Blog Post #3

In order to evoke the public’s attention on the irregular commercial activities in Flushing Queens, I think it is important to first raise the awareness of the uniqueness of Flushing among other immigrant neighborhoods in New York City. To those who might not be familiar with Flushing, it is hard to visualize a place like this. This is why the combined use of photos, audio and video is crucial for this project.

To justify the precarity of Flushing, I have done some research on the living situations of (new generations of) Chinese immigrants in NYC.

As a surprising fact, the New York metropolitan area has become the choice for the largest ethnic Chinese population outside Asia. Statistic data from 2013 estimates the number of around 780 thousands of people all over NYC, and at least 12 Chinatowns with even more emerging ones scattered in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey, to Long Island. Those immigrant neighborhoods usually grow strong in a short amount of time after the first generation of arrives, particularly because the immigrants seek not only a residence in the new country but also a shelter. For many of the elder people who come to the states for a better life, especially a better life for their next generations, what they expect when first arrive in their new living environment normally does not match that of their imaginations before the arrival. The language barrier prevents them from living anywhere outside the place they find resonance with their culture, and with people who speak their language/languages, thus, their working professions can only be limited to serving the community.

The demand of emerging number of immigrants exactly meets what many immigrants who are not sufficient in English can provide – many of them culturally specific, some of them fall under the grey area of laws. From Chinese food, beauty salons, tutoring center, translation service, job agency, marriage agency, driver license training, electronic device to a variety of immigration services, Flushing has been known as the place for the decent price and curious discovery.

The combination of quality and price in Flushing commercial area intrigues not only the residents but also tourists from all over the world. For one thing, it is applaud-able that those services of immigrants are booming and the immigrants are able to make a decent living; however, it is exactly the convenience of the immigrant services that prevent the public from noticing the problems of Flushing.

If the irregular services in Flushing please the customers and do not intrude social orders, maybe the precarity of Flushing is still not that urgent. However, it has been reported that many of the service agencies secretly offer sexual services, and many immigrants picture a wrong image of the US by telling their friends and family back home to come here for easy money. There are many heartbreaking stories, and more or less have to do with frauds.

 

Works Cited

Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). “Your Geography Selections.” American FactFinder – Results, 5 Oct. 2010, factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid.

Semple, Kirk. “Asian New Yorkers Seek Power to Match Numbers.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 June 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/nyregion/asian-new-yorkers-asian-new-yorkers-seek-power-to-match-surging-numbers.html?scp=1&sq=asians&st=cse.

Tu, Yichen. “‘I Am a Sex Worker.’” Open City, 27 Apr. 2016, opencitymag.aaww.org/i-am-a-sex-worker/.

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~ by Jade Xiong on October 24, 2017.

One Response to “Blog Post #3”

  1. Your blog post is very learning. You provides a strong and specific background of the community of Flushing. I learned about the language barrier of the Chinese immigrants there and the jobs they are doing. You listed the jobs such as “beauty salons, tutoring centre, translation service”, mainly in service industry. You also mentioned the secretive sexual service, another precarity in Flushing.

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