


To incorporate some of these qualities into your life, here’s what you can do:

Follow Dr. Lynn on free instructions on breathwork, guided meditations and important wellness tips on Facebook. You can ‘like’ & follow her at


Year of the Rat | asian avenue magazine


THE CHINESE ZODIAC What’s in store for 2020? 2020 is the year of the Rat,

starting from January 25, 2020 and lasting until February 11, 2021. It will be a Metal Rat year. The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first. The Chinese zodiac Rat is smart, shrewd, and above all, ambitious. While they do know how to socialize, and they use this skill to control others, they keep their inner lives a closely-held secret. When it comes to work, anything they can accomplish through the least effort exerted is the height of their cleverness. See how the Year of the Rat looks for you.


1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 Rats will face plenty of problems in 2020. It is advisable to learn from these setbacks and use them for progressing in life. This year, cut down on your expenses and save as much money as possible. You also have to be careful about your health, particularly your emotional health. Spirituality and humanitarian activities will go a long way in improving your mental wellbeing. Reduce your stress and try to relax. Proper diet and sound sleep are vital in maintaining your fitness. Love is not favorable for Rat people in 2020. Single people will have problems making new love partnerships. And those in relationships may see problems crop up. Tackle the issues at the initial stage so they do not get out of hand.


1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 The Ox is set to have a fabulous year. You can forget about the rough years of the past. Happier things await in 2020. Also, you can be assured you have the support from friends or family members this year. Financially, 2020 promises to be a highly profitable period. Professionals will do well in their businesses and careers. Of all the Chinese astrology zodiac signs, Ox will be destined to have the most of good fortune in 2020. The year will be breathtaking and extremely eventful. You may not get enough time to relax. But you will be endowed with plenty of physical stamina and mental strength to succeed during the Rat year.


January 2020 | Cover Story


1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010 The Rat year promises to be a wonderful year for the Tiger zodiac with all-round progress in life. You should focus on completing your projects with perseverance and diligence. You must have a schedule for completion of your jobs and strictly adhere to deadlines. Since Tigers are natural leaders, you thrive when given a great deal of responsibility, and especially if risk is involved. Tigers in a relationship or already married may face challenges because of constant travels during the year. All problems can be resolved with dialogue between partners. Single Tigers may not be lucky to get a suitable partner this year, and this may make their life more peaceful. Possibilities of making new friendships are bright.


1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 2020 will be a year of fluctuating fortunes for the Rabbit. It is essential to maintain your composure and be more vigilant. You may face problems because of wrong communication and actions. Financially, the year is not very encouraging. The mildness of the Rabbit will be no match for the dynamic nature and swift actions of the Rat. Hence, Rabbits will have to be ready to face challenging obstacles. However, it will be an excellent year for love. Married couples will have plenty of romance with marital life being highly pleasurable. Single Rabbits will have the support of the stars to get into new relationships. possibly with someone from your friend circle.

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1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 Dragons will have an excellent professional life with the support of colleagues and seniors. 2020 suggests that you will scale higher in your professional career with promotions and salary increases to be expected. The year promises to be a highly peaceful one. You will get many opportunities to enhance your social life by making new connections. This year, you will be more interested in your own activities and will likely avoid love relationships. If you are in a committed relationship, chances are that you will get into squabbles with your partner. In general, you cannot repeat the good things in love from 2019 during this year.


1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013 2020 promises a rewarding year for the Snakes in the Year of Rat. You can forget about the unpleasant things that happened in your life in 2019 and look forward to a pleasant time in 2020. You can receive the year with a peaceful mind. The year of the Rat requires the Snake to be diligent and match the pace of the Rat. If you have to accomplish your goals, it will be necessary to improve your techniques of communication. Predictions for love suggest luck is not on your side in 2020. Marriage life can be made enjoyable by keeping communication open with your spouse. You can also take the help of friends to smooth out the wrinkles in your relationship. Single Snakes may be able to get into new relationships but be sure to take the time to understand the person fully, to avoid problems in the future.


