1001 N Alameda Street
Downtown Los Angeles, California 90012

Esotouric debuts a new bus tour in the Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles architecture and urbanism series.

Cost: $68, includes wine and dim sum pairing.

About the tour: In the past three decades the communities of Alhambra and Monterey Park, nestled in the foothills of the southwestern San Gabriel Valley, have transformed themselves from sleepy suburban bedroom communities (bursting at the seams from a 1950s housing explosion) to the nexus of a pan-Asian megalopolis spreading east to Diamond Bar and beyond to the county line. Fueled by immigration from Taiwan, Hong Kong, more recently South East Asia, these communities have found their identity, their economic base, and have come into their own as a new type of American “chinatown.”

On this architecture, urbanism and culture tour we will explore the fascinating history of Monterey Park, from the land and oil booms of the 1920s, its halcyon postwar days as a suburban outpost for lower middle class Angelenos, the birthplace of the Hula Hoop (Wham-o Industries), to the “white flight” of the 1970s which created the vacuum that facilitated the first wave of migration from China.

Today Monterey Park is at the crossroads of economic development. After three decades spent fostering independent businesses-fueled by immigrant’s dreams and sweat, the city is looking to bring in big business, which it claims is desperately needed for its tax base. Can this unique and quintessentially independent community survive another identity crisis, another land boom, this time of a distinctly corporate nature?

Special attention will be paid in the route to a compelling side effect of this sociological revolution: the best Asian food in the world is here as well. We will end the tour with a wine pairing with dim sum at Wing Hop Fung organized by their wine merchant, Guillaume Galand.

Official Website: http://www.esotouric.com

Added by esotouric on May 26, 2008