As the largest Chinese immigrant community, Flushing was “discovered” and invested by many Chinese. They are here to reunite with family, raise their children, and establish businesses and build a new immigrant society. However, many people only see what is in front of their eyes, and see Flushing as how it is today. Limited by their view, they are not able to see the Flushing that was once flourishing. It is quite regretful that the new immigrants who want to begin a new life on this wonderful land won't get to see the old Flushing.
Who Is the First Flushing Settler?
Flushing Used to Be A British Colony?
Flushing History the Quakers
The Flushing Remonstrance History Burned into Ashes
The Bowne Family
The Controversial Dutch General Peter Stuyvesant
Subway Line 7
The Residents of Flushing
The Chinese Community in Flushing
The history of Flushing contributes to the important chapter of American history. Flushing Remonstrance of 1657 was the first written document calling for religious freedom and later it became the blueprint of Bills of Right. For nearly 400 years, the history of Flushing represents the history of immigrants and their fight for their right to live and vote. It all started on Oct 10, 164, with early Dutch and English colonists who built and self-governed in the Town of Flushing.
This 10-episode documentary tells the stories of Flushing, from early 1600 to 21st century including stories of immigrants of Dutch, British, Japanese, Korean and Chinese descendant. The film crew closely worked with scriptwriter and host Paul Qiu, Assistant Library Manager of Queens Library at Flushing and a renowned writer and poet, to produce a historical and vivid documentary based on archive, history books, census data, and real life of Flushing.
The Episodes was aired weekly from August to October 2017, and was able to draw large audience. It brought Chinese back to history where they live, and changed the view and perception of Flushing for many Chinese immigrants.
In the 1980s, Paul Qiu graduated from Fudan University with a bachelor’s degree in Chinese literature and a master degree in ancient literature. After working as an editor in Joint Publishing Shanghai, Qiu finished his degrees in Asian Studies, Modern World History and Libraries and Information Sciences. Qiu then served Flushing library for 18 years as an administrator. His efforts in promoting Chinese culture earned him proclamations from the Congress and New York City Council. Qiu is also an established writer. Qiu was the scriptwriter and anchor of the well-reputed short documentary series Flushing Story by SinoVision.
Assistant Community Library Manager Paul Qiu Reflect Back on Filming.
I’m getting used to being interviewed on camera after years of serving the community. I can go on and on when I chat with friends about stuff from work because everything is sincere. But I was not expecting to be asked to anchor a television program.
In 2017, SinoVision reached me regarding topics to cover. I mentioned there are numerous stories about the present and the history of the Chinese community that have yet to be covered. Flushing,as the busiest hub of the city, has a flourishing commercial area and resides hundreds of thousands of Chinese population. But some people only see this area of the city as chaotic and messy. They think the community is worst than small cities in China. There aren’t many people who truly know about Flushing and its history. I have only met few people who knew Flushing was established on October 10th of 1645. Chinese people respect history and believe in learning from it, but why don’t they care about the history after they immigrated to the states? Nowadays the Chinese community in Flushing plays a huge role in the history of immigration. Dutch established New Amsterdam as a colony here; British took over and built British town. Events happened on this land which contributed to the development of Bill of Rights and First Amendment of US Constitution. After looking back on Flushing’s history, we decided to present all these interesting stories in a documentary.
As an anchor, I was organizing materials and writing scripts. I soon noticed how hard it was to structure the Flushing Stories series. So we decided to do a short series which consists of 10 episodes. YuSheng Lu, the manager of Queens Library, provided historical documents for the film. The film crew spent days in the library, the Bowne House, the former site of EXPO and downtown Flushing to get shots. To me, this is one of those life experiences that I’ll never forget. Even though I wrote my own script, the camera-shy side of me had a hard time on set. We tried to use a prompter, but the outcome was not as vivid as we expected. I had to memorize all my lines and deliver them in a chatting way in the end. Any imperfection means a retake for us. The producer and cinematographer Weng gave me all the mental supports I needed. I was in a bad shape and could not deliver a great performance one day. We ended up retaking everything. I learned how hard it is to be an actor through this experience. Even though every episode has “only” several minutes, it took us ages in filming and post-editing.
Flushing Story was on air one episode a week for ten weeks. It received a lot of views and reviews online as well. People told me they felt proud to be a Flushing resident after watching our documentary. I believe the immigration history of Flushing provided the soil to help Chinese immigrant to succeed here. We should respect and feel grateful for what has happened in the past. I was thrilled to play a small role in presenting the this history to others.