Have you driven down John R or Dequindre between 12 and 13 Mile Rd. lately? Then perhaps you've noticed the same trend I did--the seemingly inexplicable and disproportionate number of Vietnamese restaurants, markets, and specialty stores that are concentrated in this area (and this area alone). It led me to embark on a quest, which you can read in this week's issue of Metromode.
"If you want to experience authentic Vietnamese culture, skip the 25-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Look no further than our own Madison Heights. Inexplicably, this mid-sized suburb seems to be the hub for Vietnamese culture in Metro Detroit.
'Or maybe not so inexplicable when you look at the numbers. While the 2008 U.S. Census Bureau data suggests a population density for persons of Vietnamese descent at only 1.9% for the city—hardly a sizable number—comparable areas boast populations of 0.3% and less, making the overall population a slight 0.2% for all of Oakland County and the entire state of Michigan. In other words, the population may be small, but it is still nearly 10x that of surrounding areas.
'Which helps explain the disproportionate number of Vietnamese restaurants, markets, and specialty stores clustered along unlikely stretches of John R and Dequindre, but doesn't really make clear what local Vietnamese business owners find so alluring about the region between 12 and 13 Mile Roads..."
Read the rest of the article from Metromode here.