1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 2020 will transform your life extensively. You should review your past mistakes and make changes to your life to grow. The year of the Rat will be quite rough for Horses. As the year is not auspicious on all counts, it makes sense to postpone all important decisions. If you are thinking of investing in a new house, you should postpone it. Do not be in a hurry to change your job or to tie the knot. On the whole, go slow and allow the difficult times to pass. It is important for the Horse to focus on being a team player and setting aside its self-esteem to succeed in the year of the Rat. Be considerate of feelings of others and be compassionate with your associates. The year is convenient for going on a leisure trip with family and friends.


1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015 In 2020, all aspects of your life should be ready to accept changes. Your career, relationships, day to day life and conduct will be transformed. Financial opportunities should not be ruled by greed, and there is a need to control your expenses. The savings you make will come in handy for the future. This year is not promising for expanding your business activities. Professionals can look forward to changing their jobs. Married Goats will have more love and passion in their unions. Single Goats should review their existing partnerships and decide on the continuation of their relationships.


1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016 The year of the metal Rat will alter the lives of Monkeys radically. You will be more dynamic and energetic in your approach to life. Financially, the year will be profitable. You will make progress in your career because of your positive attitude. You should maintain your composure during the year 2020. Socially you will make new connections and will be quite popular with your friends. Overall, 2020 will be an average year for the Monkey including a consistent year for relationships. Things will not be very good or too terrible. You can pass through the year by maintaining the status quo and postponing all crucial decisions to the future.


1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017 The Year of the Rat will be a successful year for the Rooster. The zodiac foretells that Roosters can expect the year to be extremely fortunate in all the areas of life. Roosters’ love lives will be fantastic, and singles will have plenty of opportunities to get into partnerships. The year 2020 promises Roosters fame and recognition with luck on your side. You will have the encouragement and assistance from your coworkers, management, family and friends. While making decisions, you should consider all aspects of the problem. There is no place for rashness in dealing with your colleagues at the workplace. You should be emotionally stable to save your relationships.


1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018 2020 presents a better picture compared to the previous year for the Dog. Your life will be simple and straightforward. In the absence of any serious problems, it is up to you to make the most of your life. You have to pick and choose the areas where you want to advance in your life. Experiences with family and your spouse will be highly delightful. A pleasure trip abroad with your partner is likely. Professionally you will reach your zenith, and you can expect promotions and financial rewards. You will have plenty of opportunities to grow, including the opportunity to change your present job. However, it is not promising to make these changes, and you are advised to stay put in your present job or workplace.


1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019 The year 2020 will be an average year for the Pig. Your career will be at a high point of your life. Professionals and business people will have an extremely productive year. While investing you should go by your gut feeling instead on depending on the expertise of others. Health will be a matter of concern and Pigs should be ready to face small health problems. A source of ill health will be caused by food, so be careful when you eat out. The year is full of exciting possibilities for love. Single Pigs will have the chance to meet their prospective partners. Married couples will have a wonderful year with their union flourishing. Your relationship will be a source of envy for others. Chinese Zodiac | asian avenue magazine


Restaurant Peek

Explore the Only Chinese Skewer BBQ

in Colorado

Photos and Article by Lijin Zhao

Mr. Hao Grill is the only Chinese

skewer barbecue restaurant in Colorado. Located in Aurora, the restaurant serves traditional Chinese skewer barbecue, which is also called “Shaokao” or “Chuan“ in Chinese. In Chinese, the word for skewer barbecue is “Shaokao”. “Shao” means burning and “Kao“ means roasting. In China, it is predominantly found on busy Chinese streets and night markets as street food sold in food stalls and is considered a type of snack. Diners often order beer as an accompaniment. “Shaokao” typically consists of heavily spiced, barbecued food on skewers. It is available in almost all of the cities in China, and is a prominent dish in

