On December 11th, the 1882 Foundation community gathered at the I Street Conference Center for our December Talk Story event, catchily titled ‘Motorcycles, Muscle Cars, and Tropical Fish’. Over Christmas cookies and holiday treats, the storytelling event saw Harry Chow, a former DC Chinatown resident and longtime contributor of stories, photographs, and archives, bringing together several generations of former DC Chinatown residents together to share stories of the youth culture of Chinatown from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Old friends shared stories of owning and operating Chinatown Tropicals, an aquarium store based in Chinatown that saw massive success in the DMV area. They described riding motorcycles and classic American cars in DC and Northern Virginia and how these practices shaped the community and the lives of young people in a rapidly changing neighborhood. It was fantastic to see many generations of DMV-area Chinese Americans represented, including the extended family of our speakers.
Many of these stories are recorded in our Flashback Chinatown DC short video series. Our December Talk Story also serves as a celebration of the work that the 1882 Foundation has been able to do over the last year thanks to our community. Ted Gong wrapped up the event by recapping some upcoming projects. Thank you to everyone who came out and shared stories.