Talk:Chinatown, San Francisco

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3rd Largest[edit]

where are your sources for san fran being the 3rd largest chinatown? many sources contradict your claim for new york having the largest chinatown in north america. http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=largest+chinatown&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8 new york is nowhere in sight —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chinoiserie (talkcontribs) 14:59, 19 February 2006

A web search isn't the most scientific of methods, but here goes:

If you have been to both original SF and Manhatten Chinatowns, the physical size difference is not hard to see. The Manhatten one is MANY times larger in physical space - it's 2 square miles. As a comparision, if you took the northeast corner of SF, bounded by California Street at the south and Laguna street on the west is approximately 2 square miles. It's an area that encompasses original SF Chinatown, North Beach, Russian Hill, Fisherman's Wharf, Nob Hill, Embarcadero. eg. It's big. For populations, Census data is not subjective. SF Bay Area and California has much more Asian (and Chinese) population but it's much more dispersed outside of the Grant Street area Chinatown. Dyl 12:10, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Below is Official City of San Francisco website. This page states that NYC's Chinatown is the largest and SF is 2nd largest. Dyl 12:34, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

lol. it's quite hilarious how 5 out of your 6 sources are ny websites. do you have citation on ny's chinatown being 2 sq mi. also where is your citation on how big sf's chinatown is? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chinoiserie (talkcontribs) 00:32, 28 May 2006

Do you expect Cleveland or San Diego websites to have in-depth info on NYC? Of course not. What's more amusing is how people keep propagating urban legends like this. What reliable sources do YOU have that SF Chinatown is the largest other then tourist websites? Answer - none, because it's not fact. Here's a source for the 2 square miles [7], yes another NYC-based site, so what. The Manhattan article states that 41% of lower Manhatten's demographics is Asian due to Chinatown. Before I mentioned it on wikipedia, I measured the distances on a map. You are certainly free to do that yourself. Area-wise SF Chinatown, is about 0.4 miles in the N-S direction (Bush to Columbus) and 0.25 miles in the E-W direction (Kearny to Powell) . Eg. 0.10 square miles, actually pretty small. Spend some time walking around both places before making further ill-informed comments. If you have spent any time at all in both places, there would be no need for these long-winded debates/replies. Also, leaving comments without signing is bad wikipedia etiquette. Dyl 21:55, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I finally found a reference that listed the Chinese population of SF Chinatown (as opposed to all of San Francisco). It's from a book (remember those?): Asia in the San Francisco Bay Area by Matt Orendoff ISBN:1566917433, published in 2004. Page 4 states that SF has a Chinese population of 160,000 total and only 8% of that (12,800) lives in the original Chinatown region. Compare that number to estimates of NYC Chinatown population that you'll find on the web - 50,000 on the low side up to 300,000. Dyl 01:54, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Dyl, you talk about bad etiquette. What's really bad etiquette is when somebody accuses somebody else of disinformation and tries to pass off the same for fact as you've been doing. You refer to SF Chinatown stretching from Bush to Columbus in the N-S direction for approxiamately 0.4 miles. Columbus doesn't run in an E-W direction, but N-NW. I take it you meant from Grant and Bush to Columbus and Broadway, which is is 0.5 mi, not 0.4. Also, Chinatown's northernmost influence is to at least Green Street north of Broadway, and W-E from Taylor to Montgomery. The Kearny and Powell St. bit sounds like you've been reading an outdated 1973 Rand-McNally publication. You claimed that you walked the area yourself, but it seems more like you've only traversed Grant Ave. and used Google Maps Streetview for the rest.MealMachine (talk)


It's subjective. Many people are too easily blinded by their own worldview, prejudice, and amount of experience. If you’re from New York City, of course you'll say the Chinatown there is the largest and greatest and other Chinatowns take a backseat. If you're a native of Houston, that person will make a similar claim about its Chinatown. Someone from Toronto will say the same thing. It's called boosterism. Many people are loath to give it up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.193.250.14 (talkcontribs) 19:00, 4 March 2006


You should take a look at that search again New York is obviously in there. It seems like SF's is most popular and famous, while Manhattan's has grown to more in population and in Queens is even larger. But most SF Chinese are in the flats —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.177.34.169 (talkcontribs) 12:28, 8 March 2006


Similiarly, when people have only been to SF Chinatown or only heard that it's the largest, without being to other bigger locations. As the person making the claim, I have spent appreciable time in both SF and NYC Chinatowns. Also, I have visited Monterey Park, Toronto, Boston, Vancouver, Philadephia, Boston, Houston Chinatowns. Dyl 16:57, 2 June 2006 (UTC)


From my own estimation, the largest Chinatown in North America is in Toronto. It has the advantage of cheaper real estate, fewer geographic barriers, and more liberal national immigration policies. In the 1990's, there was a huge influx of Chinese to Canada because of the imminent handover of Hong Kong to the People's Republic in 1997.

