As early as the 1970s, Flushing began its transition from a predominantly Italian and Jewish community to a Chinese one. The first newcomers were primarily Taiwanese, and eventually, beginning in the 1990s, immigrants from Fujian and then from northern and southwestern provinces arrived. Regional Chinese restaurants popped up that in some cases eclipsed the Taiwanese ones already there. But a new infusion of capital, some of it from Taiwan and Hong Kong, returned in the modern era to remake downtown Flushing, erecting skyscraper hotels and shopping centers.
The Chinatown you now see is buttressed by Korean and Indian communities, and now constitutes one of the city’s most active commercial centers, linked to the rest of the city by the Long Island Railroad and the 7 subway line. The streets are bustling with shoppers seeking out dumpling shops, bakeries, sprawling fish and vegetable stands, beauty shops, apothecaries, and restaurants. And walking down Main Street from the terminus of the 7 train is as close to being in Beijing or Taipei as one is likely to get in New York City.Read More