Chinatown, Flushing

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Coordinates: 40°44′32″N 73°52′43″W / 40.74221°N 73.87863°W / 40.74221; -73.87863

Flushing Chinatown
Chinese: 法拉盛; pinyin: Fǎlāshèng
Neighborhood of New York City
41st Avenue in Flushing Chinatown
41st Avenue in Flushing Chinatown
Borough Queens
Region Long Island
Chinatown, Flushing
Simplified Chinese 法拉盛华埠
Traditional Chinese 法拉盛華埠

Chinatown, Flushing, or Flushing Chinatown (法拉盛華埠),[1] in the Flushing area of the New York City borough of Queens, on Long Island, USA, is one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia, as well as within New York City itself. In Mandarin, Flushing is known as "Falasheng" (Chinese: 法拉盛; pinyin: Fǎlāshèng).

Location[edit]

Main Street and the area to its west, particularly along Roosevelt Avenue, have become the primary nexus of Flushing Chinatown. However, Chinatown continues to expand southeastward along Kissena Boulevard and northward beyond Northern Boulevard.

History[edit]

In the 1970s, a Chinese community established a foothold in the neighborhood of Flushing, whose demographic constituency had been predominantly non-Hispanic white, interspersed with a small Japanese community. The Taiwanese were the first Chinese immigrants to arrive and developed Flushing's Chinatown. It was known as Little Taipei or Little Taiwan.

Mandarin-speaking Chinatown established[edit]

Traditionally, Cantonese immigrants vastly dominated Chinese immigration to New York City; however during the 1970s, the Taiwanese immigrants were the first wave of Chinese immigrants who spoke Mandarin rather than Cantonese to arrive into New York City. Due to the traditional heavy dominance of Cantonese speaking immigrants, which were very largely low-working class in Manhattan Chinatown (紐約華埠) in addition to the poor housing conditions, the Taiwanese immigrants, whom were more likely to have attained higher educational standards and socioeconomic status could not relate to Manhattan's Chinatown and they settled in Flushing instead. As their population grew, they eventually created their own Flushing Chinatown with a higher standard of living and which had better housing conditions.

In addition, they created a more Mandarin-speaking Chinatown in NYC. Over the years, many new Non-Cantonese ethnic Chinese immigrants from different regions and provinces of China started to arrive into NYC. Like the Taiwanese, they did could not relate to Manhattan's Chinatown's Cantonese language and population dominance and they mainly settled in Flushing's Chinatown to be around other Mandarin speakers and Elmhurst, which also has a significant Taiwanese Mandarin speaking population since most of the upcoming newer generations of ethnic Chinese people from China and Taiwan were already using Mandarin although their own regional dialects in their everyday conversations in contrast to the Cantonese speaking population that largely don't speak Mandarin or will use Mandarin only to communicate with other non-Cantonese Chinese speakers. Flushing's Chinese population has now become very mixed, with different provincial languages and cultures.

As a result, Manhattan's Chinatown continued to retain its traditional almost exclusive Cantonese dominated society and was nearly successful at permanently keeping its Cantonese dominance. However since the 1970s-80s, there was already a slow growing Fuzhou population in the neighborhood. Later, throughout the mid 1980s-1990s, they were the only exceptional Chinese population group, which largely spoke Mandarin along with their Fuzhou dialect to largely settle in Manhattan's Chinatown resulting in subdivision of the long time Cantonese Chinatown to the west and the new Fuzhou Chinatown to the east. This is due to the fact that they were largely illegal immigrants and often subjected to lowest-paying jobs and Manhattan's Chinatown was the only Chinese community where they can be around other Chinese people and receive affordable housing, despite the heavy Cantonese dominance until the 1990s since Flushing and Elmhurst would be too expensive for them to afford. If Flushing or Elmhurst had more affordable housing or if the Taiwanese and other Non-Cantonese Chinese population had settled in a more affordable area in NYC, more than likely the growing NYC Fuzhou immigrant population would have largely settled to be around the Taiwanese and Non-Cantonese ethnic Chinese population to be around Mandarin speakers and Manhattan's Chinatown would have continued to be primarily Cantonese and have low numbers of Non-Cantonese Chinese speakers.

However, eventually large numbers of Cantonese immigrants and Fuzhou immigrants that made enough money would also arrive into Flushing.

