Chinatown Manhattan located in New York City is home to one of the largest concentrations of Chinese people living outside of Asia. Manhattan’s Chinatown have attracted a variety of immigrants from Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and other Asian countries and became famous for its reasonably priced restaurants featuring Chinese cuisine, as well as Asian grocery stores and unique gift shops.
The Chinese jewelry shop district is on Canal Street between Mott and Bowery. This street is also filled with street vendors selling imitation perfumes, watches, and hand-bags. There are also many Asian and American banks in the neighborhood. Manhattan’s Chinatown features over 200 Chinese restaurants in the area and some garment work. The local garment industry now concentrates on quick production in small volumes and piece-work which is generally done at the worker’s home. Much of the population growth is due to immigration. As previous generations of immigrants gain language and education skills, they tend to move to better housing and job prospects that are available in the suburbs and outer boroughs of New York.
Since the late 1870s, Chinese immigrants have been settling in the New York City area. Despite the Exclusion Act of 1882, which prohibited Chinese immigration the Manhattan’s Chinatown grew. Since 1965, when the immigration quotas were repealed, the immigrant community of Chinatown has grown and the census of 1980 indicated that New York Chinatown is the largest Chinese American settlement in the U.S.
The Chinatown area also features what little remains of Little Italy, an area which is essentially comprised of a few blocks of Mulberry St. north of Canal, plus a bit on streets perpendicular to Mulberry . Little Italy is almost devoid of Italian residents nowadays, and is primarily a kind of tourist theme park, but still contains a few eateries with reputations. What used to be the northern end of Little Italy called NoLIta , is a quieter residential area, frequented by New Yorkers.
Chinatown is a much larger neighborhood in population and area than it used to be a few decades ago . Chinatown has also grow in diversity becoming a bit less of a Chinatown and more of a Southeast Asia town with a growing presence of immigrants from Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. Unlike most other urban Chinatowns, Manhattan’s Chinatown is both a residential area as well as commercial area. Many population estimates are in the range of 90,000 to 100,000 residents. It is difficult to get an exact count, as neighborhood participation in the U.S. Census is thought to be low due to language barriers, as well as large-scale illegal immigration.
There is a very helpful Explore Chinatown Info Kiosk which is open daily from 10am till 6pm with bilingual staff available to answer your questions and provide free maps, guides, and brochures.
Manhattan’s famous Chinatown is a lively neighborhood, full of good values in restaurants and food shopping. Also on sale are cheap knockoffs of designer labels made in China, and all sorts of trinkets and toys. Hungry visitors have many options for delicious, affordable food representing a wide variety of Chinese cuisines, including restaurants specializing in Dim Sum, Cantonese cuisine, congee and seafood.