Opportunity 機會

Owing to the dedication and perseverance of the founders of New Chinatown, this development  created professional opportunities previously unavailable. For more than 80 years, the neighborhood has served the ambitions of entrepreneurs and the aspirations of small business owners. Despite changes and challenges as the city has grown and the Chinese community has dispersed, legacy business owners as well as newer arrivals continue to find hope and inspiration in the past achievements borne out here.

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My father [Y. C. Hong] thought he'd go out and practice law, and they said, 'that's a disaster, you're never going to be able to make a living'. He was a very positive personality. He was always looking forward, improving himself, and believed that Chinese people here in Los Angeles would be successful.”

- Nowland C. Hong

Secretary in Y. C. Hong’s immigration law office (1939)

Menu for the Phoenix Bakery (1948)
Los Angeles Public Library, Menu Collection.

Menu for the Phoenix Bakery (1948)

There weren't a lot of options when our parents immigrated to the United States...they missed the sweets that they had in China, and their thinking was that, in good times or bad, people will always celebrate...We now have customers that have been coming here for generations.”

- Kathryn Chan Ceppi and Kelly Chan

Oh there's my dad [Peter SooHoo Sr., right], and there's Mr. Chow. We had all kinds of stuff, really good antiques and linens and jewelry, and then we also had tchotchkes...I spent hours there. We were in the back, and they had a kitchen and a bathroom but no hot water, you had to boil water in the tea kettle.”

- Pat SooHoo Lem

Interior of the Gin Ling Gift Shop (1939)

We've had a long history of supporting immigrant businesses. Whether they're selling clothes or food or toys or music...the entrepreneurs gave it a lot of its character, and a connection with our home roots.”

- Eugene Moy

Dun Sow Hong store in New Chinatown Central Plaza, Lilly & George T. S. Mu pictured (1940s)

I'm sure it was a political event in Chinatown, where Reagan was looking for votes and support and fundraising... My father [Y. C. Hong] knew what you had to deal with in bureaucracy, and that was advantageous to his legal practice as well.”

- Nowland C. Hong

California Governor Ronald Reagan visiting New Chinatown (1960s)

It's a very special place in my heart. I hear all the stories of my family, and to go to these same locations today and know my grandfather was a busboy at Golden Pagoda. In summer, there was no air conditioning, so my grandma would go and throw him popsicles up to the second floor window.”

- Caitlin Bryant
Menu for the Golden Pagoda Restaurant, later Hop Louie (1943)
Los Angeles Public Library, Menu Collection.

Menu for the Golden Pagoda Restaurant, later Hop Louie (1943)