STAFF Scion Project Manager: Jeri Yoshizu, Sciontist Editor: Eric Ducker Music Editor: Jeremy Dillahunt Creative Direction: Scion Art Director: Ryan Di Donato Production Director: Anton Schlesinger Graphic Design: Nick Acemoglu, Thomas Bongiorno, Cameron Charles Copy Editor: Caroline McCloskey Automotive Editor: Stephen Gisondi Automotive Copywriter: Martina Chaconas Automotive Photographers: Dave Folks, Jeff Li
CONTRIBUTORS Writers: Jonathan Cunningham, Edwin “Stats” Houghton, Evan Shamoon Photographers: Greg Bojorquez, Cheryl Dunn, Chris Granger, Phil Jackson, Neil Krug, Carmen Luceno, Christopher L. Mitchell, Bryan Sheffield Illustrator: Evelyn Lee Cover Illustration: Dust La Rock
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L I T T L E A M E R I C A
A CITY’S CHINATOWN OR LITTLE ITALY USED TO BE A STARTING POINT, A SMALL POCKET IN A BIG PLACE WHERE PEOPLE COULD SURROUND THEMSELVES WITH THE FAMILIAR AND GET THEIR BEARINGS BEFORE PUSHING INTO THE BROADER CULTURE. AS MORE COUNTRIES BECAME REPRESENTED IN THE UNITED STATES, MORE OF THESE TYPES OF N E I G H B O R H O O D S E M E R G E D— L I T T L E P O R T U G A L , KOREATOWN, LITTLE ARMENIA AND SO ON. THEN THEY WEREN’T JUST A SERIES OF METROPOLITAN BLOCKS, THEY CAME TO DEFINE WHOLE SUBURBS AND TOWNS. STILL THEY OFTEN REMAINED A POINT OF ENTRY, A PLACE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION TO ABANDON WHEN THEY WERE READY. BUT NOW MORE AND MORE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE CHOOSING TO STAY OR R E T U R N T O T H E M— G E T T I N G I N V O L V E D A N D I M P R O V I N G THE COMMUNITIES THAT RAISED THEM. THIS MAGAZINE IS FILLED WITH PEOPLE WHO DEFINE THEMSELVES BY WHERE THEY ARE FROM.
RAJSTAR EDISON, NEW JERSEY INTERVIEW BY EDWIN “STATS” HOUGHTON PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHERYL DUNN My name is Raj Makhija and the alias I go by for production and music is RajStar. My parents were both born in India. My dad was born in Vijapur, which is about two hours from Bombay and my mom is from Lucknow. They actually both migrated to India from the Sindh region which is now in Pakistan—but they were there before partition. My grandparents had to seek refuge once the whole partition started happening and there was a lot of war, which is why my father went to Vijapur in a refugee camp and my mom ended up in Lucknow. They met over here, actually, in the United States. I was about two years old when I moved to New Jersey from Delaware. I loved everything about growing up in Edison, because I had the best benefits of the suburbs—I could hang out in the quiet grass yard and all that—and at the same time I was close to Manhattan, which is the center of the world as far as I’m concerned. There was a lot of Western influence because I’m in Jersey, I’m in America, and I’m growing up with that, but at the same time Edison started to have a very concentrated Desi influence as well. There was an influx of South Asians, and as I got older there ended up being more and more. That was great, because that’s where my roots are. When my father first came to Edison there was one Indian restaurant and maybe one Indian-owned jewelry store. Now you can’t even count them. Although there’s a huge concentration of South Asians, there are a lot of East Asians as well, a lot of Koreans and Japanese and Chinese, but it’s equally mixed with black people, white people. It’s totally a melting pot. Even as far as the South Asian population, I would say it’s a cross section. There’s a lot of Pakistanis, there’s a lot of Indians. There’s a lot of North Indians, there’s a lot South Indians. In Edison I would say the heart of the Desi community revolves around Oak Tree Road, in the Iselin area. An apartment complex called Hilltop was one of the first concentrated areas where a lot of South Asians were moving. I grew up just across the street
from Hilltop, right off of Oak Tree Road. Actually my first job was at the Dairy Queen there, which is now called India Palace. If I took you to Edison I would definitely take you to Ali Baba’s on Oak Tree Road. I’m a big food guy, so food first. They got everything from sheek kebabs, chicken tikka masala, whatever you want, 24 hours— kinda like the Madina in Brooklyn. I would take you to Moghul, which is more of an upscale, sit-down restaurant, mostly North Indian food. Aside from that, I would probably take you to a movie theater. One of the things that’s unique about Edison is that as Indian movies started getting shown in mainstream cinemas, usually it was just Bollywood films or Hindi films. In Edison you have the Tollywood pictures based out of the south of India, plus Tamil-speaking and Malayalispeaking and Telugu-speaking films too. The diversity of the environment definitely affected the way I make music. As long as I can remember, I was listening to Stevie Wonder and Earth Wind & Fire records at home. But at the same time, I was listening 8
to Bappi Lahiri and S.D. Burman and A.R. Rahman. Then I would go to school and hear music from all these different cultures, like salsa and merengue. I was also playing marching band music. I was in this program called Jazz for Teens and over there I got to work with cats that actually played with Dizzy Gillespie. My mom sings Sindhi songs, my father plays tabla and my brother plays dhol, so just being around my family I was always exposed to music, before I could even really talk. My parents would be performing in little circles. They would get together with their friends and do music parties and I would be playing tambourine or some kind of percussion when I was really, really young. In Sindhi music, the main instrument you hear is baja or harmonium, like an accordion. You hear tabla, you hear dhol or dholki, and you hear a vocalist. My mom is also involved with Hindustani classical music through the Pandit Jasraj School, and that got me involved in doing some work for the school. And that got me involved in doing some work directly for Pandit Jasraj and some of his disciples like Tripti Mukherjee. The project I’m focusing on a lot right now is called Rahman Noodles. It’s a concept album I’m putting together where I’m taking A.R. Rahman’s music and mashing Childhood photography by Vasudev Makhija
it up with a lot of different artists. For example, I might mash it up with Jay-Z, I might mash it up with Michael Jackson. I first was obsessed with the Roja soundtrack. Then high school came along and it was films like Dil Se with “Jiya Jale.” Recently, everyone knows about A.R. Rahman because of Slumdog Millionaire, and I was actually in India when he won the Golden Globe and the Oscar and all that stuff happened. A lot of people don’t put it together that Edison is called Edison because of Thomas Edison. He invented the first lightbulb there. I don’t really know of anybody since who’s put Edison on the map, which is kind of a void that needs to be filled and that’s one of my goals: to carry Edison on my back, to make people a little more aware of where it is and what it’s about. rajstar.com - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - WATCH CHERYL DUNN’S FILM ABOUT EDISON, NEW JERSEY AT SCIONAV.COM/LIFESTYLE/SCIONMAGAZINE. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G N A D TOM The stuff that we do here at Sub-Sand is mainly a combination of the South Vietnamese and South Vietnamese/Chinese cooking styles. I learned from different restaurants I worked with when I was younger. I got here from Vietnam when I was pretty young, like 13 years old. I still have memories of the International District from the early ’80s, like back in 1982. Back then there weren’t that many shops or restaurants around here. Or if I looked for Chinese comics, I didn’t know where to buy them. I would have to go all the way up to Vancouver.
THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT INTERVIEW BY JONATHAN CUNNIGHAM
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARMEN LUCENO
For the last 20 to 25 years, I have seen a lot of changes around here, lots of new shops as a younger generation pops up. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all in business now, and that brings more changes. You can see a lot of different cultures, anything from Vietnamese food to Japanese food to Korean food, Thai, Cantonese.
The I.D. was the first place I chose to start a business. I grew up in the I.D. and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked a lot in different places in the I.D., so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m used to the people and all the businesses. I started the hobby shop right across the street from here back in 1993. That was the first business we owned. Sub-Sand is the second one. It probably came up around 16 months ago. I planned to open up a sandwich shop and was looking for a location here like 10 years ago. I talked to the woman who owned this place and she said she was going to sell the business to me. I waited and waited and waited, but she was so strong and she wanted to go on for a couple more years. Then, finally, she had to give it up because of her knee, so I came in and took the place over. I started fixing it up, remodeling it, knocking everything down and rebuilding it the way I wanted.
I came up with all the sandwiches. When I looked around there were so many sub shops in this neighborhood, so I thought to myself, I might have to do something different than what they do. I combined a little bit of this and that from what I learned along the way before I got here. I kept trying recipes for like two months at home. I was eating a lot of sandwiches before I opened up. We knocked it down to a few items from 100 and try to stay with the best. I still have pretty high hopes regarding the local neighborhood businesses, even as living costs have gone up and people are still struggling. What we try to do here is to keep food at a fair price and try to have it where people around here can afford it. Come and get a quick lunch bite. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT AT SCIONAV.COM/LIFESTYLE/SCIONMAGAZINE. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
INTERVIEW BY ERIC DUCKER PHOTOGRAPHY BY PHIL JACKSON I WAS RAISED IN MOUNT PLEASANT. I CAME TO THE UNITED STATES WHEN I WAS TWO YEARS OLD WITH MY FAMILY. I GREW UP IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, I WENT TO SCHOOL THERE. MY BROTHER, SISTER, MOM AND GRANDMOTHER ALL LIVED WITH US FOR A LONG TIME IN DIFFERENT BUILDINGS IN THAT AREA. IT’S CENTRAL AMERICAN. MY FAMILY IS FROM EL SALVADOR. THERE WERE MEXICANS, GUATEMALANS, DOMINICANS, HONDURENOS.
A lot of people had different family members or friends who lived around the neighborhood. When we moved with my grandma, we were in a two-bedroom basement apartment. In one room was me, my sister, my brother, my mom and my grandma. In the living room was my aunt and my uncle. And in another room was family friends and other family members. We were all bunched up just to help each other out. That’s how people start living in the area, to get settled and be near the people they know. We were there for maybe six years and then my mom got us a studio apartment. The house I live in now is the house that she eventually bought. The high school in Mount Pleasant is Bell Multicultural, but I basically went there for one year. I went to Woodrow Wilson and that’s where I graduated from. It was out of our boundary, but we got special permission. The field next to it used to be where they had the Hispanic soccer games on the weekends. Everyone from the Virginia, Maryland and Mount Pleasant areas used to go there to watch. Everyone used to hop in the truck or van. The ladies used to sell pupusas, carne asada, whatever.
The Bestway supermarket has been there forever. The owners are Vietnamese or Korean, but they’ve always had Latino workers there. They started bringing in products from African and Vietnamese and Hispanic cultures. That’s the store that represented us, the store where we could get home goods. They would stock the Salvadoran cheese, the sour cream, some fruits and vegetables that they would import in from Colombia or Guatemala. Heller’s Bakery, that’s the oldest bakery in that area and the only one. The coffee and the pastries are what they’re known for. I grew up in Heller’s Bakery. My mom used to treat us with donuts after school or before school. People started moving out of Mount Pleasant because of the riots in 1991. It got crazy. It was like a battlefield. People left and the neighborhood started getting a little better in like ’98. Now it’s much better. The streets are cleaner, there is more security, the restaurants are much better.
They started having the farmer’s market every spring, summer and a little bit of fall at the circle where the bus turns around. Now they also have the Mount Pleasant Festival every year. That’s where they celebrate the people’s Spanish heritage. All the countries do their parades with the dances, they sell food, artists come and sing, the mayor tries to get re-elected. People I grew up with, people I went to school with, people who lived in the same building, they all come back. It’s rare we get to see each other.
THE BEST WAY SUPE RMAR KET’ S OWNE RS ARE VIET NAME SE OR KORE AN, BUT THEY ’VE ALWA YS HAD LATI NO WORK ERS. THEY STAR TED BRIN GING IN PROD UCTS FROM AFRI CAN AND VIET NAME SE AND HISP ANIC CULT URES . THAT ’S THE STOR E THAT REPR ESEN TED US.
Bestway supermarket, Mt. Pleasant, Washington DC
INTERVIEW BY EVAN SHAMOON PHOTOGRAPHY BY NEIL KRUG I’m a documentary filmmaker, and a few years ago I made a film about west side Long Beach called 810LOGY, because our zip code is 90810. It’s about my skateboard crew in high school, which was a multi-ethnic crew that started back in 1994. It talks about some of the things we had to deal with being pretty much the first skaters on the west side: hating, dealing with the police. It’s funny, but that was just the situation we were living in. At the time, to see a black kid or Filipino kid skate was rare. But things have changed. Now everybody skates. The other week, I was going around doing street interviews, asking people what the problems in the neighborhood are and what the city should
be doing. We went to Admiral Kidd Park near my house, and the kids turned it into a skate spot. We never had that back in the day because Admiral Kidd Park was a gang territory. But now the kids have definitely made that their space. And the opening of the skate shop on Santa Fe and Willow called West Wing definitely played a part in building that skating community for the young people. I’ve been using film as a tool to educate. It’s one of the components of my community— organizing work as a member of this youth and student organization, AnakBayan, which means “children of the nation” in Tagalog, the Filipino language. We put on workshops in Long Beach, Los Angeles and Carson to address issues that affect the Filipino community and especially the youth, and connect them with the issues back in the Philippines.
