Chinatowns

Stephanie and Josephine

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STEPHANIE AVILES: Living in Pasadena and commuting on the 210 freeway, parallel to the Gold Line, I've always wondered how far the metro traveled beyond Pasadena. Upon curiosity of how far East the Gold Line traveled, I ran into a Los Angeles Times article entitled "Gold Line extension to Azusa will open in March, bringing Metro rail deeper into L.A. County suburbs" written by reporter Laura J. Nelson. Nelson states that by March of 2016, the Gold Line will extend 11.5 miles between Pasadena and Azusa. She continues to say that, "The so-called Foothill Extension, costing $975 million, is Metro's most suburban rail line yet, aimed at connecting a long row of cities such as Arcadia and Duarte with commercial hubs in Pasadena and central Los Angeles." #landscapes180

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2 thoughts on “Chinatowns

  1. 1. Describe your route to the location and what observations stood out the most during your traveling experience to the site?
    On my way to Chinatown, I had to take two buses to the metro station in Pasadena, to make it to Union Station. The experience of taking public transportation was significantly different this time around. Taking the bus in Pasadena, I felt a bit confident because I knew the area, and have taken the same bus routes before. But, I also felt anxiety because I hardly use public transportation. However, taking the metro to Los Angeles was different. I have taken the metro before to Los Angeles on high school trips; but, this time it was different because I did not have my friends, and teacher to be comforted by. So, as I got on the Gold Line, not only was I anxious; but I felt awkward. It was quite and everyone looked serious. I guess I had not noticed it before, due to my attention being on my friends. But this time around, I definitely was alert and observant of the people around me; and what was going on. After finally settling into the environment in the metro, and becoming more relaxed; I realized that no one was talking. The majority of the passengers were on their phones, and I was amazed because those on their phones were lost in them. It was as if their surrounding was non- existent. I remember thinking to myself, “How can they let their guards down? And not be in the present?” I personally couldn’t be on my phone because one, I was anxious and felt like I needed to be aware of everything; but also, I did not want to miss out on anything.

    2. What observations stood out the most at the site(s)?
    I first went to New Chinatown (it is several blocks away from Union Station) which was a completely different look and atomsphere compared to Old Chinatown. In New Chinatown, buildings are built inspired by Chinese architecture. Also, the number of tourists and students visiting the site grew as time went by. Once I was done with my tour in New Chinatown, I asked around where Old Chinatown was located. I had forgotten that Old Chinatown is now where Union Station is located. So, when a cashier from one of the stores in New Chinatown told me that Old Chinatown no longer existed. I took out “A People’s Guide to Los Angeles” book, and looked over what I had read before, and their it was “Old Chinatown (Union Station)”. I was surprised. I couldn’t believe it was gone. So, after experiancing culture in New Chinatown, and watching tourists and other students enjoy the scenery. Walking back to Union Station, I did not know what to think of it because; first, Union Station has become a historical location, through its appearences in films. However, there is history there that, I would assume, not a lot of people know about. So, I wondered observing everyone in Union Station— coming and leaving— how many individuals knew that Union Station was once Old Chinatown.

    3. How are your partner’s travel photos different from your own?
    Looking over my partners picture’s and comparing it to my own; it seems like on the day that my partner went, the streets of Chinatown where lonely. While on the day that I went there seemed to be more people (I went on a Saturday). Also, transportations wise; it looks like she had to take more than one metro train, while I only had to take one.

    4. How are your partner’s travel photos smiliar to your own?
    Both our travel photo’s reveal our knowledge about movies filmed in Chinatown; we both mentioned it in our captions. Also, our photo’s reveal Chinese culture. That being the architecture of buildings resembling to those in China, or the local community markets; which my partner captured on photo.

    5. Why do you think you experiences are similar and/ or different?
    I believe that our experiences were different because we travelled from different locations. I travelled from Pasadena— I traveled less miles, while my partner traveled from Pomona— she had to travel more miles. And apart from living in Pasadena and being closer to L.A.,I have taken the metro to Union Station before; so, there wasn’t anything new in that sense. Also, I believe that we travelled to our given locations on different days and time. When I arrived to Union Station on Saturday morning, it was crowded with people. And when I arrived to New Chinatown, the number of people visiting the site grew as the hours passed. So, I believe that the day and time that we went definitely shaped our experience. Also, I think that our experience differ from encounters that we had. We both encountered different situations; for example my partner witnessed a women playing the flute, while a lady in a wheel chair admired her reflection on the glass window. And I witnessed a film being shot in New Chinatown, while tourist and students watched.

  2. 1. Describe your route to the location and what observations stood out the most during your travelling experience to the site?
    I left Claremont after lunch on a Sunday. My roommate and a friend of mine decided to come with me to chinatown. We left for the metrolink and got there just in time to catch the train. The metrolink ride was quiet. The only sound we could here was a woman sitting one row over talking on the phone. As we got closer to Los Angeles, more and more people started to get on the train. When we arrived at Union Station, a huge crowd of people exited the train. My friends and I almost lost each other in the crowd. As this was our first time taking the Gold line we did not know where to go to catch the metro. At first we went down to the Red and Purple line but there was no sign indicating the Gold line. Finally we found out that it was not an underground line a found the platform. The metro arrived only a few minutes later. Chinatown is only one stop away from Union Station so it was a very quick ride. The first thing I noticed as I stepped out of the metro train was the view. The Chinatown metro station is placed higher up since the metro is not underground and the railroad is higher then the streets. Therefore once you step on the platform all you can see is a magnificent view of the LA skyline. My friends and I decided to go to this famous restaurant called “Yang Chow”. It is on the main street where the chinatown market takes place. While we were waiting for a table, my roommate and I explored the market. I got to buy incense sticks in the market. We ate a lot of different types of foods at dinner: Fried shrimp, Fried rice with beef…
    After dinner, we realized it was getting late and decided to go back to Claremont.

    2. What observations stood out the most at the site(s)?
    This was my first time in LA Chinatown. I have been to NYC chinatown and Paris chinatown before. I also lived in South East Asia for 3 months during my gap year. I loved feeling like I was back in Asia when I walked through the market. It really felt like I had been transported from LA to Phnom Penh in a split second. I loved how the chinese architecture mixes with modern LA skyscrapers.

    3. How are your partner’s travel photos different from your own?
    Looking at my partner’s pictures I realize that there are some clear differences between her pictures and mine. It looks like we went to chinatown at very different times of the week. It looks like my partner went at a time when Chinatown is much more crowded. Moreover we did not come from the same place and therefore took different routes to go to Chinatown.

    4. How are your partner’s travel photos similar to your own?
    Since we were both intrigued by the Chinese architecture represented in Chinatown we both took pictures related to that matter. Moreover we both mentioned cinematographic events that happened in Chinatown.

    5. Why do you think you experiences are similar and/ or different?
    My partner’s experience was different from mine because we left from different locations and did not go to Chinatown at the same time and on the same day. Moreover I do not think we went to the same place exactly in Chinatown. Furthermore I believe that my partner is used to the metro, whereas I only took the metro a few times since I moved to Claremont, therefore it was probably easier for my partner to go to chinatown. Our experiences were similar because we both wanted to capture how the chinese culture is represented in LA.

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