Koreatown, Manhattan

From Academic Kids

Today, K-town resembles Seoul, Korea
K-town, as Koreatown is affectionately called by people who work in and visit this largely commercial neighborhood, remains somewhat unknown, despite its prime location. Its small size and competitive location bordered by 31st and 36th Sts. and Fifth and Sixth Aves. lead it to be easily overshadowed by nearby destinations like the Empire State Building and Macy's. And as in Chinatown, language can present a barrier.

Once focused on fulfilling the needs of New York's burgeoning Korean-American community (according to the U.S. Census, the city's Korean-American population has grown from 69,718 in 1990 to 86,473 in 2000), it has seen an increase in non-Korean traffic in the last few years.

There was never a formal plan or agreement to create a Korean commercial district in Manhattan, since most Koreans settled in Queens. In fact, the concept of K-town didn't even exist. But rents were low and the foot traffic high because of the surrounding office buildings and the proximity to the Garment, Gift Shop and Flower Districts.

So from a bookstore and a handful of restaurants, K-town sprang into being. And with their success, more and more Korean businesses settled in the neighborhood as immigration from Korea grew. By the mid-1980s, the area started to resemble a street in Seoul.

See also

Template:NewYork-geo-stub

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