By the way, both San Francisco and New York still have larger Chinatowns than Shanghai's. That's right. Shanghai has a Chinatown; it is officially called the "Old Market," but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.... Chippos 09:22, 3 June 2006

I just did a quick web search - estimated 400,000 Chinese in Toronto, 100,000 Chinese in "original" Chinatown. Yes, with these numbers your claim might be true. If you update the various Chinatown articles, you won't get any argument from me. It depends on what the real population counts are for Toronto, Flushing and Manhatten. At least for the NYC locales, these numbers are difficult to get due to low participation in the US census (language barrier, illegal immigration). My previous fervor was due to the obvious B.S. that SF Chinatown is the largest. Heck, even the Chinese section of SF Richmond district is much larger. Dyl 13:49, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Dis-information from 67.115.155.107[edit]

The person using IP address 67.115.155.107 has spent a lot of effort editing the Chinatown articles re-claiming that the Chinatowns of SF and Vancouver are larger than that of Manhattan (and ignoring Flushing,NYC ; the LA Chinatowns, Toronto, etc..). This person only lists a tourist website and a travel guide book as his/her proof. Not the most reliable of sources.

1. Here's something more reliable and verifiable. Use the official 2000 US Census website, available here [8] to get the Asian populations within the Chinatown zipcodes.

SF Zipcode Asians residents Comment
94108 7904 traditional center of SF Chinatown
94103 5456 adjacent to the South
94109 15678 adjacent to the West
94104 238 adjacent to the East
94105 135 adjacent to the East
94133 14829 adjacent to the North
NYC Zipcode Asians residents comment
10013 11489 traditional center of Manhattan Chinatown
10012 4752 adjacent to the North
10014 1666 adjacent to the North-East
10002 41798 adjacent to the East
10007 375 adjacent to the South
10038 4948 adjacent to the South East

Add up the numbers - you get SF Chinatown with an Asian population of 44,240 and Manhattan Chinatown with an Asian population of 65028. It's been claimed that since 2001, Manhattan Chinatown has shrunk for various reasons. That might be so, but until some reliable numbers show up (like a Census) those claims are not verifiable. Unfortunately, that Census website doesn't have 2006 numbers for any of these zipcodes.

2. For the area calculations, this person uses the out-dated traditional boundaries for Manhattan Chinatown while at the same time uses modern day boundaries for the other cities.

3. The claim that there are 180,000 Chinese in SF Chinatown is ridiculous. SF in total population is ~760,000. If Asians are 30% of that number, that would make SF Chinatown's Chinese population many times larger than that of Sunset and Richmond (both of which are much larger physically). Again ridiculous.

4. I'm not making the claim that Manhattan Chinatown is the largest in North America, as I haven't done the research. But I do believe that SF Chinatown is not the largest anymore.

Dyl (talk) 19:49, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Does info on other Bay Area Chinatowns belong in this article?[edit]

It would seem there needs to be a separate article on suburban Bay Area Chinese communities, as well as about San Francisco's New Chinatowns. These would be linked to from this article, but would not be part of this article. This is supposed to be an article about the specific SF neighborhood called Chinatown. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.148.113.32 (talkcontribs) 21:25, 26 May 2006

Happy Happy Happy[edit]

You may have seen him around in Chinatown, (yes, he's the Happy Happy Happy man.) and I would like to know whether it is OK to put this image on the Chinatown article. See below right: Goodshoped35110s 04:54, 7 October 2007 (UTC) 200px


It would be inappropriate to put Mr. Happy on the Chinatown page.

Tong war period[edit]

Asking for a discussion on returning the mention of Tong violence in the history section. The following sentences were deleted without a how-do-you-do, no talk page, no citation tag, no NPOV, nothing.

"Not unlike much of San Francisco, a period of criminality ensued in some tongs on the produce of smuggling, gambling and prostitution, and by the early 1880s, the white population had adopted the term Tong war to describe periods violence in Chinatown, the San Francisco Police Department had established its so-called Chinatown Squad.

I believe this information, however cliched, represents among the most well-known facts about Chinatown. I suggest they be restored. Hank chapot 01:06, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

1980's Chinatown Plan & Downtown Development[edit]

What about a section about the 1980's & potential encroachment of downtown office buildings that resulted in lower heights & the "Chinatown Area Plan"? 208.121.64.37 21:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Someone fix up the Golden Dragon reference please...[edit]

Golden Dragon closed in 2007 and has reopened as the Imperial Palace.

