The Very Beginning

I think it is only appropriate to start a new blog by writing the first post on childhood beginnings.

If we really want to get intimate, I can tell you that I was conceived in Panyu, China and exited my mother’s birth canal nine months later in Qingdao, China.

A detailed map of my birth

However, the majority of my memories come from the suburb of Rowland Heights. To the untrained eye, Rowland Heights can seem like another Chinatown. Left and right you see signs filled with characters that don’t make a whole lot of sense except for the occasional stop sign and street name.

For me, Rowland Heights is home in the best sense of that four letter word. Left and right I see familiar signs that are filled with the beautiful strokes of Chinese Characters saying “Lucky Journey Traveling Agency”, “Good Luck Prosperity Supermarket” and “Traffic School for Beginners.” (Alright, that last one was my own jab at the level of driving in this suburb.) There are grandparents walking their grandchildren to school and new immigrants waiting for their bus to the supermarket. I often fondly glance inside the SAT prep centers and remember my own journey to get that 2400.


The grandfather of all plaza signs

Known for driving both a hard bargain and Japanese cars, people of the Asian (and more specifically Chinese) culture make this speck of a suburb the single ray of sunshine for both new and old immigrants. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but back in 2010, Rowland Heights was named the best place to raise a picture perfect family in California. Thank you, Bloomberg Business. Toot, toot! For all you curious people out there, you will be happy to know that it hasn’t changed that much since then.

I am here to give you (and the rest of the hefty readership population) the insider’s map to truly mastering all 9.02 miles of this intricate suburb.

This is my corner on,


(Pssst! All photos and artwork were done by Yours Truly.)


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