Thursday, April 30, 2020

Oakland's Oishii Bento to reopen for takeout and delivery, May 1.

Oakland's Oishii Bento, which temporarily closed on April 1, announced today it will reopen for takeout and delivery from tomorrow. Oishii Bento is located at 119 Oakland Ave. (map).

"Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month: Community Conversations" with Welcoming Pittsburgh and Governor Wolf's Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, May 4.

Welcoming Pittsburgh and Governor Wolf's Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs will host "Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month: Community Conversations" online on May 4.
Join the Inclusive Innovation team, Governor Wolf's Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, the Office of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, and guest speakers for an #AAPI community conversation titled: "Addressing Hate, Discrimination, and Mental Health." Learn about unique challenges faced by the #AAPI community during the COVID-19 pandemic and how all Pittsburghers can be a part of the solution in combating hate.

The event will be live-streamed in this Facebook Event Page and on the Welcoming Pittsburgh Facebook Page.

6:30 p.m. - 6:35 p.m. - Welcome and Introduction of Event: Marian Lien and Wasi Mohamed (Advisory Commission)
6:35 pm. - 7:00 p.m. - Know Your Rights: Rich Ting (Asian Pacific Bar Association of Pennsylvania), Cindy Chung (Attorney), and the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations
7:00 p.m. - 7:20 p.m. - Mental Health: Dr. Mengchun Chiang
7:20 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Community Sharing/Q&As (participants can share questions for the speakers via Facebook Comment)

This week is the first session of a four-part May series for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2020:
Week 1: Addressing Hate, Discrimination, and Mental Health
Week 2: Community Leader Discussion
Week 3: Small Business Resources
Week 4: Youth Empowerment

Please follow Welcoming Pittsburgh and stay tuned for further updates!

"Bystander Intervention Training to Stop Anti-Asian/American and Xenophobic Harassment" online sessions, from May 2.

Hollaback will host online "Bystander Intervention Training to Stop Anti-Asian/American and Xenophobic Harassment" sessions from May 2.
In response to the rise in Anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment, we at Hollaback! partnered with Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC to adapt our free bystander intervention training to meet this moment.

Unfortunately, anti-Asian and Asian American racism and xenophobia is not a new phenomenon. It has been part of American history for a long time, and we have seen it manifested against different Asian/American and Pacific Islander communities in many ways over the years. As the coronavirus pandemic escalates, we have seen more harassment, discrimination, and even violence directed at these communities. The Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation has been documenting hate crimes and hate incidents since 2017 at, which is available in English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Online "How To Tai Chi" with Asian Studies Center at Pitt, Fridays in May.

The Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh will host free online "How To Tai Chi" lessons Fridays in May, starting May 1. Those interested in the Zoom sessions can register here.

Community College of Allegheny County hiring adjunct Chinese instructor.

The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is hiring an adjunct instructor of Chinese.
General Summary: The primary responsibilities of the faculty are to teach and to develop the curriculum. To meet these responsibilities, faculty must remain knowledgeable about advances in their disciplines, in learning theory, and in pedagogy. Faculty portfolios will include contributions and program development and show evidence of ongoing professional development.

Oakland's Tong's Cuisine permanently closes.

Via Google Maps.

On April 27, Oakland's Tong's Cuisine announced that it has permanently closed.

Tong's opened in 2011 at 228 Semple St. (map).

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Volunteers needed for census phone bank.

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Pittsburgh is recruiting volunteers for a census phone bank aimed at local API and Latinx communities.
APALA Pittsburgh and Casa San José are organizing for fair and just representation of the Latinx and API communities in the 2020 Census. We are hoping to make 300 calls by close-of-business this Thursday. If you're able to help, even with an hour of your time, we would really appreciate it. Can you help us?
Those interested and available should contact Kim Dinh at

Monday, April 27, 2020

Big plans for Pusadee's Garden.

