There's trouble in Rivercity (R: Fig. 1, One man's Orientalism is another's...? The Chinese Pagoda at the Downtown Public Library, Riverside, CA). I should've acted sooner and re-posted this information courtesy of a non-partisan, myspace civic activist group called SAVE-RIVERSIDE. The Save Riversidians recently commented on one of my old posts, "Show Me the Mizithra," about the City of Riverside's dastardly plans to shut down Kawa Market, a 100-year-old mom & pop shop that became an Asian market some 30 years ago. In that post I went on and on about the "resilience of mom & pop" operations in Riverside and reminisced about the alive and kickin' Kawa, the place my mom and I went together to buy Pinoy treats like the pugent and salty breakfast fish, tuyo or smoked, shredded tinapa with some 2-liter kegs of Squirt or Cactus Cooler to wash it all down. The Mayor and his merry band of citycouncilfolks made a chump outta me.
Kawa has no future. Its owners Lin Lin (aka "William") and Wendy Guan have surrendered the property to the City's "eminent domain." In the words of Press Enterprise Columnist, Dan Bernstein (an accomplished whistler who my dad accompanied on the piano for a gig at RCC's Landis Auditorium), "Riverside surrenders something too."
Where is your scrappy soul, my hometown?
Its raggedy afterglow remains, perhaps, on homemade videos such as this one featuring Riverside City Council Candidate, Mike Gardner, bellied up to the Kawa counter for some good old fashioned politicking alongside the Guans. For more curiously poignant "Save Kawa" video (so much to say, so little time), see the "Save Riverside" site linked above or visit Riverside Land Grab:
Rollin' deep in the heart of the I.E. through the gnarled concrete arteries of 60+10+91 east to neon sunsets and Naugles, Taco Tia, the Mad/Friendly/Happy or Lucky Greek,The Menagerie, Spanky's, Butch's Grinders, The Denny's Cocktail Lounge at Hardman Center (in pace requiescat). We spell Paris P-E-R-R-I-S, bitches!