Chinatown: Ellis Taylor

Chinatown is a small community that is full of rich Chinese culture, language and history.

Chinatown can be found on the South Side of Chicago at Cermak Road and Wentworth Avenue. The exact boundaries of Chinatown are: Chicago River to the north, 26th Street to the south, Clark Street to the east, and Halsted Avenue to the west.

Chinatown currently houses about 7,254 people and about 6,447 of these are Chinese.

As visitors walk into the main entrance of Chinatown, they will see a large red gate that is based on a wall located in Beijing. This entrance is the gateway to the authentic Chinese experience.

Chinatown is well known for its delicious and exotic Chinese restaurants that serve food from many different cities in China.

“If you like spicy food, you are bound to try here, yeah this one is the best one in Chicago”, said Rui Ma, 25, a hostess of the Lal Szechuan Restaurant which houses some of the best spicy Chinese food in Chicago.

Chinatown also has a number of wonderful attractions and festivals that make it a joy to visit. One of the more famous attraction is the Nine Dragon Wall.

“One of the first things that most people say when they think of China is ‘dragons,’” said Rahsaan Liddell, a docent for the Chinese Chamber of Commence.

In Chinese culture, dragons are sacred and believed to have magical powers like the number nine, signifying the significance of the Nine Dragon Wall.

These beautiful attractions come from a troubled history of Chinese in America. Chinese immigrated to America in order to build the Transcontinental Railroad. After the completion of the railroad, the Chinese immigrants remaining in America began to experience discrimination and violence. Chinese began to migrate to Chicago, eventually developing their own land, now known as Chinatown.

The people of Chinatown are not only friendly to their fellow immigrants, but also to any visitors from the outside.

“Chinatown in Chicago is very friendly” Ma said. “Everyone gets along together.”

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