Work has temporarily halted at the new space for Pusadee's Garden in Lawrenceville, though when it reopens the restaurant will nearly double in size. The popular Thai restaurant closed in 2017 for renovations, though signage is up at 5317 Butler St. and the original storefront at 5321, with an expanded outdoor dining area spanning the gap. NextPittsburgh wrote last month:
If you’ve taken a stroll through Lawrenceville lately, you’ve probably seen the sign and started salivating. Pusadee’s Garden is reopening this spring after sprucing up 5321 Butler St. The restaurant, known for its traditional Thai dishes — mmm, can’t you just taste the crab fried rice? — is also a feast for the eyes. Its patio is one of the prettiest in Pittsburgh.
It was named "Best Outdoor Dining" by the Pittsburgh City-Paper in 2017.

Pitt's first Chinese graduates.

Two of the first three petroleum engineering graduates in the United States were Chinese, and they were the first two Chinese students to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh back in 1915. As noted in a post on this topic last year, the Pitt Weekly profiled the four men who were en route to earn this degree:

Melican Chinese laundries and Chinese chop suey restaurants are common objects in our city life, and on most any corner we see the familiar sign 'Wa Lee Yee, Laundry" but did you ever stop to think that we will be soon buying our oil and gasoline from real Chinese pretroleum [sic] engineers?

Pitt has taken the lead in producing Chinese Knights of the oil can, and will, unless the unexpected happens, graduate two sons of the oriental country with the degree of petroleum engineer in June. This will be the first time for any university in the United States to offer the degree, so the men taking it will have a notable distinction.

The students who expect to take the degree of petroleum engineer are F.A. Johnson, Ben Avon, Pa; George W. Myers, Pittsburgh; Barin Ye Long, Changtu, China, and Chun Young Chan, Canton, China.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

New restoration of 1991 movie Thousand Pieces of Gold playing online as part of Harris Theater's online programming, April 24 - May 8.

The 1991 movie Thousand Pieces of Gold, set in the 1880s and about a Chinese woman sold into servitude in the American West, will stream from April 24 through May 8 as part of the Harris Theater @ Home's online programming. Part of the proceeds from tickets will benefit the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Set in the 1880s, this film chronicles the journey of Lalu (Rosalind Chao), a Chinese woman whose financially desperate family sells her as a bride. She is sent to the United States, where she is bought by sleazy barkeep Hong King (Michael Paul Chan), who plans to make money off of Lalu by forcing her into a life of prostitution. Unwilling to submit to his demands, she begins her own successful business venture and captures the attention of the troubled but kindly Charlie (Chris Cooper).
Tickets are available online.

Profile on Japanese-American Pirates prospect Daniel Ross.

Millersville University's The Snapper profiles pitcher Daniel Ross, a senior for the Marauders and a 39th-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2019.
Ross was excited to be here in Pennsylvania around his family, but it was also important that coach Jon Shehan sold him on the program. The toughest adjustment, however, was that he was from Japan and there were some major language barriers.

“There was a lot of language barriers and cultural barriers that didn’t click in immediately, but the language barrier kept me away from knowing people more and it was harder to understand people more,” Ross said.

Ross was concerned that the fact that he was still learning English might be a challenge or make it harder to get along with his teammates. But his language barrier wasn’t just holding him back off the field, it created on the field challenges as well. There are things about baseball that are universal, but Ross says in Japan players think differently.

“It’s a little bit different like how people think, baseball was a little differently. I don’t have any quick examples, but everything didn’t make sense or click for me right away,” Ross says.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Character Media and "Breaking The Model Minority Myth With Jasmine Cho’s Cookie Art."