Kschang77 (talk) 23:02, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Any one want to mention the fight over City College Chinatown Branch?[edit]

There's this huge bruhaha about how tall the building should be, or how short, or how each side is spinning the numbers to scare the public...

Kschang77 (talk) 23:05, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I think we're cool with that. BoL 01:20, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Street Names[edit]

As you know, I have removed the list of street and alleyway names in this article as they are encyclopedic. The streets listed don't only go by Chinatown, but by other neighborhoods as well. Any comments? diff. BoL 01:20, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Regarding this change you made (in bold):
"Taiwanese is spoken less and less, even in China, and will probably be gone in a generation from America."
Taishanese is correct, not Taiwanese. --Squids'and'Chips 03:58, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Are you sure? Because I happen to be Taiwanese, and, well, I've never heard the word Taishanese because it's a, er, well, typo. BoL 04:02, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh, never heard of that, and all my life I thought it was Taiwanese. Eh. And as for the streets...? BoL 04:04, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Guys, guys... Toishanese is similar to Cantonese. Taiwanese is like Min-nang-yu or Fukienese. Two completely separate dialect families! Get the facts straight please! --Kschang77 (talk) 02:33, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Actually, "Hoisanese" would be more appropriate since "Hoisan" is how it's pronouced locally. "Toisan"(mand. Taishan) is the pronunciation in the primary Cantonese dialect that a lot of you guys often confuse as "Hong Kong Dialect". The proper term for "Hoisanese" is "Say Yip Wah", or "4 towns dialect", since it is spoken primarily in an area surrouded by 4 towns/cities which include Hoisan. The major Cantonese dialect spoken throughout the rest of Canton province, as well as in Hong Kong is called "Sam Yip Wah", or "3 towns dialect". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.115.155.102 (talk) 20:35, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Local names or native names are not necessarily representative or appropriate in an encyclopedia. See WP:NAME. Go argue in the dialect's articles what they should be named. The Chinatown article is not the place. HkCaGu (talk) 07:04, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

WoH, CALM DOWN HkCaGu!!! Just because something isn't defined in the encyclopaedia doesn't necesasarily it's inappropriate. This is a very subjective discussion, and by reversing somebody else's edit you may appear to be taking the side of the original edit's viewpoint whether you disagree with this or not. Growing up in a "Taishanese" community, we often referred to the lingo as "Say Yep Wa", Hoysan, etc which many in the community still prefer over the less desirable Taishan, etc.,...I just gues it's a pride and identity thing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by IanEddington (talkcontribs) 19:55, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

I am in complete agreement with 67.115.155.102. "Taishanese" is a dreadful term, and was probably coined by some bored, non-Chinese individual who felt a need for a de facto definition and came up with it for a lack of a better word. I like to think of it more as a lack of brains . These are probably the same people behind the "Wales- See england" encyclopaedia fiasco. "Taishanese" is not only a narrow definition of a unique dialect spoken in 4 city/counties(say yip wah) of SE Kwangtung province, it may even be viewed as offensive by many, including members of my family. And , HkCaGu, just because you don't agree with someone else's edit related to the subject does not give you the right remove it and then order them to post elsewhere. That's like deleting another user's input on Mark McGwire's use of steroids, and then telling them to move it to the section on performance enhancement drugs. How would you like it if I were to tell you to post your criticisms of local naming in the criticizing local naming pages? This is not only poor Wikipedia netiquette, it's also downright rude. If the topic on hand is relevant, and I believe that it is, then it should stay. Instead of oppressing other people's opinions that differ from yours, why not expand on it with your own? In the meantime, I have already undid your edit and will be adding a few modifications of my own, so that hopefully, all parties will be satisfied. SHEESH. MealMachine (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:50, 5 May 2010 (UTC).

References[edit]

"Note to editors: The majority of this work was copied from another website by a previous contributor. Changes and corrections will be made to reflect as accurate as possible the information pertaining to the subject. Citation of credit will be included, wherever, and whenever possible. Where no citing of sources are available, please assume the work to be the sole property of the given website, whose link can be found at the end of each paragraph."

