Sunday 17th December 2017,

Bad Ass Asians

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Epoch Times: The Man Working to Save New York’s Chinatown

posted by Randall

Wellington ChenEscalating rents, dirty conditions and residents fleeing to the suburbs threaten the existence of New York’s Chinatown.

Wellington Chen is fighting hard to prevent that from happening, reports the Epoch Times.

Chen is executive director of Chinatown Partnership which oversees the neighborhood’s business improvement district. Since 2006 he’s been focused on two areas–the fight for survival and the battle for greatness.

I’m trying to get to the first one first; stabilizing the community. And then we’ve got a long climb. That one is a big one, that one is a beauty,” he said. “That one, no one’s succeeded at.”

Chen’s path to being a community worker has been an interesting one. Early in his professional career, he worked as an architect with the great IM Pei. For him, buildings are a lasting legacy.

“The building is likely to outlast you,” he said. So now he’s gone from building skyscrapers to rebuilding New York’s Chinatown. You can read more about what motivates him in the Epoch Times.

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  1. Corky Lee says:

    RE: The man working to save NY Chinatown: Far from the truth, Chen may talk the talk, but does not walk the walk. There is a group of mom & pop property owners trying to dissolve the Chinatown BID (Business Improvement District). For corner property owners, they have to shell out something like an additional $5,000 in additional taxes anually. There are more hotels occupying empty building lots that don’t train or employ the Chinese community. The streets are in worse shape that pre 9/11. No free parking on the streets of Chinatown until after 10 PM. That’s when most restaurants are closing. Across Canal St. in Little Italy, one can park after 6 PM for free. Restaurants in Little Italy stay open til midnight on average. Chen’s $125,000 annual salary ought to go for training residents for hotel jobs. The BID could also develop sites for affordable housing for a immigrant gateway community. Jobs & low income affordable housing are key ingredients to sustain a community.

  2. Chinatown Old Timer says:

    RE: The man working to save New York’s Chinatown: It’s been 8 YEARS!!!! What has he actually accomplished in that time?!!?? It took less time to build the Eiffel Tower. The man is an incompetent walking disaster. All incoherent talk and no action. Chinatown’s economy is still depressed. The streets are still dirty and trash bins are overflowing. Pedestrians are getting killed by speeding cars and trucks. Most restaurants have B and C grades instead of A’s. If you go to Chinatown other than on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, it’s pretty much a ghost town. And after 8pm, the place is shut down. Retail rents are out of control and more and more non-Chinese businesses are moving in. In another 8 years, there won’t be much of a Chinatown left.

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