Character Media talked with Pittsburgh baker, artist, and author Jasmine Cho earlier this month about her art, activities, and aims.
While reflecting on some of her more memorable cookie portraits, Cho explains that it wasn’t until 2017 that she intentionally made her cookies a political and historical statement. She had recently seen a photograph of an Asian man holding a sign in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. The sign read, “I am gay, Korean American, immigrant, rape survivor, still standing proud.” “I remember I thought, ‘Oh my gosh! I have to recreate this portrait,’” Cho says. “His name was Ben Dumond, and I remember his portrait in particular. You kind of lose yourself to this; it’s the process of making art, and as you do you reflect on this person’s story and the courage it took for him to post that publicly.” After the inspiration for Cho’s Revolutionary Art exhibit came together, her collection of 11 cookie portraits was on display at the Pittsburgh City-County Building in 2017 as well as other local public art venues. Cho feels a responsibility to honor the identities and the stories she’s able to share, and she has no intention of minimizing individuals’ contributions to the world. The cookie-making process also helps her release emotions into something that proactively goes towards helping her community.

City-Paper looks at Umami's new bento boxes.

Today's Pittsburgh City-Paper has a profile on Lawrenceville's Umami and it's new bento boxes.
On a normal night at Umami, choosing what to order from the menu is difficult, especially if you’re like me and want to try everything. The lengthy list covers everything from one-piece nigiri to bowls of ramen to plates of sashimi. It’s almost impossible to make a decision.

Umami’s bento solves this problem. The box, which changes daily, offers small bites of four dishes, giving diners a chance to try something from every side of the menu.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

2019 Chinese film The Wild Goose Lake (南方车站的聚会) continues streaming via Parkway Theater.

The Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks is still streaming the 2019 Chinese film The Wild Goose Lake (南方车站的聚会) online, with 50% of the proceeds going to the theater. The distributor summarizes:
A gang leader on the run seeking redemption . . .
A girl in trouble risking everything to gain her freedom . . .
Both hunted on the hidden shores of The Wild Goose Lake.
They set a deadly gamble for what may be their last day.
Tickets are available online.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Counter space at 朝茶 TSAOCAA, Squirrel Hill.

A look inside 朝茶 TSAOCAA, a Taiwanese bubble tea chain opening in Squirrel Hill. Work started on the storefront at 5871 Forbes Ave. (map) in the fall. The chain has locations in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, among a few other places in the US, and this one will be run by the people who own New China House in Monroeville.

Cancelled: Nicole Chung at City of Asylum, scheduled for May 11.


City of Asylum has cancelled its event with author Nicole Chung, originally scheduled for May 11, along with all of its other programming in May.

Friday, April 17, 2020

The Pitt News profiles Timothy Vong of Thai Gourmet and Thai Gourmet Express for its Silhouettes 2020 series.

by Thomas Yang.

The Pitt News, the student newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh, has profiled Timothy Vong of Bloomfield's Thai Gourmet restaurant and Oakland's Thai Gourmet Express food truck as part of this year's Silhouettes series.
“I try to create a friendly environment and give my customers a warm welcome,” Vong said, flashing the trademark grin he gives every customer he serves. “If I see a friendly, familiar face I come out and shake their hand. As for my students, I treat them and try and take care of them like they’re my own kids.”

Each morning, Tim and Vilivan head to Thai Gourmet — their Bloomfield restaurant the truck is named after — to prepare the day’s supply of food for the truck. Depending on the season, they serve 30 to 120 people per day.

“Fresh, fresh, fresh, everyday. People support us, so we want to provide that for them,” said Vong. “I’m very satisfied and happy to be involved in the Pitt community — to meet the new students in the fall and give them satisfaction.”

The 52-year-old Turtle Creek resident is very satisfied with the life he has now, though his journey to Pittsburgh and the restaurant industry he adores actually took several decades.

Vong compared his childhood years in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, to that of today’s average American kid — spent doing chores and playing soccer with friends. But following the Vietnam War, life became harder and more dangerous for his family. In 1979, his parents made the decision to flee the country with Vong and his five younger siblings to attempt to start a new life elsewhere.

Online discussion of Akira Yoshimura's Shipwrecks, April 23 with Asian Studies Center of Pitt.

The Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh will host an online discussion of Akira Yoshimura's Shipwrecks on April 23.
Shipwrecks by Akira Yoshimura explores the life of nine year-old Isaku, who lives in a poor fishing village in Japan. Aside from earning profits by distilling salt to nearby villages, Isaku's village sets fires with salt cauldrons to attract ships, which are then looted for food and valuables. One day, a ship washes ashore that carries unexpected cargo. Shipwrecks is Yoshimura's first novel translated to English.

