Chinatown of Boston…


Chinatown is a neighborhood located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is the only historically surviving Chinese area in New England with the demise of the Chinatown in Providence, Rhode Island after the 1950s.

The traditional Chinatown Gate (paifang) with a foo lion on each side is located at the intersection of Beach Street and Surface Road. Once a run-down area housing little more than a ventilation-fan building for the Central Artery Tunnel, a garden was constructed at this site as part of the Big Dig project. The Gate is visible from the South Station Bus Terminal and is a popular tourist destination and a great photo opportunity.

Chinatown remains a center of Asian-American life in New England, hosting many Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants and markets.


One of the most interesting moments of visiting Chinatown…stumbling upon the men playing Chinese Chess out in the open air.


To get this shot, I literally was climbing over them and standing over the ledge to capture this image. It seems this crazy blonde photographer didn’t seem to phase them. Their concentration didn’t break even for a moment.

The game represents a battle between two armies, with the object of capturing the enemy’s general (king). Distinctive features of Xiangqi include the cannon (pao), which must jump to capture; a rule prohibiting the generals from facing each other directly; areas on the board called the river and palace, which restrict the movement of some pieces (but enhance that of others); and placement of the pieces on the intersections of the board lines, rather than within the squares.

I couldn’t get enough of watching this intriguing game!!! Tarzan, on the other hand…was just totally mortified that Jane would climb up on top of them and invade their privacy.

Aaah, a photographers life. LOL!



A beautiful sight to these eyes….remember these?

Traveling down memory lane…too fun.



65 thoughts on “Chinatown of Boston…

  1. Pingback: Fort Warren…George Island | Pride in Photos

  2. I love this post…as someone born in Singapore, I have a real appreciation of all things Chinese…I’m also giggling at the thought of you climbing up and over to get the shot. The sign of a true photographer! Good on ya, girl.

  3. Fabulous pictures, lucky you getting to walk through Chinatown. Chinese Chess huh? Geez I never ever got the hang of Chinese Checkers! And GREAT shot of the phone booths! Miss those 🙂

  4. Sometimes there are things you just gotta do to get that photo. Good for you. Chinatown is looking good these days. Years ago when I was in high school I had to walk through there a couple days a week and it wasn’t looking that good.

  5. I really enjoy these photos. I would have loved to have been there when you where getting the shot of the men play Chinese checkers. And the phone booth shot is to fun..


  6. Thank you for taking me to Chinatown, Laurie! The chess game looks really inspiring and also challenging… a lovely perspective showing both gamers. And the phone Booths … Oh boy – think that we don’t see them anymore – but we hear the cell phones beeping constantly.

  7. Those phone booths are a riot and so colourful. You’re right, they aren’t around too much. I locked myself out of our house one day without my cell and had to walk to a local market and ask to use the curtesy phone.

  8. I had a really hard time finding out how to leave a comment but, fortunately, I persevered because I wanted to let you know how much I love these photos you took of Chinatown. Excellent.

  9. Girl, you rock…these shots are just awesome and I can just image you climbing over these men to get that shot…I love it that you bring us so many wonderful shots from such interesting places….love those phone booths….

  10. Those Phone Booths are interesting. You must have had a great day wondering round throughout the streets and shops.

  11. Chinatown is beautiful! That is so cute the players let you stand above them to take pics!! Love the phone booths with Chinese language on them! Awesome!! Very rare find nowadays indeed! You’ve inspired me to go take pics of our China town! Hugz Lisa and Bear

  12. The chinese checkers just harkens back to a time before cell phones, doesn’t it? I love that it is an inclusive activity … folks looking on and participating by commenting, So very neat. Love the phone booths too!

  13. I would love it there! I love a good Chinatown anywhere! That sounds like Dr. Seuss! LOL! Great images to capture the spirit of the area!

  14. Love the story of how you got the Chinese chess shot – I can’t believe they were completely unphased by you standing on the ledge to get the picture!

    Are those pay phones? What are those? Just kidding.

  15. Not sure I would have had the guts to climb over the men playing… but it makes for a great shot… interesting neighborhood…

  16. Years ago….I’d write decades ago, but that seems (cough, cough) impossible….I went to a wedding in Boston’s Chinatown. It was one of the most culturally interesting things I’d ever done to that point! The Bride’s family was well off, so the dinner was 7 courses…and we were treated to both a traditional American ceremony, and another ceremony…and then she arrived at the reception in this beautiful red kimono…quite the experience! I’ve only been down there recently to go to the theater – the theater district and Chinatown are quite close…anyhow, should head back to see how it’s changed! (to see if those pay phones are still there!!)

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