Ming Wong
New York City, d. 30.March.2020

Ming Wong 

Ming Wong was a much-loved New York City messenger from the 1990’s through the early 2000’s.  He and both of his parents fell ill with COVID at the beginning of the pandemic. Ming and his father passed away while his mother recovered. Ming’s friends organized a campaign to help his family deal with their tragic loss.

A few words from Michael
Hello every one.  This is Michael Dee, from Brooklyn, New York. On Monday March 30th, we lost a great friend to the coronavirus pandemic in New York City. Ming Wong was the kindest and most generous person I know. Ming was my best friend for my entire adult life. It is in the spirit of Ming's giving nature that I ask to you contribute to this memorial fund to help ming’s family through this difficult time.   Ming's parents have also been diagnosed with COVID-19. Ming's father Joe was hospitalized and also passed away. Ming's mother Lillian was also hospitalized with covid-19,  but has thankfully recovered. Please say a prayer for them. The tragedy visited on the Wong family has become unbearable for all of us who love them. Please contribute to this fund to help Ming’s brother Bobby manage the expenses related to this tragic disease. Bobby has a lot on his plate and as Ming’s friends, let’s come together and help relieve the financial burden on his family so Bobby can take care of Ming’s parents and arrangements for Ming and Joe's  services. All the money raised will be given directly to Bobby Wong to cover the considerable cost of Ming and Joe's funeral. Once this plague has passed, we will give our amazing friend a fitting memorial and provide some comfort to his family.

Back in the 90s we would go to the bullet proof Chinese in the hood with Ming. We would all tell him our order and he would go order in Chinese (I don't remember the dialect). He would come back and be like "dude says you don't want the chicken today. I got you beef lomein" and it was always cheaper. - Mike Dee

It makes me sad to know we will never have more adventures together again. You were more than my friend more of a brother. Rest in peace Ming Wai Wong. I will always speak of our friendship. Sad you're gone, honored that you came into my life – Hodari Depalm

From CCNY to Breakaway to Sicily to Williamsburg and beyond, Ming was an adventurer, a noble scoundrel with a great heart in proportion to his stature. This was a great man, a great friend a true raconteur and an old soul with an eternally youthful twinkle in his eye. I have no pictures to share but the one in my mind that we all must have, that mischievous smile looking up with eyebrows raised. A prince among men. – Joe Dunlap

My heart goes out to our community.  I have not seen him in a number of years however the thought of him always brings a smile to my face. Ming let's wrestle in heaven together. I know he would want us to be strong for him. – Brent Barbur

Before we all had cell phones, Ming had a beeper & he was the one that would keep us all connected. He was the beacon. No gathering was complete without his presence. He was kind, compassionate, funny, smart, dependable & most of all very lovable! I am gonna miss him so much & I know all of his friends & family will too. I’m so sad that Sam won’t get to have his dad around anymore. I hope he always remembers how much Ming loved him though.  Rest in Power, Friend. I will always remember you.❤️ - Alisa Ali

I remember the first time I met Ming - it was also the night I met Ashira, at a party after Critical Mass, spring 2001, still getting to know people in the messenger community.
My standout memory of him is one I probably share with a lot of people: Ming of the Mountain at the Warrior ride in 2002. I was on a team with a bunch of women and I think we were allow to have three members wrestle him; he won, as I recall. Ming was a gentle giant, but he was no sucker.
The last time I saw him, we ran into each other on Broadway in Soho, I want to say maybe 2008? I hadn't seen him in a few years and it was such a delight to bump into him. Damn, Ming. This is garbage. You deserved so much better. – Judith Max Palmer

Ming was my ride or die until his last days. He always had me. I miss his ass so much already. – Amanda Lanzarone