the northern part of China, where some restaurants set up food stalls outdoors to purvey the skewers. The main type of meat for “Shaokao” is lamb and beef. Other foods that can be cooked as “Shaokao” including pork (seasoned meat, intestine, fat chunks), fish, scallops, octopus, squid, different types of bean curd or tofu, eggplant, sliced potato, broccoli, squash, cauliflower, scallions, chives, shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, quail eggs, baozi, and more. The skewers are brushed with sesame oil, chili sauce, and sprinkled with a variety of spices such as cumin, coriander, cayenne, dried chili pepper, paprika, pepper. The history of Shaokao is interesting. According to the Chinese classical text, San Zi Jing (Three Character Classic), early ancestors would hunt animals by spearing them. As a means to

help his people, emperor Fuxi made a net and taught civilians how to fish and hunt birds and animals. However, the people were eating the meat raw, which not only tasted terrible but also caused many to become sick. To save the day, Fuxi stole fire from the heavens and taught people

There is nothing in the world that cannot be solved by a Chinese skewer barbecue. If not, then two meals.

Shao Kao


January 2020 | Restaurant Peek

how to barbecue “Shaokao”, so that they could become healthier. In order to commemorate Fu Xi, people called him “the first man to roast animal meat with fire.” The other Chinese word for skewers that Chinese people often use is “Chuan“. Chuan (pronounced “chwan”) are small pieces of meat roasted on skewers over

charcoal or sometimes, electric power. It can be classified as a type of kebab. Chuan was traditionally made from lamb, which is still the most common kind, but now, chicken, pork, beef and various types of seafood can also be used. It is a product of the Chinese Islamic cuisine of the Chinese Muslim population, specifically Uyghurs. They are just one of the many different types of food that reflect a deviation from Chinese cuisine. At Mr. Hao Grill, you can find all kinds of skewers such as lamb, beef, chicken, pork including unusual meats such as lamb kidney, beef ligament, chicken gizzard, grilled whole quail, scalded aorta, pork intestine and so on. Grilled seafood gives you more choices to enjoy: squid, garlic oysters, garlic scallops, shrimp, fish ball, mackerel pike and so on. Aside from the meats, there are options for vegetarians too! Veggies offered include leek, bok choy, enoki mushroom, eggplant and more. If you’re still not full, Mr. Hao Grill also offers noodles, buns, and dumplings with an authentic Chinese flavor. The owner of Mr. Hao Grill comes from northeast China, where skewer BBQ first began. As the only Chinese skewer BBQ restaurant in Colorado, Mr. Hao Grill serves a special genre of authentic Chinese food that is worth a try. Plus they are open until midnight which provides a good place to enjoy a late night snack with friends.

Chuan Mr. Hao Grill Address: 10021 E Hampden Avenue Denver, CO 80231 Phone: 303.284.7873 Open Hours: Mon: Closed Tues - Sat: 12pm - 12am Sun: 12pm - 11pm

Mr. Hao Grill | asian avenue magazine



Serenity Forge offers a different gaming experience

By Mary Jeneverre Schultz

<< Zhenghua Yang Instead of racing through mazes or shooting at ‘bad guys,’ a Boulder-based gaming company is using the tools of video games to teach users about history, culture and even different skills. Serenity Forge aims to develop games as a way to teach history, learn a new skill, and to potentially understand hard concepts such as mental illness. “I want to incorporate teaching into the games,” said Zhenghua Yang, CEO and founder of Serenity Forge. Yang has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 for 2020 ( In fact, he is one of 15 Colorado residents, who are part of this list. Mission Yang knew he wanted to make a difference in video gaming. His philosophy originated from his near-death experience at age 18. He started his company during his high school years in his family’s basement. Now, he owns a company, employing 14 game developers in Boulder. But before his company, he followed a career track in finance with a job at the Federal Reserve. During one of his business trips, sitting in a “fancy” hotel suite, he suddenly realized he wasn’t happy and longed for home, hanging out with his friends and playing video games. “I should have been on top of the world but it wasn’t as good as working in the basement with my friends,” he admitted. He confessed his parents were insecure about his career choices. But he realized


