Food & Travel Spotlight

Nov. 15: Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor Hosts 1st Annual Varli Culinary Awards with Co-hosts Manu Narayan and Pooja Kumar in New York

Posted by Lia Chang - on Monday, 01 October 2012

Nov. 15: Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor Hosts 1st Annual Varli Culinary Awards with Co-hosts Manu Narayan and Pooja Kumar in New York
Manu Narayan Photo by Lia Chang After much-acclaimed success with Varli Magazine, the Varli Food Festival, and the Varli Cook-Off, the Varli brand continues to expand its reach with the first annual Varli Culinary Awards on November 15, 2012, at The Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. in New York. The evening will be hosted by internationally acclaimed Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, along with Bombay Dream star Manu Narayan (The Love Guru), fresh from his electrifying turn...

Travel Tips

KTVU Producers Fired over Asiana Pilots' Fake Names

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Friday, 26 July 2013

KTVU Producers Fired over Asiana Pilots' Fake Names

July 25, 2013

San Francisco

San Francisco blogger Rich Lieberman has reported in his "Rich Lieberman 415 Media" blog that KTVU-TV has fired three of its veteran producers over the gaffe involving the fake names of the Asiana airline pilots broadcast on its news program. 

Leiberman provides a blow-by-blow account of his story of the firings. Click here for the full story

Meanwhile, San Francisco Chronicle columnists Andrew Ross and Phillip Matier, who is also a radio and TV broadcaster, credit Leiberman with breaking the news of the firings, and comment in their Ross & Matier blog on the reaction by colleagues.

Ross and Matier report that many colleagues were saddened but not completely surprised given the international attention the gaffe got, including a threat - later dropped - by Asiana to sue the station. "People are definitely down about it," one source said.

The columnists cite Randy Shandobil, a former KTVU political editor who left the station 2 1/2 years ago commenting on the gaffe as an example of a systemic problem with news reporters pressured and overtaxed everywhere. For the full story by Ross and Matier click here.


Update July 17, 2013
Asiana Airlines drops plans to sue KTVU-TV

UPDATE July 15, 2013

The Associated Press reports that Asiana will sue KTVU over broadcast of bogus names of four pilots of Asiana Flight 214 at SFO.

Asian American Journalists Association Issues Statement on KTVU's Bogus Names of Pilots of SFO Asian Flight 214 Crash


CBS News

Los Angeles Times

NBC News

Its Cherry Blossom Festival time! Celebrate from SF to Brooklyn Hanami and Sakura Matsuri

Posted by Lia Chang on Thursday, 29 April 2010

Cherry Blossom Festivals! If you didn't get a chance to celebrate the cherry blossoms at a Cherry Blossom festival this year, enjoy the beautiful photos here!

May 5, 2010

If you didn't get a chance to view the cherry blossoms this year, enjoy beautiful botanical photos by Lia Chang, and a photo gallery featuring images from her most recent exhibition this month.

If you missed the 2010 Cherry Blossom festivals this year, click on this time-lapse created from more than 3,000 digital photos, one taken very three minutes during the 2008 Cherry Blossom festival. Or check out the Brooklyn Botanic Garden CherryWatch website at

2008 Cherry Blossom Time-lapse at Brooklyn Botanic Garden from Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Vimeo.

April 1, 2010

Its time for the Cherry Blossom Festivals!

In San Francisco, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will be held Saturday April 10 and Sunday April 11, 2010 and on the following weekend Saturday April 17 and Sunday April 18. The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is the second largest festival outside of Washington D. C. to celebrate the blooming of cherry blossoms. For more information go to the festival website at

In the New York area, I love the serenity of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's annual rite of Spring, Hanami, the Japanese cultural tradition of viewing and cherishing each moment of the cherry's flowering season from the first buds, to the luminous blossoms, to the waterfall of petals cascading from the trees.

Check the Brooklyn Botanic Garden online CherryWatch to see which cherry trees and other flowers are in bloom. Hanami at BBG culminates with the 29th annual Sakura Matsuri (Saturday, May 1 to Sunday, May 2, 2010), a two-day festival celebrating nature and renewal with the striking beauty of the Garden's cherry trees and their magnificent blossoms, and features a weekend of more than...

Empire State Building on Chinese New Year

Posted by Lia Chang on Monday, 26 January 2009

Red and yellow were the colors for the Empire State Building to usher in the Year of the Ox.