What Is a Chinatown?

A Chinatown: An Ethnic Enclave

A Chinatown is an ethnic enclave of Chinese people living outside of mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan. These communities usually exist in an urban setting. There are Chinatowns in many countries and continents. Learn about these communities. They are located near historic buildings and neighborhoods that are still predominantly Chinese.

Canal Street: A Popular Tourist Destination

Canal Street is a major east-west thoroughfare in Lower Manhattan. It runs from East Broadway between Jefferson and Essex Streets to West Street between Watts and Spring Streets. It is a popular tourist destination and is a great place to shop, eat, and experience the local culture. The area is home to several Chinese restaurants and shops. However, the area is far more diverse than its name suggests. There are many attractions along Canal Street.

New York's Chinese Population and Rezoning Plans

Once the Hart-Cellar Act lifted immigration restrictions, many Chinese families moved to the neighborhood. As a result, New York is now home to the largest Chinese population outside of Asia. There are countless Chinese shops and eateries on Canal Street, and the signs are mostly written in Chinese. You can easily spot the most popular Chinese restaurants, eateries, and shops from Canal Street.

A new rezoning plan is underway for Canal Street in Chinatown. Developers hope to build high-rise buildings along the street, but some residents are opposed. A comprehensive plan for the area is expected to be submitted by the end of this year. However, before a rezoning can be approved, it must go through an intensive land-use review process. The proposed rezoning would then be voted on by the City Council, which is likely to face strong pressure from both sides.

Dragon's Gate: A Symbol of Chinatown

At the intersection of Bush Street and Grant Avenue in San Francisco, California, a south-facing gate known as the Dragon Gate marks the southern entrance to the city's Chinatown. The gate is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to 1869. It is the most widely-recognized symbol of the city's Chinese heritage.

The Dragon Gate is a classic example of traditional Chinese architecture, with three pedestrian portals facing south. Each portal is topped by a stone Chinese guardian lion. The male guards the west portal, while the female guards the eastern portal. The gate is designed to protect pedestrians from shady characters.

Chinatown: Home to the Largest Chinese Community Outside of Asia

Chinatown is home to the largest Chinese community outside of Asia. The area covers 24 blocks and features colorful buildings decorated with Chinese lanterns and pagodas. The area is also home to some of the city's finest eateries. Chinese cuisine can be expensive, so plan accordingly when visiting.

Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) is headquartered on Stockton Street in Chinatown. Its buildings are decorated with Chinese lucky colors and features such as stone lions and pagodas. However, the CCBA is not open to the public, and only members and those who have been approved by the organization are allowed to visit the building.

The CCBA aims to serve the Chinese community through social programs and community development. It is a welcoming place for new immigrants and people of all backgrounds. Its walls are decorated with Chinese art and historical photographs of Chinatown. Its sign dates back to 1883. The CCBA also has a strong community outreach program, gathering donations to help victims of hate crimes.

The benevolent association in Chinatown was founded in 1883 to combat discrimination against Chinese. The association now represents 60 family, business and regional organizations.

San Francisco's Chinatown: A Must-Visit Neighborhood

When visiting San Francisco, be sure to visit the Chinatown neighborhood and try some dim sum. The Far East Cafe is a venerable Chinatown institution that has been welcoming visitors since the early 20th century. You'll have an excellent meal at this fun and energetic diner, and the prices are incredibly reasonable.

You can reach Chinatown by taking the 30 bus. The route starts at Union Square and goes eastward towards the Ferry Building and Stockton Street. You can also catch the 30-Stockton bus, which stops at Broadway and Bush Street. This route goes through the heart of Chinatown and will take you to many of the neighborhood's famous landmarks.

Places of Worship: St. Mary's Cathedral

There are several places of worship in Chinatown. The oldest one, St. Mary's Cathedral, was built in 1854 by Father Henry Ignatius Stark. It was later replaced by a more grand cathedral, which burned down after the 1906 earthquake. It is a striking example of Western architecture in a Chinese context.

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