Kelly Tzen Tsai's peformance at the Nyurorican

Spent Friday night for the first time at the Nyuorican. I made the trek over there for my friend Kelly Tzen Tsai's performance.


How did I find out about Kelly??.....

I was invited to this event for APA Month in City Hall. The crowd was definitely a much older and stiffer than you would find at the Nuryorican. Asian/Pacific American performers included singers and formal poets & then Kelly.

I remember all of a sudden, hearing Kelly busting out lyrics which resembled a form of rap without the music. It definitely woke me up when I caught myself dozing off. Her performance was not only entertaining and moving, but educational. Her pieces are about the Asian American experience.

I have a lot of respect for this girl. Spoken word is a more modern form of poetry that seems to cater to a younger and hipper crowd, yet she's been invited to some of the most main stream events and venues. She's been invited to perform in front of crowds that you would definitely not see at the Nyuorican and move them with the same power.

A small autographed poster of her hangs in my store with a haiku she dedicated to ice cream. It's good to see the charisma of young Asian Americans moving the masses through various forms of art, such as poetry/spoken word.

Kelly's website:

FYI Her CD and poem books rock!

NBC 4 - Best of NYC

Haven't been blogging as much as I should. It's been an exhausting week because of the holidays and some unexpected good publcitiy.

Today, we had the good fortune of being 1stLook NY: Inside Look - Chinatown.

I taught George (the host of the show) how to make the perfect ice cream cone. It took some work but I think that he got it in the end.

Beef Jerky

About this time last year, I was dating this Chinese boy from Cali & HK. He really loved beef jerky which is kinda weird (which probably one of the many reasons it didn't work out). =X

New Beef King Corp

I thought that beef jerky was just beef jerky, but I learned a thing or two about it. In Chinatown there are actually two famous places that produce their own beef jerky. There are also different variations of the product as well.

One location is on Bayard Street between Mott and Mulberry. There is also one on Mulberry street across from the park.

Holiday/Christmas Wishlist

All CICF Wishlist items are on our list not only because we love them, but because they are made by small businesses and individuals who have supported and touched our community.

Hello Kitty Stuff - Elizabeth Center
Though I am 27 years old, I still love Hello Kitty! My sister tells me all the time that I'm too old to be carrying My Melody lunchbox, but I say that you're never too old for Sanrio!

Sterling Silver Jewlery
Canal Street- To most, buying stuff from the small shops that line Canal Street seems to be a lot less legit than buying stuff from Macy's. As long as the jewlery says 925 or sterling silver on it, it's just as sterling as the mall stuff. You can get some pretty cool necklaces and earrings for cheap prices for Christmas gifts. You also save enough that you might as well grab something for yourself since it is Christmas! (well...that's my logic at least)

Notorious MSG Lunch Money

Notorious MSG CDs and posters
The other day, the MSG boys left the CDS and posters I bought for my friends at my shop. My friends and I are total MSG groupies. D-Lo Mein is also incredibly hot and is probably the only good looking boy who remembers my name. =X

Earings by Leafing
Lea Feng was previously a full time staff member at Asian Women in Business (AWIB). She worked with AWIB and was an integral part of helping to develop the Explore Chinatown Campaign which is one of the many reasons why I love Lea.

On top of this girl being talented & beautiful, she makes gorgeous jewelry. I wanted to bid on some of her items at AWIB's silent auction but instead she made me a pair of my own custom earrings.

All her pieces are hand made and you can request what colors and materials you want. I got these stunning long blue rain drop earrings which have sterling silver posts. No matter what I'm wearing, my earrings always makes my outfit look 10x better.

I'm not sure if her website is off the ground yet so this might need to be on next year's list. Just letting you know about her!

Japanese Ceramic Dishes-Kam Man Supermarket
I love cooking! It makes preparing dinner a lot more fun when you have cool dishes to play around with. These dishes are imported from Japan and come in a wide variety of colors and designs. Upon first touch, you can tell the quality is excellent. You'll impress your guests with your new Japanese cookware as well as your food.

Chinatown Donations
Most of us don't really need anything for Christmas. Often our friends buy us things that wind up cluttering up our homes. A cool alternative to the conventional gifts are donations to organizations that have helped the Chinatown community.

Attach a note or explain to whatever organization that you're donating to that you're giving it a a gift. This is actually the top gift on my wish list because it goes back to what Christmas/Holidays are really and thinking about others.

A couple of suggestions for organizations in our community are the Museum of the Chinese in the Americas (MOCA), The Charles Wang Health Center, and the Gouverneur's Hospital.

Saturdays In Chinatown Tee Shirt

Cool items that CICF also sells that would make great Christmas gifts as well are:
CICF T shirts, CICF Hoodies, CICF Polos-Limited Edition, CICF Gift Certificates, Saturdays In Chinatown T shirts, and totes

Red Eight

A couple of friends of mine started this really interesting organization called Red Eight. This group combines Asian entrepreneurs with film and media. Because CICF loves them so much , we're actually one of their sponsors!

So Saturday night, I was invited to a movie reception for an independent film called "Undoing" which starred Sung Kang. The movie had to do with Asian American gang related issues which I thought would be interesting. (Grew up working on Bayard street, so I'm very familiar with these issues.)

With San Kang

Well ...though I do think Red Eight is a great organization, the #1 draw for my friends and I had to be that Russel Wong was attending. I'm pretty sure that every Asian girl in this country has at one point had a crush on the well established actor. He was kind enough to take a picture with us even though he probably thought that my friends and I were total dorks.

With Henry Chang

But I also unexpectedly bumped into Henry Chang who has become one of Chinatown's famed authors. He recently released the book Chinatown Beat which is a novel based on true stories of what went on in the Chinatown gang scene. Although I have not read his book yet, my father is a huge fan of his. Dad actually owns an autographed copy. You can also purchase his book at any Barnes and Noble and autographed copies are available at Jan's store-Sinotique on Mott.

For more information on Red Eight, visit