Photos: D.C.’s Chinese New Year Parade

Thousands attended D.C.’s Chinese New Year parade on Sunday to celebrate the start of the year of the dragon. Organizers aimed to hold a bigger event this year, despite downtown seeing its Chinese American population decline.

“We know there have been a lot of changes in our city in recent years,” Mayor Vincent Gray told the crowd, reports Chinese Radio International, “but what hasn’t changed and will hopefully not change is the presence of Chinatown as an important cultural center here in the District of Columbia.”

Check out these Flickr photos of the parade by local photographers Glyn Lowe, Victoria Pickering and Russell Brammer: 


DCentric Picks: Chinese New Year Parade

Photo Phiend / Flickr

Participants in 2010's Chinese New Year parade.

What: Annual Chinese New Year parade.

When: From 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday.

Where: Chinatown, along H Street NW between 6th and 8th Streets.

Cost: Free.

Why you should go: Come to see firecrackers, dancers and plenty of dragons. Organizers of this year’s Chinese New Year parade want to make it one of the biggest yet. The Washington Post reports that the parade committee hopes that a bigger event will stir up pride within second- and third- generation Chinese-Americans, as well as alert people to the history of the neighborhood, which has seen a decline in Chinese residents.


DCentric Picks: Harry Belafonte Book Talk

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

What: Singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte book talk.

Where: Busboys and Poets, 14th and V streets, NW.

When: 5 p.m., Sunday.

Cost: Free.

Why you should go: Belafonte is one of the most prominent celebrities-turned civil rights activists of the 20th century, and he has plenty of stories to share, from his role in the March On Washington to popularizing Calypso music. Belafonte, who appeared on WAMU 88.5.’s Kojo Nnamdi Show last month, will discuss his new book, “My Song: A Memoir.”

DCentric Picks: Sulu DC and ‘African American Life On Pennsylvania Avenue’

What: Sulu DC‘s second anniversary show.

Where: Artisphere, located at 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington.

When: 6:30 p.m., Saturday.

Cost: Tickets cost $20.

Why you should go: Sulu DC aims to provide a space for Asian American and Pacific Islander artists of all stripes to present their works and raise issues relevant to their communities. The anniversary show will feature poet Regie Cabico, beat boxer Chip Han and the J. Pharaoh & the Manhattan Project band.

Other events to consider: The National Mall is sponsoring “African American Life on Pennsylvania Avenue,” a ranger-led walking tour exploring the role of African Americans in the history of the nation’s capital. The free tour begins at 2 p.m., Sunday at Freedom Plaza.

DCentric Picks: ‘Trouble in Mind’ and Food Day

Richard Anderson / Courtesy of Arena Stage

Brandon J. Dirden as John Nevins, Thomas Jefferson Byrd as Sheldon Forrester, E. Faye Butler as Wiletta Mayer and Marty Lodge as Al Manners in "Trouble in Mind."

What: Trouble in Mind,” a play about a 1955 racially integrated theater company that wants to present a race play.

Where: Arena Stage, 1101 6th St. SW.

When: The play runs through Sunday.

Cost: Prices vary depending on seats and showtimes. You can find ticket prices here.

Why you should go: The play-within-a-play, set more than 50 years ago, still has relevance today. The black characters are seen confronting racial stereotypes as they work to make it to Broadway. A black and white cast is shown producing a play about a young, southern black man who becomes the target of a lynch mob.

Other events to consider: Monday is Food Day, which seeks to promote healthy, affordable and sustainable food. D.C. is home to a number of events, including the Food Day Extravaganza on Woodrow Wilson Plaza. There will be chef demonstrations, entertainment, educational activities and, yes, free food. The event starts at 11 a.m.

DCentric Picks: 9/11 Unity Walk

Courtesy of 9/11 Unity Walk

What: The 7th annual 9/11 Unity Walk.

When: 1:30 p.m., Sunday.

Where: The event starts at the Washington Hebrew Center at 3935 Macomb St. NW, from where participants will walk to other religious centers.

Cost: Free, but there is a $10 suggested donation (you can register here).

Why you should go: The 9/11 Unity Walk started in 2005 as a response to religious and ethnic intolerance in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This year’s walk will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attacks. All are welcome to learn about Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions. There will be a call to prayer, church tours, a “Ghandi-style” walk and other events.

Other events to consider: After the walk, Busboys and Poets at 14th and V streets NW will host “E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One,” an interfaith dialogue led by local Muslim leaders. It takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free to the public.