I have moved your comment here from the article page. Please use discussion pages to discuss articles with other editors. It Is Me Here (talk) 18:57, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Dis-infornmation by DYL[edit]

DYL, your comparison of NY and SF Chinatown zip codes are in themselves dis-information and skewed in favor of NY. The NY zips in question are substantially larger in area than that of the SF zips. Living in Washington DC nearly all of my life and having the opportunity of visiting Manhattan's Chinatown on numerous occasions, I have always thought that it was the largest in North America. After visiting my sister in SF and seeing Chinatown for the first time in 2006, I am not so sure now. Going outward from it's old traditional boundaries, SF Chinatown spreads out in many different directions. Wherever you walk, the streets are just chock full of Chinese residents and businesses. A recent city survey countering that of the US census found that of San Francisco's 900,000 residents, nearly half or 400,000 are Asian, with two-thirds or roughly 250,000 being of Chinese descent. The city also found that the population of Chinatown probably ranged between 95,000-150,000 people when you factor in illegal immigration. There may be a lot of Chinese people in the Richmond as you've asserted, but many of them are visitors from outside the area and not residents. As for the 400,000 Chinese in Toronto, this figure covers a large area including the city, as well as the 5 suburban burroughs within the Toronto Metropolitan Municipality(guess that's how they do things here in Ontario). The total area is about 240 sq. miles, Chinese population density roughly 1,600 per sq. mile. By comparison, the 260,000 Chinese within SF's tiny 45 sq. miles translates to a Chinese population density of roughly 5,700 per sq. mile, making it the most densely populated haven of Chinese people anywhere outside of Asia. If you were to include an equal area to that of Metro Toronto(240 sq. miles), we are looking at a Chinese population of 700,000 upwards to 1 million within the entire San Francisco Bay Area.

I am not necessarily saying that SF Chinatown is larger, but during my last visit to Manhattan Chinatown in April, I had noticed a decrease in size since my previous trip there. A big chunk of what was the northwest is no longer there, and many buildings east of the Bowery stand vacant, boarded up, or taken over by non-chinese establishments. I have already documented this plight with photographs and plan to have it up on my website the first chance I get. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ConPac4 (talkcontribs) 20:58, 3 July 2009

Re: Dis-Information by DYL[edit]

Conpac4- I think you might have a valid argument there. I did notice more walking space between people on the streets of New York and Toronto when compared to the shoulder-to-shoulder traffic of San Francisco C-Town. It's laughable that New York yahoos like DYL try to make a convincing case with unproportionally, skewed data, and when you try to contradict them, they just cover their ears in denial and yell out "I can't hear you! You're not here, blah, blah, blah." Sheesh.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by DreamShips221 (talkcontribs) 20:42, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I guess that in his own delusional way, DYL can only accept deterioration in communities other than his own beloved New York. Manhattan Chinatown may seem larger. That's because it lies on flat ground, and the human eye is fooled into thinking it's bigger with clear, unobstructed views to other neighborhoods in all directions. S.F. Chinatown, on the other hand, has longer city blocks that sprawl into all directions. It is, however, situated on a steep hill in the east-west direction with inclines and declines going north-south. As a result, it causes one to feel hemmed-in within a small space like that of a mountain goat clinging to the side of a cliff. It's still more beautiful, offering stunning views in its own right. For this charming reason I'll pick SF Chinatown over Manhattan any day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by NagasakiJen (talkcontribs) 19:17, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

It's not so much that San Francisco's Chinatown is superior to that of NYC. It's the fact that New York Chinatown expanded too quickly for its own good, and it shows; a large slum-like neighborhood which looks as though a whole bunch of people moved in overnight and placed makeshift Chinese signs on the outside. A lot of these establishments appear to be "shadow" fronts for the sole purpose of making Chinatown look bigger, and not for business. In the late 70's and early 80's, NYC orchestrated a similar propaganda-like program of urban beautification by placing painted pictures of family scenes in the broken windows of gutted buildings in the Bronx. I wouldn't put it past the NY City authority of pulling the same stunt with Chinatown. It's very suspicious when a good number of businesses are often "closed for vacation until further notice", and many of the buildings they vacate look as though they ought to be condemned. There's nothing really special about Manhattan Chinatown once you stray a few blocks in any direction from the older sections on Mott and Pell streets. First time visitors often come away disappointed, expecting something in the calibre of a San Francisco, Vancouver, or Yokohama, only to find a bland and monotonous sprawl of a makeshift Chinese section in dire need of a major facelift. It's no wonder why residents are leaving in droves for other Chinese communities in places like Brooklyn and Queens. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DreamShips221 (talkcontribs) 21:00, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Dyl- NY Chinatown Is NOT 2 Square Miles![edit]