January 2020 | Feature

• Half Past Fate • Once Upon a Coma • Where the Water Tastes Like Wine • Lifeless Planet • The King’s Bird • Four-Sided Fantasy • The Alto Collection • Pinstripe • Ben Wander Presents A Case of Distrust

they were more lenient than most “tiger” type parents because of his near-death experience. Yang shared that even recently his dad inquired politely if he was still playing games. His mom visited his office for the first time and realized his career choice was legitimate after observing his employees working in the office. It’s not just video games. Users, no matter their age, are learning during game interactions. For example, one game teaches the dustbowl era, while another game teaches Chinese culture, railroad stories and the invention of chop suey. “Since kids love video games, I’m always asking how can I make this game better?” Yang asked. “I put the book into the game,” he said. Some of his video games include:

He demonstrated one of his best performing video games, Lifeless Planet. The storyline shares a psychological tale of an astronaut visiting a planet. The astronaut’s entire crew dies and he has a limited time of 24 hours. Gamers need to figure out how to solve any conflicts the astronaut encounters on his journey. Who is Zhenghua Yang? As a resident of Louisville, 29-yearold Yang commutes to Boulder, where his company is located in a nondescript building. He shared his parents’ connection allowed him to lease the office space at a great rate. Yang is thoughtful and intentional in his game production. It shows in his office on how he uses ergonomics for his keyboard, mouse and computer workstations. His work breaks include drinking tea, also known as Pu’er, using appropriate utensils and ensuring the flavors are soothing. Career Path At 18, Yang learned the basics of pro-

Yang and his wife celebrated an Asian-American multicultural themed wedding in 2018.

Yang speaks at the 2015 Denver Comic Con. Photo Credit: Kevin Zhang.

Demoing a Serenity Forge game with Xbox at the 2015 GDC (Game Developers Conference). Photo Credit: Kevin Zhang.

Meeting with Warren Buffett during Yang’s senior year at CU Boulder.

Yang speaks at TEDxCU 2016. Photo Credit: Aleia Amaya.

Showing a Sereinty Forge game to Bill Nye the Science Guy in 2014. Photo Credit: Kevin Zhang.

gramming just through a textbook. But he was diagnosed with a debilitating, severe, chronic blood disorder. Medical doctors indicated he would only have several months to live. He shared this experience through a TED Talk. For the next two years, during recovery, he dived into the gaming world, even logging up to 10,000 hours. Through his gaming, he made friends, who would check in with him. One friend connected him with other medical experts and researchers, who provided advice and tips during his recovery. He realized during his recovery period that he wanted to create meaningful video games with a penchant of learning. Game Development The process of developing games is similar to planning a movie. Starting

with the concept, his team tosses around ideas. Planning the pre-production involves scheduling and budgeting of the proposed game. Other details include developing the pipeline of the video game. For example, the trigger sounds of a gun. What is the process of developing this animation? What other programming is involved with this sound? Depending on different factors, developing a game can take as short as two hours to as long as five years. On an average basis, it takes two years, Yang said. You can find these digital games through online stores, and eventually retailers such as Walmart and Target. The company’s marketing outreach includes exhibiting and attending major conferences. Just last March 2019, he was one of thousands of exhibitors at the

Denver Pop Culture Con in downtown. The company will attend more video conferences such as Game Con, E3, Tokyo Game Show, and China Joy. Company Culture In high school, Yang had no idea he could build a company doing what he loves the most—gaming. He doesn’t consider himself an entrepreneur. He’s not product centered. He is building a company based on “people culture,” which he defines as sharing equal pay policy, equity in the company, vacation days that are up to the employee as long as their work gets done. To learn more about Yang and Serenity Forge, visit or find him on social media at: serenityz or

Serenity Forge | asian avenue magazine




Hollywood in

By Mary Jeneverre Schultz

As we start the new decade of 2020, let’s take a look at Asian American representation in Hollywood. In 2018, Crazy Rich Asians (CRA) catapulted Asian and Asian American actors into Hollywood and Broadway in major leading roles. Joy Luck Club was the first mainstream movie in Hollywood with an Asian American cast back in 1993. Then, it took 25 years for another Hollywood movie to be the second all-Asian cast in CRA. This blockbuster motivated and pushed Hollywood to find the next big “thing.” Hollywood producers are digging deep and searching far and wide for diverse scripts. “If you think about the long arc of Asian exclusion from the Hollywood mainstream, there’s been a lot of headway made in just the past few years,” said Gil Asakawa, Manager of Student Media at the University of Colorado. “The “tsunami” of AAPIs in films and TV shows was really sparked more by “Fresh Off the Boat” than “Crazy Rich Asians,” but the wave that came after CRA has been a powerful force,” Asakawa said. According to the 2019 Hollywood diversity report, only two out of ten lead actors in films are people of color.

