Bao Bei owner Tannis Ling shares her thoughts on Chinatown’s transformation and what it means.

Museum of Vancouver

© 2012, Museum of Vancouver. All Rights Reserved.


Transcript

NARRATOR
Bao Bei owner Tannis Ling shares her thoughts on Chinatown’s transformation
and what it means.

TANNIS LING
It seems to be happening very quickly. All of a sudden in the last year, Chinatown
has just gone crazy. And you know, I worry, obviously.

You know, somebody was telling me that the Chinatown in Washington, DC is
just completely gentrified and beyond. You know, they have a Starbucks, and a
Bath, Bed, and Beyond with Chinese characters underneath. You know, that’s
the last thing I would want for this area.

But at the same time, obviously, it needs a push, you know, for people to come
back in and spend money, and you know, the neighbourhood needs to be
revitalized. But it’s a delicate, it’s a fine line, you know. Like how far do you go?
 
NARRATOR
Tannis acknowledges that she is a unique hybrid of eastern and western influence.

TANNIS LING
You know, it’s really hard to find somebody like me, who’s Asian, who grew up
here, who cares about their culture and cares about their roots, but still thinks
more modernly, more on the western side. So kind of combining the two ways
of thinking, I think, would be the best kind of business owner in this area. But
there’s not that many people like me, it seems like.

NARRATOR
The challenge for Chinatown in coming years, Tannis says, will lie in striking
a balance between Chinatown’s historical heart and its new generation of
entrepreneurs looking to set down new roots in the area.

TANNIS LING
It can’t stay like the old Chinatown forever, but we don’t want to also move it into
this completely different direction, which is not Chinatown at all.


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