I was really excited when I found an article in the Boston Globe about the growing Korean-American immigrant population in Allston-Brighton, one of the many neighborhoods of Boston. While I grew up in Jamaica Plain (a diverse neighborhood itself), I have come to think of Allston as my second home; it is where I spend much of my time eating delicious Korean cuisine or hanging out & enjoying Korea’s beloved dessert, bingsoo (pictured above), in my favorite cafe Between Hours.
This article states that Allston-Brighton is now home to over a third of Boston’s Korean population. Within this diverse neighborhood (home to not only Koreans, but Brazilians, Chinese, Russians, and Indians), many Koreans have opened booming and successful businesses including but not limited to popular restaurants, trendy bars, hair salons, and stationery stores. The article also claims that “of the 264 storefronts in the area,1 in every 10 is Korean-owned.” While the growing Allston-Brighton Koreatown is not as established, it is slowly becoming comparable to that of Koreatown in New York City.
One reason many Korean immigrants move to Allston-Brighton is proximity to many of the city’s best high schools and universities. It is a short bus ride to Harvard University, and a few train stops away from Boston University and Boston College. Myong Sool Chang, owner of the Boston Korean weekly newspaper says, “The Korean people are very education-conscious. Even if they do not have money, they have to teach their children.” Living so close to these higher education institutions makes the idea of college and actually attending college very accessible.
Allston-Brighton is by far one of my favorite places in Boston. I love getting off the green line and walking down Harvard Ave, smelling all of the Korean restaurants and watching the diverse people who live there walk by me. In some ways, this neighborhood represents the immigrant’s American Dream: a place you can live affordably, open your own business, and attend some of the country’s best colleges.