Since the 1970s, New York has become, in a highly visible way, a more Asian city. We have come to the point where, for billions of people around the world, “New York” conjures images not of the Manhattan skyline but of Main Street in Flushing, Queens.

In Flushing, the dominant Asian groups are Chinese and Koreans. The terminus of the 7 train from Manhattan’s 42nd Street is Main Street at Roosevelt Avenue. Main Street runs south from Northern Boulevard, paralleling Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The principal Asian commercial center is located between Northern Boulevard and Kissena Boulevard.

In American lore, “Main Street” is as small-towny and homey as you get — a place in Bedford Falls or Mayberry. Not long ago, that’s exactly what Main Street in Flushing was like. “Flushing” was a byword for the dull, homey, comfortable outer-borough world inhabited by clerks, technicians, and city workers.

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