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    Dec212011

    International District/Chinatown

    It is located southeast of Pioneer Square and due south of the central business district. The International District's character derives from entrepreneurs of various Asian backgrounds and the community's strong family ties. Its diverse ethnic restaurants and shops attract tourists as well as locals.

    The International District is the center for food, products and entertainment from a variety of Asian cultures. Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino settlements first sprang up in this area in the early 1900's. Then in the mid 1970's Vietnamese families also moved into the area, connecting the International District and Central District areas with a string of popular Vietnamese restaurants and grocers along Jackson Street. Today these communities, and many more, use the neighborhood as a gathering place to enjoy Asian foods and access multilingual services available to residents and visitors alike.

    The restaurant and bakery choices in the District are innumerable and incredible. I say try them all; I think I have! Then a must is to grocery shop at Uwajimaya Village Market. If you can find what you are looking for ask the lovely lady that sells flowers there, she has helped me dozen of times. If you love Dim Sum, my favorite is Harbor City but you can find great Dim Sum all over.

    Housing in the International District has historically been lower-income, and often age-restricted, rentals. Recent revitalization efforts have greatly increased the number of market-rate condominiums, but the development emphasis is still on providing affordable housing and services for the community's elderly population. The neighborhood's central location, with quick and easy bus service to downtown and the waterfront, in addition to the plentiful amenities within walking distance, make the District a great spot for anyone, young or old, who wants to live in the city without a car.