What is the 626? Following an LA Times feature on the 626 Night Market and the Fung Bros, Calvin Ho of The Plaid Bag Connection was put off by how the San Gabriel Valley was represented.
What about the Hispanic population? What about everyone else that isn’t Asian?
He wrote on his blog:
I argued that the attempts by this self-proclaimed “movement” to brand the San Gabriel Valley as a second-generation Asian foodie playground creates a narrative that minimizes non-Asian ethnic groups, immigrants, and people on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum. It seems like I’m not the only “626″ native uncomfortable with this re-branding. Food blogger Justin Aung Lee responds to the controversy with a well-written post and a cool graphic.
We connected with him via Vumanity and asked him a little bit more on his views. What do you guys think — what is the 626?
The thing I find funny is that it’s Calvin Ho (a non-hispanic) who’s bringing this issue up. Sooooo, myself, as a hispanic 626-er… let me at least add my two cents. First off, I’m right with Calvin on this one, the 626 movement is great and I love that the community (626 foodettes included) are getting involved showing off what San Gabriel Valley has to offer. Of course, while I do love the movement, I have to admit, as a hispanic, it can be a bit alienating. But I don’t think this is something that was done on purpose, I just think that the 626 movement has mainly been supported by an asian demographic and hispsanics/ latinos in the community have yet to really come together as well within the movement.
Now, having said that, I did create this 626 Arts blog because I found the 626 movement to be inspiring and I wanted to get involved somehow and help create more visibility for the other aspects of the 626 which have been overshadowed by the asian foodie culture. There is an art movement going on out here and I’ve noticed that many hispanics are involved with it. Imagine how awesome it’d be if the asian foodies and hispanic artists joined forces?!