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[Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer’s First name Last name], [Month DD, YYYY], [Title of Collection], [Call #]; Brooklyn Historical Society.
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Guo Wa Chan
Oral history interview conducted by Mary Lui
June 29, 1993
Call number: 1994.007.05
0:16 - 开场白：介绍受访者、地址、日期、及采访人 Introduction of narrator and interviewer’s names, interview location, and date
0:39 - 介绍受访者姓名及八年录影带生意经 Narrator's name, eight year video business' background, running experience, and goals
16:56 - 地区环境，发展和竞争 The environment, and business competition within the fast development of 8th Ave.
21:19 - 开店成本、家庭移民过程和生意、最初开餐馆 Business cost, investing savings without loans, restaurant as first family business
25:40 - 孩子们的名字、年龄、教育 Brought children to work, their names and ages, as well as their schools and education
42:28 - 语言 Language learning for kids/parents, communication at home/work, English/Chinese dialogues
53:05 - 美国印象，住房、住地、和唐人街 Impression of America, why she immigrated, one room as 1st home in Chinatown and impression
58:59 - 定居、入籍、和选举 Becoming an American citizen, voting, caring about politics related to personal life
62:18 - 在布鲁克林的住房，从租到买，新移民生活便利，地区变化及房价增长 Brooklyn: Rent and home buying, its convenience and changes, housing cost increase
Oral History Interview with Guo Wa Chan
Born in Guangzhou, China in 1955, Guo Wa "Grace" Chan immigrated to New York City in 1981 to join her husband after he had come to America almost a decade earlier. In 1985 Chan opened Prosperity Video, the first Chinese-language movie rental store in the Chinatown area within the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, because she realized she could care for her new baby while running the shop. At the time of the 1993 interview, Chan was the busy mother of four children. While working three hundred sixty-four days a year at the shop, in the evenings she was an active parent with a particular interest in her children's progress at school. Chan looked forward to one day taking her children on vacation to Florida.
In this interview, Guo Wa "Grace" Chan discusses her immigration and life in New York City. She focuses on her experiences as a businesswoman, detailing the launch of her video rental store. She mentions her husband's ventures in the restaurant industry. Chan describes the entrepreneurial competition in Brooklyn's Chinatown and real estate prices, commercial as well as residential. An educationally-focused mother, Chan evaluates the educational decisions she has made and the quality of local public and private schools. Interview in Cantonese conducted by Mary Lui.
Brooklyn Historical Society collaborated with the Chinatown History Museum (now the Museum of Chinese in America) in order to conduct a series of oral histories with residents of the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. The Cantonese, Mandarin, and English language interviews focused on what was then a new presence of Chinese and Asian immigrants concentrated along Eighth Avenue. Among the topics that are explored in the interviews are tensions between different groups of Chinese immigrants, crime and safety in the neighborhood, Sunset Park's relationship to Manhattan's Chinatown, and how long-term residents of Sunset Park had adjusted to the area's "newcomers."
CitationChan, Guo Wa, Oral history interview conducted by Mary Lui, June 29, 1993, New Neighbors: Sunset Park's Chinese Community records, 1994.007.05; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Chan, Guo Wa
- Chinatown Planning Council (New York, N.Y.)
- Business enterprises
- Chinese Americans
- Emigration and immigration
- Ethnic neighborhoods
- Family-owned business enterprises
- Public schools
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- Chinatown (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
- Chinatown (New York, N.Y.)
- Guangzhou (China)
- Sunset Park (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidNew Neighbors: Sunset Park's Chinese Community records