I get a lil thrill out of stories like this: the Koreans of Koreatown have become fairly comfortable with their chunk of land in downtown LA, a good 6 square miles of banks and bulgogi vendors. All was well and good, until...
The article, in the NYT, is a nice little window into inter-ethnic rivalries of a sort, and the perceived value of naming rights. Not once is The Man implicated, not even in a subtle divide-and-rule sort of way. Given that the Koreans have been in the 'hood longer - they started showing up in the 70s - they seem to have first dibs. There's also the small matter of population: the Koreans officially outnumber the Bangladeshis by far, about 50,000 to 1,700. But the Bangladeshis insist their numbers are much bigger than the last census indicates--no surprise there--and that it's really no big deal: "It's just symbolic."
But the Koreans aren't really in a Benetton mood right now.
“It’s nice to embrace other communities,” said Brad Lee, a member of the Koreatown neighborhood council’s board, “as long as it’s not in our backyard. Or in our front yard.”
Although I said The Man isn't really implicated, he's certainly being roped in.
Either designation requires a majority vote of the City Council, and prospects for an official Koreatown appear brighter than those for Little Bangladesh, which is opposed by Councilman Tom LaBonge, who represents much of the area.