Grace Hwang Lynch

Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That

Grace Hwang Lynch

Grace Hwang Lynch
Silicon Valley, California,
December 31
I'm a former television news reporter. Currently a communications consultant, freelance writer, and mother of two. I write about raising a multicultural family at HapaMama, and I'm also the News & Politics Editor at BlogHer. My work has been published in several magazines and newspapers, as well as in the anthologies "Lavaderia: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash and Word" and "Mamas and Papas:On the Sublime and Heartbreaking Art of Parenting" by City Works Press. Follow me on Twitter: @HapaMamaGrace


MAY 15, 2011 8:16PM

Hitting the Taiwanese American Festival with Linda Shiue

Rate: 17 Flag
Taiwanese festival stage

As part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month every May, San Francisco's Union Square is home to the annual Taiwanese American Cultural Festival. When I heard about this day-long celebration of culture, music and food, I knew there was one person I had to invite: OS blogger Linda Shiue.

Linda Shiue and Grace Hwang Lynch

I was ecstatic when Linda emailed me saying she'd love to meet up. Admittedly, I'm a little wary of meeting friends I only know from the Internet. But this was Linda-- a person whose essays often feel so familiar, that I feel like I am reading descriptions of my own childhood. She's just as lively in person as she seems online, and it turns out we have much more in common than our love of good food.

While I had hoped we'd be able to snack on some the traditional Taiwanese street fare, the booths seemed to be running low by the time we arrived. And, since  we had both brought our kids along in hopes of teaching them about their heritage, we had to hurriedly gulp down our food while standing in a crowded plaza, juggling armfuls of flyers and craft projects, with answering the never-ending soundtrack of, "Mom, I'm bored!"

As we wandered around the displays, Linda and I discovered that neither of us had been properly taught to speak Mandarin Chinese or the Taiwanese dialect spoken by our families. Like many Gen-X children of immigrants, we both were raised with sort of a mish-mash of English, Taiwanese, and Mandarin.

Taiwanese puppets

While there were displays of traditional puppets

Chinese brush painting

and booths to learn Chinese brush painting

Taiwanese game

The children all liked the carnival games the best, like this one where kids choose a prize by poking a hole through a random square on a paper-covered box.

man with Buddhist statues

And while you don't have to be Taiwanese to attend the festival, it was especially fun to visit with someone in whom I could see a reflection of myself.





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This was lovely.. Hope to see it on the cover tomorrow.
Rated with hugs
Wow, you are fast. Thanks, Linda!
I love San Francisco and this festival looks fabulous! You and Linda are just gorgeous. So glad you posted this, Grace.~r

it all looks wonderful. And I KNOW whatever you two had, the food was amazing (even if gulped down quickly).
This just makes my day seeing you two at your meet-up! Good to know my kids aren't the only ones who won't let their mamas eat. The festival looks fascinating - I like the children's games!
Two of my favorite OSers, together. Would love to have been a third for that, despite not sharing the heritage. Thanks for sharing this with us.
How fun! You two are gorgeous and what a fun way to meet. Lucy -- we have to do an East Coast version of this sometime this summer!
Joan- I was inspired by the DC meetup you posted earlier!

Foolish Monkey- I'm hoping to meet up with Linda some other time where we can actually sit and eat.

Lucy- It was like the travelling baking tin, but in person!

Kathy- You would have fit right in, the festival was right in the middle of downtown SF.

Lisa- You and Lucy should meetup. Wish I could be there for that!
Wow! I wish I was in SF. I'd have access to splendid festivals and splendid company.
What a beautiful festival and a beautiful day of celebration and discovery for two of the nicest-seeming OSers I know! Beautiful pictures, especially the one of you both smiling.
What a fun afternoon that must have been! I'm actually surprised that you and Linda hadn't already met, since you have such common interests and live in the same area--but I'm glad you finally did! Thanks for sharing this!
Great post, great photos. Maybe more about the food would have been nice (just up, no brekkie yet).
It sounds like a wonderful time, Grace! And thanks for posting the photos.
Thank you Grace, for inviting me and for posting this. I had a great time and look forward to meeting up again.
Awesome, how lucky you both are to have somewhat tempers my jealousy in not being able to be there as well to see these lovely images. Thanks for posting this.
Barry- OS was very slow so I drastically reduced the file size to load these up quicker... that's why they are so grainy!
No worries Grace, it's just nice to see the two of you together. I know how slow OS can be, it's why I compose everything offline and use the html provided by the image servers at Flickr, so all I'm uploading is pasted text that has the reference links to image sources outside of OS...seems to work around the slowness thing for me.

I have a post in the tank about Chinatown Summer Nights in LA that I never got around to finishing and getting up. You've encouraged me to get that done. (It's really more of a gourmet food truck post, but it was in a great setting.)
I'm so envious! What a great picture! I've made lasting friendships via the internet. I've met some and some I've never met, and yet our friendships have spanned the last fifteen years. Internet communication doesn't always convey a true sense of a person, but over time it almost always does!
I think it is great that you ladies met.
Fascinating! And so cool that you two in particular met in person.
A Taiwanese Cross-Cultural Experience is Always Fun in the Year of the Dragon 2012!