Be a part of "Searching for Little Saigon in America."

I was on my flight to Irvine when I drafted these questions.  As I hope to put this entire project into book form, I am slowly working on a long form essay to help build this narrative.  But it can't just be from literary research.  I need to get stories from others in it just as much as I want to put the photographs in.  If you want to be photographed and/or be a part of this story, "Searching for Little Saigon in America" kindly email me: ted@tednghiem.com or fill out the following questionnaire.  I would love to photograph and interview you!

  • Where were you born in Vietnam?
  • What were some of your fondest memories?
  • What were some of your worst memories?
  • When did you leave Vietnam?
  • When did you arrive in America?
  • What were your first impressions of America?  Did America fulfill those impressions and or goals that you had before coming to America?
  • What do you miss from Vietnam?
  • How long have you been living in the United States?
  • What foods do you miss from Vietnam if you cannot find them or the ingredients here?
  • Has the transition from Vietnam to America changed the food, the way you eat, and or the way the food is prepared in any way?
  • Are all or some of your family members living outside of Vietnam?
  • Do you plan on going back to Vietnam in the near future?  If so what kind of memories and traditions do you miss there that you can't recreate in the US?
  • How did you situate in your current location?
  • What are your dreams for the future?  For yourself, your spouse and or children?
  • Did you meet the goals or dreams in America that you dreamed of before coming to the country?
  • How do you see Vietnamese culture in America?  Is it the same as in Vietnam or has it transformed?  For better or for worse?
  • What traditions of your family do you hope to be passed on?
  • What do you think of the food in America?  The culture of food?  Has it affected Vietnamese cuisine?

California! Are you going to be there?

This weekend I am taking my dad to the beach, but hoping to go out to make some photographs this Sunday.  And my posts might be coming in slower for a little bit.. because...

Yes... I am heading back to California next week, August 12th - 26th.  Oh I think maybe my title gave this surprise away.  But I will be in the SoCal region for most of it and then camping in the Sequoia area.  I will be also going to the Little Saigon areas to photograph as much of the food culture as I can while there. 

But you would probably already know that I would be coming back to SoCal, California.  But are you there?  More importantly, do you want to hang out with me?  You know I would love to meet the people who are friends and readers! 

Also.. a plug for family and lifestyle sessions.  Yeah I do those.  One hour of shooting, digital images, and one large print.  All for $300.   Email me at ted@tednghiemphoto.com!

Searching for Little Saigon in America: NYC

Over the weekend I went up to NYC to the Elmhurst Queens area to check out the Vietnamese community up there.  I know on Mott Street there are two Vietnamese shops and a cart, but I wanted to see a larger picture.  So taking my project, "Searching for Little Saigon in America" to NYC I went to Elmhurst and saw that it was really a large pocket of the Asian American community.  I went towards Joju Modern Vietnamese sandwich shop to check it out and to get some lunch.  I was pretty hungry!  

I did see some pho shops and a major supermarket that had mostly Chinese and some Vietnamese products inside.  So this was not necessarily a Little Saigon in this area.  I could be wrong and I should go back up there to explore.  I was hoping to walk by nail salons, which a majority of Vietnamese run and own, more banh mi shops and markets.  But I didn't find them in the area I explored.  

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After meeting and talking to Kelly, the blogger, I had some new ideas- I am going to have to start interviewing people which means... I need to learn Vietnamese and or get a translator and try to see if I can make a kickstarter program to help fund this project.

These days are for grilling

It is the 4th of July weekend.  A day where Americans celebrate our independence by watching fireworks and grilling up some food.  But more importantly give our appreciation and love to our country and our military who sacrifice so much.

This weekend, I grilled up some hot dogs to make some chili dogs, bun thit ngon, and went off to start my new personal photography project.  Searching for Little Saigon.

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