[2][3][4][5] This Chinatown abuts the rapidly growing Long Island Koreatown (롱 아일랜드 코리아타운) as well.[6]

Demographics[edit]

A 1986 estimate by the Flushing Chinese Business Association approximated 60,000 Chinese in Flushing alone.[7] By 1990, Asians constituted 41% of the population of the core area of Flushing, with Chinese in turn representing 41% of the Asian population.[2] However, ethnic Chinese are constituting an increasingly dominant proportion of the Asian population as well as of the overall population in Flushing and its Chinatown. High rates of both legal[8][9] and illegal[10] immigration from Mainland China continue to spur the ongoing rise of the ethnic Chinese population in Flushing Chinatown, as in all of New York City's Chinatowns.

According to a Daily News article, Flushing's Chinatown ranks as New York City's second largest Chinese community with 33,526 Chinese, up from 17,363, a 93% increase. The Brooklyn Chinatown (布鲁克林華埠) now ranks #1 as the largest Chinatown of NYC with 34,218 Chinese residents, up from 19,963 in 2000, a 71% increase. As for Manhattan's Chinatown, its Chinese population declined by 17%, from 34,554 to 28,681 since 2000 to rank #3.[11]

The Elmhurst Chinatown (艾姆赫斯特 唐人街) on Broadway, a satellite of the Flushing Chinatown.

Culture[edit]

Flushing Chinatown now rivals Manhattan's Chinatown as a center of Chinese culture.[12] The Lunar New Year Parade has become a growing annual celebration of Chinese New Year in Chinatown. More and larger Chinese supermarkets are locating and selling a diverse and uniquely vast array of Chinese food and ingredient selections in Flushing Chinatown, the largest of which include Hong Kong Supermarket and New York Supermarket, which also happen to be rapidly growing Chinese American chain supermarkets.[13][14][15] Flushing Chinatown's rise as an epicenter of Chinese culture outside of Asia has been attributed to the remarkable diversity of regional Chinese demographics represented.

Satellite Elmhurst Chinatown[edit]

The Elmhurst Chinatown on Broadway in nearby Elmhurst, another neighborhood in the borough of Queens, also has a large and rapidly growing Chinese community and is developing as a satellite of the Flushing Chinatown. Previously a small area with Chinese shops on Broadway between 81st Street and Cornish Avenue, this newly evolved second Chinatown in Queens has now expanded to 45th Avenue and Whitney Avenue.[16]

A third and fledgling Chinatown is now emerging in Queens, geographically between Flushing and Elmhurst, in the neighborhood of Corona.[17]

The World Journal, one of the largest Chinese-language newspapers outside of China, is headquartered in adjacent Whitestone (白石), Queens, with offices in Flushing Chinatown as well.[18]

Media[edit]

The World Journal, one of the largest Chinese-language newspapers outside of China, is headquartered in adjacent Whitestone (白石), Queens, with offices in Flushing Chinatown as well.[18] Numerous other Chinese- and English-language publications are available in Chinatown.

Cuisine[edit]

The popular styles of Chinese cuisine are ubiquitously accessible in Flushing Chinatown,[19] including Taiwanese, Shanghainese, Hunanese, Szechuan, Cantonese, Fujianese, Xinjiang, Zhejiang, and Korean Chinese cuisine. Even the relatively obscure Dongbei style of cuisine indigenous to Northeast China is now available in Flushing Chinatown,[20] as well as Mongolian cuisine.

Languages[edit]

Mandarin Chinese[21] (including Northeastern Mandarin), Fuzhou dialect, Min Nan Fujianese, Wu Chinese, Beijing dialect, Wenzhounese, Shanghainese, Suzhou dialect, Hangzhou dialect, Changzhou dialect, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and English are all prevalently spoken in Flushing Chinatown, while the Mongolian language is now emerging.

Queens Library in Flushing Chinatown

Education[edit]

In accompaniment with its rapid growth, Flushing Chinatown in particular has witnessed the proliferation of highly competitive businesses touted as educational centers as well as non-profit organizations declaring the intent to educate the community. Some entities offer education in Mandarin,[22] the lingua franca of Mainland China; others profess to provide students with intensive training in computer and technological proficiency; while still others entice high school students with rigorous preparatory classes for college entrance examinations in mathematics, science, and English literacy.

Transportation[edit]

The Flushing – Main Street terminus station of the 7 <7> trains serving Flushing Chinatown is one of the busiest stations in the New York City Subway system.[23]

The New York City Subway's 7 <7> trains has its terminus at Flushing – Main Street; the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, at the heart of Flushing Chinatown, is the third busiest intersection in New York City, behind only Times Square and Herald Square in Manhattan.[23] Numerous other public bus and rail connections also serve Chinatown at the Main Street/Roosevelt Avenue intersection, including 22 bus routes as well as the Port Washington Branch branch of the Long Island Railroad.[24] Flushing Chinatown is also readily accessible by automobile from several major highways, namely the Grand Central Parkway and the Whitestone Expressway/Van Wyck Expressway. There are also multiple van services shuttling passengers between Flushing Chinatown and the other Chinatowns in New York City and Long Island.

