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ASIAN LIFE IN NEW YORK CITY
(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 04:11:39 PM to reflect the 100 most recent valid responses.)

Which NYC area offers the best environment for Asian Americans?
Manhattan | 53%
Queens/Flushing | 32%
Westchester | 3%
Long Island | 5%
Brooklyn | 4%
North Bergen | 3%

What's the best thing about living in the New York City area?
Being at the Center of the Universe | 32%
Great Street Life & Nightlife | 22%
Not Having to Drive Everywhere | 13%
Intellectual & Cultural Stimulation | 33%

What's the worst thing about living in the New York City area?
Horrible Winters | 32%
Lack of Personal Space | 2%
Rampant Ignorance & Prejudice toward Asians | 5%
Cramped Overpriced Housing | 61%


This poll is closed to new input.
Comments posted during the past year remain available for browsing.

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WHAT YOU SAY

[This page is closed to new input. --Ed.]
ABC HK Lover:

" Giordano, a GAP wannabe store in HK, uses only white people in their ads. After meeting with the CEO (HK Chinese guy) of the company, he admited that they used only white people in their ads even though they are a HK brand because he wants people to think they are NOT a Chinese brand but a European brand (specifically Italian). He picked the name Giordano because it sounds Italian/European and the HK people associate European brands as quality and Chinese brands as cheap and crappy. No one wants to wear a Chinese brand is basically what he said. Plus, you can charge more with a European brand."

I know exactly what you mean. They sell Giordano here in the States too. I actually have a few shirts myself. The quality and fit is very nice, seemingly made just for Chinese body types. Another similar brand with an Italian name is "Baleno." They are behind all those "Say it with Colours" shirts you see all over China. In Shanghai, it's almost like a required uniform or something. I have a few of those shirts and jackets too, and they fit very well. It may be overpriced for China standards, but for us, their stuff is a steal. In Shanghai, Baleno t-shirts are the equivalent of three US dollars. I got a nice windbreaker for 12 bucks, and a hooded sweatshirt for 15. Good stuff.
TSJ Eric@KristinKreuk.net    Thursday, December 05, 2002 at 13:36:17 (PST)    [165.247.227.191]
Oh, and also, I forgot to mention, there is no particular type of Chinese called "Shanghainese." Shanghai is just a recently developed city (in relation to ancient Chinese history), not a historical place in China like Beijing, Nanking or Hangzhou. Whoever lives in Shanghai is called Shanghainese. They are not necessarily from the surrounding region. Just like HK, people from all over went there searching for new opportunities.

My aunt's family is from Shanghai, but I believe their heritage is Fukienese.
TSJ Eric@KristinKreuk.net    Thursday, December 05, 2002 at 13:00:16 (PST)    [165.247.227.191]
"'In NYC, we're too damn poor to actually do anything with our infrastructure so we just leave it "as is" and then say it's "rustic nostalgia". ;-)'

This is the reason why NY is behind!!!

People in NY are still using dial up modems to connect to the Internet. This is a big joke to the average HKer who are now rendering DSL as obsolete."
___

I wish I could have a T3... LOL :-)

The reason for dial-up modems is because for whatever reason fiber-optic can't be used for DSL (or so some rep told me... I think its nonsense) and its taking them time to revert back to copper wire.

Also, a lot of people in NYC are surprisingly technically illiterate. THey wouldnt know the difference between DSL and a fart from their own behind.. I work in a school, and the amount of tech-boneheads I see is amazing (young and old alike).

BTW - I took no offense in you saying that NYC is "behind", LSD. I realize it's considered a "grand old lady" in terms of a city built in the 20th century.

I also know it has its dark, corrupt past (and a dark, corrupt present and a dark, corrupt future)... but then most cities are like that, even HK, Singapore and Shanghai.
Beverins    Wednesday, December 04, 2002 at 08:13:58 (PST)    [148.4.33.125]
LSD:

Yeah, there are many people of Shanghai descent in HK. Most donít speak Shanghainese though, so they donít even consider themselves to be Shanghainese anymore unless asked about their ancestry. If you ask them what they are, they will just say HK. My aunt is Shanghainese born in HK, and she never mentions her Shanghainese heritage. Whether you are from Toi San, Beijing, Shanghai, etc., if you were born in HK, you just say that you are an HK person. Like we mentioned before, itís a melting pot of all Chinese, just like the US is for the world. That museum you discussed, with the different Chinese regions sounds cool though. Knowing about your roots is nice thing, but I think all it does is further divide the Chinese ethnicities even more. I donít think Chinese will ever be united.

ABC HK Lover:
I think Chinese girls (from anywhere around the world) on average, are not very good looking. Iím just talking about the everyday girls you see on the street. However, the top notch ones, cannot be beat. These are the upper echelon, probably less than 5% of the population. You may see a girl like this once a week if you are lucky. Those are the HK girls Iím referring to, and the only ones I pay attention to.

