Bounded by 18th Street on the north, 23rd Street on the south, State Street on the east and the Chicago River on the west, the Chicago Chinatown is not only a great place to shop and dine but also a haven to learn and experience the Chinese culture. Items that are not usually found elsewhere, such as martial arts supplies, Chinese costumes, Buddha statues, beautiful hand-painted fans, and jade jewelries, are being sold here. A variety of Asian cuisine, like Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, and of course, Chinese culinary will definitely delight the food enthusiasts.
With over 68,000 residents, the Chinatown was not just a community hub for Chinese immigrants in Chicago Metropolitan area but also a place where they established their trade and commerce. Most well-off Chinese families put up establishments usually small restaurants, butcher shops and grocery stores. Chicago?s Chinatown has become the center for Chinese commerce in the Midwest and is also now home to a number of banks, gift shops, Chinese medicine stores and a number of services that cater to people interested to know and learn more about the Chinese culture. It comes as no surprise that the district has become a popular destination for local residents and more so for tourists who visit Chicago.
The Chinatown also offers various attractions that tourists will surely adore.
Take a picture of the Chinatown Mural that illustrates the history of Chinese immigrants in the United States. Visit the Chinatown Square and take a closer look at sculptures of animals featured in the Chinese Zodiac. Shop along Wentworth Avenue where shopping areas and restaurants are located then relax and be mesmerized with the landmarks including the Chinatown Gate that are also found here. On Leong Merchants Association played a very important role in the development of Chinatown and its building, Pui Tak Center, was designated a Chicago Landmark on December 1, 1993, another must see in the community. To have a glimpse of Chicago?s Chinatown history, the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago is the best place to step into, where pictures and objects related to the community?s history are displayed. Once done with discovering the community of Chinatown, take some time to behold the relaxing view of Ping Tom Memorial Park composed of Chinese gardens situated along the Chicago River.
Motivated by the horrible inhumane and anti-Chinese violence they experienced, the occupants of Chinatown united and did not give up with the discrimination. They made their presence noticeable which is the main reason for the development of Chinatown. Along with the improvements in the neighborhood, the United States national and local government also established some of its services such as the Chinatown Post Office operated by the United States Postal Service and the Chinatown Library ran by Chicago Public Library.
Schools such as the St. Therese Chinese Catholic School, a K-8 private Catholic school and The Pui Tak Christian School, a private pre-kindergarten to 6th grade school, were put up to accommodate the children of Chinatown. At the moment, Civic leaders in Chinatown are not resting and still hope it would become a community with voice and with more visibility.