Wonho Frank Lee is a freelance photographer who primarily shoots for Eater LA and recently received his MFA from Cal State LA. Follow him on Instagram @WonhoPhoto.
When I was about 7 years old, I remember feeling very distraught as I questioned why houses in the hills were much nicer than the houses on the boulevard. Our home overlooked Echo Park and downtown Los Angeles, and we could hear the roar of a Dodgers game and see fireworks from the stadium on certain occasions.
I used to be more hopeful, when I bought into the model minority myth. I believed that things would just work out if I put my head down and tried harder.
When I announced I was leaving my last job for a new one, one of my colleagues asked, “What is your favorite Bible verse?” I thought about it, as I don’t do single verses, having long been resistant to anything that smacks of eisegesis. “I don’t really have one. But I love the book of Ecclesiastes.”
“Oh my God. I feel so white.” My white friend said this to me during a break at a disastrous anti-racism training at my seminary. I looked at her, incredulous and wondering what exactly I was to do with the information she just presented to me.
“Get out of my country.” Those were the last words that I could remember hearing. Everything else was a blur of images and fragmented memories: the fluorescent beer signs gently hummed and looked down upon us above the entrance.
Surveys agree: The first year of marriage is one of the hardest. Whether it’s getting used to living with another person or working out new financial priorities, it’s no wonder that the first year can sometimes feel like the opposite of marital bliss.
When I was a child, my go-to bedtime story was Jonathan London’s “A Koala for Katie”, a story about a girl named Katie who visits the zoo with her parents. In many ways, it seemed like he had written the story about me.
On an episode of “Parts Unknown” that took him to Israel, Anthony Bourdain approached a group of Orthodox Jewish men and asked if he too could pray at the Western Wall.
MY PARENTS MOVED to Maryland seven months after they got married. Fresh out of his doctorate program, my dad was connected by his mentor to two possible job opportunities — one in San Francisco and one in Maryland.
MARY METCHNEK: tanned skin, curly dark hair, and dark eyes. Her speech is tinged with Hawaiian Pidgin intonations and a Midwestern drawl — curiously, words of an African language also easily slip off her tongue in conversation.
THERE MUST BE such a thing as a unicorn — that mythical creature God made for progressive Christians to date. Someone who is thoughtful, lives for social justice, and wants to creatively build God's kingdom.
THERE ARE THREE QUESTIONS I never want to hear again: What do you do? When are you getting married? Where are you from?
I WAS QUITE ANXIOUS as I walked from my car to the mosque. I had no personal desire to be there, save that it was a mandatory assignment for my seminary class.
AS YOU APPROACH the southern part of the Los Angeles Arts District, you come across a narrow back alleyway where warped monsters and psychedelic fonts jump off the wall of a large building.
OUR ORCHESTRA WAS SLOTTED to play at a concert hall in New York City when I was a high school freshman. At the time, I knew nothing about the world of pornography and masturbation.
ANITA AND I DECIDED to try for our second child at the beginning of 2015. We always had more than one child in mind when we imagined our family, and we thought it would be nice for our daughter, Maddie, then 2 years old, to have a sibling.
"FROM MY TRADITION," the priest began, "We believe in the resurrection of the dead, that there is life in heaven, and that we will one day be reunited with our loved ones."
IN 2012, I WAS DIAGNOSED with lupus. The disease left me wheelchair bound for half a year. Before my flare-up, I was working and going to school full time, which didn’t leave me with very much time to spend with God.
THE MAJORITY OF SYNERGY Charter Academies’ students enroll as illiterate and incredibly below grade level. At age five, many don’t know their letters, numbers, colors, or shapes.
IN 1991, then United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop asked me and my fellow graduating medical students to raise our right hands and repeat the Hippocratic Oath.
DID YOU EVER WONDER why one of the things we do at church is take a piece of bread and eat it along with some grape juice? I’m partial to those churches that use real wine, though I suspect that those congregations opt for the cheap and overly sweet Manischewitz, which is a kosher wine that Jews today often use for their Passover celebrations.
ONE APPLE equals 72 calories. That fact, along with my growling stomach and uncomfortably bony body, was enough to cause insomnia. It’s been almost an hour since I crawled into my college dorm bed for the night. My heart is racing; I cannot stop thinking about what I ate.
THE PHONE JUST KEPT RINGING and ringing. Usually, someone would pick up after just a couple of rings, but after about a dozen rings, I figured they must be busy.
THE NEWS THAT BALDWIN AVENUE would be closed for construction for two years took me by surprise.
Everybody’s family is a little bit Oprah or even a little bit Jerry Springer. We all have a little crazy in our family story. Mine stands out from the start — my dad was white and grew up in rural Washington on a Native American reservation as the son of a sharecropper.
WE LIKE TO CALL ourselves the children of God. It's a name that reminds us of how dearly loved we are by God. That we are all sons and daughters and have a great heavenly inheritance.
PEACE IS A STRANGE WORD. It denotes a number of realities: a sense of place, an affirmation of identity, and a pivotal shift of reality.
MY JOURNEY BEGAN in seminary studying at Claremont School of Theology, with a motivation to serve through the local church. I did traditional church ministry for about six years, first as an intern, and then as an associate pastor at a Chinese church.
VICE PRESIDENT of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief, an international relief and development non-profit. At the young age of 33, Jenny Yang is making her mark as a world changer.
I FOUND MYSELF in Colonial Williamsburg last December while visiting my sister's new apartment in Virginia. My parents had gotten a good deal on annual passes — perfect for whenever they would visit my sister.
“A rapist is always to be a stranger,” said the lady in red, in “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuff”, a choreo-poem by Ntozake Shange.