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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 4:13 PM
Notsuoh Notsuoh is offline
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Urban US Chinatowns wane as Asians head to suburbs

Urban US Chinatowns wane as Asians head to suburbs

By HOPE YEN and BEN NUCKOLS Associated Press
Posted: 01/19/2012 12:06:34 PM PST
Updated: 01/19/2012 02:53:53 PM PST

WASHINGTON—America's historic Chinatowns, home for a century to immigrants seeking social support and refuge from racism, are fading as rising living costs, jobs elsewhere and a desire for wider spaces lure Asian-Americans more than ever to the suburbs.

Shifts also are under way in Los Angeles, Boston, Houston, San Francisco and Seattle, where shiny new "satellite Chinatowns" in the suburbs and outer city limits rival if not overshadow the originals.

Nationwide, about 62 percent of Asian-Americans in the nation's large metropolitan areas live in the suburbs, up from 54 percent in 1990 and the highest ever. Tied with Hispanics as the fastest-growing group, the nation's 4.4 million Asians are more likely than other minorities to live in the suburbs; only whites, at 78 percent, are higher.

Since 2000, nearly three-fourths of Asian population growth in the U.S. occurred in suburbs, many of them in the South.

In the Washington, D.C., metro area, which has a population of one-half million Asian-Americans, fewer than 500 Asians live in Chinatown, down from around 3,000 in 1970. Once a close-knit community of modest shops and rowhouses, it now has become known more for a sports arena, high-rise luxury apartments and national chains including Starbucks, Bed Bath & Beyond and Hooters.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19776301
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 5:18 PM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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This is old news. I thought everyone knew this.

That said, some of the "suburban" Chinatowns are pretty damn urban. And some of the "urban" Chinatowns are sorta suburban.

The real transformation has been from "core" Chinatowns to "peripheral" Chinatowns, rather than from urban to suburban.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 5:22 PM
jaxg8r1 jaxg8r1 is offline
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This same thing happened some time ago in Portland, however our "new" Chinatown is still in the city, just in a cheaper area further out (82nd ave).
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 5:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notsuoh View Post
Urban US Chinatowns wane as Asians head to suburbs

By HOPE YEN and BEN NUCKOLS Associated Press
Posted: 01/19/2012 12:06:34 PM PST
Updated: 01/19/2012 02:53:53 PM PST

WASHINGTON—America's historic Chinatowns, home for a century to immigrants seeking social support and refuge from racism, are fading as rising living costs, jobs elsewhere and a desire for wider spaces lure Asian-Americans more than ever to the suburbs.

Shifts also are under way in Los Angeles, Boston, Houston, San Francisco and Seattle, where shiny new "satellite Chinatowns" in the suburbs and outer city limits rival if not overshadow the originals.

Nationwide, about 62 percent of Asian-Americans in the nation's large metropolitan areas live in the suburbs, up from 54 percent in 1990 and the highest ever. Tied with Hispanics as the fastest-growing group, the nation's 4.4 million Asians are more likely than other minorities to live in the suburbs; only whites, at 78 percent, are higher.

Since 2000, nearly three-fourths of Asian population growth in the U.S. occurred in suburbs, many of them in the South.

In the Washington, D.C., metro area, which has a population of one-half million Asian-Americans, fewer than 500 Asians live in Chinatown, down from around 3,000 in 1970. Once a close-knit community of modest shops and rowhouses, it now has become known more for a sports arena, high-rise luxury apartments and national chains including Starbucks, Bed Bath & Beyond and Hooters.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19776301
This is generally accurate but the hard distinction between "urban" and "suburban" is misleading. Areas like the San Gabriel Valley and the Bay Area are becoming heavily Asian in parts, but at the same time, these areas are becoming less suburban and more urban; more like small urban nodes. Places like Koreatown in LA, Milpitas, Cupertino and many others have higher density, more highrises and fewer sfh's than a traditional suburb. They are quite walkable in their central areas.

Diamond Bar, Irvine and some others are more like traditional suburbs: sfh's, lawn, large garages, etc.

Edit: I agree with Crawford, who posted while I was writing.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 5:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
This is old news. I thought everyone knew this.

That said, some of the "suburban" Chinatowns are pretty damn urban. And some of the "urban" Chinatowns are sorta suburban.