Images from Filipinotown in Long Beach, California
On top of that I’m a DJ for a crew called Mass Movement. I just started a part-time job, teaching DJing to youth, through the Youth Policy Institute, a non-profit that does afterschool programs. I work at this charter school in the Wrigley area that works with kids who just came off probation. Oh yeah, and I’m a substitute teacher for the Bellflower Unified School District. I grew up in a Navy family. It wasn’t a gated community, but it was more protected and safe from the rest of the community. My family would go to church on the base and I went to a Catholic school from 1st to 4th grade in the Wrigley area at a church called Holy Innocence. That was a really tight-knit Filipino community in itself. In 5th grade, my mom, being a teacher, wanted me to go to the public school system where they had honors or magnet programs. That was my first exposure to the greater community on the west side. From then on it was all public schools that I went to. That’s when I got into breakin’, and more into hip-hop, really. The big thing in Long Beach was housing-folks
wearing Cross Colours, wearing bright colors, shaving their heads except for their bangs. That was like the new version of breakin’ in the early ’90s. After housing started dying down, people started going into the original breakin’. I started watching Wild Style, Style Wars and Breakin’—those were the only resources available to me at that time. I would go downtown to the Long Beach Library and I’d watch the breakdancing parts over and over, trying to learn them. That was a big thing for me, actually researching and learning about hip-hop—apart from what was just on the radio at that time. There’s another park on the northern part of the west side called Silverado Park. That used to be a center where one of our friends, Rod Soriano, started a krump dancing crew called Rice Track a couple years ago. They actually were featured for a few minutes in that movie Rize. Because
the homie Rod was the organizer of it and used to work at that park, they would practice there. It was actually a really big thing for those kids to get them away from going into gangs. But like with other things, people started working, a lot of those folks don’t even dance anymore. Now everybody is jerkin’. It’s just the evolution of culture, man, from big jeans to skinny jeans, from breakin’ to krumping to jerkin’. The young generation is always gonna come up with something on their own. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - WATCH A FILM BY NEIL KRUG SET IN FILIPINOTOWN AT SCIONAV.COM/LIFESTYLE/SCIONMAGAZINE. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
MIKE MOSALLAM dearborn, michigan. INTERVIEW BY ERIC DUCKER PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRYAN SHEFFIELD I was born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan. Both of my parents immigrated there from Lebanon. They’re both from villages in the south. They didn’t know each other there, but they were actually in neighboring villages. When they came to the States they ended up living across the street from each other and essentially grew up together in their teen years and then got married. They stayed in Dearborn and raised their family. There was kind of a flowchart of immigration. You would start in the South End and then you were sort of promoted to the East End, and eventually to the West End and to other suburbs of Detroit. I grew up in the East End and now my parents live in the West End. The main two Arab countries represented in the Metro Detroit area are Lebanon and Iraq. It’s the highest concentration of Arabs outside of the Middle East. I’m sure there’s a spattering of other Arab countries, but predominantly it’s a Lebanese and Iraqi community. In the South End of Dearborn you will find everything bilingual. In the East End, the store signage is almost all bilingual. All of the school literature goes out in both English and Arabic. There’s a communal observance of Muslim holidays and traditions. The schools will coordinate their breaks with Muslim holidays. Some of the fast food restaurants in Dearborn sell halal meat. It’s fairly new that it’s been like that, maybe 20 or 30 years, but for me it’s been my whole life. Shatila bakery is world-renowned. It’s a bakery that delivers all over Europe, the Middle East and North America. They make all of these authentic Middle Eastern sweets and cakes and whatnot. Trays of baklawa are the Middle Eastern version of a holiday basket and are sent for any and all occasions. They’re not really great for my diet. You’re seeing the younger generation getting involved in politics now. People my age are running for City Council. People my age are sitting on boards for events and organizations. Ali Sayed just ran for City Council. He didn’t win, but he ran a very aggressive campaign that was social network heavy.
I think my generation is now taking a more active role in Dearborn as their community. There’s less moving out of here and more making Dearborn the best it can be. Previously they’d move to other communities around Detroit: Canton, West Bloomfield, Birmingham. There would just be a little shift out of the bubble, but close enough to come home. I’ve recently moved back to Michigan for a job. I’ve moved back from New York, where I lived for eight years. I don’t live in Dearborn, but I’m there a lot. My official title is Director of Film Initiatives for Wayne County, which basically means that I’m the film commissioner for the Southeast Michigan area. Michigan has the largest taxincentive program to lure film production companies to film their projects in the state. I work for Wayne County, which represents the city of Detroit and the 42 surrounding communities, to promote business attraction and retention. It’s basically bringing film companies to the area, as well as to the state at large, and working on infrastructure and studio deals. It’s also working on workforce development in getting people trained and hired for jobs on the film sets. Last year the state saw 125 million dollars in new money, and that was in the ’08 to ’09 financial year. They’re just finishing up the count for what happened in ’09. There were 35 films shot here during the ’08 to ’09 financial year, and we’ve already exceeded that number this year and probably will double it. One of the biggest things we have is the Arab American National Museum. This is the only Smithsonian-endorsed institution in Southeast Michigan. It’s not bound to any religion or specific Arab country, it’s all-inclusive of Arab and Arab-American culture. For me the best thing they offer is a Global Thursdays series where they bring in musicians and artists from all genres and hold performances. They do this biennial program called DIWAN, which is an arts conference of all these various Arab artists from fine arts, performing arts, spoken word, dance and music. My favorite Arabic restaurant is my mother’s kitchen. I’m a vegetarian for nearly two years now, and the only meat I miss is my mother’s kibbeh, which is essentially a raw meat dish. But it’s very easy to be a vegetarian and Middle Eastern. Bean stews and dips, hummus, baba ghanoush, salads, vegetables, lemons and olive oil are very prominent in Arab cooking. I’m 30 and I just went to the Middle East for the first time. I went to Lebanon, and the whole time I was there I was thinking about why it took me so long to come. I think that growing up in Dearborn 28
I was so immersed in Arab-American culture that I felt like I had been there my whole life, but it was my first time stepping on the soil. In Lebanon, they definitely know Dearborn. At night when I would go out, and people said, “Where are you from?” I would say, “Michigan,” and everyone would instantly say, “Dearborn.” GET MORE ON MIKE MOSALLAM’S PARENTS’ IMMIGRATION STORY AT SCIONAV.COM/LIFESTYLE/SCIONMAGAZINE.
