Friends and family honored Shirley Fong-Torres' life at memorial services in San Francisco on July 24. Her life and vivacious personality touched people worldwide with her books, television appearances, and her Wok Wiz company's daily guided walking and culinary tours of San Francisco's Chinatown and North Beach.
Shirley was born November 16, 1946 in Oakland, daughter of Connie and the late Ricardo Fong-Torres, and was a graduate of U.C. Berkeley.
She was a teacher in Texas and California, a chef, and after working in marketing for Levi Strauss, she created Wok Wiz in 1985, offering tours, as well as cooking lessons.
Her business drew rave reviews and quickly grew, and she built a staff of tour guides to meet demand. She wrote such books as San Francisco Chinatown: A Walking Tour, The Chinese Kitchen, Wok Wiz Chinese Cookbook, and The Woman Who Ate Chinatown. Shirley wrote articles for many food and travel publications and frequently appeared on radio and television including The Food Channel, History and Discovery Channels, and inflight for Hawaiian Airlines, Qantas Airlines and JetBlue.
She was active in many community groups and often served on the board of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau. She had homes in San Francisco and Pacifica.
She and her former husband, Richard Dong, were the parents of Tina Dong Pavao, and she was a vivacious, fun-loving grandmother to Tina’s two daughters with Matt Pavao, Maggie and Stella. Shirley is also...
Don't miss the 14th season of Shakespeare by the Sea with 40 free performances at 21 parks in 19 LA and Orange county cities in Southern California. Once again, admission is free to this season's performances. The season opens June 9, 2011 with the romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, and one week later on June 16, with the opening of the ultimate family drama The Tragedy of King Lear. Performances continue through August 12.
All performances are in the evening starting at either 7:00pm or 8:00pm. Audiences are encouraged to gather with friends and family early to dine picnic-style under the stars to make the most of this classic entertainment experience. Learn more at www.shakespearebythesea.org or by calling 310-217-7596.
This season’s performances under the stewardship of founding member and Producing Artistic Director Lisa Coffi, are sponsored by Orange County Community Foundation, Union Pacific Railroad, Newport Beach Arts Commission, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, and Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
Cities on this year’s tour include: Altadena, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, La Crescenta, Laguna Niguel, Lakewood, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Newport Beach, Playa Vista, Rossmoor, Rowland Heights, San Pedro, South Pasadena, Torrance, Whittier, and two different parks in Rancho Palos Verdes. See production schedules, full location information, and times at http://www.shakespearebythesea.org/locations.html.
USC film school graduate, Vicky Shen, humbles the “Tiger Mom” controversy with her new film Adultolescence, which she wrote, produced, co-directed with Zoe Bui and starred in. Check out Adultolescence, which recently played at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, at the free screening on Monday, June 6 at the Ray Stark Family Theatre at USC School of Cinematic Arts, The screening will be followed by a Q&A.
Adultolescence tells the story of Lea May (Vicky Shen), a Chinese-American artist suffering from post-college career ennui, who returns home to live with her parents (Jeanne Sakata as Mrs. May and Michael Yama as Mr. May) after having been disowned by her strict, immigrant mother.
Ms. Shen used the story of stagnation for one twenty-something to reveal larger themes of the economics of emotions for post-grads, boomeranged back home after college. The film also blends the dual identity of American-born children of immigrant parents.
“This film’s greatest asset is demystifying the TIGER MOM debate by revealing that there is no unifying rulebook when it comes to Asian parenting and garnering an interesting portrayal of an Asian mother by humanizing the individual, rather than making her a stereotype,” said Ms. Shen.
Vicky Shen received a B.A. in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Her advanced student film, The Killing Seasons, which she wrote, directed and acted in...
On Sunday afternoon, I stood in line for over an hour for the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition, the hottest ticket in town, in The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The breathtaking exhibition, on view in the Metropolitan Museum’s second-floor Cantor Galleries, features approximately 100 ensembles and 70 accessories from the late Mr. McQueen’s prolific 19-year career, and is a celebration of the fashion designer’s extraordinary contributions to fashion.
Since opening on May 4, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty has been drawing crowds, with the highest attendance of any public opening day for a Costume Institute exhibition; that attendance was second at the Met only to that of Vincent van Gogh: The Drawings in 2005. More than 180,000 people have seen the show. Set to close on July 31, the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition has been extended until August 7.
May 30, 2011
What a great way to end a terrible month. Here it was, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and I spent most of May with a cold, a bout of laryngitis and general misery.
But I saved up energy for a couple of events, including a birthday bash for my pal Sherry Hu, the veteran reporter at KPIX-TV (“CBS 5”) who just retired after 34 years there. She and husband Karl Nichols chose to celebrate with about 60 friends at the Silver Dragon restaurant in Oakland.
And at our table, there were Art and Mary Fong. Sherry’s cousin, Bob Wong (a classmate of mine in junior high school) is married to Sheryl Fong, daughter of Art and Mary. Got it?
Across the table, Art waved at me, so I went over and learned that he’d seen me on various broadcasts of the Chinese New Year Parade and at community events. Now, finally, we were able to say hello.
Fong, who is 91, encouraged me to Google him. “Art Fong, HP,” he said. HP—as in Hewlett Packard. Long before it became known for its printers and computers, this company, beginning in the late Thirties, specialized in electronic test equipment. Art Fong would become one of the most valued engineers at what became one of the most inventive tech companies in war time. And, as he told me, “Back prior to 1940, it could not have been done. It took WWII for them to let us do these things.”
What “things?” I did as I was told. I Googled Art. Talk about your Asian Pacific Heritage.
In 1946, Fong, a native of Sacramento, had just left...