vor, Last Christmas and Monsoon. Future films in 2020 will include The Gentlemen and Snake Eyes. Golding was a travel host on BBC’s The Travel Show since 2014. His British accent, good looks and charming smile fits the perfect heartthrob for Asian Americans looking for the Tiger Beat hunk. Looking into the future, Golding is forming a production company called Long House Productions that will give him the ability to churn out more movies. His production company has signed an agreement with China’s Starlight Cultural Entertainment Group, Dream in Dream and Above the Clouds Film.

January 2020 | Feature

Hollywood Mainstream Movies Ms. Purple - Asian-American brother and sister take a journey together in caring for their terminally-ill father. Filmmaker Justin Chon takes this story to Koreatown, Los Angeles. Releasing early January, it’s a drama filled with the many complexities of familial ties. Flashbacks become part of the storyline to understand the intricacies of family. Throw in some survival strategies and it makes one think this may be a common story in major metropolitan cities in the U.S.

Randall Park - In the 30-minute comedy sitcom, Fresh Off the Boat, Park porHustlers - Produced by Jennifer Lopez, trays a faithful husband and father plus this film features Constance Wu, starring as restaurant owner. Then, he takes the Destiny, who tries to make it big with Wall lead role in Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe, Street clientele. Backed into a corner, Destialongside comedian Ali Wong. With new eyes, his female fan base is taking a closer look at this dapper, clean-cut actor.

Asian males are taking more leads in RomComs Here are some actors making big Charles Melton - Korean-American strides in this category: Melton took the lead role in The Sun Is Henry Golding - As the lead actor of Also A Star, released early summer. This CRA, Golding has appeared in several romantic, modern-day film captures mainstream movies such as A Simple Fa- New York in beautiful cityscapes as


Melton and his co-star Yara Shahidi attempt to define their chance encounter. Melton is known for his role as Reggie Mantle in the TV series, Riverdale.

ny and her co-workers devise a scheme to get out of a jam with rich customers.

