Koreatown, Manhattan, New York City
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Koreatown, or K-town as it is colloquially known, is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan, that is generally bordered by 31st and 36th Streets and Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenues. Its location in Midtown Manhattan leads it to be easily overshadowed by nearby destinations like the Empire State Building and Macy's. The densest core of "K-town" is located on 32nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, and is officially named "Korea Way." The Koreatown area of Manhattan is primarily a Korean business district, as few people actually live in the area. Most Korean residents of New York City live in the outer boroughs, especially in and around Flushing, Queens.
Once focused on fulfilling the needs of New York's burgeoning Korean-American community (according to the U.S. Census, the city's Korean-American population has grown from 69,718 in 1990 to 86,473 in 2000), it has seen an increase in non-Korean traffic in the last few years.
There was never a formal plan or agreement to create a Korean commercial district in Manhattan. However, given the low rents and the high foot traffic stemming from proximity to the Empire State Building, Garment District, Flower District (among many others), it was an ideal place for Korean immigrants to move into.
Initiated by a bookstore and a handful of restaurants, Koreatown sprang into being. With their success, more and more Korean-owned businesses took root in the neighborhood, coinciding with increased immigration from Korea. Today the area bustles around the clock with numerous restaurants, grocery stores, hair and nail salons, karaoke noraebangs, internet cafes, banks and hotels. K-town also serves as a midtown terminus for some Chinatown buses.
32nd Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue (Korea Way) is one of the busiest streets in Manhattan, falling right behind streets such as Times Square and Herald Square. The street is the main artery to Penn Station, the PATH Train, Madison Square Garden and the Manhattan Mall, thus making it the daily destination for millions of commuters, residents, consumers, students and more. There are also several hotels in the area including a Red Roof Inn, La Quinta Inn, and the Radisson Martinique Hotel, which caters heavily to airline personnel.
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