Author Archives: Matt Thompson

The Internet's hottest new site is ARGO DEMO. Blogger Matt Thompson is back, and he's better than ever. Hit us up daily for the latest in screencasts, how-tos, navel-gazery, blog criticism, MSM-bashing, and Nick Denton fanchatter.

Remembering a fixture of Chinatown

Late in November, a 78-year-old man named Quan Chu was struck by a bicyclist in an alley near the Convention Center. We learned on Tuesday that the strike was fatal.

As NPR’s Andy Carvin points out in an affecting eulogy to “the Mayor of Chinatown,” his passing robs Chinatown of yet another vital link to its past. What’s left is for us to learn, and remember:

He and his family came to the U.S. from China in 1982. They lived in a rowhouse about two blocks south of NPR. For years he worked at the local Chinese restaurants to save up enough money to send their children to college. And several years ago he suffered a minor stroke. As part of his therapy, he would go for that walk with his wife each day.

I never got to know him. I don’t even know if he even recognized me each day in the same way that I always recognized him. But I feel a profound sense of loss with his passing — not only for his wife and family, but for Chinatown itself.

This isn’t just a story about how recklessness and lack of consideration can have huge and tragic consequences. It’s a story about the importance of the strangers around us, a reminder of how much we should treasure and respect each other. Condolences are due to Mr. Chu’s beloved – the kids he helped put through college, his wife who was also struck that day. But Andy’s right, the loss is all of ours.

Memorializing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

NBC Washington’s Aaron Gilchrist reports that efforts to construct a National Memorial for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., are well underway:

The memorial will sit on four acres near the Tidal Basin between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and include a bookstore and visitor center.

Thirteen years of quotes from King’s books, letters and speeches will be displayed on 355 granite panels.

At the center of this $120 million project, Dr. King’s words are given form: ”a mountain of despair” — through which visitors will be able to walk — and “a stone of hope,” which bears a 28-foot tall sculpture of King less than a month from completion.

The monument isn’t scheduled to open to the public until August 2011, but you can get a 3d-riffic sneak preview in the video below. Meanwhile, today represents another milestone in MLK’s gigantic legacy: 46 years ago on December 10, he received the Nobel Peace Prize.