The real transformation has been from "core" Chinatowns to "peripheral" Chinatowns, rather than from urban to suburban.
Although I agree this is true for NYC, I can say that this isn't the case for Toronto. All the newer peripheral Chinatowns here are definitely suburban in character. Very auto-dependent, mall / strip mall design.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 5:25 PM
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LA's chinatown still has a lot of asians in the area, they just are much less Chinese. More like Vietnamese last I heard. The suburbs to the east of downtown with large Chinese populations definitely overshadow Chinatown now.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 5:31 PM
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Same thing goes for Koreatowns. There are two in Toronto: The Annex, and Young Street (north of North York City Centre). The former is pedestrian-based; the latter, auto.

Montreal's Chinatown is slowly being taken over by Vietnamese.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 5:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Tony View Post
Although I agree this is true for NYC, I can say that this isn't the case for Toronto. All the newer peripheral Chinatowns here are definitely suburban in character. Very auto-dependent, mall / strip mall design.

And plus they don't take away from the existing Chinatown, which also isn't getting smaller.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 7:36 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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This isn't the case in Chicago. Our Chinatown is growing stronger by the year. For some reason Chicago has very strong ties to China (was one of only two cities in the US visited by Hu Jintao last year) and Chinatown here is overflowing into Bridgeport and Bronzeville and seeing highrise proposals right now.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 7:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Same thing goes for Koreatowns. There are two in Toronto: The Annex, and Young Street (north of North York City Centre). The former is pedestrian-based; the latter, auto.

Montreal's Chinatown is slowly being taken over by Vietnamese.

Yonge St. in North York is not auto-centric. Its a high-density residential & commercial area centred on a subway line. There are a few strip malls left, but thats about it.


Photo by Paradox21


Toronto's main downtown Chinatown is also becoming more Vietnamese...interesting that thats the case in multiple cities.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 7:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DJM19 View Post
LA's chinatown still has a lot of asians in the area, they just are much less Chinese. More like Vietnamese last I heard. The suburbs to the east of downtown with large Chinese populations definitely overshadow Chinatown now.
At least in LA's case, there is development planned to help spring up Chinatown. Funny how you can ride from Chinatown to Little Tokyo in just 2 stops on the Gold Line.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 8:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
Yonge St. in North York is not auto-centric. Its a high-density residential & commercial area centred on a subway line. There are a few strip malls left, but thats about it.
You really don't have to go far east or west from Yonge St. before the street level becomes pretty suburban. I don't know where in this part of town the Koreatown is, though, whether it's in North York on Yonge or somewhere nearby.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 8:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
Yonge St. in North York is not auto-centric. Its a high-density residential & commercial area centred on a subway line. There are a few strip malls left, but thats about it.


Photo by Paradox21


Toronto's main downtown Chinatown is also becoming more Vietnamese...interesting that thats the case in multiple cities.
This photo reminds me that as much as I like the density in parts of Toronto, the insanely wide roads in places were quite off-putting.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 8:29 PM
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that's a Chinatown? I see one Japanese restaurant and a ton of signs in English. I'm not sure if this is still true but last I heard Manhattan's Chinatown was still growing, swallowing up Little Italy. Of course Flushing, Queens and Sunset Park, Brooklyn continue to boom. I also don't understand the 4.4 million figure. The latest census put the nation's Asian population at nearly 15 million.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 8:29 PM
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Somebody who is local can correct me if I'm wrong... I am going to (maybe naively) make this point without having actually been to this place. But isn't the Chinese enclave/municipality of Monterey Park (just east of L.A.) actually becoming more urban because of its recent ethnic shift? I base this purely on studying historical aerial imagery over the past decade, and looking through the city's website... but it appears they have been aggressively redeveloping the main suburban boulevards to accommodate all the newcomers. I'm assuming this is because most of the existing lower-density housing stock has already been occupied, and the city now has a political majority with the interests of the Chinese community in mind (pretty smart move considering the many clashes Chinatowns have historically had with their city governments).
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Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 8:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
This isn't the case in Chicago. Our Chinatown is growing stronger by the year. For some reason Chicago has very strong ties to China (was one of only two cities in the US visited by Hu Jintao last year) and Chinatown here is overflowing into Bridgeport and Bronzeville and seeing highrise proposals right now.
Chinatown isn't really growing "stronger"... it's more that its footprint is expanding from the traditional boundaries and into much of Bridgeport. There's also a sizable Vietnamese area on Broadway north of Lakeview, but other than that (as far as East Asian ethnic communities go), the traditional Asian neighborhoods in the city are getting weaker. Koreans have been moving from Albany Park out to Niles, Glenview, and out west to Naperville for about 15 years now, and most new immigrants head straight there. The Japanese are well-established in the northwest suburbs from Elk Grove Village to Schaumburg, but even they are moving even farther out to places like Crystal Lake and Algonquin.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 9:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tdawg View Post
that's a Chinatown? I see one Japanese restaurant and a ton of signs in English. I'm not sure if this is still true but last I heard Manhattan's Chinatown was still growing, swallowing up Little Italy.
Manhattan's Chinatown is still extremely large and vibrant, but it definitely isn't growing. SoHo and the Lower East Side have been pushing into Chinatown for a number of years now. Many of the trendiest (non-Chinese) downtown bars, restaurants and boutiques are now in the very core of Chinatown, even on Mott and Doyers St.
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Originally Posted by tdawg View Post
Of course Flushing, Queens and Sunset Park, Brooklyn continue to boom.
Flushing and Sunset Park are both now significantly larger than Manhattan Chinatown, though Manhattan Chinatown remains large.

