Tim Prentice and I may both be described as the sociable and amicable type of guys among mostly serious intellectual classmates at Yale’s School of Architecture in the late 1950s. We were the Happy Go Lucky fellows who enjoyed making friends as well as learning from esteemed professors. We had genuine rapport and always wished each other well.
Prentice and Chan and Copelin and Lee were both upstart Architectural firms in NewYork City – college buddies suddenly became keen competitors. Both firms were Included in the 40 Under 40 Exhibit by the Architectural League of New York.. But Prentice and Chan was always half a step ahead of us in terms of getting significant commissions in the New York Region.
Most sincerely I want to express deep gratitude to Tim, for his showing true Friendship and Support during our firm’s growing years. Tim recommended several Architectural commissions to Copelin and Lee ( including the prestigious new Air France’s Sales Headquarters in NYC ). On a personal level, he also recommended me to become a Member of the American Arbitration Association.
I am drawn to Tim’s wonderful Happy Personality. He seems to be always so Happy & Free in Spirit. He is most creative in his kinetic sculptures.
And look at his “Flying Carpet :
Tim Prentice Bio. :
Tim Prentice, kinetic sculptor, received a Masters Degree in architecture from Yale in 1960 and founded the award-winning architectural firm of Prentice & Chan in 1965. Ten years later, he established a studio in Cornwall, Connecticut to design and fabricate kinetic sculpture. His corporate clients include American Express, Bank of America, Mobil, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Wells Fargo, Astra Zeneca, Samsung and Nokia. In the last few years he has completed installations in Japan, South Korea, Northern Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Cameroon. He currently shows with Maxwell Davidson in New York and is represented in Europe by Miklos von Bartha in Basel. He has served on the boards of Hartford Art School of the MOMA Committee on Architecture and Design from 1968 to 1969. An Adjunct Professor of Design at Columbia University from 1975 to 1980, he is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and President, New York Chapter, A.I.A. (1973-1974). From 1974 to 1978 he was President of the Municipal Art Society of New York.
As promised, here’s the article about Pearl L. Wong. Enjoy!
Pearl L. Wong will be celebrating her 90th birthday this September and we will honor and dedicate a day on behalf of our City and County of San Francisco. The plaque that will be displayed in Chinatown tells a great story about her life. She’s an overlooked Chinese American and one in a zillion !
‘When I was a regular and investor at the then Shanghai 1930 Guanxi Lounge, and after Jazz at Pearl’s had sadly closed, we engaged our dear friend Pearl to continue and promote Thursday night ala Jazz at Pearl’s where she held court with late nights – a fusion of entertainment and Chinese dim sum !’
PEARL’S ROOM ( the plaque ) Dedicated to Pearl L. Wong
In the basement of the Great Eastern Restaurant on Jackson Street, Pearl Wong created a jazz club in San Francisco Chinatown in 1984. At times, the joint was jumpin’ til 4 AM. As proprietor of the long running “Jazz at Pearl’s” on Columbus Avenue in North Beach, Pearl nurtured and elevated the local jazz scene with a listening room to present countless talented musicians including her daughter, vocalist Cookie Wong. Jazz patrons and musicians alike treasured Pearl and her club.
For her vision, tireless efforts, and love for this City, we dedicate this room to Pearl L. Wong.
Although Greg is already a “Senior Bro.” in our FF Fraternity, I have been a “Senior Brother” to him and others like WeiTai Kwok and Tony Keng etc., by almost one generation. However, I often address Greg: ‘Hon. Chew’, as he was appointed S.F. Arts Commissioner in September 2009. I have admired ‘Hon Chew’ not only for his prestigious title, but for a long time for his fame as the creator of the ‘California Dancing Raisins’ Campaign 1985’. He often sees things beyond what we commonly see.
