Archive for June, 2012

Photograph of a merchant from Chinese Business Partnership Case File for Quong Lee Company., 1896

Posted in Uncategorized on June 21, 2012 by lelandwong

Photograph of a merchant from Chinese Business Partnership Case File for Quong Lee Company., 1896, originally uploaded by The U.S. National Archives.


Photo Essay: Chinatown

Posted in Uncategorized on June 13, 2012 by lelandwong
Foo Dogs
AccupunctureCooks on Break
A Break in the CloudsThe New Yorker | 34th and 9th, New York

Photo Essay: Chinatown, a set by rsagar on Flickr.

Asian Heritage Street Celebration of San Francisco

Posted in Uncategorized on June 10, 2012 by lelandwong

I have been volunteering as a photographer for the Asian Heritage Street Celebration for the last two years.  I have been photographing on an official basis out of fear of getting physically assaulted because of this incident which happened to me in 2009. 

I was ready to volunteer again this year when the organizer asked me to remove a blog entry I made about the incident.  She wrote me this email:

Re: AHSC Photography Volunteers

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:26 PM


“Fine Photography Leland Wong” <>

Hi Leland,

Thank you for your interest in photographing our event!
Before we move forward in having you volunteer, a few years ago there was an unfortunate incident with you and some of our street fair volunteers which you blogged about it on your website: I am sorry you had a misunderstanding and bad experience at the festival. Would you please remove the post and all associated photos? Our concern is that it brings negative publicity to the street fair and is counterproductive to our mission. 

-(name withheld)

I replied and told her that my statement in the posting was sufficient to not bring any negative impressions of the street fair as a whole.

“Please don’t get me wrong, I believe this is a great annual event. I’m just sad that they have to involve such people to run this event.  They have to educate people about photographing in public places.”

Well…as it turns out.  I was not issued a photo pass because I would not take down the post.   I attended the event today.  It was great as always.  well…not really…there seems to be less exhibitors and vendors.  The bands were bunk.  They had this real weird section where they had these psychic qigong healers.

I thought I’d repost the original blog entry from 2009:

I have been photographing Asian American community events since I started seriously photographing in 1968. I have attended and photographed this annual event since the very first one.  The event is like a big party with food, music and a great sense of community.

I was more than happy to contribute my images when asked by Tamiko Wong, Program Director of Asian Week for their website. 

After taking this photo, the woman on the left demanded that I delete the image. That I did not have her permission to take her picture.

Being a public event, I was in my right to photograph anything and anyone I want. She accosted me for two blocks with threats, profanity and even attempted to confiscate my camera.

After walking around the fair, I returned to the stage area to continue photographing and enjoy the music.  The woman apparently told her stage crew friends about me.  I was approached by this staff person, Macela Padilla, of the Asian Heritage Street Celebration, who me that I cannot photograph.

I tried to explain to her that this is a public event and that I was within my right to photograph freely.  But she did not take that take that for an answer. 

She began yelling at me and accused me of photographing people’s crotches. (?!?!)  “What integrity is there to photographing people’s crotches?”, she asked.  I assume the woman made up that story to just to get back at me.

As Marcella Padilla was yelling at me, the woman in the middle then made another attempt to confiscate my camera out of my hands.  While fellow photographer Frank Jang looks on.


Barney Garcia of the Asian Heritage Street Celebration made this gesture at me as I was photographing.

The word was now out among the stage crew about me. I continued to enjoy the music and photograph the event. The staff was in high alert of this photographer.

After taking this picture, the woman on the right, Sonia McDaniel, came over to swear at me then took my picture with her cellphone.  Sonia McDaniel later posted my picture on Yelp saying I was a pervert who photographed upskirts.

“Great fair, but in crowded places beware of Pervs who will take pictures up your skirt!  See photo section for guy with camera!”, wrote Sonia McDaniel
I was ready to get a lawsuit going on this.  Yelp took down the picture.

Then this man from the stage crew comes over and tries to pick a fight with me. I thought I could talk some sense with him being that he was an older person.  Instead he began pushing me around.

