Chinatown remains a center of Asian-American life in New England, hosting many Chinese, Japanese, Cambodian, and Vietnamese restaurants and markets. Chinatown is one of Boston's most densely-populated residential districts, with over 28,000 people per square mile in the year 2000. 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 photo opportunity.
The neighborhood had reached its peak by the late 1960s but an influx of shopping malls and red-light district activities stole its charm--but not for long. By the mid-'90s public and private developers banded together to revamp the Theatre District by eliminating the strip-club area known as the Combat Zone and restoring the landmark theaters. The result is a new hip, stylish, downtown for late-night scenesters.
Today, this is an ecclectic neighborhood where you will find many of Boston's performing arts venues, such as the Wang Theatre, Charles Playhouse, Emerson’s Cutler Majestic Theatre and Colonial Theater. If you want a night to remember, just add to your itinerary one of the many chic restaurants that are known for both their style and scrumptious meals. Over the years, the Theatre District has become the home of nightlife and club scene in Boston