On the Scene: July 23

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MERRILY LIFE ROLLS ALONG

CCTV film crew from its Production Center of China Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio of Beijing came to the History San Jose park last week. As charming Jhou Jun,Director of the Documentary Department, explained, they are filming a documentary about Chinese in America, and the history of their immigration and settlement throughout the nation.  At the Chinese Historical Museum of Santa Clara Valley in the reconstructed historic Ng Shing Gung building, she and Director Liu Hongyu photographed the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project Co-Founders Lillian GongGuy and myself while interviewing us on the history of Chinese population in what is now called Silicon Valley for the past 100 years.  Four teams of directors and film crews are going around the US to collect material for the documentary film, which is expected to be completed by this fall for viewing. The Directors feel that the Chinese in mainland China are most interested in the history of what the Chinese did while settling in America, and what struggles they faced in making lives for themselves in a new country.  Chinese Historical and Cultural Project Director Ann Wong and museum docent Jonathan Fung were on hand that day to tell the many visitors who came to see the museum during the Gold Rush Day park event sponsored by History San Jose organization, which oversees the management of the park.  A Lion Dance troupe from San Jose was on hand to entertain the park guests to the delight of the young ones in the audience and the CCTV photographer.

CCTV Film crew at San Jose Museum Altar

CHCP Co Founders Lillian GongGuy and Gerrye Wong show CCTV film crew from China the San Jose Chinese Museum for their film documentary on Chinese in America.

Prior to the film crew’s visit to San Jose, Directors Liu and Jun had visited with the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation Directors Michael McKechnie and Grant Din to learn more about the immigration experiences during the station’s tenure between 1910-1940.  For more recent developments, they also met with resident Chinese American entrepreneurs to discuss business history and development opportunities for overseas Chinese.  Look for news of the documentary movie’s opening sometime in the fall on CCTV.

San Jose Lion Dance Troupe perform at History San Jose park for CCTV film crew on Gold Rush Day celebration.

San Jose Lion Dance Troupe perform at History San Jose park for CCTV film crew on Gold Rush Day celebration.

Speaking of movie making, I am pleased to see that my old friend Thuy Vu will be replacing the retired Belva Davis to host a KQED revamped Friday evening news program .  Thuy was most recently seen as co-host of KPIX’s “Eye on the Bay” . She will be joined by “The California Report’s” Scott Shafter in a new show called “KQED Newsroom”, which will incorporate familiar public affairs round table with additional features of interviews, field reporting and debate segments. Watch for the show, which will air on Channel 9 Friday nights and KQED-FM on Sunday evenings.  Welcome back on air,Thuy. We have missed your cheery smile on the TV screens of late.

More visitors to the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project’s Ng Shing Gung Chinese American Museum of History was the very active senior group Ko Yu Kai from the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Palo Alto.  Lead byJudy Wong, the group, which meets once a month, had previously visited other sites as the Disney Museum, San Jose Japanese Museum, Hakone Gardens and the Tied House Brewery Tour.  Any individuals or groups wishing Special docent tours of the San Jose Chinese museum can be arranged by calling Chinese Historical and Cultural Project Tour Director Anita Kwock (408) 268-2180.

Arthur and Judy Wong lead group to tour museum from the Aldersgate United Methodist Church of Palo Alto.

Arthur and Judy Wong lead group to tour museum from the Aldersgate United Methodist Church of Palo Alto.

CELEBRATIONS

 Baby Caitlin Kensley Kwong is proudly shown off by grandmother Bonnie Kwong, mother Sarah, and great grandmother Frances Low.

Baby Caitlin Kensley Kwong is proudly shown off by grandmother Bonnie Kwong, mother Sarah, and great grandmother Frances Low.

Wee Caitlyn Kensley Kwong got a royal start with a Red Egg and Ginger Party hosted by her grandmother Bonnie Kwong and maternal grandparents David and Maggie Tran, parents Dr. Jeff and Sarah Kwong, and great-grandmother Francis Low. Held at the Main Banquet Hall of the Cupertino Dynasty Restaurant, the celebration party featured balloon makers, cotton candy, funny photo taking with a multitude of photo paraphernalia to wear before the cameras, and of course, a plentiful buffet table.  Great Grandmother Frances Low stalwartly welcomed the over 300 guests who came to herald Sarah’s arrival last winter. Among the well-wishers were Manford and Wanda Wong, Gloria and Peter Hom, Larry and Becky Wong,  Jim Yamaguchi with daughter Lori Yamaguchi and her two daughters, Dr Franklin and Sandra Yee,  Ruth and Roy Wong, Jan Yanehiro with daughter home from Berlin, Gim and Pat Lum, grand uncle Elliot Low, and grand auntie Theresa.

