SHUC Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
In May we celebrate the historical and cultural contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders to the U.S. The month of May was chosen in remembrance of the first Japanese immigrant to the U.S. back in May 1843. Join us in celebrating some of Pittsburgh’s Asian and Pacific Islander American community members and their contributions to Pittsburgh and beyond!
Jenny Tao is the owner of Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33 in Squirrel Hill. Jenny and her husband Asan, Cafe 33’s head chef, opened the restaurant in a former laundromat in 2016. The restaurant features a menu that is part homestyle cuisine and part street food, but entirely authentic Taiwanese cuisine. Jenny and Asan moved to Pittsburgh after working in and running restaurants in New York and Vermont. Cafe 33 welcomes diners who may be unfamiliar with Taiwanese cuisine by providing English translations of dishes, an experienced and knowledgeable staff, and Jenny’s warm personality and attention to detail.
Jordan Wong (WONGFACE) is a Cleveland-based artist inspired by Asian art, specifically Japanese anime and manga. Jordan has created large-scale installations and public artwork throughout Cleveland, and also exhibited work at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Jordan’s latest exhibition, “10,000 Things” is on display in the Akron Art Museum through May 15, 2022. Later this spring Jordan’s “Super Mega Wonder 1999”, a public artwork/little library, will be installed in Cleveland’s AsiaTown. Recently, Wong created the commemorative plaque for Pittsburgh’s Chinatown celebration.
Eveline Young previously served on the board of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and continues to work with SHUC committees. Eveline has been an extremely active member of our community since she moved to Squirrel Hill in 1975. In addition to her work with SHUC, Eveline has also served as the Treasurer of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society, and on the boards of the Alzheimer’s Association- Greater PA Chapter, YWCA of Pittsburgh, and University Alumni Club of Pittsburgh. Eveline has extensive experience as a community organizer and social planner, and has utilized this experience to give back to her neighbors.
Jasmine M. Cho is a cookie activist, artist, author, and a 2020 Squirrel Hill Treasure. Jasmine uses cookie activism to elevate representation for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Her beautiful cookie portraits represent people and groups often left out of popular media and curriculum, and have been displayed at the Heinz History Center. On January 28th, 2020 Jasmine was awarded a Mayor’s Proclamation that declared the day “Jasmine Cho Day” in Pittsburgh. Jasmine is one of the pioneers of bake therapy, and hopes to make the kitchen a healing space for all.
Nor Nareedokmai is the chef and owner of two Southeast Asian restaurants in Squirrel Hill: Silk Elephant and Kiin Lao & Thai Eatery. Nor was born in Thailand and came to Pittsburgh as a graduate student at Duquesne University. Nor opened Silk Elephant in 2005 and introduced the city to Thai small plates known as “jaa lek lek” (“tapas” in Spanish). When Nor opened Kiin Eatery, it became the first Pittsburgh restaurant to feature Lao cuisine. In 2020, SHUC named Nor one of Squirrel Hill’s Treasures for his investment in the civic and economic life of his community.
Brian Lee is the longtime orchestra, band, and music teacher at Allderdice High School. He and his Band are an impressive group representing the Pittsburgh Public School District. Mr. Lee leads the Allderdice Band at festivals, sports games, and parades, including the Squirrel Hill Lunar New Year Parade. The Band recently performed at the ribbon cutting for O’Connor’s Corner in Squirrel Hill. SHUC named Mr. Lee a Squirrel Hill Treasure in 2021 for the passion and excitement he brings to his role as an educator and musician.
Marian Lien was the Executive Director at SHUC from 2014 to 2019. As the ED of SHUC, Marian focused on the walkability of Squirrel Hill, established the neighborhood’s annual Lunar New Year Festival, and much more. Now Marian works with the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, St. Edmund’s Academy, and the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. In April 2022 Pittsburgh’s Chinatown became an official historic landmark, and Marian was instrumental in making that happen. Thank you Marian for your commitment to your community!
Chef Wei Zhu was recently nominated for his fifth James Beard Award for his beloved Squirrel Hill restaurant, Chengdu Gourmet. Since opening in 2014, Chengdu Gourmet has been a Pittsburgh favorite for authentic Sichuan cuisine. Zhu grew up in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, and has been working in the food industry since his teenage years. Zhu decided to open Chengdu Gourmet after a visit to Pittsburgh and seeing the lack of quality Sichuan cuisine. Keep an eye out for a second Chengdu Gourmet location opening soon on McKnight Road in Ross Township!
The Squirrel Hill Business District in collaboration with Pittsburgh City Council hosted a highly successful National Night Out event. The community came together in full force, making it a memorable evening of unity, fun, and engagement.
Preserving, Improving, and Celebrating the Quality of Life in Squirrel Hill
For over fifty years, the Coalition has been an active and important link in the community. It has served as a sounding board for new ideas, as well as a “watchdog” in the areas of public safety, education, residential quality, the business district, and parks and open space. With its focus on the quality of life in the 14th Ward, SHUC continues to monitor activities and future developments in the community through a range of standing committees.