American Chinatowns are going down, fading away one building at a time*. You know this, right? There was even a whole article about it in The Atlantic just recently. So, needless to say, I made a special point to visit Chinatown in both Boston and New York City when I was there recently. In fact, the very cool, hip hostel at which I stayed in Boston was “conveniently located right in Chinatown!”
The Boston Chinatown is robust and popular as an eating destination, but directly across the street is Tufts University, which seemed to have completely altered the fabric of the neighborhood as it obviously expanded to eat up more and more land. There’s still a sweet park that seems to be patronized mostly by Chinese locals but the numerous “do not urinate” signs indicate their basic needs are not being accommodated. (Note: I have never seen so many “do not urinate” signs in one space like in this park.)
As for New York, see my “As Ludlow goes” post. That’s happening all over the Lower East Side, including Chinatown.
These are some the things you notice when you’re Traveling at the Speed of Bike. They weigh on me.
* Bananas and chocolate are on their way out, too, but those are other stories.