Ko Yu Kai Senior Group from Palo Alto visit Ng Shing Gung temple museum.

Ko Yu Kai Senior Group from Palo Alto visit Ng Shing Gung temple museum.

San Francisco Landmark Back in Action

I got to do some reminiscing when I attended the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ Western Region Properties Reception atSan Francisco’s famed Tonga Room & Hurricane Barrecently. It had been a good long time since I saw the historic room with its landmark roar of thunder and flashing lightning over the central pool with the bandstand in the middle. Regional Vice President and General Manager of The Fairmont San Francisco Tom Klein welcomed all and I had a chance to rekindle old friendships with Public Relations Ambassadors Michele Heston (Sonoma Mission Inn), Jacqueline Kerns (Fairmont Miramar of Santa Monica), Jaisy Jardine (Fairmont Orchid Hawaii), Megan Haertling (Fairmont Kea Lani Maui), and meet Melissa Farrar(Fairmont San Francisco). Set around the pool were delectable specialties from San Francisco Fairmont’s Executive Chef Chad Blunston and Executive Pastry Chef Julian Perrigo-Jimenez, of which my favorite was the seared Pork Belly Sliders with Hoisin Papaya Glaze and King’s Hawaiian Bread but it was also hard to keep away from the Mini Vegetarian Samosas with cucumber Raita.  Other delights were prepared by Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn Executive Chef Bruno Tison and San Jose’s Exec. Chef Daniel Maurice. I learned that on Wed-Friday nights the SF Fairmont hosts an extensive buffet of Pacific Rim delicacies, a steal at only $10 with an additional one drink minimum. Seems like a feast for kings and queens at this favorite tropical restaurant which will also serve tantalizing cocktails at Happy Hour prices.    Have a summer outing by calling (415) 772-5278 and I’ll join you to listen to Island Groove Band too.

San Francisco Fairmont Public Relations Director Melissa Farrar and Fairmont Kea Lani Maui Megan Haertling enjoy buffet delicacies at  Media Reception.

San Francisco Fairmont Public Relations Director Melissa Farrar and Fairmont Kea Lani Maui Megan Haertling enjoy buffet delicacies at Media Reception.

Another destination for summer get-aways is going for a four hour spin from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe for a chance to smell fresh air, see blue sky and mountain vistas.  I went over the ridge from Heavenly Valley at Stateline to the small town ofGenoa, Nevada where a hidden gem of golf awaited us at Genoa Lakes Golf Club with a pair of championship golf courses.  A very personable Director Chad Weibelhaus told us the links-style course was co-designed by PGA Champion Peter Jacobsen and John Harbottle III and we so enjoyed the beautiful views when the rolling fairways met head-on with the eastern slopes of the breathtaking Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Lakes Course boasts plenty of lakes, and it is not uncommon to spot incredible wildlife as you play through. This course is known for being a fun yet challenging layout to play. The Resort Course, meanwhile, is a gorgeous, links-style layout steeped with magnificent views of the Carson Valley. These are two must-play golf courses. For we visitors Dali Jones, Jeanette Yee and Patsy Ja, we found the course very challenging with lush wetlands where the winding Carson River brought water into play on 14 holes of play, no less. When visiting Stateline next time, leave the casino play for a pleasant drive to Genoa to visit quaint towns and a wonderful game of golf.

Fairmont Michelle Heston & Tom Klein

Fairmont Hotel Director Michelle Heston and Regional Vice President Tom Klein welcome guests to Tonga Room reception.

THE SHOW  MUST GO ON

San Jose Repertory Theatre’s production of Love, Loss, and What I Wore is the funniest collection of stories on stage performed by 5 talented ladies. The actresses sitting in a row on stage interact as they each tell their stories on a subject shown on a screen backdrop.  They are hilarious as they spoke on subjects dear to many a woman’s heart – the prom date, mothers, sisters, the purse, the black dress, the dressing room, and having nothing to wear.  Kudos to San Jose Rep for bringing this international favorite to San Jose audiences where these stories written by Nora and Delia Ephron will relate to all of us fairer sex. Play runs July 19-28.  A perfect show for a girls’ night out.  www.SJRep.com

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