L.A.'s Little Bangladesh struggles to find its identity
Just behind it is a small shopping plaza with a Salvadoran restaurant, a pizza joint, a former Korean cigarette shop and a restaurant that serves teriyaki chicken, burritos and boba drinks. Across the street are more Korean- and Mexican-themed businesses.
The nearest store with a clear connection to Bangladesh, Bengal Liquors, is a block away. All told, there are fewer than a dozen shops owned by or catering to Bangladeshis along this working-class commercial strip flanked by apartment buildings.
Muhammad "Shamim" Hussain, a leader of the local Bangladeshi community, said that although the sign is significant, the community must work to make the idea behind it a reality. "The sign is the symbol," said Hussain, who came to the U.S. in 1981.
Community leaders applied for the neighborhood recognition more than a year ago. At first, the goal was much grander: to designate a 56-square-block area from 3rd to Wilshire Boulevard and from Western to Vermont avenues — an area generally considered part of Koreatown — as Little Bangladesh.
-- Raja Abdulrahim
Photo: The four-block stretch of 3rd Street between Alexandria and New Hampshire avenues has been designated Little Bangladesh. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times / Nov. 23, 2010)