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fromdust

okc asia district

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most people wouldnt expect anything more than cowboys on the dusty plains of oklahoma but take a trip to 23rd and classen in okc and you will step into an area better suited in the far east.

catholic church was a vital piece in bringing vietnamese refugees to the city years ago. they built an area which is now called the asia district ( little saigon ). here are some pics. not very good, but i will return with more

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Distinctly Asian, clearly American

Bowman cited a decision to identify the area with street signs as a good example of why the group works.

When members of the group met to discuss the issue, they talked about using Asian languages on the signs. Many cities with Asian districts have up to three languages on their signs, and Bowman said he expected Oklahoma City's Asian business owners would want the same. But the district's prominent red and white signs are printed only in English.

The group is starting a membership drive next month, and members decided to pair up, with one Asian and one non-Asian member going door-to-door on each block. Keneda calls the district, "distinctly Asian, but also clearly American."

The group is working on several projects with the city. Jan Moore and the Japanese American Society of Oklahoma City are planning a Japanese Garden in Military Park. Members are donating the time and the expertise to build and maintain the garden.

Vinh Nguyen, chairman of the Vietnamese American Community of Oklahoma City, is working with veterans groups to put a Vietnam War memorial in the park. Nguyen was a lieutenant colonel in the Republic of Vietnam army and fled from the country as American troops withdrew and communists advanced on Saigon.

Nguyen said the plan is still in its early stages, but he hopes to get city approval for the project and begin raising money soon.

The Asian Business District is the link between the city and those who want these projects to happen.

"One of the things that had been lacking was a strong sense of community in this area," Keneda said. "We are all tied together and the success of the community strengthens everyone."

i wonder if this section will end up looking like one of those touristy areas in other cities?

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What do you mean a true Asian district? It has a population of around 30,000 Asians in the surrounding area I believe. It is mostly Vietnamese, but also Chinese, Korean, and some Japanese. Nearby Oklahoma City University has a significant international student presence and my church just down the road on 23rd has three Asian congregations.

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I really don't have a good idea of what you would consider sparse vs. big. As far as comparing it to something like San Francisco's Chinatown it is not as large or as organized, but it is also less "touristy". There are not a bunch of shops trying to get tourists to buy things. I certainly wouldn't call it a tourist trap. It is really not aimed at tourists at all. The restaurants and the large Asian market there were built to serve the local population.

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I really don't have a good idea of what you would consider sparse vs. big.

Does it comprise of a some blocks or is it smaller?

It does sound very nice. See up where I live, we have a hispanic population of around 70,000 or so. We have streets in the area that are purely hispanic but no true hispanic district.

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I didn't realize there was a lot of Vietnamese in OKC. Quite a few settled in Ft Smith Arkansas along the border of Oklahoma. I've also seen some Vietnamese neighborhoods along the Gulf Coast. Unlike a lot of other Asian countries Christianity, in particular the Catholic Church, was rather prevalent.

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mcheiss, I'm afraid I'm still unsure what you're asking. It is definetely more than a few blocks. It centers around the 23rd and Classen intersection where the Gold Dome and The Classen are. But it stretches several blocks in every direction. Also, we have hispanics all around the city but the actual hispanic district is called Capitol Hill and it is south of Downtown and the Oklahoma River.

Mith242, I believe it was the Catholic church that helped many Vietnamese refugees settle in this part of Oklahoma City after the fall of Saigon. As you may know, the Vietnamese tend to be great entrepreneurs, and there are many thriving Vietnamese-owned businesses all over the city today. And yes, many of them are Christian. My church (Southern Baptist) sponsored a Vietnamese congregation for about 10 years and it just recently became its own church. They run about 300 in attendance on Sundays.

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mcheiss, I'm afraid I'm still unsure what you're asking. It is definetely more than a few blocks. It centers around the 23rd and Classen intersection where the Gold Dome and The Classen are. But it stretches several blocks in every direction. Also, we have hispanics all around the city but the actual hispanic district is called Capitol Hill and it is south of Downtown and the Oklahoma River.

So, it is more than a few blocks, OK that answers my question. I thought it was just a few streets with asian boutiques, stores, and restaurants.

Sorry for giving you such a hard time on that. :D

It sure is nice to see diversity in OKC. Most people wouldn't think of that when they here Oklahoma.

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It sure is nice to see diversity in OKC. Most people wouldn't think of that when they here Oklahoma.

this is why i started this thread. people think of us as just having a bomb blow up one of our buildings, and cowboys and indians. my girlfriend, who is from the phillipines, only knew us from the bombing.

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How can you have pics of "little saigon" and leave out the Super Cao Nguyen market. It just were all the Vietnamese shopped at and I think the main focal point of little saigon. If you haven't been there I suggest you go and take a look. It is more like the large asian market you would find in Dallas, it quite nice actually and very clean. Also take note at the fake palm trees out front. Palm trees in OKlahoma wtf. :blink:

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How can you have pics of "little saigon" and leave out the Super Cao Nguyen market. It just were all the Vietnamese shopped at and I think the main focal point of little saigon. If you haven't been there I suggest you go and take a look. It is more like the large asian market you would find in Dallas, it quite nice actually and very clean. Also take note at the fake palm trees out front. Palm trees in OKlahoma wtf. :blink:

trust me i had a pic, but it was getting dark and it didnt turn out. i have yet to have the time to go out and take more pics, but when i do i will get one.

i do go there often with my girlfriend, and i really like the place.

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