Dyl- I hate to rain on your parade, but NY Chinatown is NOT even close 2 square miles as you've suggested. Based on my research, and from what I was able to cover by foot(east of the Bowery and well into the lower e. side), its actual size is more or less 1/2 mile at its widest, and likewise in length. For it to be 2 sq. mi. would mean it would have to cover almost the entire lower east side close to the east river, while reaching as far north as E. 23rd to the doorsteps of the Metro Life Bldg.! Since the area covered is less than a perfect square of 1/2 miles on each side, this puts its actual size at just under 1/2 sq. mi.(somewhere between .35 and .4 sq. mi. based on my estimation). To better substantiate my findings, I had a piece of tracing paper cut into a perfect square simulating 1 sq. mi.(each side representing 1 mi. on the map's scale). Overlaying it over the map showed that it had dwarfed the Chinatown area slightly more than twice. I don't know where people come up with the "2 square miles" figure which also I've spotted on some NY Chinatown websites. It could be that they're mathematically challenged and added up all four sides when they should've multiplied 2 sides! As a visual frame of reference, take a look at Central Park on a map. At roughly 1.4 sq. mi., this colossus of an urban oasis can fit about 4 Chinatowns within its bounds. Also, concerning the disapproval of others modifying Wikipedia's text to reflect their own perception of things....Isn't that supposed to be the purpose in the first place? Doesn't the original text also reflect the perceptions of the peron(s) who wrote it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by SlopChop (talkcontribs) 21:29, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Dyl I just don't think its fair that you give a lowly assessment of Chinatown without being too familiar to it. I oppose & won't place any exact borders of Chinatown, but its influence goes well beyond that of Bush, Powell, Kearny and Broadway. Having grown up in North Beach, I can tell you that it has always been predominantly Chinese since the 1960'S. Ask any of the many Chinese residents on the streets west of Mason, north of Greenwich, or up Telegraph hill and they will tell you that they live in Chinatown. During an exhibition at the North Beach Library some years ago, there was a picture which caught my eyes. It was a photo of a dinner given by the North Beach Tennis association taken circa 1960. Of the 15 or so people in it, there was only 1 caucasian, 1 African-American, and the rest were Chinese, including the association's president. Since we're on the subject of comparing Chinatowns I'd wish that you would stop arguing over borders and whose Chinatown is bigger, which, as a Chinese-American, I take offense at. This is something Chinese communities in large would not waste their time on. Borders are nothing more than segregationist and divisive machines used by people and politicians from outside the community, and reflect a continuing racism against such communities as ours. i.e. The Chinese Exclusion Act. I need not say more. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DennisChow (talkcontribs) 17:37, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Which big Chinatown is more authentic?[edit]

Is there any opinion out there on which of the two big Chinatowns -- SF or Manhattan -- are more authentically Chinese? —Preceding unsigned comment added by IanBromley (talkcontribs) 20:40, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

San Francisco is definitely the biggest "authentic" Chinatown in the world especially after the expansion boom of the 1980s spilling out into North Beach and Russian Hill, and is still mainly Chinese for the most part. Manhattan, on the other hand, is more like a large version of the newer watered-down Asian communities popping up all over America. You know, the ones where they stick Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian buinesses / people in together with the Chinese in order to make their Chinatown look bigger. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Weslo2 (talkcontribs) 21:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe San Francisco's Chinatown is bigger if you are referring to "Chinatown" in the literal sense. New York(Manhattan) is more an amalgamation of Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Japanese and other asian businesses, especially in the newer section. Jewish businesses and and synagogues also abound within the area. It's most likely the largest multi-cultural asian district in the US. If just the Chinese blocks and businesses were consolidated into one contiguous area to create a "true Chinatown", it probably wouldn't match in size to that of San Francisco. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BobFromPhilly (talkcontribs) 17:50, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

It's probably San Francisco Chinatown with more exclusively Chinese people and businesses. Similar, albeit smaller Chinatowns, can be found in Vancuover and London. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DreamShips221 (talkcontribs) 17:25, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I think San Francisco's is more authentic than New York. Many Chinatowns nowadays, New York included, have become synonymous with a mult-asian business district. San Francisco's Chinatown, on the other hand, still retains its Chinese ethnic identity after nearly 160 years. Even though both are about the same size in area, San Fran's Chinese community is crammed together contiguously. In Manhatten it tends to spread out wide and thin between office buildings and non-chinese residents, especially east of Chinatown's older section. For these reasons alone, I can not resolve myself into justifying NY Chinatown as being the largest or most authentic, because it just isn't. And, as if the rat problems aren't bad enough, the sewers under Manhattan's Chinatown has been recently overrun by possums. —Preceding unsigned comment added by CrimsonChina (talkcontribs) 21:11, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

World's Best Chinatowns List[edit]

Here are this year's top-10 rankings of the World's Best Chinatowns, as presented anually by Asia Ville, a UK-based publication. Some of the criteria upon which the Chinatowns were rated inlude: Cleanliness, family friendly atmosphere, choice of eating/shopping venues, and accessibility by mass transit. San Francisco's Chinatown took 1st place for the 3rd time in 4 years, reclaiming the top spot from last year's winner, Vancouver. The list is as follow:

