The History of Chinatown in New York: The Places You Must Visit

9:56 am  |  27.08.2021

Located to the east of Manhattan, New York’s Chinatown covers two square miles bounded by the Lower East Side to the east, Little Italy to the north, Civic Center to the south, and Tribecca to the west, and they condense a population of 90 to 100 people, including Residents, merchants, and tourists.


Although it is the ultimate destination for Chinese immigrants, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Burmese, Vietnamese, and Filipinos in particular live side by side in Chinatown.

The origins of this emblematic place date back to the mid-eighteenth century. 

When there was a great arrival in the United States of Chinese merchants and sailors who only thought of being away from home for a few years but gradually became part of the American population, as the forerunner of the American dream: the Goldberg – the gold rush of the 1840s and 1950s.

Chinese immigrants in New York

With the gold mines underperforming and the transcontinental railroad construction nearing completion, the widespread availability of cheap Chinese labor and rolling into industries like cigarettes and textiles became a source of tension for local workers who they thought the Chinese would take their place take at work.

The Role of Mafia

Mafia violence and discrimination The Chinese community, rampant in the west, pushed east, where employment opportunities were more open and easier to integrate due to the diversity of the population, including Irish migrants and African Americans.

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By 1870, when the Chinese population increased from 150 people (1859) to more than two thousand, Chinatown was born, after expanding some central streets like Mott Pell y Doyers.

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Excluded from citizenship and protection, the retarded Chinese community formed its own internal structures to facilitate employment, health care, and housing, such as the China Consolidated Charitable Association (1880) which acted as the local “government”.

Likewise the Fongs – people from similar districts in China -; the pincers –Commercial Associations–; and family clan naming associations like the Lee.

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Shortly after Chinatown was founded, Native Americans defined the space as “Orientalist-Other. It sparked a tourism boom. The Chinese community made intelligent use of stereotypes to grow financially and position elements of its culture in American tradition.

Now Chinatown is one of the nine neighborhoods of the Chinese community in New York. It is one of the twelve in the metropolitan area of that city.

Though now outnumbered by the rapid growth of Chinatown, the QueensManhattan’s Chinatown district remains a dominant cultural force for the Chinese diaspora and is home to landmarks like the Museum of China in America.

Four Places to Visit in Manhattan Chinatown

Canal Street

The main street of Chinatown

It is the main drag from Chinatown and crosses Lower Manhattan with New Jersey. Comedian Jon Stewart points to Canal Street’s reputation as a hub for sourcing reproductions of original goods.

Mahayana Temple

The Buddist Temple

The Buddhist temple is one of the best in Chinatown as it houses a five-meter-high golden Buddha on a lotus flower surrounded by offerings.

Church of the Transfiguration

This church is housed in a building of unusual Gregorian style architecture. The temple is a mix of Christian and Buddhist religions. She gives her sermons in Mandarin and Cantonese. Its structure highlights the octagonal tower covered with copper and its Gothic windows.

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Columbus Park and Kim Lau Arch Calle de las Barberías

Park in spring

Formerly known as Mulberry Bend Park, is a public park that will open in 2010. Century was the most dangerous area for immigrants in New York. Today it serves as a meeting place for the Chinese community, who gather to play mahjong and practice tai chi in the morning.

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Columbus Park is the largest park in Chinatown. It is a great place to sit and watch life unfold around you. You will see many New Yorkers gather here playing chess or sitting and reading a book. It’s a well-known social hangout in the city. This park is a great place to sit down and eat some of the street food you picked up on the nearby streets.

In the morning you see people doing tai chi to recharge their batteries for the day. Then in the afternoon, it is mostly fortune tellers and people who play cards. After that in the warmer months, Columbus Park becomes a popular place to escape from bustling Chinatown.

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