Political clout[edit]

The political stature of Flushing Chinatown appears to be increasing significantly. Taiwan-born John Liu, former New York City Council member representing District 20, which includes Flushing Chinatown and other northern Queens neighborhoods, was elected to his current position of New York City Comptroller in November 2009. Concomitantly, Peter Koo, born in Shanghai, China was elected to succeed Liu to assume this council membership seat.

Public service[edit]

Public institutions[edit]

The largest of the Flushing branches of the Queens Borough Public Library is located at the intersection of Kissena Boulevard and Main Street in Chinatown.[25] This library houses an auditorium for public events.

Medical care[edit]

New York Hospital Queens, a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System, is a major medical center providing Flushing Chinatown as well as surrounding communities with comprehensive medical care services.[26] Numerous tertiary medical clinics also serve the residents of Chinatown.

Social services[edit]

A diverse array of social services geared toward assisting recent as well as established Chinese immigrants is readily available in Flushing Chinatown.[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Asian Americans: Contemporary Trends and Issues Second Edition, Edited by Pyong Gap Min. Pine Forge Press - An Imprint of Sage Publications, Inc. 2006. ISBN 978-1-4129-0556-5. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  2. ^ a b Nancy Foner (2001). New immigrants in New York. Columbia University Press. pp. 158–161. ISBN 978-0-231-12414-0. 
  3. ^ Asian Americans: contemporary trends ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  4. ^ Chinatown: The Socioeconomic ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1995-01-24. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  5. ^ David M. Reimers. Still the golden door: the Third ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  6. ^ Asian Americans: Contemporary Trends and Issues Second Edition, Edited by Pyong Gap Min. Pine Forge Press - An Imprint of Sage Publications, Inc. 2006. ISBN 9781412905565. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  7. ^ Hsiang-shui Chen. "Chinese in Chinatown and Flushing". Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  8. ^ "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2011 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  9. ^ "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2010 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  10. ^ John Marzulli (May 9, 2011). "Malaysian man smuggled illegal Chinese immigrants into Brooklyn using Queen Mary 2: authorities". New York: © Copyright 2012 NY Daily News.com. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  11. ^ Daniel Beekman (2011-08-05). "The changing Chinatowns: Move over Manhattan, Sunset Park now home to most Chinese in NYC". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  12. ^ Semple, Kirk (2009-10-21). "In Chinatown, Sound of the Future Is Mandarin". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  13. ^ Queens: what to do, where to go (and ... - Ellen Freudenheim - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  14. ^ Nosh New York: The Food Lover's ... - Myra Alperson - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  15. ^ Greenhouse, Steven (2008-12-09). "Supermarket to Pay Back Wages and Overtime - NYTimes.com". Cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  16. ^ "A Growing Chinatown in Elmhurst". Retrieved 2010-10-28. 
  17. ^ Lawrence A. McGlinn, Department of Geography SUNY-New Paltz. "BEYOND CHINATOWN: DUAL IMMIGRATION AND THE CHINESE POPULATION OF METROPOLITAN NEW YORK CITY, 2000, Page 4". Middle States Geographer, 2002, 35: 110–119, Journal of the Middle States Division of the Association of American Geographers. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  18. ^ a b "Contact Us (Page in Chinese) World Journal. Retrieved on 2014-03-10. "New York Headquarters 141-07 20th Ave. Whitestone, NY 11357"
  19. ^ Julia Moskin (2008-07-30). "Let the Meals Begin: Finding Beijing in Flushing". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-06-26. 
  20. ^ Moskin, Julia (2010-02-09). "Northeast China Branches Out in Flushing". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-09. 
  21. ^ Semple, Kirk (2009-10-21). "In Chinatown, Sound of the Future Is Mandarin". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  22. ^ Barry, Ellen (2007-05-28). "In Queens, Classes in Mandarin Are Also Lessons in Adaptation". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  23. ^ a b "The Ten Busiest Subway Stations 2010". Copyright 2011 Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  24. ^ "MTA/New York City Transit Subway Line Information - Flushing-Main Street/Roosevelt Avenue". Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  25. ^ "Flushing". Queens Library. 
  26. ^ "New York Hospital Queens". Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  27. ^ "Chinese Immigrants Services, Inc.". Retrieved 2010-04-07.