Below is Greg’s story :
“Some time ago, the grape farmers ( California Raisin Advisory Board ) in the Central Valley of California were facing a huge glut of too many of their sweet products not being sold to consumers. It was known as ‘Nature’s Candy’ through the endless marketing campaigns. The advertising agency that I worked for ten years in the making at Foote, Cone & Belding, S.F. was hired and given the problem, or shall we say, an opportunity to change people’s perceptions, we initially performed numerous focus groups and discovered that raisins even reminded them of rat remains! The creatives were at work and came up with the IDEA to make Raisins cool
Therefore at the ‘pitch’ meeting in Fresno to the farmers, we all played performed the soulful pop hit Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ and in partnership Will Vinton claymations maker we created the original three raisin characters to perform the song and ran the (TVC’s) nationwide television commercials.
It started a movement as consumers caught on with a wave of many serious followers. Many tons of raisins were sold nationally at all the major grocery markets as well as the agency started to merchandise products that were everything related to raisins.
If you come across or have collected a pair of ‘Raisin’ sunglasses, car sun shades, a claymation figure set (there’s at least six made), collected all the promos in all of the Sunday comic strip ‘Raisin’ characters, saw many a noted chef, cooking with California Raisins, dressed up for Halloween as a ‘Raisinette’ or hundred of other items from the campaign, we hope it reminds you of that fun time.
From Greg’s Introduction of Pearl L.Wong above, I noted two ‘Significant Comments’:
1) An overlooked Chinese American and one in a zillion and
2) Fusion of Entertainment ( JAZZ ) & Dim Sum.
Indeed, to partner with Sonny Buxton, a Black American Drummer, to present Jazz (the most Innovative & Original part of American Culture) from S.F. Chinatown, a Chinese American setting, was an admirably courageous and humanitarian decision. Indeed, there is still great need today to promote deeper cross-cultural understanding and good feelings among people from different cultures and different racial and gender backgrounds.
Dim Sum is an important part of Chinese Culture and Chinese Culinary Art.
點心, ( Dim Sum in Cantonese and ‘diǎn xīn’ in Mandarin ) means ‘Touching of the Heart ’. For me the ‘Touching of The Heart’ is indeed the ultimate goal of our Friendshipology Initiative.
In the world of advertising, Greg was Founding Creative Director of DAE, a full service multicultural advertising firm based in San Francisco, targeting the burgeoning Asian American and Asian consumers worldwide.
Prior to that, he worked for a number of mainstream ad firms and was also the team that created the iconic ‘California Dancing Raisins Campaign.’
In public service, Greg worked in the City and County of San Francisco Mayor’s Office, first appointed as Film Commissioner, to help revitalize the film industry, Immigrant Rights Commissioner,to fight on behalf of newly arrived citizens, then transitioned over to serve on the Arts Commission, At Large, to champion the arts and culture, visual, performing arts, street artists, including the San Francisco Symphony for all.
He has invested over a number of restaurants, one of which the runaway success, Betelnut in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow district.
He is an honorary judge of modern cars for the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Owner’s Club for many Concours events.
He has been a frequent guest host for the ‘Asian Comedy Night’ at the legendary Purple Onion, North Beach.
Greg was initial funder of Emmy Award nominee ‘Forever, Chinatown,’ a complex portrayal of a man and his memory in association with Good Medicine Picture Company.
He has taught advertising courses at U.C. Berkeley Extension, San Jose State University, and graduate classes at the Academy of Art University.
Now that we are on the cusp of re-opening California, it is time to reflect upon the past year. No parties, gatherings, restaurants, movies, concerts, weddings or libraries. It was largely an introspective year; cooking, biking, reading, hiking, gardening, hobbies, projects and personal growth.
Much will remain with me for the ensuing years as we enter this new phase. Coinciding with my retired neighbor (ex Wall Street veteran) with 2 teenage boys, a wife that works, who is now flushed with free time. Previously, he was a daily gym rat which they have been closed. Paul and I would hike many of the Mid Peninsula Open Space District 26 preserves in the Bay Area. From Bear Creek Redwood Reserve, Fremont Older, Picchetti Ranch, Rancho San Antonio, Steven’s Creek, Russia Hill Ridge, Mount Umunhum and over to Mission Peak in Fremont. Many of the trails are filled with poison oak in the summer, fallen tree limbs, rocks and tree roots breaking the surface as we pass through.