There are also lesser known Chinatowns in Elmhurst, Queens (mostly along Broadway), and in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn (mostly along Avenue U).

There's a sixth potential Chinatown now growing in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. 18th Ave. from about 65th to 75th streets is heavily Chinese.

One weird thing about greater NYC is that there are no suburban Chinatowns yet. There are suburban Koreatowns and Little Indias, both in NJ and Long Island, but nothing yet approaching a suburban Chinatown.
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Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 9:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tdawg View Post
that's a Chinatown? I see one Japanese restaurant and a ton of signs in English. I'm not sure if this is still true but last I heard Manhattan's Chinatown was still growing, swallowing up Little Italy. Of course Flushing, Queens and Sunset Park, Brooklyn continue to boom. I also don't understand the 4.4 million figure. The latest census put the nation's Asian population at nearly 15 million.
North York is not a Chinatown, it's mostly Korean and Iranian. The residents and businesses aren't majority Korean, but maybe 20% of residents and 40% of businesses. It's basically the most Korean area in Toronto, Koreatown (close to downtown) has a higher proportion of Korean businesses but rather few Korean residents. North York isn't really geared towards tourists looking for an "ethnic" experience It's just the neighbourhood with the most Koreans and consequently it has a fair bit of Korean businesses, along with Iranian, Chinese and English Canadian businesses. The block to the North has more Korean businesses though:
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Nort...,83.61,,0,-3.1

Back to Chinatowns though, Toronto actually has two urban ones. The main one is quite close to downtown, it's where the tourists go although unlike Koreatown, there are Chinese living there too. It might not be quite at the same level as a few decades ago, but it's still very vibrant. There is also a second Chinatown that's a bit smaller and has much fewer tourists, and is cheaper. I'm not sure how long it's been there for, maybe not that long...
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Gerr...,113.61,,0,4.4

Then there's the suburban Chinese community. It's basically Markham, NW Scarborough, SE Richmond Hill and NE North York. There's probably around 300,000 Chinese living in this area where they are the largest ethnic group, compared to the urban Chinatowns which might have a few thousand. This suburban Chinese community is spread out over a much larger area though, with dozens of predominantely Chinese strip malls and I think 3 Chinese shopping malls. There are plans for more urban neighbourhoods in the area though, quite a lot actually, so we'll see if these communities attract Chinese or white suburban yuppies... Anyways, here's an example of a Chinese stripmall in SE Richmond Hill:
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Agin...33.07,,1,-6.56
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Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 9:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Rail Claimore View Post
Chinatown isn't really growing "stronger"... it's more that its footprint is expanding from the traditional boundaries and into much of Bridgeport. There's also a sizable Vietnamese area on Broadway north of Lakeview, but other than that (as far as East Asian ethnic communities go), the traditional Asian neighborhoods in the city are getting weaker. Koreans have been moving from Albany Park out to Niles, Glenview, and out west to Naperville for about 15 years now, and most new immigrants head straight there. The Japanese are well-established in the northwest suburbs from Elk Grove Village to Schaumburg, but even they are moving even farther out to places like Crystal Lake and Algonquin.
Chicago's chinatown population has grown 24% in the last 10 years. Here's a good article about it.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/...aspx?id=198558
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 9:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tdawg View Post
that's a Chinatown? I see one Japanese restaurant and a ton of signs in English. I'm not sure if this is still true but last I heard Manhattan's Chinatown was still growing, swallowing up Little Italy. Of course Flushing, Queens and Sunset Park, Brooklyn continue to boom. I also don't understand the 4.4 million figure. The latest census put the nation's Asian population at nearly 15 million.
Yeah, the official numbers are far too low. Latest figures show that the Asian population in the U.S. is over 18 million.
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