However, most HK girls here in the States dress very nicely. Even the not so good looking ones elevate their status with their creative outfits and nicely done hair. Maybe it is just the circles I hang around. Most HK people I know are fairly wealthy who hang around the high class Chinese strip malls. I try to avoid the Chinatown crowd.

Oh, by the way, one cannot be a ďfobbyĒ if they still live in their native country.
TSJ Eric@KristinKreuk.net    Monday, December 02, 2002 at 16:05:58 (PST)    [165.247.216.211]
TSJ,

It's the Northern Chinese pride rearing its ugly head again. Hahaha....

But one thing is certain, the Shanghainese in HK are definately the 'HK Jews'. I don't know about now, but they once dominated the large companies and upper echelons of society in HK. Even the Chiu Jaus-Teochius are nothing like the Shanghainese when it comes to wealth or ambitions. Many of the HK politicians, both effective or ineffective are also of Shanghainese ancestry.

However, Shanghai the city is yet to be world class in anyone standards. It still a commercial center in the development stages. hahaha....
LSD    Monday, December 02, 2002 at 09:09:27 (PST)    [66.212.81.229]
Mr. BE Verins,

Btw, I am not downplaying NY. It's a great city with a lot to offer. I wouldn't live in any other city in America for that matter. NY has helped many immigrants, and has progressed in the last few years by proving to America and the rest of the world that opportunities are abound in the city for every individual regardless of race, gender or creed. Cite any other city in America with the tolerance of NY, and I don't think there is any-BAR NONE. Sure, we might be conservative, radical and pushy to the West Coasters, and too sophisticated for Middle America and the South, but at least we have managed to stand the test of time through adversity and isolation. We have embraced diversity and adversity because it has made us better and progressive.

NY has a legacy, much of it is great, and much of it is also very tragic. It's has welcomed immigrants of all background including Asians. The first Chinese and Japanese Americans came here from the West Coast because of less discrimination and more opportunities. There is no other city in the world where the Jews claim as their own with the exception of NY. They turned Wall St. into a global financial center, and the Jewish influence in NY is very mighty. Modern Day Pizza, the great American food couldn't have been in existence if it wasn't for the Italian Immigrants who arrived here in NY. African Americans migrated here from the south to escape oppression, and started a Black Renaissance. Then u have the tragic events, such as the crime infested days that span from the late 60s to the late 80's. Racial tensions between Blacks, Latins and White Ethnics were rampant those days, but at least we have taken strict measures to fight them, unlike other cities such as Boston, Chicago and San Francisco which haven't done anything significant.

Like I said before, HK is more progressive than NY when it comes to technology and worldly trends. The city however, lacks the culture or the values that make it great. HK is about money-that's the bottom line. Just like any other Asian society or culture, they can imitate the West, but they do not understand it. Take a good look at Japan or Korea, and u know what I'm talking about.
LSD    Monday, December 02, 2002 at 08:57:44 (PST)    [66.212.81.229]
All of the info in my posts is from first hand experience living/visiting HK in the past few years.

To LSD, let me clarify some of my earlier comments:

Many Western items in HK are expensive compared to the USA. But then again, why would you buy Levi's in HK to start with? The reason why Western things are more expensive is usually not because of import costs but because HK's are ignorant and think Western things are expensive and cool (same with Japanese things). If a store sold cheap Levi's, HK consumers would think it was fake or not "real" American stuff. There are so many clothing stores in HK that the locals think are big American brands because they are expensive and claim to be "American" or they put American flags all over the store. I dont even remember the store names but you walk by and you see the store is clad with ads of blonde hair blue eyed white people wearing jeans and khakis and they are climbing a mountain or doing some other rugged "American" activity. The average HK consumer has never been to the USA and they see these ads and think, "Wow! If I wear these jeans, I will be cool and rugged like an American Joe too!" My ex-gf who is a HK local was surprised of how many of these "American" brands were actually unheard of in America (at least to me). Giordano, a GAP wannabe store in HK, uses only white people in their ads. After meeting with the CEO (HK Chinese guy) of the company, he admited that they used only white people in their ads even though they are a HK brand because he wants people to think they are NOT a Chinese brand but a European brand (specifically Italian). He picked the name Giordano because it sounds Italian/European and the HK people associate European brands as quality and Chinese brands as cheap and crappy. No one wants to wear a Chinese brand is basically what he said. Plus, you can charge more with a European brand.

The rent in HK is actually cheaper than NYC now. When I say NYC, I mean Manhattan (not including Harlem). The rent in HK has fallen significantly over the past 5 years. Yes, some areas of NYC are cheaper in rent like alphabet city and the lower east side but then again, you can find some not so fancy areas on Kowloon side. Sure the Peak is more expensive to live on than any place in Manhattan but 99.8% of us will never live there in our life so that is a moot point. Plus, the Peak area was only for the white British people to live on until a few decades ago if I recall (which adds to its exclusivity). On average though, Manhattan is more expensive than HK on a square foot basis. A non-ghetto non-luxury 550 sq ft. studio in Manhattan will cost you about $1800-$2000 a month for rent, including brokers fees. I dont remember what the cost is in HK but it is a bit cheaper.

