Shortly after reading Lauren Hilgers’ book, Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown (Penguin Random House, 2018), I visited Flushing, where the book mainly takes place. I hadn’t been to Flushing in over 30 years, when my dad took my brother and me to a Mets game at the old Shea Stadium back when my mom worked for United and we could fly for free on stand-by.
Flushing has changed a ton since then. Like the protagonists in Hilgers’ book, people in Flushing don’t have to know any English because Chinese businesses are everywhere.
It’s even seems to have changed since one of my favorite movies came out 25 years ago.
At a time when the US is in hot water over separating immigrant children from their families, Hilgers’ book couldn’t be more timely.