Truth be told, the title of this blog post was not the question actually asked. But it sure did inspire the title, and gave me cause for some reflection.
The question, as posed in the “Curious Cbus” segment of WOSU News, was why did Columbus, unlike other cities, not have a Chinatown? My initial instincts proved correct when I read the response, which lies in the real estate adage “location, location, location.” Early Chinese immigrants who traveled to this country tended to settle in port cities like San Francisco and New York; meanwhile, land-locked cities like Columbus were harder for immigrants in general to get to.
Anti-immigration laws like the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act stalled out significant growth for Chinese populations in this country for over sixty years; those that remained in the country would travel elsewhere for work. However, Columbus did not see any substantial growth in their Chinese and other Asian populations until the mid-1960s, especially when the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 eliminated the national origins quota system that had been in place prior.
Interestingly enough, if you followed the “Best Of” polls of a certain local magazine, you might wonder if there were actually no Chinese restaurants in this town of nearly over 900,000 people now.Continue reading “Why Are There No Chinese Restaurants in Columbus?”