The two China towns of New York are both similar in many ways but also very different. The most obvious similarity of course is the general ethnicity of the two areas. The people that work and reside in these areas are mostly Asian immigrants. The biggest difference that I noticed was use of the area. Most of the Chinese in the Manhattan China town are there for the purpose of carrying on commercial business and stores and many businesses that are geared towards a very diverse crowd of people, most of which are tourists. Many of those businesses were also import/export businesses which bring in the authentic wares and goods from the homeland. The Chinese in Flushing are there because they reside there and raise their families there. The stores and businesses in this area are conducted specifically with intent to provide daily living needs in the Chinese or Asian lifestyle. The goods imported by the companies are then distributed to other businesses, many of which are in Flushing, for example there are many markets selling authentic foods imported specifically for Chinese customers. There are also professional office spaces and banks that cater to the Chinese community, churches, and social clubs which are the epicenter of their social and economic lives.
In both areas I observed that the Chinese added their own flare with language and color. All the store signs had Chinese (or other Asian) characters and were very colorful. Much like what one would see in the streets of China or Japan. However, on Canal Street all the signs had English translations on them while on Main Street in Flushing I found a number of signs that were strictly in Chinese without any translation. In Flushing I also noticed that signs for businesses were stacked two and three stories high. On Canal Street the signs and businesses were strictly on the ground floor. I found that the floors above were used for storage and warehoused merchandise for all these businesses located on...
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