Friday, April 12, 2019

the last book I ever read (Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers, excerpt four)

from Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers:

New York City has the largest Chinese population of any city in the United States. Immigrants from China make up the second-largest (after immigrants from the Dominican Republic) and fastest-growing immigrant group. The city has no single Chinatown. If you take the term in its most expansive sense—designating an enclave of Chinese immigrants—there are several. In each neighborhood the working class built upon the ones that came before it. Manhattan’s Chinatown came first, settled by immigrants from southern China. Nearly a century later, after immigration restrictions had been imposed and then loosened, people from Fuijan came en masse, thousands of people traversing the globe on airplanes and rickety boats to sneak over borders and onto New York’s beaches and docks.

When, in the 1990s, the influx of Fujianese found Manhattan too crowded, they moved along the N train into the Brooklyn neighborhood called Sunset Park. They kept their ties to Manhattan through dollar vans and easy train access, traveling back to the old neighborhood to look for jobs and visit lawyers.

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