After a strong warning he backed off and only had his middle finger. 
He threatened to break my camera and called me a pussy.

His wife holds him back. 

Thus saving him.

I think she’s trying to say ‘putang ina mo’.

“ah told ja mo’fo not ta take ma pitcher!”

Please don’t get me wrong, I still believe this is a great annual event and I will continue to attend it. It’s just sad that they have such uneducated people running this event.  The organizers have to let their staff know that this is a public event and anyone with a camera can photograph freely in a public event.

Here are a few links to read more about photographer’s rights:

A downloadable PDF about your rights as a photographer

Misinformation about your photography rights continues to spread (USA Today)

Photographer’s Rights Overview

Photographers’ Guide to Privacy

Your Rights as a Photographer – Tutorial9

…and here’s where I’m glad to be a member of the Professional Photographers of America where they have a legal team for members.

dumpling wars and my dumpling recipe

Posted in Uncategorized on June 10, 2012 by lelandwong
I am proud to say that our team, We Grew Up in San Francisco Chinatown, won the Audience Choice Award at KSW’s Dumpling Wars  at the Oakland Asian Culture Center for our dumpling entry, Dumpling of the Fragrant Western Garden.

For the prize was a case of Genesis Chardonnay

My secret recipe to the award winning dumpling.  Actually, it’s a potsticker.

Ingredients (all measurements are approximations)

23 lbs Ground Boneless Pork Shoulder (we had 23 lbs of pork for the competiton)

96 oz. Peeled Raw Peeled and chopped Shrimp

2 tbsp. Salt
2 tbsp. White Pepper
2 tbsp. Ginger Powder
1 tbsp. Sugar
2 tbsp. Cornstarch
2 tbsp. Chicken Bouillon
1 cup. Hsiao Shing Wine
1/2 cup. Soy Sauce
4 tbsp. Granulated Garlic
2 tbsp. Sesame Seed Oil

Chopped Cilantro

Chopped Celery

Chopped Napa Cabbage

Chopped Green Onions
pour a little salt to the chopped celery and Napa Cabbage and allow to sit for about half and hour.  Some of the water will drain.  After that, mash the celery a bit to squeeze out more water.  Squeeze the water out of the napa cabbage.

The ratio of pork/shrimp should be about 50/50 to the Cilantro, Napa Cabbage and Celery.  If it’s less that, then add more vegetables.

Mix the above ingredients together.

I use Kim Hong Pot Sticker skins to wrap our dumplings.

We wrapped 450 potstickers in about two hours.

A crowded kitchen with five other groups of competitors.

Oil hot pan, medium flame, place wrapped dumplings into the pan.  Mix a little glutinous rice powder and water.  Pour onto the frying dumplings.  Then cover to allow steaming and cooking for about five to seven minutes.  Take off lid to allow rest of water to evaporate and continue frying until the dumpling has become golden and crispy.  Flip over and fry the other side for about three more minutes.  Enough to brown the other side to give the dumpling a nicer toasty taste.

Our dumplings on display and ready to serve. (photo courtesy of UrbanBloke)

Perfect searing on both sides like what the chefs of the Oakland Coliseum said.  The glutinous rice powder and water is our secret to a crispier potsticker. (photo courtesy of UrbanBloke)

Tight WGUISFCT teamwork.

The tough judges held the fact that we didn’t make our own wrappers against us and awarded their choice to the team that made a chocolate mochi.

But….. we won the popular audience choice award.  Which to me is a lot more important than the judges choice.  Though we could have used the $250 award instead of the case of chardonnay wine.  We were only reimbursed $100 for expenses.  We spent $150.  So we paid $50 to do this.

KSW raised more than $3,000 for the event.  Didn’t hear a thank you from them.  But we’re up for the challenge again next year if KSW decides to do it again.

Dumpling of the Fragrant West Garden

Posted in Uncategorized on June 10, 2012 by lelandwong

I want to post a photo of it…but somehow I couldn’t.  Word Press says something like I don’t have privileges or something.  I was going to share the recipe.  But not being able to post a picture of it is a bummer.