"THE IDEA OF CHINATOWN"---A CRITIQUE

“They thought it would be a good idea if I came to the states and set shop in Chinatown,” she said.

The Chinatown Idea Eric Liu Free Essays - StudyMode

However, even Wi-Fi services are not immune from the difficulties imposed by Chinatown’s built environment and legal landscape. While Wi-Fi services have a lighter infrastructural footprint than broadband, they still rely on the placement of routers. They are also subject to extensive regulations and permitting procedures. To make installations for community or individual use, wireless service providers need permits from the Department of Building Inspection and environmental review from the Planning Department. To deliver Internet service, wireless Internet service also need a clear line of sight from the service provider’s radio antennas to the building that is being served. Physical barriers like other buildings can restrict availability, and signing up for wireless generally requires rooftop installations of hardware (Geier, 2013). It is hard to imagine low-income, Chinese-speaking individuals navigating these multiple hurdles, most of which, as renters, they have little control over. Without assistance, it is much more likely that these communities will remain relegated to “inferior forms” of access provisioned through the public library or via mobile technologies.

But she dismisses the idea of herself as an ambassador for China and any accompanying pressure.

Sept 10 “The Chinatown Idea” (#2, #3) | Futeyg's Weblog

The history of San Francisco’s Chinatown exemplifies these processes. San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America, and racial discrimination, threats of displacement, and enclave defense have defined this neighborhood from its beginnings (Pamuk, 2004). The first waves of Chinese immigration to the United States were fueled by employment opportunities during the California Gold Rush of 1849 and construction of the transcontinental railroads during the 1860s and 1870s. Expulsed from the mines through such discriminatory policies as California’s Foreign Miners Tax (1851), and as railroad work diminished, Chinese migrants moved to San Francisco and other urban areas on the West coast (Almaguer, 2008; Brooks, 2009; Molina, 2006; Shah, 2001).

By the end of the nineteenth century, the Chinese population of San Francisco had become concentrated in the 24 square blocks around Portsmouth Square Plaza, a region that became known as Chinatown. They were systematically excluded from San Francisco’s formal economy through policies such as the Pole Act (1870) and the Laundry Ordinance (1870), while other city laws such as the Cubic Air Ordinance (1870) targeted their living conditions, over which, as renters, they had little control (Brooks, 2009). In this way, the formation of San Francisco’s Chinatown, like other Chinatowns studied by scholars, was the sociospatial product of white racism and nativism that helped to constitute, not merely reflect, the notion of Chinese people as both perpetually foreign and inherently inferior.


‘Chinatown’ for Cambodia, Business, Phnom Penh Post

While research has shown that minority communities tend to have high rates of mobile broadband adoption and tend to rely on smartphones for Internet access, analysis has shown that mobile phone use has not erased gaps in participation online (Anderson, 2015; Mossberger, et al., 2012b). Mossberger and her collaborators (2012b) found that because of lower costs, mobile phones are the dominant form of Internet access for poorer populations, but that those who rely on mobile forms of Internet access are less likely to pursue online educational activities or engage with government information Web sites than those with home Internet access. Some have even described mobile connectivity as a second-class form of access, as the smaller screens and lack of application support often provide fewer opportunities for online skill acquisition or other benefits (Mossberger, et al., 2012b). Public libraries such as the Chinatown branch library seek to address these issues by providing stationary terminals with Internet connectivity, which are often attractive to patrons because library staff or volunteers can provide technological support. However, the highly visible nature of library terminals may prevent users from engaging in sensitive or private matters such as banking, communication with doctors, or legal affairs (Viseu, et al., 2006)

Cantonese Indifference: The Language of Chinatown

An important battle, for example, developed around the International Hotel, a single-room occupancy (SRO) hotel that was demolished in 1979 despite significant community opposition. Numerous organizations were established during this struggle, including the Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) and the Manilatown Heritage Foundation. Their continued activism eventually led the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to pass a zoning ordinance that required housing on the site in 1982. A renovated I-Hotel was reopened to new tenants in 2005, nearly 30 years after the initial eviction; in addition to providing affordable housing, the property offers many social services.

What is the meaning of the line at the end of Chinatown?

In the years since then, ‘enclave defense’ and racialized conflicts over space have remained a recurring part of life in San Francisco’s Chinatown and the Asian American experience on the West Coast more generally (Lai, 2013; Viruell-Fuentes, et al., 2012; Lin, 1998). Even today, Lai (2013) argues, ‘battles over the control of space remain in Asian American urban neighborhoods, and if anything, they have intensified given resurgent gentrification in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.’