Chinatown Falls on Hard Times
by Wilma Consul
NEW YORK, NY January 23, 2006 —Much of the Jewish Lower East Side has been lost over time replaced by new immigrants from other parts of the world, particularly China. Those seeking their fortunes in Manhattan's Chinatown are in for a surprise -- Chinatown has fallen on hard times. Its economy has not bounced back since the street closures caused by the collapse of the World Trade Towers on 9-11, but other factors have contributed to the downturn, too. Reporter Wilma Consul takes a look, and asks what's ahead for the neighborhood that was once an important immigrant enclave in the City.
REPORTER: Kwong says this newest group of immigrants has created a vibrant business sector that serves the needs of Chinese businesses everywhere.
KWONG: People will call all over the country, and say: Hey, you know I need three restaurant help. Could you send them over? It's almost like day laborer situation. They go all the way as south as Georgia, north as Maine and west as Chicago. So this is the heart of cheap labor supply.
REPORTER: This demand prompted the creation of the now very popular low-priced Chinatown buses. They transport Chinese speaking workers to their destinations without getting lost.