Xenophobia Cripples Chinatown

I don’t just go to Philly for its history. I don’t go just for the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. I go for the museums that embodies the history and culture of the City of Brotherly Love. And I go for the food, the traditional Chinese and Cantonese cuisine served in eateries from 8th and Race to 12th and Vine

Lau Kee used to be busy with Chinese visitors, tourists and locals enjoying ginger steamed chicken and won ton mein. Now it’s a ghost town.

Now that China has banned organized tours and airlines have suspended flights from China, Chinatown is hit with less tourists dollars. But it’s not only tourists from China. Many Americans have avoided visiting Chinatown due to unfounded Coronavirus fears.  

I visited Lau Kee, right after the New Years. Then, the streets were packed and there were many tourists and families enjoying large meals. The restaurant was abuzz with tourists and families enjoying multi-course meals, sharing plates gleaming with smiles. Now, it’s just me as I enjoy my well-prepared meal in dead silence.