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  #41  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2017, 4:36 PM
Leo the Dog Leo the Dog is offline
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San Diego doesn't have a dedicated Chinatown district, but there are established neighborhoods of prominent Asian populations (such as Mira Mesa, parts of City Heights, East Lake etc.) primarily of Vietnamese, Cambodians and Filipinos and perhaps Koreans. Convoy St. corridor is a great spot to find amazing Asian restaurants and isn't too far away from UCSD. Many UCSD students buy Asian groceries and dine along Convoy, even though they live elsewhere, as it's in a primarily industrial/commercial zone.
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  #42  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2017, 4:46 PM
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Honolulu's chinatown is sort of in a revival, but it's now more of an asiantown, that restaurants and things of all sorts. upscale ramen, 1940s hawaiian costumes, roast duck, etc. it's getting smaller too, if still well sign-posted.

Here in SF, gentrification is happening very slowly, but it is happening. We're in a bit of a holding pattern here, as the chinatown boss (rose pak) just died and it's not clear who or even if there'll be a successor.

vancouver's historic chinatown is on life support - with new midrise development on all sides. basically, what you'll have left in 5-8 years is what you find now in LA or montreal,- a formerly historic district with some legacy pan-asian shops and some edgier fine-ish dining options. it's a shame because those 4-5 blocks in vancouver were something else when i was a kid.

lower manhattan chinatown was in an expansionary mode until ~2011 when the market came roaring back and so now you'll see contraction, especially east of allen into the hip parts of the lower east side.
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  #43  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2017, 11:30 AM
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Londons East End chinatown was nearly 200 years old but was lost in the war and subsequent rebuilding. The community was set up near Piccadilly instead, which was much more central albeit in low rent, dodgy areas sandwiched between the destitute former food market of Covent Garden earmarked for the bulldozers, and the burgeoning sex district of Soho with its 700 vice businesses and budding gay village. Fast forward to the 1990s and Covent Garden has survived and is reborn as a chichi shopping destination, while Soho has become a vibrant melting place of society, where prostitutes and criminals rubbed shoulders with models, hipsters, creatives, foodies and media types, part of the world's largest nightlife district seeing in 500,000 partygoers each night, and doubling on weekends. By the early noughties Chinatown was growing toward Charing Cross Rd but still under threat, to the point a BBC series on the fight managed to save it. Fast forward another decade and the developers have moved in again, while Chinatown escapes toward Soho once more, which too has become priced out and a shadow of its former self, now increasingly taken over by high rents and chains.



Above is the latest gate, that took near a decade of wrangling to procure. The blank, glass monolith behind is the new W hotel, at odds completely to the historic streets around and that blocked the structure due to it not being 'in keeping' with its brand. This despite its hotel not having even been built then, and it's presence in the neighbourhood being the true imposition.

Like most of London's ethnic high streets, the area acts as a focal point while the vast majority lives elsewhere, evenly mixed with the rest of the city. London's third Chinatown on Edgware Rd, centred around the Oriental Plaza mall was bulldozed despite vociferous campaigns a decade ago. It had been in the process of morphing into the focus of the Japanese community more than Chinese, thanks to the nearby community in Acton. The developers and council promised they'd set up the businesses again near Wembley in another mall, which has since proved utter BS. Only 4 businesses out of hundreds relocated to a tiny, empty arcade stranded in a nondescript business Park/ warehouse area.

Last edited by muppet; Apr 16, 2017 at 12:25 PM.
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  #44  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2017, 12:33 PM
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I love that Philly's Chinatown is still... well Chinatown... you walk the streets and the locals/restaurant people are not speaking English, and there are Chinese, Asians everywhere. I recently went to DC's "Chinatown" and it was literally Starbucks with a sign with Starbucks in Mandarin under the logo. And at least from what I could see, completely gringo feeling, gentrified, sterile, clean, touristy... none of that authentic grit you have in Philly (which I adore).
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  #45  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2017, 1:31 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is online now
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^ Yeah DC's Chinatown isn't really anything but a historic marker any more. But I believe it had never been that substantial to begin with.
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  #46  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2017, 5:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
We're generally talking about first generation downtown Chinatowns. The Chinatown in Chicago (and in Brooklyn and Queens) are somewhat different, and not filled with 80-year old rent-controlled Cantonese. They also aren't surrounded by massive yuppie non-Chinese development pressures.
Yeah, Chicago's first Chinatown was right in the shadow of the LaSalle St financial district. For a variety of reasons, they started moving to the present location around 1920... at that time, it was surrounded by smoky, polluted railyards and had cheap land with good streetcar connections. So yes, the current Chinatown is a second-generation community even though it still falls within the greater downtown and many buildings are prewar.

This second Chinatown also had the good fortune to be surrounded by neighborhoods that were slowly emptying out and transitioning by the 1970s/80s, so there was plenty of room to expand the Chinese community south and southwest, and eastward into the massive Lake Meadows and Prairie Shores complexes.
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  #47  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2017, 5:30 PM
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Sorry to hear about the relative decline of Vancouver's Chinatown. I remember when I lived there in 1980 a strong presence on Hastings street, and a lot of old time Chinese residents living there. The best Cantonese food I ever had was in Van. I think the place was called Golden Crown but not sure. They had a soup chef who created Wonton and Shuigau noodle delights in a large glazed cubicle, Hong Kong style I suppose. Never had better.

Thank you muppet for relating the arch story and the arrogance of yet another big player in the face of old neighborhood interests.

Montreal's Chinatown was squeezed out in the early eighties with the advent of Guy-Favreau federal building and the huge Convention Center but it is looking better with more investment from the city to revamp LaGauchetiere street, a narrow pedestrian pathway that is in better shape than St Lawrence blvd. I live nearer to the
Asian commercial neighborhood around Concordia U, and frequent a number of Chinese and Korean places that serment to reflect the very large Asian population influx that is part students and part young immigrant families. In the past coupla years, the first immigrant group to Montréal apart from Syrian refugees 《punctual》 are Chinese nationals.
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  #48  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2017, 3:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ Yeah DC's Chinatown isn't really anything but a historic marker any more. But I believe it had never been that substantial to begin with.
Yeah, that's why it's been referred to as "China block" by natives for as long as I can remember. The only reason I ever went there before was to get a building permit, but DCRA has long since relocated. Even the idea of being the go-to place for Chinese food wasn't strong...one of the best Chinese restaurants is in the Wheaton Mall.

DCs "Asian" population was never anything beyond a blip on the radar historically, either percentage-wise or actual numbers. It's only recently grown, and mostly in the surrounding counties. The most prevalent "ethnic" influence in DC is Salvadorean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TallCoolOne View Post
I love that Philly's Chinatown is still... well Chinatown... you walk the streets and the locals/restaurant people are not speaking English, and there are Chinese, Asians everywhere. I recently went to DC's "Chinatown" and it was literally Starbucks with a sign with Starbucks in Mandarin under the logo. And at least from what I could see, completely gringo feeling, gentrified, sterile, clean, touristy... none of that authentic grit you have in Philly (which I adore).
Yeah it's banal. But you know what, who cares. It's touristy but at least tourists come away with a positive experience, instead of walking through a largely deserted, boarded up area blocks away from the National Mall. It's pretty much the only cohesive preserved historic area in DC's downtown.
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  #49  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2017, 7:03 AM
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So this is the Chinatown in Johannesburg: https://goo.gl/maps/X4aRuc6zza62

It's a bit suburban but features all the good chinese stuff.
https://goo.gl/maps/8z9bvmAiHZJ2

It's a super interesting neighbourhood and I am glad I got to visit.
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  #50  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2017, 7:52 PM
Docere Docere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Yeah, Chicago's first Chinatown was right in the shadow of the LaSalle St financial district. For a variety of reasons, they started moving to the present location around 1920... at that time, it was surrounded by smoky, polluted railyards and had cheap land with good streetcar connections. So yes, the current Chinatown is a second-generation community even though it still falls within the greater downtown and many buildings are prewar.

This second Chinatown also had the good fortune to be surrounded by neighborhoods that were slowly emptying out and transitioning by the 1970s/80s, so there was plenty of room to expand the Chinese community south and southwest, and eastward into the massive Lake Meadows and Prairie Shores complexes.
Didn't know that. I guess that explains why Chicago's Chinatown seems far flung and not as threatened by gentrification.
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  #51  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2017, 1:59 AM
Private Dick Private Dick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCDC View Post

The most prevalent "ethnic" influence in DC is Salvadorean.
I'd probably lean towards the Ethiopian influence being more prevalent. I imagine the numbers of Ethiopians in the DC area has to be higher than Salvadorans (though I know DC has a high number of Salvadorans). Then again, I don't cross the Potomac to VA very often.
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  #52  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 9:33 PM
Docere Docere is offline
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I don't think DC ever had much of a Chinese or Asian presence to begin with - they directly immigrated to Maryland and Virginia.
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  #53  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 9:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo the Dog View Post
San Diego doesn't have a dedicated Chinatown district . . . .
Was San Diego a "thing" in the 19th century when Chinatowns came into existence because of legal discrimination against Chinese, essentially forbidding them to live near or among people of European ancestry?
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  #54  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 9:37 PM
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Segregated Chinatowns were certainly "a thing" in the first half of the 20th century as well.
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  #55  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 9:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docere View Post
I don't think DC ever had much of a Chinese or Asian presence to begin with - they directly immigrated to Maryland and Virginia.
When I was a kid growing up in Montgomery County (DC suburb) in the 1950s and 1960s, there was ONE Asian (girl) in my primary school year group--she was Japanese. Later in High School, there was ONE Asian guy who was Chinese.

I do seem to recall a Washington Chinatown of sorts, though. Don't remember it well but I'm pretty sure there was one in the city. What I remember more clearly was how much of a revelation the Chinese food on the West Coast was compared to what we got in mid-century DC.
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