Over the past few weeks, we have been inundated with small businesses, freelancers and locals who have reached out to us to support them by sharing their stories. 

We are looking for volunteer writers to join us in writing mini featurettes on small businesses, locals, and other, NYC type stories especially pertinent to tell now, in the time of the Coronavirus. We have a list of folks you could interview and write about, or pitch a story that you would like to tell. 

The stories will be published on our website, Instagram, and newsletter. While we are a small platform – we have a strong community and are actively working for the betterment of NYC. 

Some examples of content are:

The Local’s Guide to Supporting NYC

How to Stay Safe At Home Amidst the Coronavirus (Kitchen Edition)

In the Age of the Coronavirus, Will NYC Ever Be the Same?

Instagram Profile Pieces:

Boys Don’t Cry

Chinatown Part 1 Series

Part 2

Part 3

Example topics that we want to highlight:

  • Send Chinatown Love – an initiative to help build websites and create social media accounts for Chinatown restaurants
  • A Million Masks – A volunteer-driven initiative to donate masks to Hospitals
  • An inside look at undocumented workers and how to bounce back amidst the Coronavirus

In return: 

Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus, we had to cancel all of our events and have turned our platform into a place to support NYC entirely. We are not able to pay our writers but we do have a tier program to support our writers – all will include author bio pages on the site.

To volunteer or submit a pitch:

Reach out to hello@ciaooomag.com for more information on how you can help. Please see HERE for our contributor’s guide.

Chau Mui

Chau is the original New York City stoop kid who cut her teeth hanging out in Union Square, ate soup dumplings in Chinatown and explored this great city by train, foot and everything in between.

Facebook Conversations

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced the extension of the eviction moratorium until August 20th.

The original passage stipulated that tenants could not be evicted from their homes during this time because the government essentially shut down all eviction proceedings from occurring in the housing court. The court is physically closed.

“American society prizes housing for profit rather than housing as a fundamental human right.”

Dannelly Rodriguez, Activist

In reality, the current moratorium is set to protect renters until June 20th, but due to a set of loopholes in the memorandum, renters can still be SUED and taken to court for lack of payment during said extension. One of the said loopholes? Tenants must be able to prove that they were financially impacted by COVID-19. 

While this may be possible for many traditionally employed New Yorkers, many undocumented, day laborers, and gig workers and more will find that harder to prove. Recently, there have even been reports of landlords attempting to barter sex from tenants in return for rent payment.

In the meantime, grassroots organizations like Right To Counsel NYC are calling for Cuomo to #cancelrent in totality. A moratorium has been a bandaid solution for the millions of renters across NYC because, well, rent is still accruing. With an unforeseen future of what’s to come, or when the next paycheck will come – paying back months of unpaid rent could financially collapse families once the ban is lifted.

Renter’s strikes are nothing new to NYC, but now with the courts opening soon and cases being reopened- who’s to say what will become of NYC?

Certain tenants are able to apply for free legal counsel. You can also look to Right to Counsel for more information.

Chau Mui

Chau is the original New York City stoop kid who cut her teeth hanging out in Union Square, ate soup dumplings in Chinatown and explored this great city by train, foot and everything in between.

Facebook Conversations

“We REFUSE to risk even ONE Juggalo life by hosting a Gathering during these troubling times.”

Ummm…What? While protestors across Denver, Michigan, and even, Albany, New York protest for cities to open up again, one unassuming group is staying vigilant to promote social distancing.

That group you ask? None other than the hardcore, face-painting hip hop music duo who haven’t been relevant since 2007, the INSANE CLOWN POSSE. For the first time in 20 years, the duo has canceled their annual music festival, The Gathering of the Juggalos, quoting, “We REFUSE to risk even ONE Juggalo life by hosting a Gathering during these troubling times.”

This is America 2020: While Gov Cuomo has been warning us that NY won’t be normal for a while – mayors across the country are pushing to open up their cities including Las Vegas and Georgia, which partially opened up businesses today. What has our country come to when the Insane Clown Posse is more rational than our city leaders?

Get the latest NYC news in your inbox every Friday by subscribing to our newsletter!

Chau Mui

Chau is the original New York City stoop kid who cut her teeth hanging out in Union Square, ate soup dumplings in Chinatown and explored this great city by train, foot and everything in between.

Facebook Conversations

Jordan Scott is the 24-year-old founder of idk tonight, NYC’s trusted resource for couples. For nearly two years, she has helped to curate unique, fun dates all around NYC for over 30,000 couples. We asked Jordan for her favorite date in the West Village. You can read our full bio with her HERE.

Jordan Scott – Founder of IDK Tonight
https://idktonight.com/otto-zinc-bar/
See

Zinc Bar

Start with a set at Zinc Bar (where Nick took me on our very first date). The underground jazz lounge has slinky, sexy vibes and a rotating cast of incredible musicians. You can pay extra to see the show behind the red curtains, or simply sit by the bar and listen in.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/31243791138267854/
Eat

The Olive Tree Cafe

The Olive Tree Cafe is located directly above the Comedy Cellar. The food is surprisingly good, and you can draw on the tables in chalk. The best part is you’ll usually find the comics hanging out here before and after their sets. One of the tables in the back is known as the comics table! Come here for a drink before a show at the Comedy Cellar!

