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Monday, June 23, 2008

Rowland Heights ChinaTown - We're Famous!

A Chinatown like no other from the LA Times, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN.

I live in Rowland Heights. A friend of mine in Texas mentioned the article as did my paretns. I missed it when it first came out.

I would give the article a grade of C+, it really did not capture Rowland Heights area.

We have late night places to eat and karaoke, to major businesses that are ethnic Chinese owned such as NewEgg and Viewsonic, to many small businesses. We also are county, so we are not a city (good and bad). Diamond Bar and Walnut are both cities, as well as the interesting City of Industry (99% businesses, with a few lucky residents). Hacienda Heights also has a large Chinese community and has a lot in common with Rowland Heights.

Diamond Bar/Walnut have better school districts by test score than Rowland. Rowland is a mixture of La Puente, West Covina, Walnut, City of Industry, and Rowland Heights. The district has some heavily Latino areas, Asian, and African American areas. There are a few whites around (like me). School districts don't follow city lines in California, so even if you buy a house in Walnut you may end up going to Rowland School district.

We got lucky and through a lottery got my daughter into the Walnut/Diamond Bar School district that has better test scores than Rowland. A lot of my daughter's friends have done the same. So many that somehow Rowland supposedly closed this loophole (I am sure it's frustrating when all your best students leave).

The area has gone through a lot of changes, some positive and some not. My daughter's K-5 school looks like it will be closing, replaced by Apartments. Why - the school did not change with the times. Wonderful school, that could have been so much better. They shocked my wife when the school principal at a dinner started talking about how their graduates went to such wonderful schools as Azusa Pacific, Cal State LA, Mt. Sac, etc. My wife wanted to hear Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA, UC Berkeley...

And Rowland Heights has lots of Chinese great Chinese food! History and Culture: Chinese Food is a nice article.

And a listing of Chinatowns across the US Chinatowns of the United States



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