Miss New York Chinese Pageant hopefuls attend press conference

East Manor Restaurant, Flushing, N.Y., – Some came with prepared notes. Some spoke softly, in a nervous tone of voice. And some confidently introduced themselves onstage as if they had done so a million times before.

Contestants for the 2006 Miss New York Chinese Beauty Pageant were unveiled to the public on June 17 at East Manor Restaurant in Flushing, N.Y. The pool of 42 was chosen from more than 100 applicants, and a select 12 finalists will be chosen on July 5.

The winner of the pageant, which takes place August 12 after a summer of events, appearances, and film and photo shoots, will represent New York at the 2007 Miss Chinese International Pageant in Hong Kong. That pageant is run by the TVB network, which also organizes the Miss Hong Kong Pageant. The winner will also receive a US$10,000 cash prize, a tiara worth more than $30,000 and other awards.

Meniscus spoke with three hopefuls for the crown – Cinney Zhang, Wen Chen and Sirena Wang – after the contestant introductions on a day that also doubled as a round of judged preliminary interviews. Read their interviews and click on the thumbnails below for a photo gallery from the event.