Ching-In Chen

Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. They are a Kundiman, Lambda and Norman Mailer Poetry Fellow and member of Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation and Macondo writing communities. A community organizer, they have worked in Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review's editor-in-chief.

Street Dreams

IT'S FRIDAY NIGHT at the Alibi Room, a bar in Culver City, CA. Lisa Banuelos and David Kong, first to order, opt for a Korean shortrib taco special.

Since February, customers who once balked at two-hour-long lines on the street at the Kogi BBQ truck have flocked to the Alibi to indulge.

Banuelos, 26, recognizes Chef Roy Choi.

"Hey, we saw you on Fox News last night!"

Choi shrugs.

"That was him, wasn't it?" Banuelos asks her boyfriend before she proceeds to chat with the chef.

Chinky Fonts

Exploring the origins of Yellow Peril lettering.

I admit it: I'm picky about my Chinese food. A few things make me wary - seeing mostly white customers - and a "chinky font" proudly displayed on the sign. These tip-offs tell me that the food is no good or overpriced and bring flashbacks of "Yellow Peril" villains like Fu Manchu. It's like a bang on the head by the exotic wise old Chinese sage, courtesy of Hollywood, or the surefire "Where are you from?" question.

So who is responsible for this faux Chinese lettering that leaves me cringing?

Feed Me, Karimi

Performance artist Robert Karimi gets to hearts (and minds) through the stomach.

MERO COCERINO KARIMI, alter ego of performance artist Robert Karimi and star of the new theatrical traveling cooking show Cooking con Karimi (con Castro), was born 10 years ago at San Francisco's Galeria de la Raza. In his first gallery show, Karimi built the Kitchen of Experience, an installation constructed out of comic books, spices, and copies of recipes from Karimi's life. Every Saturday, revolutionary chef Mero Cocerino Karimi popped up to tell a story and feed everyone in the audience with his own home-cooked food.

It's a Bird, It's a Plane... It's a Hindu Goddess?

Virgin Comics goes East for inspiration, but some claim it's just cashing in on culture.

TARA MEHTA is just an ordinary South Asian woman in the ancient yet modern city of Sitapur. Little does she know that she is actually the human host of Devi, a female warrior-goddess, who is called to life to fight the Dark God Bala. When Tara finds out her fate, she is reluctant to follow her destiny to save the world. Instead, she is driven to protect Rahul, a burnt-out, alcoholic detective, who saves her life.

How's that for a superhero?

Road Show

DriveTime video blog, taped during a morning commute in Boston, is picking up a lot of traffic.

Ravi Jain may not be able to get a call back from B-list celebrity Howie Mandel, but in his Jamaica Plain neighborhood in Boston, he is a star.

Jain is the creator, director, writer, producer and driver of DriveTime (, a talk show video blog that he conducts weekly from his car as he and his wife, Sonia Targontsidis, commute to work.