Please join us on for an online lecture on Thursday, April 23 from 4:30 PM to 7 PM. For information, please email

Thursday, April 16, 2020

UPMC hiring Director of International Training Center; bilingual English-Mandarin speaker preferred.

UPMC is hiring a Director of its International Training Center, specifically looking for someone bilingual in English and Mandarin or English and Russian.
This position oversees and directs all activities related to the UPMC International Training Center. The Training Center encompasses a series of programs aimed at UPMC's international clientele, providing best in class training and support for the development of their programs abroad. The Director also plays a pivotal role in supporting various business development proposal and the standardization of clinical operations in various countries and regions that are critical to UPMC International strategic initiatives. The International Training Center Director will coordinate the efforts for participants in the Physician and Executive International Health Care Management Program, the International Nurse Observership Program and other Training and Observership programs hosted across UPMC facilities. The Director will also collaborate with the UPMC International teams directing the International Administrative Fellowship Program. The Director will serve as the main point of contact with all international outreach efforts involved in recruiting participants to the programs. The Director must be an individual who is able to organize and work well within a diverse team, comprised of UPMC International and hospital leadership across the organization, as well as physicians, nurses, and other individuals key to the success of each of the International Training Center's programs.
More information available on the UPMC website.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Teppanyaki Kyoto shares new bento, kids menus.

Teppanyaki Kyoto restaurant in Highland Park (map) has remained open for delivery and take-out orders through this public health crisis, and has recently unveiled new bento and kids menus. They note, for the latter:
During this difficult time, providing 3 meals a day for your children can be tough. This the reason why we are creating a children's menu for children 12 years and younger. These meals will be served in bento boxes.
Bento #1: Fried Shrimps, Kara-age, Egg rolls.
Bento #2: Grilled Salmon, edamame, Chicken Meat Ball.

* There will be a limit of 2 orders per purchase.
No substitute individual item.

*If you'd like to order these for dinner, please call ahead during lunchtime (11:30-2:00) to allow us time to prepare. Orders *placed* at dinnertime will be $7 instead of $5. Thanks for understanding! "I’m an international student at Pitt. Wearing a face mask is a fraught choice for people who ‘look Chinese.’"

Pitt graduate student Alexis Lai shares her story with
Shortly after the University of Pittsburgh announced it would shift all classes online, I received a WhatsApp message from a fellow Chinese student: “It might be better to leave ASAP. It’s going to get worse – the racism, if not the virus."

Her comments echoed my fears. Just a few hours after Pittsburgh had reported the city’s first two COVID-19 cases on March 14, a Black teenager yelled “Corona” at me as I walked into a Rite-Aid in search of face masks.

While Americans and their president were just waking up to the seriousness of the pandemic, Chinese students have been acutely aware of it since January when the virus was first reported in mainland China. In fact, international students from various parts of Asia have been steadily monitoring the news, concerned about the broadening outbreak in their home countries and its implications for their lives in America.

Duolingo hiring User Operations Manager for its English test, with background in Chinese or Japanese preferred.

Pittsburgh-based Duolingo is hiring a User Operations Manager to support its English proficiency test.
Support the operational processes for an innovative product.

We're seeking an experienced candidate to assist with our proctoring, client engagement, and customer support processes for the Duolingo English Test. Our ideal person has a broad range of experiences from supporting a workforce of remote contractors to ensuring that operational quality, communication, and security are top priorities.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Oversee workflow and process for assessment proctoring
  • Establish and maintain best practices and quality assurance protocol
  • Support relationships with outside agencies and institutions
  • Recruit, hire, train, and support a remote labor force
  • Expertly handle proctoring and customer support escalations
  • Be the determining factor for test certification decision appeals
  • Work closely with product team, engagement team, and leadership to ensure that all service level agreements are met
  • On a rotating basis, be on-call on weekends/evenings

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Performances by Korea's Brush Theater and Kuniko Yamamoto halted as 2020 EQT Children's Festival cancelled.

via @brushtheatre.

