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Chinatown

Tell us what Chinatown means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?

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Wow thank you for all these neighborhood reviews. I have been an LA resident for 29 years, but only lived in 3 neighborhoods, and looking to move. this is going to be a very valuable resource for me.

As for Chinatown, I am looking to move into this area for the proximity to downtown arts, but not in downtown proper. Still researching!

— marta
August 29, 2012 at 10:43 p.m.

I was raise up in dogtown William. Mead project from the late 1956 thru october 1965. Coming from a family of ten. We would walk to chinatown olvera street and the union station . Just about every weekend and during the summer we would visit china town 3-4 timrs weekly. That was our disney land lol!. We would use money from returning soda pop bottles. Lol! To get something to eat.we would play with the pigeons at the union station, wait for the sunset limit train to come by.that was before they remodeled it. China town was so much fun seeing ducks hanging and cooking, we couldn't really understand the language. That didn't keep us away lol!. We was just young innocent kids enjoying life. We was very very poor and didn't. Know, because everybody else was lol!. We would walk with newspaper or cardboard in the bottom of our shoes. We would walk the cardboard and paper out of our shoes. We would grease our legs and arms with bacon or chicken grease. Dogs would chase us all the way to china town. I didn't realize until I was grown why all those dogs would be chasing us. They was smelling that chicken and bacon aroma on our legs lol!. Oh how much fun we had, growing up in William mead project. Boy do I have some stories sad and funny. I would like to write a book about life in william mead. I would entitled it don’t let the dogs get you down lol!. I can remember my life from a infant until I left dogtown in 1965 when we moved to south central los angeles. Dogtown is where I took my first steps, I learned how to cross the street.the first school I attended was ann street. Everyone got along. I remember hearing the helms donut truck honking daily. We paid 50 cent for a dozen lol!. They would let us have credit, the milk man would leave a milk bottle at your door and no one would touch it. Oh what a good time I had living in dogtown. I also remember playing on the black bridge and taking ice ice cream from the trash of carnation ice cream. It would be soooooo! Good. Enough down memory lane. I am beginning to tear up. Those was some of the happier day of my life. Five of my ten sibling are now deceased. All I have is those fun memory that began in dogtown. I have attended some of the reunion picnics of downtown. We had a blast can't wait to have another. When I lived in dogtown african americans was the majority we had few hispanics we all got along. I remember living next door to the salvadors our parents would help and share with each other. Color never matter. We was just all happy . A few whites lived there also we all played and got along. My family resided there from 1956 thru 1965. I am still in contact with some of my childhood friends. We live on ann street in a two bedroom and bloom street. Bloom street had 4 bedrooms boy that was a blessing. I remember the floor plan from both places room to room. Y'all look out for my book lol!. I feel like writing one, it will be my first. Publishers where are you. Anyone else like to contribute?

— c. sulcer
August 17, 2012 at 3:37 a.m.

I grew up in the William Mead Housing Projects (North Main Steet and Bloom Street). Not a good place to raise kids. I do have fond memories playing at Downey Park, going to China Town, Olvera Steet, and Dodger Stadium. I used to ride my bicycle in the LA River.

— Alberto
May 6, 2011 at 4 a.m.

Have lived in "Westlake" (Canvas LA) for the last 7 months. Love the building, despite sitting along side the freeway, but the area is a little isolated. Relatively safe from what I can see and convenient to all freeways, which again is good and not so good!

— HYM
November 18, 2010 at 7:38 a.m.

Just like Westlake in West Austin. At the very end of Westlake is Chinatown due to uprising of Asian people in population. I'm from ATX.

— Hanz
July 26, 2010 at 2:03 p.m.

It's Chinatown, Jake...

— Bill
May 10, 2010 at 10 a.m.

I moved to Chinatown a year ago. Chinatown is now one of the cutting edge places to live for caucasians and "hipsters" the rents are pretty cheap, the gallery scene is managing to stay alive at the plaza you're close to Echo Park (forget Silverlake, it's hosed by hipsters and overly gentrified) I go jogging at the park at the cornfield, hang out downtown and in Chinatown, hang out in Echo Park, freeway close. Where I live in the hills of Chinatown it reminds me of San Francisco... Oh yeah, totally close to Elysian Park. The only drag is the traffic when the Dodgers are playing home games. I'm also a private investigator, so when I tell people I live in Chinatown they think I have some mystique or something (I don't) Thanks

— Mark
April 6, 2010 at 12:24 p.m.

