Akihabara from my hotel room at Remm Akihabara.
NEW YORK, December 30 – 2009 has been a crazy and bizarre year in the life of this blog and Asian-American pop culture. There were great moments and scary ones, but I made it without too many scars. I've flown nearly 30,000 miles and visited five different countries. I've eaten amazing food and met some very interest people in my travels.
I know a lot of people are doing year end lists of the “Best and Worst”. These are some of the most interesting moments of Random Access Information Blog in 2009.
|Surviving the Deployment|
June 16 -- I can’t really discuss the details, but I’m glad that it’s over. It was one of the most bizarre cultural experiences in my life. I was living in the desert with fully loaded weapons and some survival Arabic. Somehow we all made it back. I will never forget playing spades early in the morning and the sandstorms that turned days into nights. I will not miss the desert, but I will miss the people that I served with… I will never forget them.
POST: Part I: Otaku War Journal: Did you find any Xilians today?
|Giant Robot Family|
June 21 -- Living in New York tends to harden people, but my visits to Los Angeles seem to provide a little balance. I always try to visit my extended Los Angeles family at least once a year. They are amazingly chill. I enjoy hang out with the entire crew. I love all of my friends and family on the west side.
POST: Giant Robot Magazine Headquarters: Pilgrimage or Loitering?
|New York Asian Film Festival|
June 25 -- I absolutely loved the New York Asian Film Festival. They played some of the best films from Korea, China, and Japan. I met some great directors and film makers as they promoted their latest movies. I can’t wait until next year’s festival.
POST: NYAFF09: Crushing and Blushing with Kong Hyo-Jin
|Anime Week Atlanta|
September 18 -- I don’t go to many southern anime conventions, so I decided to head south. I flew down to Georgia to attend Anime Week Atlanta (AWA). It was quite a bizarre experience with crazy cosplayers, curtains falling on people, and Carl Gustav Horn holding court. It was quite a different experience than a northeastern anime convention, but still very cool.
POST: Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) 2009: Part 1: Anime Hell
|New York Anime Festival|
September 27 -- New York Anime Festival (NYAF), one of the biggest industry conventions for anime and manga, held its last stand-alone event. Reed Exhibitions plans to merge the NYAF with the New York Comic Con creating one large convention. This year’s NYAF is the last time a major anime only convention will be held in New York City. I’ve loved hanging out with industry guests, fellow anime/manga reviewers, and friends.
POST: New York Anime Festival 2009: Pictures and Words
|John Woo – Red Cliff Interview|
October 15 -- During the New York premiere of Red Cliff, I had the opportunity to interview John Woo. I have been a huge fan of his movies like the Killer and A Better Tomorrow 2. He was extremely gracious and entertained all sorts of questions.
POST: John Woo's Battle of Red Cliff
|P.K. 14 and Carsick Cars|
November 20 -- The best of Chinese punk hits the streets of New York. I was complete blown away by the post-punk sounds of both bands, and the crowd was lit. I also ran into Giant Robot photographer Ben Clark. He was completely chill.
POST: Raw Chinese Punk at the Ding Dong
November 26 -- I didn’t post about this, but it was completely awesome anyway. The Pixies played a 1 A.M. Thanksgiving show for their New York fans. It was completely awesome to hear the entire Doolittle album being played with some B-side tracks. As a long time Pixies fan, I was completely thrilled.
|Hong Kong Cavalier|
December 10 -- I spent nearly two weeks eating my way through the streets of Hong Kong and Macau. I was able to gorge on every type of Southern Chinese Cuisine with the help of my Hong Kong family. It was a nonstop buffet of dim sum, noodles, hot pots, buns, grilled meats, and street food.
POST: Dim Sum Delight
December 22 -- This was my first opportunity to visit Japan. It was a very education affair because I didn’t know the language or the city. It’s was a stumbling expedition of districts, shops, and eateries. After three days, I began to truly know the city, the train system, the restaurants, and I even picked up some basic Japanese. I’m already making plans to visit next year during Winter Comiket.
Happy New Year! I hope next year will be just as exciting and bizarre as 2009.