The Wing

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Go Beyond Our Walls

Interpretive Lead Vi Mar introduces a school group to the Tsue Chong Company, which makes 19 varieties of Chinese noodles and fortune cookies in multiple flavors.
 
The Chinatown-International District is the cultural anchor for Asian Pacific Americans as well as the home base for The Wing. Despite its significance, the Chinatown-International District has faced severe challenges, one of the City’s lowest-income tracts, high vacancies, disruptive public construction, and business revenue loss.

To protect and affirm our historic and cultural roots, and create more cultural awareness, greater business opportunities and economic growth, The Wing has been growing our guided neighborhood tours. Our ongoing Touch of Chinatown, Taste of Chinatown and Bruce Lee’s Chinatown neighborhood tours are joined with three specialty tours (Bitter and Sweet, Songs of Willow Frost and Chiyo’s Garden) and four seasonal tasting tours (Twilight Noodle Slurp (fall), International Dumpling Crawl (winter), Not Just Tofu (spring), and Game Day BBQ (summer)). The tours include over 50 Chinatown-International District business and cultural organization partners, resulting in a 14% increase in visitors to the neighborhood from 2013 to 2015 through The Wing.

Our strategies for neighborhood engagement are rooted in long-term relationships of trust that are mutually beneficial and focused on increasing customers and revenue. We build on existing neighborhood assets, identify the unique, distinct qualities that visitors can experience best in our neighborhood, and pilot, adjust and build initiatives over time, always in the spirit of listening and responding.

Some steps we take to go beyond our walls include:

· Getting to know business owners and their stories

· Joining neighborhood advocacy efforts

· Bringing direct customers to the businesses


The owner of Young's Tea shares her product and her story with a participant on one of The Wing's food tours.
 
 
The Wing doesn't have a museum cafe because the neighborhood is rich in restaurants. Instead, it built a Marketplace Store to help bring more retail to the district. Photo by Alan Alabastro.
 
 
During the Chinatown-ID JamFest produced by The Wing in the summer, musicians play inside neighborhood restaurants to bring in new customers. They also help enliven historic Canton Alley.
 

STEP INTO A UNIQUELY AMERICAN STORY


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