He is larger than life.  My first friend in high school, met Oct 1988.  Played hours and hours of handball and Dungeons and Dragons. Stayed close after high school.  A permanent fixture in my first apartment off Central Park West. A common figure across many of my different friend circles.  Affectionately known as "Mingity" in the City College/Breakfast Club crew.  We went to Europe together, languished in Amsterdam, trained it across Benelux down through Italy and finally to Sicily for John and Hope's wedding. He house sat for me on my long vacations, took care of my cats.  Always had the most amazing stories. Biked across Europe and Asia.  Hunted wild boar (in Spain?) with a hand made crossbow.  Played village doctor in rural towns across southeast Asia.  A true friend, always kept in touch no matter where in the world he was or what he was going through.  Father to the most adorable little boy.  There's too much to say, too many memories.  Just needed to get something out today.  I have to dig out some pictures to share. 
Please people take this virus seriously.  Stay in your home.  If you have to go out, gloves, mask, wipes and antibacterial.  Don't take any chances.  Wipe down anything that comes from outside; mail, deliveries, whatever.  It's going to get worse before it gets better, but it will get better.  We will get through this.  God Bless you all, God Bless your families.  Pray for comfort and protection for Ming's family, especially Sam.  Hope to hear from some of you soon.  Take care. – Christopher Mason

The last time I talked to Ming we argued about politics. He said, “oh by the way, I met another bleeding heart liberal that you probably like” & sent me this pic w/ him & AOC. He told me he argued politics w/ her too, but clearly won her over as well. He was such a charmer! – Alisa Ali

early 20000s bunch of us rode to Bear Mountain. Ming had a beater bike. His right (?) crank broke while he was riding, making a pretty big slash in his calf. He took out a kit, patched his leg as well as any doctor could, and rode one pedal up and down mountains till we found a bike store! Can't remember how or if he had to deal with the injury but his attitude was "WTF, all good" – Stephan Geras

Went through the wedding day photos. Here are a few peak Ming. My mom kept joking about how MIchael Dee's friends all looked great but that they also simultaneously looked like they had just gotten out of Rikers. She loved these things about Mike's friends: your utter devotion to each other and my husband and simultaneous contempt for society's expectations and mores. She knew you all marched to your own beat. Ming was a lead drummer in that line. May his memory be a blessing. – Eli Beller-Dee

My big Ming memory is of a story he told about a tapeworm. He said he'd been on a trip to Thailand and Vietnam I think. I might be wrong about the countries, but regardless of that apparently he got a tapeworm while there. So he was sick & lost a lot of weight after he was home for awhile. Once he saw a doctor & they deduced what was going on it was just a simple procedure of drinking some medication that killed the worm, and then it would be expelled rectally within 24 hours.
So the best part is that Ming claimed he saved this like 36 inch long tapeworm once it came out of him & put in alcohol for a little while. Then he draped it on his brother's face & when the poor guy woke up startled, Ming shouted triumphantly "Dude, that came out of my ASS!!!"
Exemplified his cleverness humor impishness and fine storytelling. It's been years since I shared space with the guy, but he was the kind of person who left a fun mark on everyone. I'm sorry to hear he's gone & my heart is open to all of you who share the grief. – Jack Blackfelt

One of my oldest friends passed away last week from covid-19. Both of his parents are now hospitalized from it. If you knew of Ming’s legend, you know what to do. With gratitude. - Chris Kim

Thanks Ming ! We had a lot of laughs together. We worked at the same small delivery company in BK for awhile way back. You got me my first cell phone.

Warriors 2002 you came up with the idea for the wrestling checkpoint. We had expected around 250 people, 25 teams. You ended up taking on 89 gangs lmao. The inside of your arms were black and blue from wrist to shoulder the day after.

So many good times and I always appreciated your friendly and respectful manner with a dash of don't fuck with me thrown in.

Love You Buddy     - Kevin Bolger

It was 2001 and at the G8 protest in Genova, Italy, legends spread about  some huge Chinese dude just stitching wounded people in the middle of the riots, and apparently this dude was from NY, riding his bicycle all over the world before going back. My sister had met him, she told him I was moving to NY in a few weeks, and had no connections there. Ming gave her a phone number, which said MIchael Dee on top, and stated I should just call this dude, and he'd take care of me. And so I did... and Mike not only became one of my very good friends on this planet, but got me my first bike, introduced me to Ashira Siegel Fox, who became soon my roommate and one of the most inspiring people in my life... and Tanya Long... and so many more incredible souls. A piece of myself is what it is because of Ming. I wouldn't have been a courier, my sister wouldn't have moved to NY as well years later, and probably I wouldn't trust the possibilities and the connection that unexpectedly may come from such a small action delivered with love, like sharing a phone number with a stranger. Thank you Ming, you will always be in my heart. - Alessandra Tisato

Here’s a little tiny tiny slice of who Ming was for me and some stuff I’m thinking about (as I sit here crying in my kitchen in Orange County, CA while my four year old and one year old are having snacks and watching way too much tv..)

