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The Neighborhood Project: Chinatown

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Although Chinatown is no longer a hub of activity relative to other parts of Los Angeles, it contains significant portions of the cultural history of the city within its tiny one-square-mile boundaries. It has served as the gatekeeper to America for many generations of immigrant groups, not only from China but from all over the world. It’s been a launching pad for all of the true believers that clung to the promise of a new life in the land of opportunity. Today, you can hear the echoes of these stories, and the underlying heritage of the lives that were left behind, reverberate throughout the community. Far more than just a novelty, Chinatown is a reflection of many of the things that, for better or worse, give LA its true identity beyond the postcard images and the glitz and glamour that the rest of the world projects on to it.