The Disappearing Korean Section in Chicago

My name is Daniel. I was an English teach in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published three books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                            Twenty-five years ago, the northwest section of the City of Chicago was
once a vibrant, large Korean immigrant section. The area, once known as Chicago’s “Koreatown,”
had become largely Korean by the 1980’s. The street where Koreatown was located on, known
as Lawrence Avenue (also called “Seoul Drive”), had all kinds of Korean-owned family shops from
restaurants to souvenir shops to grocery stores, furniture stores, pharmacies, travel agencies, local
government organizations, and even a funeral home. I went through this area countless times, and
enjoyed a meal at a Korean restaurant or buying some souvenirs or taking my wife there for shopping
(as many Koreans located elsewhere in Illinois still do). Part of the reasons why so many Koreans
had located there were the cheap rents and mortgages, and the ability to start up businesses quick.
This area was the single largest Koreatown of its kind in the U.S. midwest. There were Americans of
Korean descent who were born and raised in the area and many Korean immigrants who have lived in
the area a good part of their lives (there are still Koreans who live there because for them there is no
other place they wish to call “home”). As of the 2000’s, Koreatown began to gradually disappear.
As the children of these immigrants, and a number of immigrants themselves who made money, 
started to move to other parts of Chicago or into the richer suburban towns in the Chicago area.
Many Korean immigrants and Korean Americans can now be found in Albany Park, a part of
Chicago, and many Korean immigrants, Korean students, and Korean Americans have moved to
suburban towns like Glenview, Morton Park, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Schaumburg,
and Skokie. Many Koreans have also moved to an upcoming suburban town called Naperville. 
While there are still a number of Koreans living in Chicago’s Koreatown, it is no longer the
large Korean section that it was a generation earlier.