See

Comedy Cellar

See the best comedy show in New York, hands down, at Comedy Cellar (be sure to make a reservation at least a week in advance). Comedy Cellar is New York’s most classic comedy club. You will never have a bad time here. Weekend shows tend to sell out, but celebrity comics tend to drop in during the weekdays to practice their sets.

https://www.zomato.com/new-york-city/sevilla-restaurant-greenwich-village
Eat

Sevilla

Split the seafood paella at Sevilla. The restaurant has been around for over 61 years and the place has an incredible, homey, West Village feel to it.

Eat

Cafe Reggio

Talk until it’s late over cappuccinos and profiteroles surrounded by stunningly gloomy and very old artwork at Caffe Reggio.

Chau Mui

Chau is the original New York City stoop kid who cut her teeth hanging out in Union Square, ate soup dumplings in Chinatown and explored this great city by train, foot and everything in between.

Facebook Conversations

Sitting in the faded fluorescent booth of a grunge hip bar in the Lower East Side’s Orchard Street sits Mic Nguyen and Fumi Abe, a twenty-something creative type caught in a heated debate about whether Eddie Murphy’s RAW or DELIRIOUS is better.

Mic and Fumi are the dynamic duos behind a monthly comedy show called HACK CITY . The show has taken place for the past 3 years across local undergrounds in NYC until finally landing in Canal Street Market. Besides that, they’re also the hype men behind ASIAN NOT ASIAN, a podcast that features top-notch Asian Americans on everything funny, political and NSFW. On top of that, they’re also regularly performing stand up in lounges all over the city – from subterranean bars to top tier standup lounges as many as up to five times a week.

In this Netflix fueled, a bottle of wine with dinner generation, it’s hard to talk about these guys without wondering where the hell they make the time for everything. Besides, I haven’t even mentioned their day jobs, which both take up in the Advertising industry (Fumi is in IT, Mic is a copywriter) which take up the bulk of the time.

I first came across Mic and Fumi during a deep dive of cool, cheap (read FREE)  comedy shows in NYC. Stand up comedy is the poor human’s entertainment in NYC, and with a few well drinks and a dimly lit bar, one can instantly turn a bad date into a good one or forget their own sorrows. A few Instagram DM’s and emails later, I was in the middle of a convo with the guys talking about what Ronny Chieng is like in real life and trying to be funny growing up as an Asian American.

Our conversation took a turn from favorite stand-ups to the art of stand up. While I always assumed stand up involved an inimitable amount of bombing on stage in half-empty cellars in the West Village, I was impressed by how militant of an approach they took about it.

“The first year I did stand – up, I probably went up 700 times. Since then, I probably average 500 times a year…and that’s including everything from 5-minute sets in shitty basements, ambush shows and half hour specials”

The art of stand up is not new to NYC by any means. If anything, it is as definitive to New York City as taxicabs, pizza by the slice or piss scented train cars. Comedy in NYC for me, at least has always had a Jewish connotation. The Comedians and comediennes of the past were hilarious Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, Lenny Bruce, etc but Asian comedians were few and far between. Growing up, I often wondered to myself, did Asians simply fall into the stereotype of doctors and business school? Did the fear of possible failure just seep too deeply into Asian souls? Or worse, were Asians simply not funny?

I had so many questions to ask:

What was it like when your parents found out you were doing standup?

FUMI: Well, it’s not like I really told them. I mean we work in advertising in a creative field, and even explaining that was hard enough. You know, we’re paying our bills, we’re grown, I just never really felt like I had to tell them.

MIC: Yea, I mean we’re grown up. I want to have them come and see me perform when I’m at like a nice venue, you know? So until then, we’ll just hang tight.

What do you say to other people who want to be successful comedians?

MIC: You know, people will say that you just have to do it and bomb, but you really have to think like a business person. You have to be able to market yourself. You could be the most talented comedian in the world, but if no one knows, then it’s not really helping your career.

A lot of it is also figuring out how to find your target audience too. A lot of people find that niche super easily. For us, we think it’s youngish multi-cultural people who don’t necessarily have to be Asian, but have been shown a different culture maybe, and just get the feeling of being somewhat of an outsider growing up in the states.

Yea, that’s why I related so hard to like Eddie Murphy growing up. As an Asian kid, it was just awesome to see someone different on TV, talking about different things and being hilarious.

What’s next?

Next step is we are constantly writing and preparing scripts. We don’t know exactly what is going to happen next, but we’re open to all opportunities, but we’d like to have a development deal one day. Maybe a TV show, like Desus and Mero, but Asian. (Whoever knows some Hollywood/Vice/Execs holla at my dudes HERE).

It’s exciting to see when people are on the way up and up. It’s been five years since the two started comedy, and a rough mental math calculation makes me think it’s been about 2,700 times since they hit the stage. Telling jokes. Bombing. Rocking sets. Getting up and doing it all over again.

You can find check out Mic and Fumi’s FREE monthly stand up show HACK CITY at Canal Street Market every third Wednesday.

If you can’t make that, then listen to their funnies at ASIAN NOT ASIAN podcast.

If you can’t listen to that then at least stalk them on Instagram.

Chau Mui

Chau is the original New York City stoop kid who cut her teeth hanging out in Union Square, ate soup dumplings in Chinatown and explored this great city by train, foot and everything in between.

Facebook Conversations