DCentric Picks: NSO Labor Day Concert

Elvert Barnes / Flickr

A view from the Reflecting Pool of the 2006 NSO Labor Day Concert.

What: National Symphony Orchestra‘s tribute to the legends of D.C. music.

When: Gates open at 5 p.m. and the the show starts at 8 p.m., Sunday.

Where: West lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The show will be moved to the Kennedy Center if it rains (call 202-416-8114 after 2:30 p.m.).

Cost: Free.

Why you should go: There are two D.C.’s, but both of them will come together for this event. When else can you hear go-go played on the U.S. Capitol lawn, and by our nation’s symphony orchestra no less? The music of D.C.’s own Duke Ellington, John Philip Sousa and Chuck Brown will be showcased. The show will also be a sort of birthday celebration for Brown, the “Godfather of Go-Go,” who turns 75 this year.

Other events to consider: Saturday is the last day to take advantage of Free Summer Saturdays at the Corcoran Gallery of Art at 500 17th St., NW. Admission, which normally costs $10, is free on Saturday.

DCentric Picks: Faces and Stories of D.C. Youth

Looking for an event that relates to race or class in D.C.? DCentric will be regularly posting event listings we believe will be of interest to our readers.  If you have an event you think we should feature, email

Courtesy of Critical Exposure

This exhibit runs until the end of June.

What: Critical Exposure presents “Both Sides of the Lens: The Faces and Stories of D.C. Youth.”

Where: 702 8th St., NW.

When: Thursday, 6 to 8 p.m.

Cost: By donation.

Why you should go: This is the nonprofit group’s sixth annual exhibit of student works. More than 80 works from 50 D.C. youth will be on display, providing a unique perspective into life in the District. Check out DCist’s profile of the group and the students’ fight to improve their school libraries.

Other picks this week: Consider attending the Mount Pleasant Music Festival on Saturday or “Crossing the Color Line: The Night Malcolm X Spoke at the Oxford Union” on Friday.

D.C. Fusions: Pork Belly Doughnut

Sister blog Multi-American‘s series on unsung ethnic food delicacies has left me thinking: Sure, D.C. may have plenty of the kitfo mentioned, but this is also the city where cultures and worlds collide. What about fusions?

Courtesy of Seannie Cameras/One Vision Productions

Try pork belly meat, sandwiched between two glazed doughnut buns.

Enter the pork belly doughnut, which will debut this weekend at U Street Music Hall. Pork belly is common fare in many Asian cuisines, and its popularity in the U.S. is growing. And doughnuts, well, Homer Simpson, stereotypical cops, Krispy Kreme – need I say more? These two treats were brought together by Toki Underground chef Erik Bruner-Yang, the same man behind the pho dog. U Street Music Hall owner Jesse Tittsworth recalls on his blog what he thought when Bruner-Yang first presented him with the pork belly doughnut:

“I already know this sounds like the most bizarre combination on the face of the planet, but I’m fairly certain I fell in love at first glance…. The pork was deliciously fatty, perfectly seasoned, tender and the saltiness was beyond amicable with the sweet, crisp outer shell of the grilled [doughnut].”

Alright D.C., the challenge is on: can you think of a more unusual, yet delicious, fusion than the pork belly doughnut? Let us know!

Combating Anti-Muslim Stereotypes Through Art

Last week, co-blogger Anna John reported on how D.C.’s South Asian Muslims reacted to the death of Osama bin Laden. Afshan Khoja, a Muslim of Pakistani descent, told John:

“When I heard the chants of ‘U-S-A, U-S-A,’ I felt fear. I don’t understand why, but I wanted to lock my doors. This morning I heard about vandalism and graffiti at a mosque. Between yesterday and today, three people have already asked me why the Pakistani government didn’t know that Osama was in Pakistan for years – I don’t know!

“The fact is, regardless of this news, none of that has stopped. This may be a significant blow to a terrorist network, but for a Pakistani Muslim living in the U.S., I’m not sure if it changes anything.”

Crescent Moon Nights

A group of young Muslims in D.C., aware of the negative stereotypes against them, started a monthly open mic five years ago in an effort to build bridges across cultural and religious divides. WAMU’s Matt Laslo reports that Crescent Moon Nights is still going strong. Co-coordinator Tahir Amin Kayum tells Laslo:

“Pretty much it is different people of all backgrounds, cultures and nationalities, for them to come, express and share on the open mic,” says Kayum. “So we have featured artists for the evening, and we have various artists just come up, poets, singers, rappers, whatever, just coming up to share from different backgrounds.”