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Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 10:20 PM
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FredH FredH is offline
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Posts: 573
Happy New Year!

Its the year of the Dragon. I'm a Pig myself (and proud of it).

The L.A. Times ran a set of pictures today from past Chinese New Years:

Jan. 26, 1928: Chinese New Year on Apablasa Street in L.A.'s Chinatown. Photo published in the Jan. 27, 1928, Los Angeles Times.

The story and additional photos are here:

More interesting (to me) was some of the information contained the the accompanying story:

"Apablasa Street was in Old Chinatown. Most of the community was removed for construction of Union Station. There have actually been four Chinese communities in downtown Los Angeles. A good explanation was written by author Lisa See in this Los Angeles Times Book review article of May 31, 2009:

Lisa See’s sixth novel, “Shanghai Girls” (Random House: 314 pp., $25), comes out this week; she is also the author of the superlative family history “On Gold Mountain.” As she has long acknowledged, the Chinese heritage of her father’s family has been a significant influence on her life and work…

“Shanghai Girls” is about two sisters who leave China and come to Los Angeles in arranged marriages in 1938. There were four Chinatowns in Los Angeles at that time: New Chinatown — with its neon lights and gaily painted buildings on Broadway; City Market Chinatown — for produce sellers and their families; Old Chinatown — comprised of the few buildings that survived the demolition required to build Union Station; and China City — a tourist attraction bordered by Ord, Spring, Main and Macy streets. Pearl and May, my fictional sisters, live in the Garnier Building in Old Chinatown, where the Chinese American Museum is today, and they work in China City."

I had no idea that there were four Chinatown areas. I thought that the old Chinatown was torn down to build Union Station and replaced by the "new" Chinatown up on Broadway. I actually posted this photo of China City a couple of weeks ago, thinking it was an early part of the new Chinatown.

Los Angeles Times

According to the story, China City was located on this block, just south of Phillipes:

Google Earth

This is the Garnier Building, which now houses the Chinese America Museum, and was part of "old" Chinatown:

Google Earth

From what I read, City Market Chinatown was down by San Pedro and 9th Street near the produce market here:

Google Earth

I checked around the area for remnants of a Chinatown and found these:

Google Street View

Google Street View

Google Street View

Actually, the wife has an interesting family history herself. Her father was born in the Fukien Province of China (right across the strait from Taiwan) in 1902. As a young boy, he was admitted to the Shaolin Temple and stayed there until his mid 20's. He and his family then traveled to Taiwan, which was still controlled by the Japanese at that time. A few years after he left, the Shaolin Temple was raided by the Chinese government and destroyed.

My wife grew up in a small village in the country. Using the skills he learned at the temple, her father served as the local doctor. He was trained in herbal medicine and could set broken bones by touch. Dead newborn babies were brought to him (sometimes in the middle of the night) for proper burial. He never refused anyone and never charged anyone. Quite a guy. He died in 1976.

p.s. Yes, he could kick butt too.
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