My approaching 70 years of age and Paul, a healthy 55. My stamina is not as in previous years but quite acceptable. Many of our treks were challenging and by conclusion, I was spent. All the while, Paul was eating up the terrain with ease. We always kept a good brisk pace.
It was not at all surprising that I traversed up and down these Mid Peninsula Preserves but my hiking buddy has Macular Degeneration of his eyes since his late 40’s. He can only see shadows with little depth perceptions. Yet, it was always I that weaken or occasionally tripped on the trails but never him. Often times, he would assist me with an arm to get to the top. I am his eyes and guide on these hikes. The appreciation and of each hike is unique with the added dimension of needing to convey the views to my hiking Buddy; the sky, horizon, trees, ravines, hidden dangers on the trails, meadows, cloud formations, animals, flowers, etc., all that we encountered of which we normally take for granted, is now looked upon, analyzed and translated by me.
This makes for smelling the roses even more. Our love for nature, camaraderie, friendship, and conversations makes for the best of hiking partners. Most handicapped people would reside in their homes but not my friend. A hiking Buddy and good friend to boot is a good combination to have. With the upcoming re-opening, we are off to see the Giant’s/A’s game come the end of June.
A metaphor of the Earth, its inhabitants, and their symbiotic problems
Suggested by a new Friendshipology Friend
By James Luce
7 June 2021
Today an itinerant observer from outside our galaxy sent to me a few observations about our planet. Not surprisingly, this voyager in time, space, and place conceptualizes both the physical and the ethereal universe with senses and processes different than ours. To this observer, the distinctions between simile, parable, metaphor, and analogy have long-eons-ago been extinguished. Thus, these observations, presented just as they were received, may at first seem obscure.
Here’s what the observer had to say:
I first saw your galaxy from the side. It looked unimpressively flat, lumpy, and still. The next time I cruised by, my vector was 90º from the plane. What a difference! Now it looked like an illuminated beach streaked by the tides and rotating counterclockwise. On the return trip my vector was 90º from the plane but from the other side. Same beach effect, but now naturally it was rotating clockwise. There is no “up” or “down” in space, no “universally correct” view of things. What something looks like is mostly a matter of perspective. Same galaxy, different motion.
Even the relative distance from the object makes a difference. From far away your galaxy looks almost solid, calm, and perfectly round. Getting closer you can see that it’s really made up of trillions of individual and widely separated stars, planets, moons, nebulae, asteroids, comets, even dust particles…an octillion of those at least…all swirling peacefully around an immense and immensely dense object from which no light escapes. All these galactic objects look different, act differently, but all have similar endings, and they are all part of the same universe.
Once you enter your galaxy, it’s impossible to see how big it is, how vast, how varied. One’s view is limited and fuzzy. Yet one image becomes extremely clear. The adjectives “calm” and “peaceful” are not apt to your galaxy. Stars explode and destroy entire proximate solar systems, instantly ending all life therein. Other stars expand slowly and swallow up all systems within trillions of miles, baking them to oblivion in white-hot plasma. Other stars just grow old and cold and all life on nearby systems freezes, crumbling into ice shards and then evaporating into space. In the end, entropy works, and everything will eventually disappear.
Since I was here, I decided to wander through your galaxy at just below lightspeed. After several of my planet’s years, my sensors spotted a blue-green planet orbiting third from a smallish star. I was far enough away so that your planet looked solid, round, uninteresting, but my sensors noted characteristics consistent with planets that support life. Not a rare find in my travels, but always fun to visit such places, to see yet again how varied life can be.
Nearing your solar system, my sensors indicated an abundance of water/carbon-based life forms. Such planets are always intriguing because…unlike life based on methane/silicon combinations or ammonia/crystalline combinations…water/carbon always results in an abundance of species.
