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Discover the Chinese American Museum in L.A.

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Chinese-American Museum | PHOTO: ANA PINES

While in Los Angeles looking for a public bathroom I came across a sign for free admission to the Chinese American Museum. How could I not go in and explore? It’s located in the Garnier Building, the last surviving structure from the city’s original Chinatown. It opened in 2003 and features exhibits, special collections, lectures, workshops and other public events. It’s always interesting to read the stories of other immigrants who contribute to the diversity that make America what it is. We’re so similar and so different at the same time. Always in common is that we’re all forced to be strong because it’s inevitable that there will be discrimination to overcome.

There’s a quote on the wall that peeked my curiosity, “Under our Constitution all persons are entitled to the equal protection of the laws without regard to their racial ancestry.” –Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy. On top of the quote in smaller letters it read United States Supreme Court: Oyama v. California, 1948. It refers to when in 1913 and 1920 California passed Alien Land laws in which persons ineligible to become citizens of the United States were prohibited from owning land thus, only whites and African Americans could own land even though it wasn’t explicitly stated. Oyama, a Japanese Immigrant was a target of this law as he had purchased six acres of land in Chula Vista in 1934. To try to circumvent this unjust law he deeded it to his U.S. citizen son Fred. Due to growing sentiment against the Japanese because of

Chinese-American Museum | PHOTO: ANA PINES

World War II, Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans were ordered to leave the West Coast in 1942. The Alien Land laws added another regulation stating that buying land under another persons name was proof that they were trying to outwit the law. Asian Americans could no longer purchase land under their children’s name. The Oyama’s went to Utah and the state tried to take possession of their land. ACLU took the case and got Oyama the justice he was due although it didn’t rid the country of this unfair law, it was cited in other court cases which lead to its final repeal in 1956.

The Chinese American Museum is Southern California’s first and only museum dedicated to sharing the history of the Chinese American experience in Los Angeles. They also have current local artwork in the community gallery. Admission is suggested so you can contribute more or less. Adults $3, seniors and students $2.

For more information visit: camla.org


There’s so much to do in San Diego with the beautiful hikes, beaches, shops and restaurants but sometimes a little change of scenery does you good. This weekend I went to stay at a cabin in Idyllwild nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains. The shops and restaurants in town are locally owned and it’s also known as one of the100 Best Small Art Towns in America. If you’re tired of traffic jams, construction noise or just stressed out, then the peacefulness among the tall pines and cedars may be the best medicine.


If the more adventurous side of you emerges it’s also known for rock climbing. Tahquitz Rock and Suicide Rock are popular among experienced climbers and beginners. Newbies can do “bouldering” in which you learn the main climbing skills necessary to advance and you’ll only be a few feet above the ground. Mountain biking is a growing activity that you can also try. There are approximately eight trails that mountain bikers can frequent. Some go up to 20+ miles, elevation gains of 3,000 feet and moderate to very steep routes.

My partner and I walked around a bit and then enjoyed the quiet as our dog Cookie ran around like she’s never ran before. She even tried to chase a squirrel. It was nice to see freedom through her. After we checked out we went to get some candles in town and took pictures of a Buddha statue made of wood. We only stayed one night but we’re definitely going back to check out the hiking trails and art scene in the near future.

For more information visit:

For more information visit: idyllwildcalifornia.com

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Posted by on Mar 26, 2015. Filed under Scene Out, Section 4A. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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