The performances by Doodle POP! by Korea's Brush Theater and "Origami Tales" by Kuniko Yamamoto scheduled for next month's EQT Children's Festival have been cancelled, along with all Pittsburgh Cultural Trust programming through June 14.

Virtual Japanese-English Reading Circle with Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania, from April 18.

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania's Japanese-English Reading Circle, which used to meet in Shadyside, will be online from April 18.
Mission: to promote language learning through reading and language exchange. We aim to keep positivity and motivation high while developing reading fluency, vocabulary, content discussion, and reading strategies in a fun, collaborative environment.

Meetings: will consist of icebreaker language games, discussions about book topics, questions about language, formation of reading goals, and reading strategy sharing/reflection

Who can join: Japanese learners of English or English-speaking learners of Japanese. Any proficiency level is okay, although it would help to have at least beginner level knowledge of the second language you are studying. You can also sign up for the Facebook group or Google group for reminders.
Virtual meetings are held roughly every two Saturdays---April 18, May 2, May 16, June 6, June 20---and those interested should email the JASP or connect with its Facebook or Google groups.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster (一代宗師) online with Pitt's Asian Studies Center, April 15.

The Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh will present the 2013 Wong Kar Wai film The Grandmaster (一代宗師) online on April 15.
SCREENSHOT:ASIA will be hosting a second Netflix and Ramen event. Directed by Wong Kar Wai and released in 2013, The Grandmaster is a martial arts drama that takes place during the decline of the last Chinese dynasty. Highlighting the action filled life of Ip Man, the master of wing chun (martial arts), the film spans from the 1930s to Ip Man's death in 1972. Threatened and challenged by Gong Yuitan and his daughter, Gong Er, Ip Man is chosen to represent the community of Southern masters. Even after his first fight with Gong Er and his move to Hong Kong, Ip Man is unable to leave Gong Er in his past.

Please join us on Wednesday, April 15 at 7 PM on Netflix Party. To register, please visit the ticket link found on this event page.

*Ramen is bring-your-own and will not be provided. Viewers MUST have Netflix and the Netflix Party Google Chrome Extension.
It starts at 7:00 pm and registration can be completed online.

Modified hours for Young's Oriental Grocery in Squirrel Hill.

Young's Oriental Grocery, a Korean grocery store in Squirrel Hill, also has modified its hours amid COVID-19. The new hours, as posted on its door, are 9:30 am to 6:30 am Monday through Saturday and 1:00 - 5:00 pm on Sunday. Young's is located at 5813 Forward Ave. (map).

Friday, April 10, 2020

City-Paper looks at Panda, other ethnic groceries during pandemic.

The Pittsburgh City-Paper looks at Panda Supermarket and other smaller ethnic groceries staying open during this pandemic and the ways they are adapting.
Panda Supermarket in Squirrel Hill has altered its entire business to operate by delivery and pickup orders only. Customers order through Facebook messenger or WeChat app, then employees do the shopping, masked and gloved.

“Before [the outbreak], it was really busy,” says Shelley Fan, one of the owners of the Asian supermarket. “But because of the difficult time, with the pickup, we cannot handle a lot of people.” Fan says they’re taking in about a third of their usual traffic.
The article notes the store is paying its employees extra during this time.

Pittsburgh Public Schools hiring Japanese teacher for grades 6 - 12.

The Pittsburgh Public Schools district is hiring a Japanese teacher for grades 6 - 12 for the upcoming school year. An excerpt from the lengthy job posting:
Salary: Salary Schedule For Teachers Hired On Or After July 1, 2010 (starting at $47, 858 per year)

Endorsements: Japanese, Foreign Languages PK-12

A Bachelor's degree and Pennsylvania State Teaching Certification in required content area.