1. San Francisco, USA
2. Vancouver, CANADA
3. London, UK
4. Yokohama, JAPAN
5. Toronto, CANADA
6. Singapore, SINGAPORE
7. New York, USA
8. Paris, FRANCE
9. Sydney, AUSTRALIA
10. Bangkok, THAILAND —Preceding unsigned comment added by HobLub (talkcontribs) 18:23, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Actual largest Chinatown???[edit]

Any opinions out there on which is the actual largest Chinatown around??? My money is on San Francisco. Exaggerated 2 square miles aside, both SF and NY Chinatowns are nearly identical in size(roughly a little over 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile). The area within Manhattan's Chinatown, however, includes synogogues, Jewish, and non-Chinese Asian businesses and residents. If you were to throw out the non-Chinese factor, San Francisco's Chinatown clearly comes out on top as the larger one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by HobLub (talkcontribs) 20:50, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

DYL, Chinatown vs. Richmnond/Sunset Population[edit]

Dyl, I think there might be a misconception of Chinatown's influence on your part when compared to the Richmond and Sunset Districts. There are more Chinese residents in these areas than on Grant Avenue, which is what I presume you meant, but less than all of Chinatown even with both these outer neighborhoods combined. In case you're not aware, Chinatown includes some parts of the Financial district an Nob Hill, running from Montgomery all the way up to Taylor- that's where most of the Chinatown's population lives due to insubstantial housing and overcrowdeness in the older parts. Some of the sponsors listed on the back of my grandfather's yearbooks for St. Mary's Chinese School from the 1940s include many businesses located in places like Mason St., which has always been, and still is a part of Chinatown. Chinatown's influence actually once reached as far south as Sutter St., but has since been augmented by post-WWII influxes into Russian Hill, North Beach, and Telegraph Hill to the north. It is undoubtedly the most densely populated part of the city. Trip Advisor reviews even wrote that if the rest of San Francisco were as densely populated as Chinatown, the city's population would be 9 million instead of 900,000, and I think there is some truth to that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by InspectorDetector (talkcontribs) 21:53, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

BEWARE!!! DYL SPREADING PROPAGANDA !!![edit]

Dyl- I don't know how the heck you came up with your calculations for 2 square miles, but if I didn't know any better I'd say you were spreading the kind of propaganda that you are accusing others of. It's not 2 square miles, 1, not even half that. I have walked the entire length of both Chinatowns, and know that for a sure fact. San Francisco blocks are also more than twice as long as Manhattan's; 5 1/4 SF blocks=1/2mile, 12 1/2 Manhattan blocks=1/2 mile. Claiming that Manhattan's Chinatown encompasses all of old Chinatown, Russian Hill, North Beach Fisherman's Wharf, etc., is a bunch of baloney. For it to be that big, 2 square miles that is, it would mean that it would have to encompass most, if not all of the lower eastside, into the east river and touching ground in brooklyn to the east, reaching as far north into east village and overlapping Tomkins square in the north. I DON'T THINK SO!!! Unlike SF Chinatown, NYC's also surrounds a lot of non-chinese areas. If you were to designate the Chinese areas in blue, and rub out the non-chinese areas, SF Chinatown would show up on the map with more blue. You also presented an unfair comparison of larger NY zip codes to much smaller SF ones in your argument. Not only that, but one of the SF codes given appear to be incorrect. Looks like you were using Google's bug-ridden zip finder. I guess that next you're going to tell us that the Empire State Building is actually the tallest building in the world due to an invisible tower installed to commemorate the Yankees winning 50 World Series in a row. —Preceding unsigned comment added by VirtDave (talkcontribs) 21:29, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Yeah I agree with you wholeheartedly. It's just pathetic that people like DYL is accusing people of spreading mis-info while doing the same thing himself. I guess that in some way he's traumatized by the fact that N.Y. is no longer #1 in many things, so he's trying to help it hang on to what little it still leads the world in, even if it means creating lies and fabrications in his own little fantasy world. With 20 years of experience as an engineer, which I don't believe for one second, you'd figure that he'd at least be able to measure out simple distances. 2 square miles my ((*%$$#%#@#@#$!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by JohnnyLovesJazz (talkcontribs) 21:28, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

User:Thmc1 - calm down!![edit]

OK, look, it's time you stopped behaving like the First Qin Emperor, writing your own version of history by wiping out anything previous, and you should read WP:SOAP and stop using inflammatory language in promoting the cause of NYC's six Chinatowns being larger than San Francisco's SOLE Chinatown: Your yourself have provided the answer in one of your edit comments:

Article notes 100K TOTAL residents in FIVE zip codes AROUND SF Ctown; 80-90K CHINESE residents in Manhattan CTown ALONE.

