There’s an old storefront in my hometown — a bright, pretty building that mixes brick walls and a terra cotta roof with ornate bluish-green tiles. It’s sandwiched into a block of Spanish-style storefronts across from one of the city’s oldest historic sites. For the first couple decades of my life, I walked right past it without really noticing. It wasn’t until I moved away, spent time in larger Chinatowns across the country, and even lived and studied in China that I realized what I was seeing: a glimpse of a part of my city’s history that my childhood history lessons left out.
March 31, 2021