The Dynamics of Immigration in Jackson Heights

Urban Omnibus takes of tour of Queens' Jackson Heights neighborhood with author Suketu Mehta, exploring the vibrant urban culture that has permeated the neighborhood even before Mehta's family moved in in 1977.

Mehta says that when he arrived, it was a tough neighborhood with fewer Asians:

"At the time that we came here, most of the South Asians in this neighborhood were Indians, and most of them Gujarati. Now, it's a much more diverse mix of South Asians: Bangladeshis, Nepalis, Tibetans, Bhutanese. The Indians started coming here in large numbers after the 1965 Immigration Act."

"There's something about the diversity of these streets that is attractive to people from all over, like a piano player or a software engineer raised in Kansas, for example. Increasingly, creative people will want to live in the kind of city where they have a choice between pupusas and parathas. Diversity isn't just a nice thing to have, it is actively essential to attract the kind of people that create wealth."

Full Story: A Walk Through Jackson Heights with Suketu Mehta



Michael Lewyn's picture

Queens, not Brooklyn

Jackson Heights is in Queens.

Queens, not Brooklyn

My thoughts exactly.

Irvin Dawid's picture

Now we know that Tim does not hail from 'the city'

Growing up in Bayside , then Great Neck, Jackson Heights only meant a major express stop on the E & F trains, and an important local stop on the #7 line - though they went by different names: Roosevelt Ave./Jackson Heights, and 74 Street-Broadway, respectively. Always wondered why the latter wasn't an express stop, though, because of the presence of this important transfer.... I don't think I ever ventured outside the subway stop though - similar to airline travelers who also 'transfer' at airports - though we call them 'hubs' often.

While no airport, there are lots of services within the 'turnstyle' area - and even more when you left - without having to even walk up to the street. Do note though, the #7 (IRT) is an el, while the Independent lines are subways.

I guess in the Bay Area, the only thing that comes close are the two subway lines under Market St., SF: MUNI and BART....nothing like NY (and that wasn't even NY - it was Queens!!!!) though... I do miss it!

Tim Halbur's picture
Blogger / Alum

My mistake

My mistake, everyone, you're right, I know Manhattan pretty well but I'm lost in the boroughs.

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