The average wage in HK is much lower than the USA. The starting salary for McDonalds workers there is about $2 an hour (it was 1 year ago at least). I'm not sure what the minimum wage law is in HK or if there is any at all. If you work there as an expat (which most of us thread readers would be), you make expat wages. I doubt many of us would simply pack up and move to HK and look for a job there. I dont even know if it is legal to apply for jobs there without a work visa. Theres no way a foreign company can send you to HK to work and cut your salary by 30% (unless you are being demoted or something). Thus, working as expats in HK, we will make at least the same salary we were making outside HK. Plus, the income tax in HK is super low. I think it is like 15% or 20%. As an expat, you are eligible to pay HK income tax. US income tax is about 30-35% (depending on how much you make). I don't know about you but I hate seeing 1/3 of my income being taken out of every pay check.

Tax on cars and gasoline is very high. Cars in HK are almost double the price of cars in the US due to the luxury taxes. Last time I was there, gas was like $5 a gallon. The subways and taxis are fine with me. If you can afford a car in HK, you probably dont need to be reading this thread anyway (just like if you can afford a car in Manhattan).

And FINALLY, onto the topic of HK WOMEN!

Your average HK girl is going to be fobby (no surprise there). HK girls are NOT sophisticated largely due to the closed environment of HK and the uncreative HK education system. In the past, I saw many HK guys and girls wearing tshirts with Nazi Swastikas on them (no it wasnt the Buddhist peace sign). I asked one girl why the hell was she wearing a Neo Nazi propaganda shirt and she said she didnt know what the shirt and swatiska meant but she thought it was cool looking. Its similar to Americans getting tattoos/shirts with Chinese and Japanese writing on it with some stupid phrase like "Strength" or "Soy Sauce". If you find a wealthy HK girl who has the benefit of an International School education and being exposed to Western culture firsthand, yes, you will find a pretty and sophisticated HK girl. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of girls are not of this type.
If you goto wealthy and more hip areas in HK like Central and Wan Chai you will find some nice girls, especially at the Westernized night clubs. Some of these girls are expats, some are rich girls and some are middle class girls looking for a rich guy. Regardless of their background, the girls that goto the hip clubs like ING or Manhattan (whatever the name of the club is now) are pretty decent and easy might I add. My Business School went there as part of an International Business course last year. Almost all of the white guys in my class hooked up with different HK girls every night. These white guys were average looking and average height, but they were white (bonus pts for them). Basically, the HK girls were looking for an American bf or something. Some of the Asian American guys got some play but most of the Asian guys on the trip werent the type to mack it to women. I was in a relationship and chose to be a good boy. So yeah, just goto a hip nightclub, bust out the English and dress like a nice looking American and you will get decent HK girls. Anyway, the average HK girl is not really very attractive compared to ABC's. I have hung out with International School kids and I admit, some of the girls in that crowd were very nice indeed.

If you want to meet some very hot women, goto the "Karaoke" Clubs or as Chris Tucker put it in Rush Hour 2, go get some "Moo Shu". There are tons of Karaoke Clubs and Massage parlors in HK and they have ads outside showing a hot chick in a bikini and they say "$50 a drink" or something expensive for a beer or spirit. Basically, you go pay $50 or $100 for a beer and you get to pick a hot chick to entertain you for a few hours (nothing sexual). Depending on how many drinks you buy and if the chick digs you, you may get to spend the night with her. I have never gone in one of these establishments might I add. This is what my co-workers and friends have told me. Anyway, I used to work in Tsim Sha Tsui and there were many of these clubs nearby. I used to eat lunch and dinner in the nearby noodle shops and many of the strippers/escorts would eat there too before their shift and god damn, they were hot as hell! They probably had implants but they had pretty faces and were pretty tall (5'6-5'10). I know this whole stripper/escort passage was a big digression but I'm sure some of the readers out there are interested. I dont support prostituion either. I am simply reporting my observations.

All in all, regarding HK women, it depends on what look you like. HK girls act like little girls (Hello Kitty culture) or dont wear sexy clothes. ABC girls often wear too much makeup or are too hardcore "Asian" (like they type in aLtErNaTinG CAPS and lowercase and other stupid stuff like that) or their wardrobe only consists of black and white clothing. I'm not saying one is better than the other. In general though, I prefer the ABC look rather than the HK girl look. Personality is a much different a longer story. Once again, thank you for reading my super long post. I dont know why I rant so much.
ABC HK Lover sternsux@hotmail.com    Sunday, December 01, 2002 at 15:38:56 (PST)    [24.193.52.44]

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