Reaching the outer orbit of your planet’s solo satellite, your planet looked calm and peaceful, clouds drifting placidly in a thin coating of transparent gasses, floating over large expanses of water with scattered landmasses providing an interesting pattern. What a difference with a different perspective! Now your planet looked like an illuminated beach streaked by the tides and rotating clockwise. I noted that most of the landmasses were concentrated on the lower half of your planet.
After rotating my ship 180º your planet was now revolving counterclockwise, and the landmasses were concentrated on the upper half of your planet.
Intrigued, I moved inside your atmosphere on the sunlit side. It became increasingly difficult to see how vast and varied your planet is and virtually impossible to see back out into the vastness of your galaxy.
The peace and calm vanished as well. Everywhere you humans were doing your best to create chaos and your atmosphere was dangerously overloaded with heat and pollutants.
It struck me that if only humans could step back from each other just a bit that they might get a different perspective on each other and their planet. “All the time in the world” is not as long as you humans seem to think it is.
Response by Amalia Pellegrini – JAME’S new FRIENDSHIPOLOGY FRIEND :
I greatly appreciate how you have gorgeously developed my hint in ” Our Galactic Beach.”.. disclosing the dynamism of galaxies ( what an adventure ! )
great the idea of the outside observer ! enhancing the principle of PERSPECTIVES… making all the difference…
With pleasure I share samples of my artphotography. I develop themes.. t a l e s... each as per its own perspective…as per the language of synthesis..through complicitas…since opposite perspectives… .come together … expressing a visionary, intimate ,adventurous, relationship…
This is Part II following Catherine Zhao’s Part I – “ABOUT FRIENDSHIP” posted Jan. 2021
There are people you meet that change your life. There are people you meet that change your perspective. There are people that do both.
Catherine Xiaolin Zhao is one of those people.
I met Catherine in the late summer of 2016. I was fresh out of college and living in NYC. I was full of excitement and fear. I grew up in the Midwest in the United States and hadn’t traveled very much. I felt so overwhelmed by NYC, but I was in awe of it as well. As a kid who once lived in a house that was surrounded by cornfields, I was amazed at the amount of people, places, and cultures in the “concrete jungle.” I was eating alone on the back patio area of Webster Apartment, a wonderful place in midtown Manhattan that provides safe and affordable housing for female professionals, when we met. As an introvert, I remember wanting to quietly eat when along came a chatty and friendly person who ended up becoming one of my best friends. She asked me questions about Oklahoma, and I asked her questions about China.
When I was in elementary school and living in the above mentioned farming community, my family briefly thought we might be relocating to China for my father’s job. I was beyond thrilled. This was right before the Internet started slowly becoming a part of our daily life, so I had to grab the “C” labeled encyclopedia to read up on China. Sadly, we didn’t end up moving there, but my passive yet strong curiosity about China remained. I ended up growing up mostly in Oklahoma.
Catherine knew about the famous musical Oklahoma. Meanwhile, I didn’t understand what Chinese New Year’s really was, and wrongly thought sushi was a popular dish there. Afterwards, I remember calling my mom to tell her that I had made a new friend from China. Over the next few months, Catherine and I, along with some other women, played the role of “tourist” in the Big Apple. Those few months are filled with some of my favorite life experiences. I grew a lot as a person. Being around so many women from so many different countries gave me a different perspective on how America is perceived, in both positive and negative ways, abroad. It made me think more critically about America’s healthcare and college education system. It was such an eye-opening experience in so many ways.
One of the darkest and most surprising moments for me happened on a city bus. Catherine, our mutual friend from Germany, and I were on our way back to our apartment after a fun and adventurous day. Mere seconds after finding our seats, an older woman grew visibly upset that she was having to sit near Catherine. She angrily muttered something as she moved to a different seat on the bus. I was shocked. I couldn’t tell if Catherine had noticed or not. I wanted to say something, but I didn’t know what to say. Was this gross and uncalled for interaction a common experience for my friend? Then I got mad at myself for my own naivety towards the situation. One of my greatest hopes for our present day and future world is that the hearts and minds of hateful individuals begin to soften and open. That they begin to embrace,respect, and love other people and cultures.
