CAMBODIAN NEIGHBORHOOD WALKING TOUR

7. Pailin Plaza, 716 Middlesex Street
Pailin Plaza, built in the early 1990's, is Lowell's original Cambodian 
mall. The owner of the neighboring Pailin Supermarket developed 
it. A Cambodian city, Pailin was rich in diamond and gold mines, 
before being destroyed in the recent war. Cambodians in Lowell 
associate the Plaza's name with a spirit of prosperity, gaiety, and 
leisure. Located in the Lower Highlands, the Plaza recalls Cambodian 
building styles, with its three gabled pagoda style roof of red metal 
tiles and parking lot kiosk also shaped like a pagoda. The shopping 
center includes a jewelry store, a clothing store, a video rental shop, 
a Cambodian general service office, dentist's office, and beauty 
salon. The walls of individual shops are lined with travel posters of 
Cambodia, and the shelves stocked with items from Asia. Vong 
Preap, a young Cambodian man who recently moved with his family 
to Texas, hand painted the Pailin Plaza shop signs. Pailin Plaza is 
evidence of the rapid growth of Cambodian owned businesses in 
Lowell. By 1991, they numbered well over one hundred.
 
8. Clemente Park, Middlesex Street
First called George Washington Park, and built in the late nine-
teenth century as green space for the rapidly expanding Highlands 
neighborhood, the park's name became, in the 1970's, Robert 
Clemente, a tribute to the Hispanic American baseball player. For 
Lowell's Cambodian community, especially those who settled in the 
Highlands, Clemente Park is a place for recreation, a place to con-
gregate and socialize, and an escape from the sometimes crowded 
living conditions of the urban environment. On a hot summer night 
the park has the bustle and energy of an open air market. Some 
Cambodian women prepare food at home, such as beefsteak,
papaya and mango salad, egg rolls, and teriyaki, and sell it at the 
park. Chess is extremely popular among the older Cambodians, 
and a few years ago, a stone chess table was installed in the park. 
Although Clemente Park is a community spot for all generations of 
Cambodians, it is particularly important for Cambodian teenagers, 
who use the park as a place to gather with their peers.

9.Cupples Square, Westford Street
Once a small, nearly forgotten center for the Lowell Highlands 
neighborhood, located at the intersection of an old streetcar line, 
Cupples Square is now an important commercial center for Lowell's
 Cambodian community Cambodian entrepreneurs, along with 
Vietnamese, Laotian, and Thai business people, took advantage of 
empty storefronts in Cupples Square to open commercial establish-
ments that could serve their growing communities. Today, you can 
find dozens of Southeast Asian owned and operated businesses in 
Cupples Square, including video rental stores, Asian food markets, 
barbershops, jewelry stores, insurance agencies, tax services, legal 
services, hair stylists, appliance repair shops, acupuncturists, 
herbalists, and restaurants. There is even a Cambodian newspaper 
published twice a month in Cupples Square.

10.Phnom Penh Market, 179 Chelmsford Street
The Phnom Penh Market on Chelmsford Street is the largest Asian 
market in the city. Named for the capital city of Cambodia (many 
Cambodian businesses in Lowell are named for regions or temples 
in Cambodia), Phnom Penh Market is located in a part of the city 
that is both commercial and residential. A successful business that 
meets the needs of the community, Phnom Penh Market provides a 
comfortable and familiar experience for Cambodians, without the 
emphasis on packaging or marketing you might find in Western 
stores. In fact, it's closer to an open air market than a supermarket. 
The Phnom Penh features rice, vegetables, fish, and fruit, as well as 
other staples of the Cambodian diet, but you can also find Asian
delicacies and such household items as bamboo mats, ornamental 
dishes, decorative rice cookers, winter gloves and shovels, automobile 
seat covers, and small devotional altars for the home. There are also 
newspapers and magazines from Cambodia, and an information 
panel for messages about happenings in Lowell.

11.Glory Buddhist Temple, 24 Cambridge street
The Glory Buddhist Temple, housed in what was once a warehouse 
for an office supply company, was established in 1989 as a 
monastery, community center, and place of worship for the many 
Cambodians living in the Lower Highlands. The Glory Buddhist 
Temple is located near the Highlands, in a Lowell neighborhood 
known as Hale Howard, once home to many Russian Jews and 
Eastern European immigrants. Today, special religious occasions, 
such as Pchum Ben, the commemoration of ancestors, or Pisak 
Bochea, the celebration of Buddha's birth, are celebrated at the 
temple. In addition, the monks, who live simply, with gifts of food 
and money from the community, offer weekly classes in the Khmer 
language and Cambodian culture. Monks often tailor their classes 
for young Cambodian couples who wish to marry here in America, 
but also want to maintain ties to the traditions of their homeland. 
With the planned addition of a Cambodian style ornamental roof, 
the Glory Buddhist Temple will continue serving the cultural and
spiritual needs of Lowell's Cambodians.

12.Trairatanaran Temple, 
           21 Quigley Street, North Chelmsford
Established in 1985, the Trairatanaran Buddhist Temple fulfilled the 
desires of the early Cambodian community for a temple large enough 
to serve the area's growing Cambodian population. Cambodian 
community members purchased the building, formerly an electronic 
factory, for $250,000. Cambodians come for religious and holiday 
celebrations, including the festive New Year. Eleven monks currently 
live at the temple, and people come from Lowell, Revere, Boston, 
Maine, Chelsea, and Lynn for additional services that include tradi-
 tional healing, monks' blessings, and language classes. The temple 
also has a library in the basement and is used as a center for 
Cambodian art and culture. As a center of religious and cultural 
celebration, Trairatanaran Temple signifies for Cambodians and 
non Cambodians alike the permanence of this growing community.