I JUST WENT TO THE MIDDLE EAST FOR THE FIRST TIME.I WAS THINKING ABOUT WHY IT TOOK ME SO LONG TO COME. GROWING UP IN DEARBORN I WAS SO IMMERSED IN ARAB-AMERICAN CULTURE THAT I FELT LIKE I HAD BEEN THERE MY WHOLE LIFE.
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS MANHATTAN NEW YORK INTERVIEW BY JEREMY DILLAHUNT PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHERYL DUNN
What is Dominican? It’s hard to say when you’ve grown up in a Dominican family. You know it when you see it. In the Dominican Republic, you have Chinese Dominicans, Lebanese Dominicans, African Dominicans, German Dominicans and on and on. I can tell if someone is from Azua or Santiago or Pedernales just by the way they hold themselves or by the way they style it. Dominicans in America are a lot more open than Dominicans from the Republic. In the Republic, it’s very racially segregated and there’s just not that much opportunity. My grandparents came to New York because they were optimistic that they could do better for themselves and for their families. Around holidays, if you are at the airport, there will be a Dominican family with like a hundred pieces of luggage stuffed with everything from Frosted Flakes to erasers, bringing back everything we take for granted to their families still in the Dominican Republic. The importance of family is something that Dominicans share. It’s like a mafia, the way we work. If one person in the family is in trouble, then the whole family is in trouble. You tell one person in your family something and by the end of the day the whole family knows it. I’m talking about cousins down the block, too. It creates a lot of arguments when we get together, but Dominicans love to argue so it’s okay. We’ll argue about
boyfriends, sports and even hair. I’m not kidding, we love to argue about hair. Despite the arguing, we like to get the family together and entertain. Any excuse will do: a baby shower, a wedding, a birthday or just Sunday afternoon. Growing up, I spent every Sunday at my grandma’s house. She didn’t speak any English, but we loved to watch Law & Order and Who’s the Boss? while the rest of the family danced, got their hair did and argued. Grandma would cook rice, beans and chicken for me. I’m a picky eater, and my uncle, the one who nicknamed me Maluca, would always bring a cheesecake from Zabar’s. “Maluca” means a lot of things. In Brazil, it means “crazy girl,” in the Dominican Republic it means “mean girl,” in Lebanese it means “queen-like,” and in most of Latin America it just means “ugly.” So I’m a queen-like, ugly, mean and crazy girl. Keeping that name is just my sense of humor. Once I went to a party dressed up as Frida Kahlo at a tropical rave. I try to stick things together that don’t necessarily go together, like a merengue line on top of an acid house line. I like to make fun of myself, like in the video for my song “El Tigeraso,” where I’ve got aluminum cans as rollers in my hair. Making that video was fun. some people take it seriously, but it’s just about the street hustlers with swag and style up in Washington Heights throwing game at the girls. It got to a point where it was just crazy the way we used to get hollered at. Dudes would just get in your face so hard that we would cross the street to try and avoid them. If you are a woman, it doesn’t matter what kind of woman you are, if you get off on the number 1 train on 135th Street and head up Broadway, you are going to get hollered at, crazy-style. But I don’t think that’s just a Dominican thing, I think it’s a Caribbean thing. If you go to Puerto Rico, it’s like that. Jamaica is like that. If you go to Bed-Stuy, they are hollering at you like that. It’s not just a Dominican thing. Men are men. Maluca’s “El Tigeraso” single is available on Mad Decent Records.
CHECK OUT MALUCA AND HER FAMILY SPINNING TALES ABOUT WASHINGTON HEIGHTS ANTHEMS AT SCIONAV.COM/LIFESTYLE/SCIONMAGAZINE.
INTERVIEW BY ERIC DUCKER PHOTOGRAPHY BY GREG BOJORQUEZ
I’m originally from the border of Texas and Mexico, and the city is called Eagle Pass, Texas. I come from a migrant farmworker family and my dad is a Tejano musician. My mom always wanted to go to college. At the time, her family only allowed the men to go to college. She wanted to go to St. Edward’s University in Austin, because in the 1970s, St. Edward’s started a College Assistance Migrant Program. She was working full-time at Wal-Mart and later she decided to go back to school and she became a teacher eventually. I applied to St. Edward’s University and I got accepted to the program that my mom wanted to attend. I came here in 1998 and graduated in 2003 with a teacher’s degree. I’m certified to teach elementary school but I didn’t go that route, actually. I became really involved in political issues in college. I joined
MEChA, which is Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlin. Because of MEChA, I was introduced to Susana Almanza and Sylvia Herrera, who were cofounders of PODER here in Austin. It stands for People Organized in the Defense of Earth and her Resources. It’s an environmental justice organization. In 2001 they were looking for a coordinator to run the summer youth program. The first thing we did was start a bus-riders union. Me and the high school students went out and surveyed bus riders to see their recommendations. Finally, I got my degree and was ready to go teach, but because I was so involved I felt I couldn’t leave it and that I wanted to dedicate my life and my career to developing the programs
at PODER. I became the codirector with Susana Almanza in 2003, and I’ve been here ever since. After I graduated, I just lived in apartments, but I bought my home eventually. I bought the home I’m in now four years ago. Something that my family really instilled in me is to have a home and settle your roots. I think I was just 25 when I first got my home. The neighborhood is called Southeast Austin. We’re pretty much on the outskirts of town. It’s really isolated over here, but I love the community. It’s not like Central East Austin. I think it’s a lot livelier there. Over here people are just working all the time.
Probably one of the reasons I don’t want to leave Austin is that I feel a sense of community here. By being involved and trying to improve it you meet a lot of people who really care. I guess you can find community wherever you go, but Austin has a very rich history, too. PODER has been around for 18 years and the elders that first started PODER are all still active. César Chávez Street is a beautiful street for me. We actually make videos in the summertime and videotape just driving the street. It’s crazy to see the changes. Now you see lofts and coffee shops that weren’t there. Before, they were houses and little taquerias. PODER is on César Chávez Street, operating out of a house. I love that street.