Tragic and horrible events continue to teach me the injustices and hate that the Asian community continues to face on a daily basis in the United States and abroad. My sweet, hilarious, and brilliant friend is so much more than a statistic, but every time I hear of violence or racism towards Asians, I think of her. I think of her family. I think of her heart that is so full of love and joy.
Shaynee Sherwood lives in Kansas City, Kansas where she teaches at a private school that specializes in helping students with learning differences. As someone who is dyslexic herself, Shaynee is a strong advocate for the neurodivergent community. In her free time, Shaynee enjoys writing, yoga, and learning more about herself and the world.
When the average person without any geological training is standing on the shore they see a beach, a wide and long expanse of undifferentiated sand. The beach in this metaphor represents all the thousands of cultures in the world. The geologist is a metaphoric multiculturalist expert.
If a geologist asks the person to describe what they’re looking at, the response will be “a bunch of sand”. If asked whether they see anything in particular about the sand, they will note that there are different colors of sand. If pressed for more details, they may suggest the existence of different textures of sand. Pressed harder, they may even mention the fact that not all the grains of sand are identical in size and that there are bits and pieces of things on the beach that aren’t sand.
Never will they observe that each single grain of sand is unique. The chemical and mineral composition; the origin of each grain; the age of each grain; the shape and reflectance of each grain are all slightly different. However, one grain is no better than the other. One is no better at building the beach than any other. Yet each grain collectively gives the beach its own character. Some beaches are all black or even green. Some are permanent, some temporary. All these differences are to be observed in all our cultures, past and present and most likely future.
The problem is that unless prodded, people generally just see a beach, their beach, the perfect beach, the only beach the world needs…rather than understanding that their beach is really an amalgam of billions of grains of sand from around the world. When they see “their” beach, they do not understand that what they’re looking at is the world’s beach. Their beach is in fact the result of many thousands of years of cultural change, exchange, and experimentation.
To walk along a beach is to take those first steps of a thousand li journey across time and space. Some of the grains of sand will irritatingly get clogged between your toes. Sand flies, blood worms, and deer ticks add to the discomfort. Yet the journey overall is one of pleasant discovery…if one ignores all the irritations. The uniqueness of each grain of sand is forgotten in the general joy of being alive on this planet while being caressed by a gentle wind and a soft sun…just as everybody everywhere from all cultures experiences walking along the world’s beach.
BILLY’s COMMENTs: What I admire most about my dear friend and old colleague from The 1990 Institute Board is that he always thinks as broadly and deeply as about Black Holes, but somehow always relevant to our hearts and our humanity. I love especially many of his poems and shorter essays.
My dearest older cousin, Millie Yung, and Sister Linda were friends at St. Johns University, Shanghai. Linda was Ms. Linda TSAO then, so I would cheerfully address her “TSAO GA JIA JIA“ in Shanghainese.
Since Yuelin Yang became a FF Brother, his Mother naturally became my “YANG GA MM MA”. But, by FF Fraternity’s simplistic logic “ All immediate female relatives are “FF. SISTERS”. So in FF circles, she automatically became my “Sister Linda”.
But since Sister Linda is my most admired old friend and colleague from The 199O Institute, I sometimes salute her “ AMBASSADOR YANG “ for her prominent role as the U.S. Ambassador at the ADB (Asian Development Bank – appointed by President Bill Clinton – 1993-1999 ).
I first want to take this opportunity to thank “Sister Linda” who in 2003 helped arrange an opportunity for me to visit UC Davis’s Mondavi Center for Performing Arts ( one of the best acoustical chambers in the U.S. ) – as I was trying to persuade Ningbo University ( Ningbo is my ancestral home ) to build a First Class Music Center.