family. Three teenagers (played by Chloe tresses include Derek Mio, Kiki Sukezane, Bennet, Albert Tsai, and Tenzing Norgay Shingo Usami, Naoko Mori, Miki Ishikwa Trainor) embark on an adventure of a life- and George Takei. The trailers are chilling The Farewell - Billi (played by Awkwa- time to reunite Yeti with his family. as the story gives clues about shape shiftfina), who is Chinese-born and raised ing, ghosts and phantoms. in New York, travels to China with her Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - The family to visit her grandma. Under the character, Rose Tico (played by Kelly MaSaturday Night Live deception of a wedding. her grandma is rie Tran) takes a back seat in this last film Saturday Night Live has enlisted Bowunaware that she has been diagnosed of the trilogy. Fans expressed their dis- en Yang, the first Asian American to join with lung cancer. With two sons, one appointment on Twitter and Facebook its cast. Here’s the kicker: Aurora can living in Japan and the other in the U.S., as they anticipated a bigger role for her. claim him as the local boy making it in they both return to visit her and discuss Tran is the first Asian American actress the big league as he is an alumnus of what to do next. to appear in Star Wars. Smoky Hill High School. Director Lulu Wang created this movie, personal to her as it is based on her Television Series Netflix own family, aunts, and grandmother. Mainstream television is showing Tidying Up with Marie Kondo - Netflix more representation. Asian faces are is ramping up on its Asian series. Earlier appearing more in television shows— in 2019, the streaming channel featured often without “exotic” accents and with- Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up with Marie out constant reminders of foreignness Kondo. The series inspired a movement with overt cultural references though of decluttering and the question, “does Asakawa believes that including cultur- it spark joy?” It is estimated that more al references helps educate non-Asian than 1.2 million viewers watch the show audiences. “There are more and more TV weekly. Parasite - Directed by Bong Joon-ho, commercials with Asians—again, withAlways Be My Maybe - Then, Always Be this movie has made great strides in out stereotypes. No Asians working in My Maybe became a favorite re-watched winning Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film laundries with ‘ancient Chinese secrets’ Festival, the first South Korean movie anymore,” said Asakawa. to win the prestigious top prize. Categorized as black comedy, it is about the Fresh off the Boat - Since 2015, ABC vast differences between wealthy and has featured this comedy sitcom about poor families. A family of four, living in Chinese immigrants who moved to Flordismal conditions of a basement, takes ida from Washington, DC to manage a advantage of a wealthy family of three. restaurant. The sitcom is based on Chef Eddie Huang’s best-selling memoir. AsLast Christmas - Director Paul Feig mix- similating to American culture is fun to es holiday cheer, romance, tragedy and watch as Asian Americans relate on many music from British musician George Mi- different levels, from caring for grandma film on Netflix. This film captured a rechael in this film. But add Henry Golding to navigating the uncertainties of par- alistic outlook of Asian families. Filmed to the blend, and it becomes a holiday enthood. in Vancouver, fans can retrace some of classic for Asian American fans. Both Randall Park and Constance Wu the downtown scenes around Chinaare using the sitcom as a way to lever- town, especially Newton Bakery. The Disney Projects age other film projects. Wu has expand- film company paid the bakery to shut Abominable - With box office count- ed her wings from CRA to Hustlers. Af- down for a day so it could film the scene ing receipts of $175.5 million worldwide, ter six seasons, executives of ABC have of Ali Wong and Randall Parker dining in Abominable is about a magical creature, cancelled the show. More than 100 epi- a dim sum restaurant. the Yeti, and centered around a Chinese sodes have aired since its debut. The last show will air on Feb 21, 2020. The Terror - Cable television channel AMC is featuring this American horror, drama, anthology television series. As the second season, the series subtitled Infamy, is set in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. The actors and acAAPIs in Hollywood | asian avenue magazine


Feature “In movies, look at ‘Always Be My Maybe’ and ‘The Farewell.’ Both got rave reviews and “mainstream” (meaning non-Asian) audience acceptance,” said Asakawa. “Both show small and large details about Asian and Asian American cultural values and traditions, and that’s just great.”

A Little Late with

Lilly Singh

Wu Assasins - Categorized as a supernatural active crime drama, this series is centered on an unassuming San Francisco chef, who becomes the latest in a long line of assassins chosen to keep the mystical Wu powers out of the Cunanan in FX’s The Assassination of Giwrong hands. anni Versace: American Crime Story. In recent news, Awkwafina, also Influential Actors and Actresses known as Nora Lum, has been nominatLast February, Rami Malek won as ed for a Golden Globe award (best acOscar award for best actor in ‘Bohemi- tress). She is visible in commercials and an Rhapsody,’ the story of Indian British in movies such as Ocean’s 8, Jumanji: The rocker, Freddie Mercury. Pixar’s ‘Bao’ di- Next Level, Neighbors 2, Storks, Dude, and rected by Chinese director Domee Shi Paradise Hills. More projects for her are won an Oscar for best animated short. coming out in 2020, which include The Sandra Oh, the night’s co-host and the Sponge Bob Movie: Sponge on the Run, star of BBC America’s Killing Eve won a Raya and the Last Dragon, Breaking News Golden Globe for best actress in a drama. in Yuba County, and The Prom. Filipino Darren Criss won best actor in a In 2017, Lilly Singh was ranked tenth limited series for his portrayal of Andrew on the Forbes list of the world’s highest


January 2020 | Feature

paid YouTube stars, earning a reported $10.5 million. Last September, NBC announced Singh as the host of A Little Late with Lilly Singh, joining the ‘boys club’ of late night TV. What’s Next The combined buying power of people of color reached $3.9 trillion in 2017, and these growing, diverse audience segments watched more television on a per capita basis than their White counterparts, according to 2019 Hollywood diversity report. Perhaps, economics will dictate the change.