Ming was my very first boyfriend. I was maybe 22 years old. I grew up Hasidic so I wasn’t allowed to date at all growing up. We met at a drum circle in the Hunter College dorm auditorium. I had just switched to Hunter from BMCC and barely knew any people at Hunter but a mutual friend introduced me to Nina Hurwitz and she invited me to the drum circle. What a bunch of freaks they all were. But so was I and they all (you know who you are) became my family. Ming came up to me that very first night and made me feel so at home even in my awkwardness of trying to navigate a ‘regular’ world that I did not grow up in.

He encouraged me to try new things but he never pushed me. He had a way of making suggestions, or showing me or even just telling me about things that got me interested but still let me feel safe enough. He let me warm up to an idea before trying something out. I got comfortable climbing fences and exploring and riding bikes as a grown up bc of him... physical things I wasn’t encouraged to do growing up.. He even taught me how to throw a punch by letting me practice on his shoulder. He rode bicycles with me at my pace and never rushed me.

He truly loved me from the very start and only ever wanted to introduce me to everything I’d ever missed growing up so sheltered and restricted. He decided I needed a bicycle and brought me to Dave’s bike shop where we found a cute used red road bike. After we found my Masi track bike frame at a Trexlertown velodrome swap meet he scoured eBay to find parts for the bike ‘I’ was building. I put ‘I’ in quotes bc it was definitely really Ming that was building that bike. And wow was it a bike.

He knew so much about so much. Fucking nerd. He played guitar and knew about guns and archery and knives and other weaponry. He crafted me a beautiful fine silver bracelet that I treasure to this day. He could talk history and tell stories and weave tales and was so so so creative. He loved to play. He would grab whatever stuffed animal was around and use it as a puppet to create hilarious and disturbing characters and improv monologues. I hid my stuffed animals from him bc he was so good that when he did it I could no longer see the stuffed animals as anything but the characters he created them into which kinda weirded me out. He told me stories about Porque and Porque’s friends. He told me stories about his travels. He picked up skills like it was his hobby and he was so good at so much. I think picking up skills was actually one of his hobbies.

Ming loved me so much. I went shooting w him and his Dad once and he was so proud when his Dad told me I was a good shot. He found ways to be proud of me. He found ways to show me how to feel proud of myself.

We had a bit of a complicated relationship and I know I broke his heart in a million pieces when we broke up for good and especially when I started dating someone new. But we remained good friends and our love for each other never wavered and he still always had my back through the years bc that’s the kind of guy he was.

He was a connector. He brought so many people together. I literally would not be where I am, would not have had so many of the amazing and wild and weird experiences and so so many precious memories without having met him. I would not be friends with so many of my friends if I had not met him. He had one of the biggest impacts on my life of anyone I ever met. He was my champion always and I hope I was to him even half of what he was to me.

I can’t believe we don’t just get to grow old together. I always thought that after everything we’d been through, he and I would just obviously grow old together even if we were states apart and find time to chill and smoke weed on some random beach somewhere w all our weirdo friends when we were in our 80’s.


This is definitely not what the fucking plan was.

Though being the explorer and adventurer you are I guess if you had to go it’s kind of somehow fitting that you left bc of a ‘novel virus’ that no ones ever seen before. It’s just way way too soon and this is fucked up so fuck you for dying Ming. I’m so fucking sad you’re gone. - Ashira Siegel Fox

Ming Wong

Greetings Friends of 'Ming the Merciful' thank you for adding me into this page. Im Mings sister from another mister. We got up to all sorts of fun and chaos on our travels. He was staying with my family in Malaysia between 2000 and 2002 after other adventures we shared across SE Asia and Oz. Ming connected me to Mike D another brother who came visited me in Dublin recently. Ming mentioned many names to me I see here. Mine is Aminah.

It's just so hard to believe. I am right now raising a drink to Ming, and will shortly be blazing a 'fat one' as he would say.

Here's a couple tales. With you all in spirit.


 We met on Da Nang beach in Vietnam end 1999, he was playing a guitar 'hottie, cause of her perfect curves', so we jammed our way across South East Asia and he came and stayed with my family on and off in KL depending where his travels took him!!

