The Future of L.A.’s Thai Town and Koreatown Communities Ride on a “Promise”
Earlier this month, President Obama announced the first five recipient areas of his Promise Zone Initiative, a formal partnership between the federal government, local communities, and businesses intended to help shrink poverty and expand the rosters of the middle class. The initiative enables those areas to receive a share of a $500 million investment in existing federal funding, addressing the areas of job growth, economic stability, education, affordable housing, and public safety.
Aside from San Antonio, Philadelphia, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma, Los Angeles was named, specifically a swath of the densely-populated central part of the city, which includes the communities of Hollywood, East Hollywood, Koreatown, Westlake, and Pico-Union.
L.A.’s Promise Zone, which encompasses an irregular-shaped area stretching from Franklin Avenue to Pico Boulevard, and between Highland and Union avenues, includes a predominantly low-income, yet culturally rich section of urban L.A.; though with a majority Latino population, it also includes two of the city’s designated Asian enclaves: Thai Town and Koreatown. Both share well-patronized and well-acclaimed ethnic eateries (many of which are open well into the late night hours), spas, and dense, pedestrian-oriented, transit-accessible corridors. The zone also includes pockets of other Asian immigrant groups, namely Filipinos (in East Hollywood and the Historic Filipinotown-adjacent parts of Koreatown and Westlake) and Bangladeshis (among the already-diverse immigrant multitudes residing in Koreatown).
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Bilingual classes gives older immigrants better shot at citizenship
Southern California Public Radio
In the civics class she teaches in a Koreatown library, Theresa Jung speaks in Korean before switching seamlessly to English.
“What is this “D” word?” Jung said, gesturing to a page in the textbook. “Democracy!”
The students – mostly in their 50s and 60s – murmured the word. Jung could tell it was hard for some students to say, and tried to loosen them up.
“Say it one more time, Korean-version,” Jung said.
“Demo-crush!” several students said in unison, laughing.
Jung’s class is part of a newly-launched program to teach English and civics to immigrants in Los Angeles County with limited English skills.
Voter Registration Drives In LA’s Koreatown
For folks in the LA area interested in getting politically engaged, Koreatown activists will be holding voter registration drives this weekend.
February Issue: Ki Suh Park Was An Inspiration For Generations of Korean Americans
Ki Suh Park always found hope amid disaster.
Hanmi Said to Seek Sale
Hanmi Financial Corp. (HAFC), the second- largest U.S. bank catering to Korean-Americans, is looking for a buyer and hired DelMorgan & Co. to advise on a sale, said three people with knowledge of the matter.
The lender may attract interest from BBCN Bancorp Inc. (BBCN) and Wilshire Bancorp Inc. (WIBC), which like Hanmi are based in Los Angeles and target Korean-Americans, said two of the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. Hanmi rose more than 8 percent today, giving the firm a market value of about $481 million. It has assets of about $2.8 billion.
Young’s bachelor party turns into a bachelorette party when the girls not only bring themselves, but the drama — and lots of it. What starts off as a fun night of celebration turns nasty when the gossip mill churns and past histories are revealed.
Colonel Sanders from Season 1 makes a surprise cameo and pretty much voluntarily becomes a stripper. Let’s just say that his run in with a bewildered Young is a, er, close shave. Jowe and Steve, on the other hand, stay on the prowl for girls and demonstrate clearly to the world why they are both still single. To top it off, Steve meets a girl briefly and sounds like he’s narrating a show on the Animal Planetin his commentary.
In this episode, the girls bring out the claws and the bullets. Things get heated after some fighting up in the club between Scarlet and Jasmine, Scarlet and Jowe, and Scarlet and Violet. Do you see a pattern forming here? The next morning, they head over to the Los Angeles Gun Club to blow off some steam. While Scarlet darts eyes at Violet, thankfully she aims the gun at the designated target.
Season 2 is officially back in full swing. Young continues to prepare for his wedding, but not before taking some time to hang out with Violet’s son, Tyler, at a comic book store. Later, we meet Young’s mother-in-law over a food tasting for the catering and try to imagine Young as a bumpkin.
Young and Christine take a break from wedding planning and go on a night on the town with the friends. In other words, they build massive Seoul trains and drink their hearts merry. As Scarlet so eloquently puts it, “It’s all about getting trashed.”
First Ever Korean-American-Inspired Hotel Coming To LA Next Summer
Hey LA peeps, new hotel alert: the Sydell Group, who is responsible for two of NYC’s big-time, hip and happenin’ hotels (Ace New York and The NoMad) is hard at work converting a 388-room hotel at 3515 Wilshire Blvd, in the Koreatown neighborhood of LA.
The hotel will be called The Line, and to better fit in with its surroundings, Sydell is planning to make it “the first lifestyle hotel of its kind in the US to draw upon Korean and Korean-American culture, food and design.” Well! We didn’t see that coming.
It’s still not too late to purchase your copy of our November issue featuring the boys of Seoul Sausage, winners of The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network!
PSY: I Will NOT Sue ‘Gangnam Style’ Restaurant
“Gangnam Style” singer Psy will NOT sue an L.A. restaurant for naming itself after the famous song — in fact, Psy’s pumped … because as far as he’s concerned … imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
The Koreatown restaurant was previously known as Soju Town — but it re-opened last month after a brief closure under its new name “Gangnam Style,” clearly an homage to the popular song.
K-Town Debuts Second Season, Cue Rejoicing and Moans
Los Angeles Magazine
The first season of web series K-Town took viewers on a romp through one of Los Angeles’ most underrated social scenes: the nightlife and restaurant enclave known as Koreatown. Today, the show’s second season premieres with even raunchier stereotype-dispelling episodes revealing the wilder side of 20-something Korean Angelenos who love Makkoli and Korean BBQ more than Ivy League acceptances and martial arts.
Where the Chefs Eat: Chego’s Roy Choi
Where the Chefs Eat is an ongoing series in which we ask a local chef to give us his or her favorite dining options. This week, Roy Choi, chef and owner of Chego, A-Frame, Sunny Spot and the fleet of Kogi BBQ trucks, tells us his favorite spots to eat these days.
Roy Choi lives in Koreatown, and most of the eating he does is in and around his neighborhood in family-owned Korean and Mexican restaurants.
Koreatown: America’s Hippest Neighborhood
K-Town, which returns for a second cycle on YouTube’s LOUD channel Nov. 28, has sparked renewed interest, often among Asian young people, in the rituals and bacchanalia of the YouTube series’ biggest star, Koreatown itself.
Amid the worst American economy since the Great Depression, Koreatown has emerged as perhaps America’s hippest new neighborhood. Its vitality has survived and even thrived, thanks to the emergence of a new pop culture spotlight (K-Town, “Gangnam Style,” the Kogi taco truck), a residential hipster invasion, foodies’ exploration of its bar eats, and the community’s own evolution as a destination for non-Koreans.
Second Season of ‘K-Town’ Promises More Hijinks, Nudity
The second season of the much buzzed-about reality show “K-Town” will be back in our homes (and hearts) later this month, according to a recently released trailer.
The show, focused on the soju-filled lives of young Korean Americans living and partying it up in Los Angeles, enjoyed a successful first season on YouTube earlier this year.