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.
March 17, 2011, 2pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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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."

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Published on Thursday, March 17, 2011 in Urban Omnibus
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