Chinatown

On reclaimed land from the tidal flats, Chinatown borders on Boston Common and Downtown Boston. It is an area of poor housing, many train tracks, and generally undesirable living conditions. Because of this, it has historically been the neighbourhood settled by incoming waves of immigrants: Irish, Jewish, Italian, Syrian and most recently, Chinese.

Unlike the tourist-friendly Chinatowns of New York City or San Francisco, Boston’s Chinatown is a closed, insular neighbourhood where outsiders are not made to feel welcome. The narrow alleys and twisting streets are shadowed and dark, and English is rarely heard and never used for signs. The area is dominated by Tongs, Chinese gangs that run protection schemes, gambling, opium dens, and prostitution. Unlike many similar American gangs, the Tongs take their obligation to protect their customers seriously, and serve as an unofficial police force in the neighbourhood.

Chinatown

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