Must also obtain 24 additional education credits within six years of hire to obtain permanent certification.

Cancelled: Japanese film Hula Girls (フラガール) at Maridon Museum, April 24.

The 2006 Japanese movie Hula Girls (フラガール), scheduled to play at the Maridon Museum on April 24 as the third and final installment in this spring's Japanese Film Series, has been cancelled.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

1985 North Korean monster film Pulgasari (불가사리) with Pitt's Online:Screenshot, April 10.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center and Screenshot: Asia festival will present an online screening of the North Korean monster film Pulgasari (불가사리) on April 10.
Pulgasari (1985) is a North Korean dark fantasy film about a selfish king’s attempt to foil the working class’ plan to overthrow him from power. Built by a blacksmith, the tiny Pulgasari only becomes alive and grows after eating the blacksmith daughter’s blood and an assortment of tools. The monster soon earns a vital role in the battle between the working class and the king and his royal army. For those looking for something to do during this time of social distancing, SCREENSHOT: ASIA will be offering a free online screening of Pulgasari with an introduction by Pitt professor Mark Best.

Please join us on Friday, April 10th at 3 PM on Zoom (online). To register, please visit
Screenshot: Asia is a forthcoming Asian film festival scheduled in Pittsburgh for Fall 2020.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Tiny ceramic smiles.

The Pittsburgh City-Paper profiles ceramicist Reiko Yamamoto and her Tiny Smiles fundraising project.

Parkway Theater streaming 2019 Chinese film The Wild Goose Lake (南方车站的聚会).

The Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks is streaming the 2019 Chinese film The Wild Goose Lake (南方车站的聚会) online, with 50% of the proceeds going to the theater. The distributor summarizes:
A gang leader on the run seeking redemption . . .
A girl in trouble risking everything to gain her freedom . . .
Both hunted on the hidden shores of The Wild Goose Lake.
They set a deadly gamble for what may be their last day.
Tickets are available online.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Pitt's Asian Studies Center hiring student interns for 2020-2021.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center is now accepting applications for student interns for the 2020-2021 school year.
There are openings available for our Communications & Media position, our Chinese Language Social Media position, and our Global Ambassador position. All applicants must be pursuing an Asian Studies Certificate and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Interns will receive $5,000 in tuition reimbursement for the Fall and Spring terms ($10,000 total). Applications are due by Friday, May 1st. Please visit here for more information and to apply.

Susan Choi, Ocean Vuong among those scheduled to speak in Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Series in 2020-2021.

The 2020-2021 Ten Evenings schedule was recently announced and it includes authors Susan Choi and Ocean Vuong.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Squirrel Hill's Chengdu Gourmet temporarily closes.

Chengdu Gourmet in Squirrel Hill has temporarily closed. "Take care and stay safe" says a sign on the window. For part of this public health crisis the restaurant was open for take-out orders. Located at 5840 Forward Ave. (map), Chengdu Gourmet is routinely named among the best Chinese restaurants in the city, and in February its chef, Wei Zhu, was again a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic.

2018 Chinese-Japanese film Flavors of Youth (肆式青春, 詩季織々) with Pitt's Online: Screenshot Asia, April 7.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center's online iteration of its Screenshot: Asia programming festival is hosting a virtual viewing party of the 2018 animted Chinese-Japanese film Flavors of Youth (肆式青春, 詩季織々) on April 7:
Join us and the Asian Studies Center on Zoom to watch Flavors of Youth with the Google Chrome extension, Netflix Party!

To register for the event, please go to

*Note: You must have a Netflix account and have downloaded the Netflix Party Chrome Extension. To download, go to this link (

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Shadyside's Tokyo Japanese Store changes hours, limits number of shoppers.

In response to the current public health crisis, Tokyo Japanese Store in Shadyside has limited its hours of operation and the number of shoppers permitted in the store at one time. In an email sent to a local Japanese mailing list, the owner says store hours are now, through April 30 at least, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day but Monday, with the number of shoppers permitted in the store now reduced to five. The owner also encourages people to visit the store's homepage for the latest information, as information on Google and Yelp has not been updated.