Ming and I had lots of raucous adventures, we busked in the shade in Melbourne, St. Kildas beach together but it was too hot, 40.C so we drank our efforts from the local 'bottleo' instead and caught a tiny corner of the formula 1 Grand Prix from a balcony near Albert Park.


We nearly got killed crossing the 'Friendship Bridge' from Laos to Thailand, we had just passed a huge Red Bull factory and out of no where, a real bull decided to jump an unwilling cow, their unrequited love spilled out onto the motorway caused our full-speed tuk-tuk to swerve to the cars to our right, and tip slightly but recover!! The driver was swearing at the cows and Ming just laughed and said that bull must have been to the factory already!

I witnessed this warrior save a mans life, by putting his own body in harms way, between a full flowing river and a fallen tree where our other friend Martin, a gentle British writer was trapped, he rescued him from drowning.

Ming, I love you my CHAMPION friend I will celebrate your life, though I am sorry our paths did not cross again but I am absolutely sure the after-life just got a whole lot livelier.

Ming's 4 yr old Son, Sam who I hope to meet some day and tell him what an amazing character his father will always be remembered as being.

All my photos of our adventures are in KL. So here is a little email he sent me some time ago, it makes me laugh....

'hey check it out. you like to swim right? How about this--- we go looking for sunken treasure. The spainards lost over 600 treasuse ships many around your end of the woods( or sea). Law of the sea- finders keepers. We go looking for gold. How's that for a get rich plan.

I was just watching some documenatary on that. Lots of pics of shiny happy people coming out of the sea with gold. I'm all excited now.

I just had to share that

your very own ming'


It makes me sad to know we will never have more adventures together again. You were more than my friend more of a brother. Rest in peace Ming Wai Wong. I will always speak of our friendship. Sad you're gone, honored that you came into my life - Hodari Depalm

My Favorite Ming memory was my very first one of him:

Back in '98 or '99, a group of NYC messengers went on a Memorial Day weekend ride up to Harriman park, where we camped for a few days.  On the ride up Route 9W, Mings crank arm snapped off and the jagged shaft embedded deep into his leg.  He got a ride from a passing car and we watched him drive off to an ER, presumably.

At the very next town, while passing a convenience store, we spotted Ming- finishing up the dressing on his calf wound.  Unbelievably, he had performed self surgery by the roadside with the contents of his medical bag, and was back in the posse, riding into the mountains!

RIP big dude- you were a force to behold - Jason Gandy

I am beside myself. This lose is incomplete without a ride, a party, a feast, and video games till 2am.

Ming and were fast friends, as almost anyone would be with him, roommates and unconfirmed reports of co-workers. Our work was eating, toking , and playing 5hr  marathons of Lux Delux, Armor Core or what ever game worked in the device we had. We started at 9pm and did what we did till 2am. We devoured, burned or forgot to save ever bit of evidence. One day, when he live on 111, he roommate came home from work WITH FOOD.  She was radiant and had FOOD. Ming told me not to make trouble in his house, since her boyfriend lived there too. Fast forward some number of years, I married that lady and she has given two wonderful children. I did, on many an occasion, thank him. But every day the life set before Is thanks to him.

Thank you Ming.
To well loved to ever be forgotten!!! - Nick de Fish

The crash of bodies cuts through the darkness, the cacophony of collision, wind expressed from lungs like air from a bellows, the ringing stomp of feet into the wet grass, the crack of flesh slapping flesh rides on the air of a wet summer night, and to be drowned out in the rush of cheers. Ming Wai Wong rose at the center of the human circle a smile stretched out over his clenched teeth. That night he would sumo wrestle with over 96 hipsters in a carnival of exquisite chaos. His huge muscled body encased in the fat of excess, attacked like a mating sea lion, and then moved away with the grace of a cat. That is how I remember him.
Ming Wai Wong is dead, but his name will not be called out in the air of the plague ridden night. We will set no viking long boat alight, nor will there be a bonfire to consume and consign his body to the gods. His massive frame was zipped into a body bag, thrown onto the pile of corpses, after COVID made him drown in his own lungs. He was lost in this river of death, surrounded by the silence of the plague.
And Ming was rarely silent, so let us sing of Ming. I only know what he told me, and can only write what I remember. And I will speak as truely as I can.


Ming Wong