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Is Seattle a Haven for Asian Americans?

he Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area is only 11th largest in the size of its Asian American population (285,000, or about 11.4% of the area's 2.5 million), but it claims one of the oldest and richest slices of Asian American history. Its Chinatown was home to America's first Asian-owned manufacturing business, the Wa Chong Co. The company produced, among other things, a very fine grade of opium, some of which was probably exported to China with the U.S. government's blessings.
Best city for AA?

     Since its birth in 1910 Seattle's atmospheric International District was settled by generations of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and Vietnamese immigrants. In the late 70s the aging District began enjoying a rebirth into its modern incarnation thanks to Asian American activism in seeking to preserve it as a historical and cultural site. More recently an influx of trendy young AA professionals, entrepreneurs and artists has helped transform it into a vibrant part of downtown Seattle's cultural and night life. The District hosts the Northwest Asian American Theater Company and the Wing Luke Asian American Museum, named after a Chinese American elected to the Seattle City Council in 1965.
     On the far end of the Seattle area's cultural spectrum is lush, ultra-modern Bellevue, one of the nation's most affluent communities. Asians make up 20.3% of the students of the Bellevue School District, thrice the 7.3% concentration in the general population of Washington state. This points up the fact that Seattle hosts one of the nation's best established Asian populations. Unlike some urban areas dominated by one or two Asian nationalities, Seattle's AA population is highly diversified, comprising the nations 7th largest Japanese (31,000), the 8th largest Vietnamese (44,000), 9th largest Corean (38,000), and the 11th largest Chinese (58,000) and Filipino (53,000) communities.
     The area's Asian Americans take pride in their high degree of acceptance and integration. The fact that the state's governor is a Chinese American named Gary Locke doesn't hurt, of course. Or that the city's major league baseball team is owned by Nintendo chairman Hiroshi Yamauchi and sparked by Ichiro. Even on the grassroots level, one sees signs of acceptance. The ratio of AM/WF couples is noticeably higher than in most other metro areas. A cop who was rude in issuing a jaywalking ticket to a group of Asian Americans last year was reprimanded by the police department. And the ticket was dismissed by the judge.
     Is the Seattle area really a haven for Asian Americans? What are the best and worst aspects of AA life there?

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(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 05:56:37 PM)

One positive feature of Seattle is that Asian, Asian American, and Caucasian females are all competing with each other and looking around for Asian and Asian American males as mates, etc. Hence, Asian and Asian American males can drop the issue of ethnicity, and focus on what really counts: finding the girl with the right personality, etc., whether Asian, Asian American, Caucasian, etc.
Koryo Hunk
   Sunday, June 02, 2002 at 14:47:02 (PDT)
To: Seattle Sodo Mojo

Sorry for the late response and thanks for the information. I also understand that Bellevue is very expensive (housing). So you're right - it's much like the Bay Area.

   Tuesday, May 28, 2002 at 20:11:48 (PDT)
"As far as you responding to my post, AA in Seattle are no more Americanized than any other AA in other parts of the USA. That's why AA are known as Asian Americans, because they were born here."

I think AA means any Asian living in America, or at least naturalized citizens.

If you were born here, it would be ABA (a term which I really hate, BTW). ABA comes from ABC, which means American Born Chinese. ABC has flow. ABA just sounds plain weird. I never hear American born Japanese calling themselves ABJ, or American born Viets calling themselves ABV.
TSJ    Thursday, May 09, 2002 at 13:09:00 (PDT)
As a native of Seattle, and being half asian, I saw the best and worst of both worlds. Seattle is in fact a mecca for asian americans from a cultural standpoint.

Culturally, AAs in Seattle, have access to everything asian plus can live a good high quality lifestyle since Seattle has so much to offer. On the other hand, although AAs have gained a high level of respect in Seattle, I think racism still exists there --more so for the older generations than for the younger ones. Growing up, people didn't recognize immediately my ethnicity but sometimes when they met my mom, they would act differently afterwards or treat my mom in a "different" way that was noticable.

So yes, Seattle is a great city for AAs (especially when compared to St Louis where I now live), but the same issues exist there and I believe that Seattlites are more careful about being "PC" than elsewhere because of the huge AA presence there.
Half Corean Gal    Thursday, May 09, 2002 at 10:07:10 (PDT)

In reality, Seattle is no different than San Francisco or any other city, with a few exceptions. The fact that it rains a lot in Seattle is good, because electricity will be cheaper because of the dams. We never got the blackouts that California did.

Home prices are a lot cheaper in Seattle than in SF. Traffic is a problem, but that's because people want to live in the suburbs and still work in Seattle, even though places like Bellevue are growing. And the economy is a problem, but it's the same thing in SF. You can type Seattle on any search engine and find information and links.

Toi San Jai:

Until now, I haven't read or responded to any of your posts. I responded to posts regarding the t-shirt controversy with Abercrombie and Fitch. I responded to and agreed with another post that said that it was stupid to use a magazine to judge the best city for AA to live. And I responded to two recent posts, one of which you quoted from.

As far as you responding to my post, AA in Seattle are no more Americanized than any other AA in other parts of the USA. That's why AA are known as Asian Americans, because they were born here.

If you really think AM in Seattle are more Americanized than the rest, you didn't read the second paragraph of my post. There are a lot of WF in Seattle who are yolks, and not AM being bananas or Americanized. You might be referring to the AF who are bananas and Americanized, but then again that states the obvious.
Seattle Sodo Mojo
   Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 20:09:15 (PDT)