Chinatown in Boston

Monday, 4 March 2024 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Bon appétit, Shopping
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Paifang gate © Ingfbruno/cc-by-sa-3.0

Paifang gate © Ingfbruno/cc-by-sa-3.0

Chinatown, Boston is a neighborhood located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is the only surviving historic ethnic Chinese enclave in New England since the demise of the Chinatowns in Providence, Rhode Island and Portland, Maine after the 1950s. Because of the high population of Asians and Asian Americans living in this area of Boston, there is an abundance of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants located in Chinatown. It is one of the most densely populated residential areas in Boston and serves as the largest center of its East Asian and Southeast Asian cultural life.

Chinatown borders the Boston Common, Downtown Crossing, the Washington Street Theatre District, Bay Village, the South End, and the Southeast Expressway/Massachusetts Turnpike. Boston’s Chinatown is one of the largest Chinatowns outside of New York City.

Chinese cuisine in Boston reflects a mélange of multiple influential factors. A large Fujianese immigrant population lives in Boston; therefore, Fuzhou cuisine is readily available in Boston. The Vietnamese population has also influenced the cuisine. Innovative dishes incorporating chow mein and chop suey as well as farm-to-table produce and regionally procured seafood ingredients are found in Chinese as well as non-Chinese food in and around Boston.

© Gary Chien/cc-by-3.0 Empire Garden, the former Globe Theatre © flickr.com - Stephen Kennedy/cc-by-2.0 Lion dancer at Chinese New Year © John Stephen Dwyer/cc-by-sa-3.0 Lion dancer at Chinese New Year © John Stephen Dwyer/cc-by-sa-3.0 Paifang gate © Ingfbruno/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Peacearth/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Empire Garden, the former Globe Theatre © flickr.com - Stephen Kennedy/cc-by-2.0
Chinatown remains a center of Asian American life in New England, hosting many Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants and markets. Chinatown is one of Boston’s most densely populated residential districts, with over 28,000 people per square mile in the year 2000. Nearly 70% of Chinatown’s population is Asian, compared with Boston’s nine percent of Asian Americans overall. Chinatown has a median household income of $14,289.

The traditional Chinatown Gate (paifang) with a foo lion on each side is located at the intersection of Beach Street and Surface Road. This was once a run-down area, housing little more than a ventilation-fan building for the Central Artery Tunnel; however, a garden was constructed at this site as part of the Big Dig project. The Gate is visible from the South Station Bus Terminal, and is a popular tourist destination and photo opportunity. Offered by the Taiwanese government to the City in 1982, the gate is engraved with two writings in Chinese: Tian Xia Wei Gong, a saying attributed to Sun Yat-sen that translates as “everything under the sky is for the people”, and Li Yi Lian Chi, the four societal bonds of propriety, justice, integrity, and honor.

A new satellite Chinatown has emerged on Hancock Street in the neighboring city of Quincy, about 10 miles (16 km) to the south of the original Chinatown. This is due to a rapid influx of Hokkien-speaking Mainland Chinese immigrants from the province of Fujian, as well as a large and growing ethnic Vietnamese population. There are already several large Asian supermarkets such as the Kam Man Foods and Super 88 supermarket chains, and other businesses that are competing with Boston’s Chinatown. Several businesses operating in Chinatown now have branches in Quincy. The MBTA Red Line connects via either South Station or Downtown Crossing near Boston’s Chinatown, to three rapid transit stations in Quincy, including Quincy Center station. A similar, but much smaller, enclave has developed in Malden to the north of Boston. Malden Center station is directly connected via the MBTA Orange Line to Chinatown station, in the original Chinatown.

Read more on Chinatown Main Street, Wikivoyage Chinatown Boston and Wikipedia Chinatown Boston (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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