We (the African American people) live on the west side of the 110 in the area known as Victor Heights/Forgotten Edge!

— YellowHarlemResident
February 8, 2010 at 4:10 p.m.

The black statistic might have something to do with the main post office being in this area? General Delivery for Skid Row residents maybe? Maybe the white statistic too. They aren't that many hipsters there.

— Freeman
January 11, 2010 at 7:06 p.m.

This neighborhood includes Bunker Hill and part of the Financial district of downtown. I think this may be swaying the numbers.

— Same zip, different 'hood
December 1, 2009 at 3:58 p.m.

So many memories! Several times growing up, we went there for dinner...of course I loved the feel of it, like another world in the '50's..gave me a taste for ethnic food I never lost...

as an adult, again, many times for dinner and/or walkabout, a nice change from Hollywood, where I lived til I moved to Canada in '72..I often think of that place, and those times..can still see the fountain and all the night neon reflecting on the sidewalks...lovely memories...

— WendiG
November 12, 2009 at 8:33 a.m.

Well, I have been to Chinatown many times over many, many years, and I have never felt unsafe there. And I don't think it's one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles. I think I blend right in because I'm Chinese-American, I guess. It's a good place to grab a bite - especially at night.

— John C.
October 29, 2009 at 8:18 a.m.

Well, I've ever been to Chinatown a few times but I firmly confess mthat I really felt kind insecure there...One of the most dangerous LA 'hoods, you know.

— ALEXANDRE ALBERTONI
October 14, 2009 at 3:11 p.m.

George, I think all the African American people that you don't see in Chinatown live south of Spring Street and Broadway, which isn't exactly in Chinatown. Nevertheless, I find this profile of my hometown an interesting read. I've always wondered how big this community was..

— Anthony
August 29, 2009 at 12:16 p.m.

I agree with S - where are the African Americans in Chinatown that are supposed to make up about %25 of its population? I'd say it's more like .25%. Really makes me wonder about the Census or the Times....and the creditability of the ethnic make-up charts for other neighborhoods.

— George
August 25, 2009 at 11:32 p.m.

I lived on Beaudry Ave. It was so tiring walking from Broadway and College to Beaudry (up a hill over the 110 Fwy and last block was an alley). That was my workout everyday. There should be an Access or minibus serving the residents going to and from Chinatown, the Golden Ghetto.

— JusttheNameMam
August 20, 2009 at 11:29 p.m.

I used to live in Chinatown for over 25 yrs. I finally moved out because I wanted to lived in a brand new house which I have now. I also wanted peace and quiet and car space too ! There aren't enuf parking spaces in Chinatown. If you lived in an apartment and had 2 or more cars, you had to fight for a spot. At least on the street where I lived. It is nice to come back as a "born again resident" to see the changes. So many lofts ! And so many bums ! Where I live now, you are not allow to park on the street overnight. And that's great ! That minimizes families from owning 5 cars and using the freaking lawn as their garage. Not a good picture !

— Lou
August 20, 2009 at 10:22 p.m.

Angeleno Heights is one of the best place to live in at time growing up we had Chinatown,Downtown,EchoPark,Tear Drop to escape and have fun. The old D.W.P Building was fun on Beaudry Ave. we could sneak up to the water fountains and cool off on the summer but now the building is a church. Walk down to Chinatown and make a wish on their coi fish pounds and play Basketball on Castelar Recreation Center. Phoenix Bakery is also one of Chinatowns land marks I'll go and pick up my cakes there for birthday parties.

— Jose G.
August 20, 2009 at 4:59 p.m.

Where do African American people live in Chinatown? I never see any!

— S
August 19, 2009 at 4:37 p.m.

The area situated between Broadway, the 110 fwy, Savoy St and Bernard St. has always been known as part of Chinatown with its natural boundaries, not Elysian Park. This is the same area where Cathedral HS and Cottage Home St. where I grew up.

— Lawrence Lee
June 3, 2009 at 5:01 p.m.

Chinatown

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Central L.A. region of Los Angeles County. It contains Victor Heights.
The neighboring communities are Boyle Heights, Downtown, Echo Park, Elysian Park and Lincoln Heights.
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About This Project
Chinatown is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
About The Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.