INTERVIEW BY ERIC DUCKER PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS GRANGER
I was born in Vietnam. I came to the U.S. in 1980. I was between five and six. The family was my mom and six children. My dad was a GI and he came over here first. Like most people here, we just tried our luck and that’s it. We went to Japan and then Dad sponsored us to come over here. My dad, he was over here since like 1975. He was in Lafayette. He was a machinist. He worked there for 14 years. He was doing good, but it just so happened that he got laid off for cheaper labor. He worked his way all the up to being a supervisor and then they just got cheaper labor and laid him off. He decided the only chance he had was shrimping, but he didn’t know anything about it. He decided to work for other people to learn the trade. After that he contracted out to build a boat and that was the business ever since. At first, we used labor exchange to hire people because we didn’t have the money. We had to borrow from the bank. We exchanged family labor to pay off the note. My mom and dad, they never wanted us to go into this kind of skill. They wanted us to get degrees and work office jobs. Shrimping is hard work—rough weather, accidents, dangerous stuff out there, you know? Sometimes you’re just put in a situation and you can’t do nothing about it. The only thing you know is that you have to support your family. We had one boat in 1987. My father did one boat by himself and then we tried to expand the business by building another boat, a bigger boat, but it wasn’t
feasible. I guess it wasn’t the right time to expand the business, so we sold the small boat and we had one boat. It’s a 100-footer. Then, suddenly, shrimp was booming. The market price was up. It was great. You’re making good money, why can’t you expand your business, you know? The more business you have, the more employees. Don’t you think you’re helping out the community and helping out everybody? We built another boat in 2000. It got finished in 2001 in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. We had that boat for two years. Then the economy just dropped. The stock market crashed and everything fell apart and the fuel just skyrocketed. We couldn’t do anything with that boat no more, so we just gave it back to the bank. We ended up with one boat, right where we started. From 2003 to 2006, that’s when a lot of people lost their boats. Even now, with the large companies with their ten or fifteen boats—having boats for decades— since the price of shrimp dropped, the cost of fuel went up, they can’t afford to pay their notes no more. Mostly right now, it’s one owner, one boat. I’m the only one from my family still involved in the shrimping industry. Sometimes you just have to keep on with what your mom and dad start. If it’s developed by your mom and dad, don’t you want to take over their business and help out? My other brothers and sisters, they didn’t want that. They can’t handle the sea, the ocean, the waves, the sickness and having to deal with people like that. I don’t like it to be honest with you. I don’t. If I had a choice, I don’t want to be in this kind of business.
A lot of the old people who came down here from Vietnam, they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know much at all. And how are you going to get a regular job if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t speak English? Only the people who had skills had something to do, and what they did best was fishing. They worked for the French called Lafitte people. They worked as much as they could and bought boats to start on their own. For Vietnamese people the shrimping method is the same, but the approach is different. Lafitte people, they work nights and on the days they rest. The same nets, same equipment, everything is the same. Our approach is that we work around the clock, 24/7, nonstop. If I go out on the boat, I will not eat shrimp, because I work so much and see so much shrimp. But when I come home and go to a restaurant, I eat shrimp. Fried shrimp. Butterfly.
FOR VIETNAMESE PEOPLE THE SHRIMPING METHOD IS THE SAME, BUT THE APPROACH IS DIFFERENT. THE SAME NETS, SAME EQUIPMENT, EVERYTHING IS THE SAME. OUR APPROACH IS
WE WORK AROUND THE CLOCK 24/7 NON STOP.
ALEKS ANDRA TOMASZEWSKA NORTHWEST SIDE CHICAGO ILLINOIS i n terviewed b y j e remy dill a h u n t
p h o t o g r a phy by b r y a n s h effield
I was five years old when I moved to the U.S. I’m not that old, but my childhood photos look like they are from the ’30s or ’50s. They are all black & white and somewhat tattered. My parents moved to the U.S. because, in my father’s words, “In Poland, people would work—the farmers, the bakers, the toymakers—yet all the stores were literally empty. No one knew where the goods were going, but you couldn’t ask.” I remember sitting in the car with my sister on a blanket with a bunch of meat under it. My dad was pulled over by a cop. We started playing patty-cake. We knew to act inconspicuous. In Poland, you could work twice as hard as the next person and you still had to borrow food from your neighbors. Many people just weren’t motivated because the economy wasn’t driven by capitalism, competition, great rewards and opportunities. It took a lot more personal conviction to set and reach goals, have a career (but not wealth) and find pride in those things. When we got off the plane after arriving in the United States, the first thing I really wanted was to taste a banana. I was so bummed that I didn’t like it that I started to sob. I remember lying on a bed and looking up at a ceiling light, just like the one back home in Poland. Later, I thought it felt the same as when someone you know dies, but someone you didn’t know that well. Polish music, theater and art of various forms have a tinge of depth and darkness that is rooted in the national history and experience. There is a tension of repression and outburst, faith and sadness, a sense of urgency and inefficiency that is born of past
disappointments. I hear it in the music I like, and I witness it in my own instincts, despite growing up in two cultures simultaneously. I feel that in the shadows of Polish things are these little battles that spark fires with their friction. These fires can be fuel and light, or become obstacles, and it is up to the individual whether they become tools or destruction.
When I was little I liked writing my own melodies and everyone thought it was cute but no one thought to nurture that. Instead I was expected to learn to be a good little technician who could play The Blue Danube. For me it really felt like doing the dishes. When I decided to write my own music I made a truce with my old enemy.
Sometimes Eastern Europeans in general seem sad or stern on their faces, but I think they are actually very clever and funny people that just take longer to open up, and when they do it’s very genuine. Polish hospitality is a truly wonderful thing. Traditionally, when you go to someone’s house you bring a token, maybe a chocolate bar, and in response you’re showered with food and kindness. Poles are really giving, regardless of their economic situation. They help each other in times of need, or just give someone a ride to the airport.
When I write music, I don’t plan anything. I don’t set out to write something that sounds like anything. I don’t set out to write something that doesn’t sound like anything. I hope that people will like them, but they will exist either way. I am not aware of the inspirations, but I investigate if I sense their presence once a song is underway. Sometimes those inspirations are something random and stupid, like a circus tent on fire and all the animals and people running out.
In the ’50s and ’60s and earlier, the now-trendy Wicker Park neighborhood was called Polish Broadway because of all the theaters up and down Milwaukee Avenue. There are tons of beautiful Polish churches in the area. The joke among some Poles is that the Germans built factories and the Poles built churches. People migrated along Milwaukee Avenue from there and at some point split off north or west. Most of us kids grew up in Polish neighborhoods, but they were never strictly as Polish as Chinatowns are predominantly Chinese. In high school I painted, made pottery, sketched jewelry-design ideas and wrote poetry. I did some acting in college, although I really wanted to study cinematography. I got degrees in graphic design and photography because my sister had a great job as a designer and my parents wanted me to follow that apparently safe route. I just floated right into what made everyone comfortable, including myself. But singing and writing music was the one thing I wanted to do as long as I can remember. It’s also the thing that I procrastinated on forever because it was so important to me. I really feared failing.
