Last vestiges of Old Chinatown (image: Los Angeles Times)
All around the world large, multicultural cities often contain recognized, small, distinct ethnic enclaves. Los Angeles, by some measures the most diverse city in the universe, is no exception. These neighborhoods are often more ephemeral than others -- coming and going in a reflection of changing patterns of immigration, marginalization, assimilation and development. In the past, for example, Los Angeles had areas widely known as French Town, Greek Town, Little Italy, Little Mexico, Old Chinatown, Furusato, and Sonoratown -- to name a few. All are now gone with few physical reminders of their ever having existed.
Runners in front of the Italian Hall in Los Angeles's old Little Italy
In the Southland, where Asian-Americans are currently both the largest and fastest growing racial minority, most of the existing enclaves are predictably Asian. There’s Cambodia Town, Chinatown, Koreatown, Historic Filipinotown, Little Bangladesh, Little India, Little Osaka, Little Saigon, Little Seoul, Little Tokyo, and Thai Town. Officially-recognized non-Asian enclaves include only Little Arabia, Little Armenia and Little Ethiopia. Unofficial but widely-recognized non-Asian enclaves include Little Central America and Tehrangeles. Are there others?