Yes, indeed - because Manhattan's Chinatown and Flushing's Chinatown are not the same Chinatown. Part of the problem here is that you're interpreting "Chinatown" to mean the total Chinese population of a city/region, part of the problem is also that you're transposing population figures and multiple Chinatowns in a region vs those in one single city. A Chinatown is a geographic area and actual population figures are not relevant; and there's a difference between the population of Manhattan's Chinatown and the Chinese population of all of Manhattan. As noted in the previous section, the physical Chinatown in San Francisco is much larger than Manhattan's and, unlike for example Flushing's, is entirely Chinese in flavour and not intermixed with other cultural/commercial elements. A big problem in Wikipedia's Chinatown coverage is the confusion of population figures and new Chinese commercial districts with the term "Chinatown" which has a specific meaning in North American history/culture. Also, your interpretation of NYC's figures incorporates figures from outside of NYC, specifically New Jersey which is in another state. And you can't just willy-nilly delete cited information like the material from the Brittanica; it may be out of date re population figures, but it's an old nostrum that San Francisco's Chinatown is or was the largest. Rather than wiping out all mention of it and supplanting the updated population figures for New York as if that's all that matters, the better edits would be to provde the date/year when NYC's Chinese population surpassed that of San Francisco, and when the NYC metropolitan area's population surpassed that of the Bay Area. I should not also that while the cities of the Bay Area have not been amalgamated as is the case with New York City's boroughs, there is an equivalence between San Francisco/Manhattan and Oakland/Queens. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between the concept of a metro area and/or city with the largest Chinese population, and the concept of a physical/historical ChinaTOWN. Instead of ranting about "propaganda" and so on I suggest you back off, realize that San Francisco has a historic importance as for-a-long-time-the-largest and try and edit/amend accordingly. Wiping out history to advance your own cause is not proper history, nor is it encyclopedic. In fact, it's propaganda.....Skookum1 (talk) 16:15, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

All this talk about New York and Flushing surpassing San Francisco's Chinatown is nothing but pure propaganda nonsense. They try to dis-credit SF Chinatown's historical importance, which can never be denied. If you were to look up "San Francisco" in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, it states that Chinatown is the largest Chinese community outside of Asia. Similarly in the World Book Encyclopaedia 2010 Ed.: "Thousands of people of Asian ancestry live in the crowded Chinatown area. The area includes one of the largest Chinese communities outside Asia. Colorful shops, restaurants, and other buildings with Chinese-style upturned roofs stretch for eight blocks along Chinatown's lively Grant Avenue." Here's what the same publication says of New York's Chinatown: "Residential and commercial neighborhoods lie to the north and northeast of the Civic Center. These neighborhoods include Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Lower East Side. Both Chinatown and Little Italy have some of the city's oldest tenements. They also have many restaurants that specialize in Chinese or Italian Food." Nowhere does it refer to Chinatown as being the "largest", "one of the largest", "moderately large", "somewhat large", or "large" of any kind, nor does it say anything about colorful shops and buildings with Chinese-style upturned roofs that run for many blocks. IanEddington (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:39, 20 March 2010 (UTC).

NY & Toronto Chinatown not Largest/Chippos[edit]

I have to disagree with Toronto Chinatown being the largest. I've actually lived in Toronto for 11 years, and other than a 1/2 mile stretch of Spadina with Dundas as its busiest point, Chinatown is for the most part a nice, quiet neighborhood. The 400,000 Chinese population of Toronto actually includes the entire Toronto Metropolitan area. There's probably 250,000 Chinese at the most within greater Toronto(240 sq. miles). Compare this to the 300,000 Chinese(2008 U.S. Census) within the tiny 46 sq. miles of San Francisco. This includes the estimated 100,000-150,000(2008 U.S. Census) population of the old Chinatown they have out there in San Francisco, CA., along with the city's 4 other Chinatowns(5, if you include Little Saigaon which was founded by ethnic Chinese Vietnamese in the late 1970s), making it the most densely popluated Chinese enclave outside of Asia. The estimated 850,000 Chinese count within California dwarfs the NY Metro Area, which includes a much larger area incl. Greater NYC, + the states of New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.