“Sister Linda” treated me graciously with her delicious home-cooking at her home in Davis. To this day, I still remember her succinct advices, her warmth, her fantastic Chinese paintings on the walls, and an unusually large and beautifully bonded book titled: “SUN TZE BING FA. ( The Art of War ). I was profoundly impressed.
Many of us already know about Sister Linda’s many spectacular achievements. They were mostly mentioned in the FF Announcement for this FF Strong Town Hall Zoom.
However, I think we all want to learn HOW she accomplished WHAT she did, and from Where came her MAGIC ?
I would first examine why she was awarded the “Distinguished Service Medal” by the U.S Department Treaury and the “Honorary Citizen & City’s Favorite Daughters Award” by Shanghai’s People’s Congress.
It had been explained that the “Distinguished Service Award” was for her steering the bank towards policies and practices which made development assistance more equitable, and enduring, and her key role in defining the bank’s participation in the international response to the Asian Economic Crisis of 1997-98.
The Shanghai “Honorary Citizen Award”- was for her bringing international technology and standards in water quality management to the Suzhou Creek environmental cleaning and revitalizing Project – most beneficial to China and to Shanghai, her Ancestral Home.
It seems to me, to accomplish what she did required: first having deep purpose and foresight / then ability to analyze complex problems – technically, economically, and diplomatically / optimizing and prioritizing various opportunities / providing persuasive policy ideas and plans / and finally leveraging her personal integrity, credibility, and charm. I think the last aspect may be the most unique about Sister Linda that we should learn from her.
Indeed, at this Zoom gathering, we can learn a lot by LISTENING closely to WHAT Sister Linda has to say, and WATCH closely on HOW she tells her stories. I would pay close attention to her VERBAL & FACIAL EXPRESSIONS.
If we seriously wish to learn from her, we must watch her Manners and Composure and capture her Inner Spirit : her Compassion, her Dedication, her Optimism, her Constant Striving, her Pride & Modesty, and her unique Shanghai Sentimentality.
Now, Let us Watch and Listen Closely to Sister Linda.
A few months ago I wrote an article for our local community newsletter featuring Billy Lee and his family. Part of the article focused on Billy’s website Friendshipology.net. In reading several of the blogs on his site, I became intrigued by the concept of friendship; what it was, how it occurred and why it was so important. Following are some of my thoughts on friends.
What Are Friends?
I think they are someone that you can rely on to be honest with you. Individuals that you trust. People you can laugh and or cry with. A person that can provide empathy and comfort. And someone you enjoy sharing experiences with. Friends are also those who can teach you about new things, including cross cultural customs and lifestyles.
Types of Friends
Friends come from a variety of sources. There are childhood friends; school friends; work and or military service friends; family friends and friends of the family; couple friends; casual friends; neighborhood friends; old friends and new friends; and finally best friends.
The most important thing in making friends is that the process should be natural – not forced. Friends are individuals that you enjoy being with. Often friends will have a shared interest. A friend is someone you look forward to seeing regardless of how much time has passed since your last interaction. Making friends requires follow-up and communication. It also should mean that you care about your friends well being.
My wife is especially good about making and keeping friends. In thinking about how this works, I have noticed that in addition to showing an interest in the other person and being a good listener, she often follows up with a phone call, text message or letter to let her friends know they are in her thoughts. True friends are those who connect with you in good times or bad. True friends value your opinions.
The Importance of Friends
My Dad often said, “there is no honor in being the richest person in the cemetery”. As we age and experience ups and downs, it becomes increasingly apparent how important friends are. Much more important than money or possessions. More important than social status. I believe the best marriages are based on friendship. In conclusion, friends are perhaps the most important element in this thing called life.
BILLY’S COMMENTS : Mike and Leslie have been our old friends and neighbors in Ladera since early 1980s, We actually got acquainted on the Ladera Tennis Courts. I remember Mike had a very strong forehand strike and ran like a basketball forward for every ball conceivable. Leslie was definitely one of the steadiest players in our group. Everyone wanted to partner with her at our famous July 4th Ladera Doubles Tennis Socials.