1. What DAAPIC accomplishment are you the most proud of during your tenure as a commissioner? For the past few years, DAAPIC has focused a great deal on making ourselves accessible and also known as resource for the AAPI community. We still have work to do but I’m so very proud of the level of accessibility and communication we have achieved with Denver AAPIs both online and through our presence out in the community. 2. What do you think DAAPIC still has to do in 2020? In 2020 I’m looking forward to taking the great feedback we have received from the community and use the tools we have as a commission to elevate AAPI voices and affect meaningful change within the city.

Q& A

DAAPIC Column where I would eventually decide to end up long term. 5. Tell us about your role with Mile High United Way. In my current role, I have the opportunity to partner with leaders and community organizations to plan and implement Mile High United Way’s economic mobility efforts to achieve systems changes and positive outcomes for individuals and families in the community.

3. Did you grow up with your Asian culture? How does your heritage show up in your life today? I was lucky to grow up in Northern California in a town called Lodi which had a good amount of diversity including a large Asian community. My dad was born and raised in Lodi and my mom is from Honolulu, Hawaii. My brother, sister and I are mixed being half Japanese and half white. I think my parents did a great job of integrating pieces of our Japanese heritage and my mom’s upbringing in Hawaii in a way that made us curious and proud of where we came from. Not to mention my mom’s amazing cooking which was an important tie to our Asian identity. Today, that curiosity around where my family came from has led to a life of Patrick works at Mile High seeking out and cherishing stories of not United Way and has been a only my family but those of other Japacommissioner on the Denver nese-Americans. And through organizaAsian American Pacific Islander tions like DAAPIC, I am constantly seeking out opportunities to engage with Commission for two years. and champion other Asian communities. He is hapa— half Japanese and

Patrick Walton

4. What brought you to Denver? I moved out to Denver after I graduated from college. Jobless, I moved out to Colorado as a place to strategize the first move in my career unaware that this is

half white.

Interview by Gil Asakawa

6. How can the AAPI community connect with and support the United Way? Mile High United Way has a number of incredible programs including our 2-1-1 Call Center, a confidential and multilingual service that refers callers to health and human service resources. Our 2-1-1 Call Center is a great resource for anyone in the AAPI community that is trying to connect with services or resources and isn’t quite sure where to start their search or how to get there. Our organization’s mission is to unite people, ideas, and resources to advance the common good. We know that Mile High United Way can only achieve these goals if we have everyone at the table and that includes our AAPI non-profit and philanthropic communities. I encourage anyone that is interested in partnering or investing in our work to reach out! 8. What’s your favorite Asian restaurant in Denver? All of them, especially those that are “all you can eat.” A special shout out to my fellow commissioner Shauna Medeiros-Tuilaepa’s Polynesian food truck No Ke Aloha. The Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission (DAAPIC) serves as a support liaison and facilitator between the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Denver, the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships and the office of the Mayor of Denver. For more information, visit: denvergov/en/human-rights-and-community-partnerships/our-commissions/ asian-pacific-american-commission.html

DAAPIC Column | asian avenue magazine


Food Culture

Put the straw in the coconut

By Mary Jeneverre Schultz

The first time I heard about coconuts was from my father, Victor Herreria. Growing up poor in a village in Ilocos Norte, Philippines, he used to climb coconut trees to gather the coconuts. He sold his harvest to a local market as his weekly allowance in the countryside of the Philippines. My father retold and repeated his coconut stories to tell his four children how lucky we were living in the U.S. As children, we groaned each time he told the story. I didn’t realize the weight of coconuts and how hard it was to climb a high coconut tree until I visited the Philippines. When I travel all over the world, whether it is to the Philippines, Mexico or the Caribbean, I always stop to buy a coconut from the street vendors and think about my daddy. What is a coconut? In the plant categories, a coconut is a fibrous one-seeded drupe, also known as a dry drupe. However, when using loose definitions, the coconut can include all three: 1) fruit, 2) nut, and 3) seed.

