Nov. 17, 11:17 a.m. [Click on sketch to view larger]
Imagine life around this Chinatown intersection in 1910. Asian immigrants who came to work in the canneries, farms and neighborhood businesses rented rooms in a hotel that occupied the top floors of the East Kong Yick building, the current home of the Wing Luke Asian Museum.
This week I toured the restored 100-year-old building and stepped into the austere living spaces and common areas where the laborers socialized. The dark rooms still feel inhabited by the souls of the early settlers. A Chinese newspaper lays on a bed and shoes are tucked under it.
The visit made me ponder my own immigration experience. I didn’t have fellow Spaniards to socialize with in California, but I had the privilege of settling into a company-paid condo for a month. And it was sunny all the time.
All third Saturdays of the month general admission to the museum is free and guided tours are discounted. Information at wingluke.org.
February 18, 2010 at 2:42 PM