Experience Chinatown 2022, a wonderful 3 month arts festival organized by the talented staff at the Pao Arts Center under the leadership of Cynthia Woo, included window mural art. To my surprise and delight, my face painted on the window of the Happy Lamb faced Washington Street, the former site of the adult entertainment district called the Combat Zone. In 1963, my family moved into 7 Knapp Street, a Bullfinch building in the Combat Zone, one street over from Washington Street, after our home at 116 Hudson Street was taken by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in order to build a highway ramp. Five families lived on that alley. It was a traumatic displacement from what we thought was a Taishanese immigrant’s paradise. I am flattered and honored to be included in the mural: “Women Today and Yesterday, ” painted by the renowned Salem muralist, Anna Dugan, featuring talented women in the arts today : Amanda Beard-Garcia, the mural artist herself, Anna Dugan, Pao Arts staffers Sophia Chen and Ashley Yung, and dramaturg and founder of Chuang Stage, Alison Qu. I found it funny to see my larger than life and rather tough-looking face gazing down once again on this street I once navigated daily in my teens with trepidation, a street once lined with prostitutes, pimps, Johns, strip joints, loud music and cops hanging out. Life is full of irony but my family and I got a big kick out of seeing me on a former Combat Zone window. Thank you, Pao staffers!
You can read my essay, “Mo Hi: Don’t Look” about a a rebellious Chinese American teenage girl trying to find herself while growing up in an alley and navigating the Combat Zone with her immigrant MaMa who tells her “Mo Hi: Don’t Look.” It is available on this website as well.
Experience Chinatown: The On-Going Festival Celebrating Boston’s Chinatown | Arts | The Harvard Crimson
— Read on www.thecrimson.com/article/2022/9/27/experience-chinatown-festival-boston-fall-2022/