I am aware of an eeriness to my music, despite the upbeat pace of most of the songs. I enjoy the tension of such opposing forces. Maybe my great-grandmothers visit me in my sleep and they kiss me with a melody to the forehead. What I hear in my head is way more involved than anything I can produce alone right now. It almost hurts to keep it as simple as voice, Farfisa organ and drums, but I forced it to work to teach myself a lesson. When you grow up with parents who leave everything behind to save you from what they didn’t have, it leaves an impression. You feel that pressure. But growing up you place your own values on things, and so you can feel that pressure too, because it doesn’t just evaporate. I pretend it’s a back-rub of some kind and work towards creating something special through music, because I’d really hate to be so-so. An expanded version of Aleks and the Drummer’s EP, May a Lightning Bolt Caress You, will be available on iTunes this spring. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - LEARN MORE ABOUT CHICAGO’S POLISH ART COMMUNITY AT SCIONAV.COM/LIFESTYLE/SCIONMAGAZINE. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CHRISTOPHER L. MITCHELL PL A NTATION, FLORIDA
INTERVIEW BY ERIC DUCKER PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRISTOPHER L. MITCHELL I was born in New York and grew up in Plantation, Florida, which is in South Florida outside of Fort Lauderdale. My parents moved there in 1981 when I was about three years old. They’re both originally from Haiti. They moved to the States in their teens and they met in New York. As they got older, they visited my aunt in Florida and fell in love with it. Fort Lauderdale has the second-largest Haitian community in Florida, second only to Miami. There were a lot of Haitians down there to begin with. At every school I ever attended there were always Haitian-Americans like myself.
In South Florida the big days are Haitian Independence Day and Haitian Flag Day. Every time there’s a big event in Miami, it’s also in Fort Lauderdale on the same day, so you can make a decision whether you want to go all the way up to Miami or if you want to stay local. Miami is a lot bigger, but Fort Lauderdale is a lot tighter. You know how there’s six degrees of separation? In the Haitian community, it’s three degrees of separation. Everyone knows someone through someone. Even today, all you’ve got to do is ask for someone’s last name—ask another Haitian and they could tell you the family’s history. A lot of Haitian-Americans are very creative. Someone will know how to play a few musical instruments but that’s not even their profession. Someone’s always a singer in a group but they don’t do it for a living. Someone could be a nurse or a mechanic but at a party everyone breaks out instruments and plays. A lot of people know how to paint or draw but they don’t consider themselves artists by profession. I always grew up around beautiful paintings. I had family members who were photographers. I would take photographs. I would paint. I would sing. I’ve been going to Haiti at least once a year every year of my life for as long as I can remember. That’s how I learned the language and became comfortable enough 48
to do long-term projects out here. I’m talking months at a time. It’s not common for Haitian people to make so many trips back. There’s a group of people who do it, but there aren’t enough. A lot of people leave Haiti and they never go back. They’re afraid, or they don’t know who to go back with. There isn’t a lot of tourism to promote Haiti, but it’s a beautiful country. My family is very family-oriented. I still have aunts, uncles and cousins in Haiti, so we’d go back to visit them. While we were there, we would go on these trips to see different parts of the country. Once I got old enough, I started going out on my own. I’d look at maps and see a name of a city or a location that looked interesting and I’d ask around until I found somebody who was from there, or knew somebody from there. Then I’d jump on a dirt bike or public transportation to get out there.
One of my goals is to document the whole country. I’ve always seen photo books of different countries in Africa, South America, Europe and even the Americas, but I’ve never really seen one of Haiti. I was shooting fashion and a lot of photojournalism in New York and then I saw this book called Popular by Thierry Le Goués, a French photographer who shot a lot of fashion. What Thierry Le Goués did was take his fashion eye and went to Cuba. It broke a lot of the rules on documenting a country. That’s how I want something on Haiti to come out. I’ve been shooting Haiti since I was 17 years old. I must have gone to Haiti with about 10 to 13 different cameras within all these years of shooting—I’m talking about film, large-format, 35mm, mediumformat, Dianas, plastic Holgas—and just created a diverse body of work on Haiti because Haiti is so diverse.
neoero.com SEE A COLLECTION OF CHRISTOPHER L. MITCHELL’S PHOTOS OF HAITI AT SCIONAV.COM/LIFESTYLE/SCIONMAGAZINE. This interviewed occurred on December 21, 2009, three weeks before the earthquake on January 12, 2010 that devastated Haiti.
Photo By Ben Wolan
Photo by Lucy Young Photo By Ma Tang
Photo By Darius Norvilas
Photo By Richmond Asprec Toni Le Tran
Photo By Jon-Paul Bouchard
Photo by Eric Lynxwiler
C H I N A T O W N, U S A IMAGES FROM ACROSS AMERICA
Photo By Ray Kippig
Photo By Jake Wark
photo by Gary
Photo By Jeremy Barwick
Photo by Andreas Metz
Photo by Zing Xu
AFRICAN MUSICIANS OF THE DMV REGION INTERVIEWS BY JEREMY DILLAHUNT & ERIC DUCKER LIVE PHOTOGRAPHY BY PHIL JACKSON
In recent decades, Washington DC and surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia have seen the growth of communities from African countries including Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. A wave of young musicians has emerged from them. The following are six artists from the DMV region.
xxxxxxx WALE xxxxxx
The “raising” of me wasn’t really done by my parents because they worked so much. We didn’t really have a traditional African upbringing, we just had that strict “Don’t go outside, don’t open the door, don’t answer the phone, don’t do anything until we get home” upbringing. That pretty much stuck with us until we moved from Washington DC to Maryland. When I got to Maryland, I took all of the things that I learned from DC and applied it there. That created this knucklehead African kid who got in a lot of trouble. I smoothed it out after a couple of run-ins with the authorities. A traditional African upbringing is that both of the parents will be home for the kids, a lot of African functions and a lot of African food. It wasn’t really like that. All our friends were American. Everything we did was pretty much American, like too American. My father would say that he wished we weren’t that way because we would have come out a little bit better. Obviously, he was joking with us, but it was a little bit different. My work ethic definitely comes from my background. Work is all I knew. I started working at 14, like hard, like overtime and all of that. I was breaking all types of child-service laws. I wanted what I wanted and I didn’t want to ask. I wanted the new Jordans. I wanted the new sweatsuit or whatever. I had to work for it because I stopped asking my parents to give me stuff when I was 14. That’s the mentality I wanted to have with music when I got my record deal. Like, it don’t stop. You can’t stop. You’ve got to go twice as hard now that you’ve got it. You’ve got an album, you’re on Jimmy Iovine’s radar, Jay-Z’s managing your career, you’ve got to go harder. It’s not time to kick your feet up. We’re back in the streets and we’re talking to all the influential people. It’s almost like I’m running for mayor. I’m going to all of the neighborhoods and going to all of the schools and letting them know and letting them see my face. That’s more important than selling your records. It’s letting them know what you represent and the people you represent for.