Highbinder Tong Wars[edit]

Regarding the new section on the Highbinder Tong Wars,[9] I think it needs to be reduced reduced substantially. Comments like "The reign of terror symbolizing the darkest period in Chinatown's history had finally come to an end" don't quite match the encyclopedic tone we should be striving for. Maybe the material could be split to another article? Is there more than one source? If not, then let's just trim the drama.   Will Beback  talk  13:25, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Hello Will. I made changes. I think it possible to maintain some drama in encyclopedic tones. Please correct any mistakes if you see some. Lam Kin Keung (talk) 02:54, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Why Mandarin and not Cantonese in the lede?[edit]

Why is the Mandarin pinyin only included in the lede; San Francisco is historically Cantonese-based, especially before modern immigration. This is not a Chinese city, but an American one, and not having any official Chinese-Mandarin name as Chinese cities would, so shouldn't the predominant historical version of Chinese be represented if any is? Also using pinyin without IPA is questionable, given the usual pronunciation-guide standards of any wiki lede.Skookum1 (talk) 18:26, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Actually, they are in there[edit]

If you look at lede it *DOES* have Jhutping / Cantonese pronunciation. Also, Cantonese and Chinese use the same writing system. -- Kschang77 (talk) 20:37, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Confusion of Cantonese / Taishanese[edit]

Folks, being currently IN Chinatown, here's explanation of what is the difference between Cantonese/ Taishanese.

Merely different pronunciation. Really.

Taishan (more accurately "Toi-san") is a "county" within Guanzhou (i.e. Canton)

So Taishanese is as different from regular Cantonese as "Southern English" or "Texas Accent" is different from "American English".

--Kschang77 (talk) 20:43, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

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Proposed move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no move. -- tariqabjotu 07:04, 31 July 2013 (UTC)


Chinatown, San FranciscoOld Chinatown, San Francisco – There are 4 Chinatowns in San Francisco, so "Chinatown, San Francisco" in my opinion is ambiguous. There are enough sources that refer to "Other" and "2nd, 3rd, 4th Chinatowns" that I believe the title of this article is no longer appropriate, and should be labeled "Old Chinatown, San Francisco" to distinguish it from the others. Saberbelt (talk) 04:07, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose on grounds of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. When entering "Chinatown San Francisco" into search engines like Google[10] there are significantly more links to reliable sources that refer to the district described in this article than the three other "newer" neighborhoods. This includes the official SF Chinatown web site[11]. In addition, when I do enter "old chinatown san francisco" into Google,[12] there are very little exact matches with the phrase "old chinatown" that refer to the original Chinatown in San Francisco, thus this new proposed phrasing would seem to violate WP:COMMONAME and the Recognizability rule of WP:NAMINGCRITERIA. Zzyzx11 (talk) 04:30, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose The use of the name "Chinatown" is a proper name, not a generic term; as with Vancouver and elsewhere where Golden Village (Richmond BC) is not called "Chinatown" and where "Chinatown" refers specifically to the old commercial area, when in the loose terms that have been pushed in Wikipedia as WP:OR and WP:SYNTH, as was the case e.g. with the San Gabriel Valley and similar articles, pushing the name "Chinatown" on areas simply because they are dominantly Chinese-commercial (even when not Chinese-residential) is not appropriate. I agree with ZZyx11 here, any search for "Chinatown"+"San Francisco" is going to go to this one, not to the others that are being promoted as "new chinatowns" (not the lower-case c, which should be a standard for places not called Chinatown capital-C....in teh San Gabriel Valley case "enclaves" was used even though they're not residential enclaves, just groupings of chinese businesses/commerce.).........whole thing smacks of cultural imperialism and self-ghettoization IMO.Skookum1 (talk) 04:52, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

request for clarification Suggestion[edit]

I am reading up on this because it is tangential to something else I am researching (and will probably link to this article as part of that). Meanwhile I did a bit of a driveby copy-edit, nothing that should be controversial I don't think. But this sentence confuses me so can someone that knows more than my absolutely nothing please fix it up?

"In response to the violence, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, also known as the Chinese Six Companies, which evolved out of the labor recruiting organizations for different areas of Guangdong, was created as a means of providing the community with a unified voice."

how can it have been created if it evolved out of something else? I think someone mis-wrote. But anyway, seems to be an active page, hopefully someone will know. Elinruby (talk) 07:38, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

unclear text Suggestion[edit]

"Part of their efforts in doing so was to plan and rebuild the neighborhood as a western friendly tourist attraction. The rebuilt area that is seen today, resembles such plans.[1]"

References
  1. ^ Hua, Vanessa (April 13, 2006). "The Great Quake: 1906-2006 Out of chaos came new Chinese America". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 

I took this out because I could not tell if "they" were the developers or the Chinese who returned to the neighborhood. Someone who knows the subject matter please address. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Elinruby (talkcontribs)

Yeah, I agree the text as written is not clear. Here's what the sources say:
So it looks like "they" were Chinese businessmen who hired primarily white architects to create a fantasy architecture which would appear "Oriental" to tourists. Binksternet (talk) 17:06, 29 July 2014 (UTC)