The Japanese grocery store is located at the corner of Ellsworth and College Avenues in Shadyside (map).

Remote Chinese Language & Culture Club Meeting at Pitt, April 6 and 15.

Chinese Dim Sum, by Lezlie (Creative Commons)

The weekly meetings of the Chinese Language & Culture Club Meeting at Pitt are now online and will meet remotely on April 6 and 15. They are open to the Pitt community and those interested should contact Jennifer Wallace ( and Bei Cheng ( with specific questions.

Friday, April 3, 2020

1985 North Korean monster film Pulgasari (불가사리) with Pitt's Online:Screenshot, April 10.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center and Screenshot: Asia festival will present an online screening of the North Korean monster film Pulgasari (불가사리) on April 10.
Pulgasari (1985) is a North Korean dark fantasy film about a selfish king’s attempt to foil the working class’ plan to overthrow him from power. Built by a blacksmith, the tiny Pulgasari only becomes alive and grows after eating the blacksmith daughter’s blood and an assortment of tools. The monster soon earns a vital role in the battle between the working class and the king and his royal army. For those looking for something to do during this time of social distancing, SCREENSHOT: ASIA will be offering a free online screening of Pulgasari with an introduction by Pitt professor Mark Best.

Please join us on Friday, April 10th at 3 PM on Zoom (online). To register, please visit
Screenshot: Asia is a forthcoming Asian film festival scheduled in Pittsburgh for Fall 2020.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Online ordering from Strip District's Lotus Food.

Lotus Food, a large Asian grocery store in the Strip District, is, offering online orders for pick-up, like other Asian stores in the area.

Customers first create an account and login; the store offers a Chinese or English version of the site. You then browse the site and add items to the cart. Upon checkout you will be prompted to enter your cell phone. After paying you will then receive notification when the order is ready to pick up. Please note that some items may be on back order due to high customer demand.

Lotus does typically offer delivery, but that is currently unavailable due to the current public health crisis.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Many More Asian Market remains open for pick-up orders.

Many More Asian Market, at the northern end of the Strip District (map), remains open for pick-up orders. They do not have a website or an online ordering mechanism, and their latest Facebook post both welcomes customers and asks their patience:
So we have been locking our door and only doing store pick up for awhile now... it’s the only way we can make sure our staff are well protected and let them feel comfortable to continue to work with us during tough time like was a tough decision since we do not have a website, nor a catalog, nor some sort of picture to show our customer..... it breaks my heart to see our customers walk away because they think that we would not understand what they’re looking for.... don’t feel shy, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Don’t be afraid to write down “ white round sticky things that gummy and tasted very good” or say something like “ that noodle that is yellow and round and thin and curly” ... we WILL found it, we DO understand! We CAN try at least! It might took 30-40 minutes for us to pack it up for you since we have a HIGH volume for pick up order almost everyday, and we are WAY under staff.... but we really hope that we can continue to serve our customers that have been with us all these years!

Oakland's Oishii Bento, Chick n' Bubbly temporarily close.

Oakland's Oishii Bento and Chick n' Bubbly switched to take-out and delivery orders on March 16 in response to COVID-19, and announced today that they will temporarily close until further notice for the safety of staff and the community.

Sakura in North Park.

via @PghSakuraProject

The Pittsburgh Sakura Project estimates the peak viewing season for some of its cherry blossom trees in North Park is now through April 5. The group typically organizes a hanami viewing festival around this time each spring, and reminds people to practice safe social distancing this year. Here is what the group forecast on the 29th:
With two warnings:
1. Keep your healthy social distance from others while enjoying the blossoms
2. The ground is currently very wet and muddy, so wear the right footwear, and plan to use a picnic table if you're going to eat.
The "peak" is rolling, since the various groves (types) of cherry trees reach their peaks at different times. It's already nice, and most trees will be in full blossom between next Sunday (4/5) for about one to two weeks. This may change due to weather.

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