xxx TABI xx BONNEY xxx
My mother is from DC. My father is from Togo, West Africa. She was in the Peace Corps and then she was the Principal at an international American school in Togo. He is a musician, Itadi Bonney. HE WAS THE BIGGEST STAR OUT OF TOGO. He plays highlife music. I was born in Togo, but we’d been back and forth since I was born. But officially living in the U.S. started when I was probably eight years old. I remember going to parties or my parents throwing house parties and it would be a lot of Africans. My father being known big over there and him being over here, all the Togolese knew him, plus my uncle is a Togolese ambassador. IT WASN’T HARD FOR US TO FIND A COMMUNITY. On my mother’s side, we’d go to one of their parties and my father would be just blown away. He’d be like, “WHAT KIND OF PARTY IS THIS? THEY DON’T EVEN PLAY MUSIC.” At Togolese parties it’s always music, it’s like music is pumping as soon as you walk in the door even if you’re just coming over for dinner. When we started going to school here it just switched out. We would spend summers and Christmas over in Togo and the school year here in the States until I was about 13. Then there was a baby civil war in Togo so we stopped going back because it was dangerous. My father’s music got real political around that time, too. His life was threatened, so he couldn’t really go back because his music was speaking out against the government. The last time I was back was about a year and a half ago. I STARTED RAPPING IN HIGH SCHOOL. THAT’S WHEN I REALLY, REALLY GOT INTO IT. It wasn’t until I went down to Florida A&M University that I started to take it seriously and started really composing songs. My father was always trying to teach me the guitar and even the piano, but I never had the patience. The music I’m creating for my next album is influenced by Togolese music. I’ve particularly looked for a certain sound I remember my father using. I’m incorporating more horns in some of the songs. I always think on the percussion side, just knowing how to use their percussion, the congos. They use a lot of whistles in some of their music. It’s stuff I want to incorporate some of into my sound. When I went to Togo, I’d turn on the TV and see them rapping. It was just so funny to me, the whole imitating of the American way of music. But weirdly enough, the highlife music is still way more popular. They rap to rap and that’s cool, but when the true African music comes on, that’s when they really start dancing.
/// PHIL / ADÉ ////
I grew up with the food and some of the traditions from Nigeria and Grenada, where my father and mother are from. In Nigeria they are real sticklers for education and my father was really big on that. Growing up it was always, “DID YOU DO YOUR STUDIES? LET ME SEE YOUR HOMEWORK.” Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of difference as far as I can see from American families. My father’s family is still in Nigeria. I visited them in ’05, when I was probably 15 or 16. While I was in Nigeria I spent a lot of time on my hands and knees. WHEN YOU GREET AN ELDER YOU MUST SHOW THEM A LOT OF RESPECT. Literally that means you have to get down on the ground and kind of bow. It’s a lot of getting down on the ground because there are a lot of people older than you. In Nigeria, your family is the most important thing, in America I think a lot of people have lost touch with that. That extends to the community as well. When we left my dad’s hometown in Ogun to come back to the States, like 500 or 600 people came out to say goodbye. THERE’S A SENSE THAT EVERYONE IN YOUR COMMUNITY IS PART OF YOUR FAMILY. The interactions between people are based on an assumed mutual respect. I think that’s partly because there are a lot of small communities in Nigeria, but it’s also an attitude.
xx PAPA x MOUSSA x LO xx
-------- ------------- ----
One thing I think that is very beautiful about Senegalese culture is the way we tease each other about our pasts. Someone’s last name will tell a lot about them: their ethnic group, where they are from and, sometimes, what their families worked as. In a lot of places people are very sensitive about that, but in Senegal, if you are Wolof and you are talking to a Serer, the Serer might say, “Oh, Wolof, you are so fat, you eat too much. You take things too seriously.” The Wolof might reply, “You Serer are too lazy and noisy, you talk too much.” It’s not a serious division. It’s a traditional way to not take things too seriously and be able to live together in a community. You can recognize past differences and still be friendly. In the Senegalese community it is very important to show respect to your elders. The importance of the older person in our community is something that everyone honors. If you see an older person in the street and they need help you must help them, in the same way you would help your own mother or grandmother. The reverse is true as well. If an older person sees a kid behaving in a way he shouldn’t, he can correct him even if he doesn’t know him. That kid will respect that because his parents will say, “Thank you for correcting my child.” Everybody sees everyone else as though they are in their own family. One thing I really miss about Senegal is that everyone shares with everyone else. It’s even in the language. Over here when you do something nice for someone, like cook them dinner or help them move something, they say, “thank you” and you say “you’re welcome” in return. But in Wolof, the national dialect of Senegal, when you do something nice for someone and they say, “Thank you,” you say, “Noko bok.” It means “We share it.” It’s just a different way of looking at things.
x EL x HADJI x DEMBA x
---- ----------- -----------
We moved here from Senegal, from Dakar. My dad moved here for a job and once he found one, we all moved here. This was in 1991. When I moved here I didn’t speak any English and I went to a French school for the first little while. People made fun of me a lot, mostly because of my accent. People find out that you’re an African and all the TV stereotypes come out.
// MOUSSA / SALL ------- //
My family are all musicians and have a band called Waflash. It’s a very popular afrobeat band, but I fell in love with hip-hop when I was young, and since then it’s always been what I’m into. I started Wagable, a hip-hop group that did really well in West Africa. I moved here from Dakar, Senegal in 2002. The U.S. is just the place I always dreamed about as a kid, it’s where I’ve always wanted to be. I didn’t know anyone here other than my mom’s cousin, who I’d never met. I had to learn English quickly. The U.S. is amazing because there are so many people here. As a person in Senegal I would never get the chance to know what a person from Nigeria or Guyana or even Asia is like. There is every culture in America. This is the only country in the world where any type of food you want you can have. When I first got here, I just wanted to eat everything I’d never tried before. For three or four years I ate everything, mostly burgers because they are delicious. But then I started to miss my home cooking, so I would go to a friend’s place and we would make something. I never cooked in my life but when I came here and cooked people were very impressed. It’s hard to find real Senegalese food, so every two months or so I teach people how to make a few dishes. In Senegal, men are not allowed to cook. It’s a culture thing. I made Senegalese dinners enough times to realize that people liked it and that I loved cooking, so I spend a lot of time looking for Senegalese recipes on the internet and talking to my family and friends to get their recipes. It’s amazing, though, how much you can remember from when you were a kid sitting next to your mother as she cooked. Just cooking and talking about life, I can see everything from those moments. The other day I opened the pan to see if the rice was dry and I saw an image of my mother doing the same thing—it’s so clear. When I think about it, I can smell it and see how it’s done, my sister putting some spices in and how she turned it.
