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Lunch Links Friday – Let’s dance and watch movies.

For your Friday lunch break, I bring to you firstly, an amazing performance of the Japanese group World Order, welcoming the world to Japan for Olympics 2020 Tokyo. The city was chosen over Istanbul and Madrid last month by the IOC for the summer games. [1]

Basketball Star

Speaking of worldwide sensations, remember Jeremy Lin? The Harvard graduate who gained fame playing for the New York Knicks back in 2011-12 [2]? Well, he’s gained international hype already as a player and now there’s a documentary about him [3]. The film opens in select cities and theaters [4]. But luckily for all you Lin fans [5], the movie might be stopping by Morrisville later this month. As of this writing, 10 more ticket reservations are needed for the movie to come to the Tar Heel state. Reserve your own tickets here. [6]

Oh and here’s the trailer:

Achieving the Dream

Jeremy Lin’s story resonates much with the Asian American community because it parallels a lot with the immigrant experience toward the American Dream that many AAPIs (Asian American/Pacific Islanders) share. For many kids in NYC, one such Dream might be to get into one of a handful of elite public high schools like Stuyvesant. But the one-test policy there raise some complex issues involving race and class that present obstacles for both immigrants and long-time residents in New York, AAPI or not. Check out this kickstarter for a documentary in-the-making on this issue [7]. And here’s the video promo:

For some AAPIs, the American Dream might be further out of reach than most. Particularly for folks who came to the U.S. without proper authorization—check out their stories on the tumblr Raise Our Story [8] and see for yourself the diverse and complex picture [9] of how folks end up, live and struggle with the unauthorized status. It is in part this complex picture of immigration that lead many AAPI voters to support comprehensive immigration reform [10].

Birth and Death of Chinatowns

AAPI and Latino immigrants bring strong economic activity to our state [11]. In 2012, AAPI purchasing power in N.C. was $8.9 billion, that’s a 1,169% increase from 1990, for Latinos, it totaled $14 billion—a 1,571% increase.

In the near future, we might even have our own Chinatown [12]—albeit (in my opinion) most likely what will be a themed mall attraction rather than an organic and historic neighborhood of heritage—that will bring even more economic activity to the state.

Unfortunately for the older, more historic Chinatowns across the East Coast in Boston, New York and Philadelphia, gentrification is causing them to slowly disappear [13] and pushing communities to the outskirts. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund published a report on this topic [14].

The Morrisville Chinatown mall, with international consultants from China, will bring a flavor of that country to the U.S. Meanwhile, a bit of American culture is popping up across the Pacific in Shanghai with the advent of the restaurant Fortune Cookie [15], which serves American-Chinese classic foods like chop suey. And yes, chop suey is an American invention. [16]


Lastly, since I opened with a dance video, might as well close with one. Here we have the 11-year-old Sean Lew, who I hope will be bigger and better sensation than Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus put together, minus any infamy: