Though billiards is not a recreational sport that has Asian roots, it is popular with all cultures. Billiards is a difficult game to master, but very easy to pick up making it a great past time for anyone seeking entertainment. Asian immigrants recognized the lucrativeness of pools halls and started their own businesses. Like previously occupations such as shoemakers, barbers, laundromat or deli owners, the billiard business did not require them to be fluent in English. In addition, by this time Flushing had already been well recognized as being heavily Asian. Two popular billiard spots in Flushing are CEO KTV & Cafe and Carom.
CEO KTV & Cafe, located on 41-02 College Point Blvd.,Flushing, NY 11355, is a hotspot mainly for Chinese immigrants. The billiard hall has 12 pool tables and 2 snooker tables. Usually around the afternoon, it’s a popular hang out location for many students. Typically, you would have to wait awhile before another table is available. However, its quite student friendly and offers discounts upon the presentation of your ID. From 11 A.M. to 7 P.M., it’s $9/hr for pool tables a $11/hr for snooker tables. From 7 P.M. to 5 A.M., it becomes slightly more expensive and costs $11/hr for pool tables and $14/hr for snooker tables. Unfortunately, though it is a hotspot for Asian immigrants to socialize , the quality of the equipment is fairly poor. There is only a handful of good quality cue sticks, new chalks, and clean pool balls. In the end though, I highly recommend it to those who wish to learn more about and interact with Chinese immigrants.
Carom, located on 3402 Linden Pl, Flushing, NY 11354, is a hotspot mainly for Korean immigrants. Though it’s much larger than CEO KTV & Cafe, its location makes it difficult for people nearby Flushing, Main St. to reach. It is located closer to the Koreatown in Flushing along Northern Blvd. It offers a wider selection of activities than CEO boasting 20 pool tables, 8 carom tables, 4 ping pong tables, and 3 snooker tables. Due to it’s location, it’s not as crowded usually and usually has tables available on the spot. It’s mainly a location for older Koreans whom apparently have a stronger affinity towards carom billiards–they are all very experienced players–and hosting billiard tournaments as they’re the headquarters of the United States Billiard Association. Additionally, the equipments and tables are of much higher quality than CEO. The only complaint about Carom would be it’s poor lighting and slightly higher prices in comparison to CEO. Overall,if you want to have a good game of pool, snooker, or ping pong and an intermediate dosage of Asian culture, I highly recommend Carom.
Karaoke is a form of entertainment that is popular among all age groups. It’s an activity where large groups gather and participate in singing popular songs they choose. Among Asian cultures, it’s a very common past time which explains why many karaoke lounges have sprout about in Flushing. Essentially, it helps many Asian immigrants to ease their nostalgia. Similar to how other immigrants group broadcast news from their native countries, these songs are a further addition to their repertoire of comforts.
Though Flushing karaoke lounges do offer English songs, it’s particularly geared towards Asian immigrants. As a result, most of the karaoke staffs are not fluent in English. I recall my friend, Susan Zheng, an American-born Chinese and very fluent in Wenzhounese (a dialect of Wenzhou, China), try to apply for a job at a karaoke lounge. Upon seeing her, they greeted her in Mandarin and asked if she wanted to book a room. However, though strong in Wenzhounese, she was unable to get across the message that she was applying for a job since she knew very little Mandarin. After awhile of intense head scratching, one of the staff members finally decided to bring someone who knew English. Though his English was heavily accented, he was able to comprehend the gist of her request, and answer her question–which was a no. Therefore, for those who wish sing karaoke in Flushing, be sure to bring a friend who is fluent Mandarin to navigate past the front door. Otherwise, two great places to karaoke at are CEO KTV and DIYuan.
Located in the same building as CEO KTV & Cafe, the karaoke lounge has five rooms that you can rent out for hourly rates. All the rooms are the same size but still spacious for up to five people. Each room gets only two microphones so sharing is a must and though their English songs are not as up-to-date as their Chinese selection, they still offer many of the current popular artists such as Lady Gaga, Ne-Yo, and Rihanna. The only drawback would be its non-English friendly interface as all their systems are in Chinese. Similarly DIYuan, operates the same as CEO KTV & Cafe, but has much larger rooms that can be rented for higher rates. In addition, both karaoke lounges allow you to place reservations beforehand if you’re planning to throw any parties or just have a desire to sing.