August 19, 2008

Asian Americans Moving into Certain NYC Areas

I don't know which Asian American site found this article first, AAM or 88's. It's about certain New York neighborhoods where Asian Americans are beginning to move and to become a disproportionate part of the population. The story has several profiles of Asian American 1.5 gens who grew up in Asian areas like Chinatown and are now moving out and gravitating towards the same high-end neighborhoods. (I'm guessing they're 1.5 since the brokerages are targeting the foreign language media--though not all 1.5'ers speak their mother tongue.)

Peter Kwong makes an interesting observation:
Historically, American-born Asians have been encouraged to move out of the ethnic enclaves where they grew up, said Peter Kwong, a professor of Asian-American studies at Hunter College. But they have tended to move to suburban communities on Long Island and in New Jersey, where they can find good schools, enough ethnic markets to cater to their needs and, when the time comes, enough space to accommodate aging parents, he said.

“Until now, buying a home tended to be very family oriented,” he added, “and living in a nice building with a lot of amenities was not as stressed.” So the fact that young Asian-Americans are now buying in condo high-rises that come with fitness centers, spas and swimming pools is a shift, “and in some ways becoming more mainstream.”

Given the discussions that have taken place recently, I couldn't help but think about young PUAs doing the PUA thing in those fitness centers, spas, and swimming pools. "Hey...hey...hey...I live right upstairs! Just ask the doorman to dial 888!"

No, seriously, I think this is a good thing. One of the problems with Asian America is that individuals tend to be very diffuse, which means that we have a community which doesn't have much face-to-face social capital, which means that we're often not much of a community at all. With suburban areas, it often doesn't matter who your neighbors are, since in many suburban neighborhoods, people tend to stay inside their homes. This new urban migration could be a good thing. From these new developments, perhaps the concentration of Asian Americans will give rise to new ideas, new social institutions, and new experiences.

By the way, do we have any 44s who live in any of these areas?

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