In Nassau, Bahamas, coconut stands are found throughout the islands.


January 2020 | Food Culture

Places coconuts are grown Coconut palms are grown in more than 90 countries and territories of the world, with a total production of over 59 million tons, according to figures from 2016. Most of the world productions are found in tropical Asia, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and India. The Asian countries account for more than 72 percent of the world’s production. Health benefits of coconuts Coconut water may be the perfect beverage for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise. Electrolytes are minerals that play several important roles in one’s body, including maintaining proper fluid balance. They include potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium. It’s the natural “Gatorade.” It’s an experience In Mexico, Jamaica or even the Philippines, it’s an experience to watch the vendor cut the coconut with an over-sized

Coconuts are common tropical, nonalcoholic beverages in Tijuana.

machete and see the peelings fly off the fruit. At the end of the five-minute show, it’s time to drink the gritty, sweet coconut water. Depending on the type of coconut, you can also sample the jelly part of the coconut, too. Popular ingredient in Asian cuisine Coconuts are popular ingredients for many dessert dishes. In the Philippines, buko pies are homemade country desserts made from scratch. Chefs from India also include coconuts in their dishes, especially the curry entrees. Coconuts are also infused in Thai dishes. Don’t wait to visit an international country to sample the inside flesh or liquid parts of coconuts. It is sold in most grocery chains, Asian markets and organic outlets. Take a chance and order a coconut-based entrée from your favorite Asian restaurant. Follow Mary Jeneverre Schultz on Instagram or Twitter @Jeneverre.

This Jamaica stand is a popular one as vendors cut off tops of the coconuts.

Tips for Icy and Snow Packed Roads

We are getting into the middle of snow season. Car accidents are going to be at an all time high with higher numbers of drivers on the road. Meteorologists are expecting this winter to have above average snowfall and lower than normal temperatures meaning icy roads! Our team at Aim High Chiropractic cares for your safety so we would like to offer some tips that many people over see or forget about. Please take note and drive carefully when there is snow on the ground and the temperatures are below freezing.





6 7


Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.

Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.

3 4

Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists. Keep your lights and windshield clean.

Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.

Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.

Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.

Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.

Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and frontwheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads. 4 Convenient Locations in: Denver | Aurora | Wheat Ridge | Greenwood Village

Advertorial | asian avenue magazine


Book Review

The Incendiaries Author: R. O. Kwon ISBN: 978-07-3521-3890 | Pages: 224 Publisher: Riverhead Books

Photo Credit: Smeeta Mahanti

Connect with the Author: Website: | | Set in a small college town, The Incendiaries puts readers at the center of a powerful drama in which a young Korean American woman becomes ensnared in an extremist cult with North Korean ties, while her boyfriend—an ex-Christian fundamentalist himself—desperately attempts to free her from its clutches. Calling to mind other Riverhead classics like Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker and Brit Bennett’s The Mothers, Kwon vividly illustrates young people at a crisis point in their lives, wrestling with who they are and who they imagine they can be. How they come out on the other side—or don’t—is enthralling and complex storytelling conveyed in Kwon’s brilliant, poetic style. Partly inspired by Kwon’s own difficult separation from religion years ago, The Incendiaries is a timely and provocative exploration of how our personal histories and our beliefs --- in religion, politics, and others --- help shape who we are, and how they can lead us to rationalize the dangerous choices we make.

About the Author R.O. Kwon’s nationally bestselling first novel, The Incendiaries, is being translated into five languages. Named a best book of the year by more than 40 publications, it is an American Booksellers Association Indie Next #1 Pick and an Indies Introduce selection. The Incendiaries was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award for Best First Book, Los Angeles Times First Book Prize, and Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Prize. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Paris Review, BuzzFeed, NPR, and elsewhere.


Bilingual in Vietnamese


143 Union Blvd. Suite #120 Lakewood, CO 80228 Direct: 303-985-4555 Cell: 303-669-5255




January 2020 | Book Review

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