The first few nights I was here I didn’t sleep at all, I remember my sister and me staying up all night just looking at the views. The buildings were so tall, I’d never seen anything like it. I grew into it quickly, though. The U.S. has been part of me for longer than Senegal has. But I don’t feel more American, I feel straight African, but I have a lot of European influences and I lived in Canada, in Montreal, for a while. In Senegal when you say hello to someone you say your last name and your first, and when you meet that person you say their last name several times. I’m greeting you, but I’m also greeting your whole family, including your ancestors. So when you meet someone you might be greeting them for like 10 minutes. You see people talking and you think they’re having a conversation, but they might just still be saying hello. Here, sometimes you just nod. Or you only say hi to people you know. People here don’t say hi to their neighbors. In Senegal, it’s totally unacceptable to do that. It’s considered rude. At nighttime in Senegal we have something called lik. The elders will sit around and tell stories all night long. They always start with an old man, it’s always got an old man in it. I think it’s a way to introduce a moral, because in the end the old man always relates how the story applies to something in the present day. A lot of Senegalese humor comes out in these stories because they are used to talking about current issues. There are often caricatures of the President or some form of satire about social issues. I feel much closer to my Senegalese roots now. The older I get, the more I want to go back and explore my customs and heritage. When I was younger I would hide it, kids would laugh when my name was called in class. When my mom asked why I wouldn’t wear my traditional clothes on Halloween, I just felt like if I put it out there I would get teased more. Everything that I used to reject I embrace more now. I want to put all that stuff up front because that’s me, that’s who I am.
HOW NEIGHBORHOODS GET NAMED THE PROCESS OF HOW A NEIGHBORHOOD GETS A NAME LIKE LIT TLE ETHIOPIA OR KOREATOW N VARIES BY THE CIT Y, BUT IN LOS ANGELES A SYSTEMATIC PROCESS HAS BEEN CREATED. WHILE A CIT Y COUNCIL MEMBER SIMPLY USED TO BE ABLE TO BESTOW A TITLE ON A NEIGHBORHOOD IN HIS DISTRICT AND START HANGING BLUE SIGNS TELLING EVERYONE WHAT TO CALL IT, NOW THINGS ARE MUCH MORE COMPLICATED. To start, a long-standing connection between the community and the area must be documented in an official application, along with the proposed neighborhood boundaries. There must also be a petition supporting the official naming with 500 signatures from residents or business owners in the area, or if the neighborhood has less than 2,500 residents, 20% of the population. Then 58
the application and the petition are submitted to the City Clerk’s office. Once the City Clerk validates these documents, they are commented on by the Neighborhoo d Empowerme nt Department , the Transportation Department , the City Planning Department , the Community Redevelopment Agency and the Bureau of Engineering. The proposal is then sent to the affected Neighborhoo d Councils and any nearby Neighborhoo d Councils. These organization s hold public hearings and engage in community outreach about the matter. Their findings and a community impact statement are submitted back to the City Clerk. Once the Education and Neighborhoo d Committee reviews it, the application is then presented to the 15-member City Council. AND IF IT’S APPROVED, THEN THEY START HANGING UP THE BLUE SIGNS.
THE STORY OF THE CITY OF LITTLE CANADA IN MINNESOTA. TOLD BY KATHLEEN HANSON, PRESIDENT OF ----------------------------------------------LITTLE CANADA’S HISTORICAL SOCIETY. THE ORIGINAL SETTLERS THAT WERE HERE WERE FRENCH CANADIAN. A lot of them were voyagers in Canada. They had problems with their farms and livelihood and the weather in Canada so they came down along the Red River Trail, which is right along the Dakota-Minnesota border. This was in the mid-1800s. They came down in little wagons and brought furs with them, and their destination was Fort Snelling, which is outside of what’s now St. Paul on the Mississippi River. They stayed there a few years and then they were encouraged to leave the Fort area and came down the river to St. Paul. The founder of our community was one of the first settlers in St. Paul. His name was Benjamin Gervais. He came here with his wife and several of his children. They didn’t stay in St. Paul very long. He k new a few Ind ia ns who told h i m about th is beautifu l la ke a rea about five m iles north of the cit y of St. Pau l. Following him came a bunch of other French-Canadian people, so this was basically a French-Canadian settlement. French was the language. French still has been the language of choice here for many years. Of course it didn’t stay only French, but that was the majority. A lot of the old French families are still here, though we don’t even have a French restaurant. The whole community isn’t very big now either,z it’s about 10,000 people. We’re a sister city of Thunder Bay, Canada. We have a three-day festival in the summertime, in the beginning of August, where they come down here. It’s called Canadian Days. It’s just a big carnival.
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4056 Broadway Kansas City MO 64111 (816) 561-7407 www.thebunkeronline.com
GIANT ROBOT SF
THE SEVENTH HEART
GIANT ROBOT NY
618 Shrader St. San Francisco CA 94117 (415) 876-4773 www.giantrobot.com 1592 Market St. San Francisco CA 94102 (415) 431-1755 1 S Broadway Denver CO 80209 (303) 733-3855 www.fancytiger.com AC SLATER & GUESTS, RADIO 17 MONTHLY (KANSAS CITY, MO)
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THE MUSIC SPOT
HABITAT SHOE BOUTIQUE
UBIQ - 1
1531 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago IL 60622 (773) 486-7159 www.stalfred.com
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THE TIPPING POINT
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323 W 4th St. Cincinnati OH 45202 (513) 744-9444 www.unheardofbrand.com
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120 E 7th St. New York NY 10009 (212) 677-0675 www.turntablelab.com
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THE DIRTBOMBS GARAGE FEST (PORTLAND, OR)
37 E 9th St. New York NY 10009 (212) 674-4769 www.giantrobot.com
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FRANKI CHAN RADIO 17 MONTHLY (TAMPA, FL)
2711 S 48th St. #106 Lincoln NE 68506 (402) 476-3044 www.precisionskateboard.com
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THE DIRTBOMBS GARAGE FEST (PORTLAND, OR)