Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sundays in My City, Chinatown, San Francisco, CA - August 29, 2010

Sundays in My City, Chinatown, San Francisco, CA - August 29, 2010

Chinatown, San Francisco, dating back to the 1840's is the oldest Chinatown in North
America and the largest Chinatown outside Asia.  It has played a major part in the history
and culture of the Chinese community in the United States and North America.  It is a city
unto itself, with a post office, banks, shops, a hospital, clinics, culture and traditions. 
Chinatown is a must for visitors, with its wonderful festivals, especially at Chinese New
Year and the Autumn Moon Festival. 

Early Chinese immigrants came as workers on the transcontinental railroad and to work
in the mines and as pospectors in the Gold Rush of 1849. 

San Francisco's Chinatown holds the distinction of being one of the most densely
populated in the United States.  It is also one of the poorer to middle class sections
of San Francisco. There are a large number of elderly residents.

Grant Avenue, named after the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, at
Bush Street is the southern boundary of Chinatown.  It ends at Broadway.

One of the beautiful pieces of art in a shop in Chinatown

California at Grant, across from the B of A building

Bank of America sign in Chinese

Objects de art

Ehru player ( Chinese violin ) - he was really horrible!
The Bank of Canton was originally the Chinese Telephone Exchange, founded in 1891.  Operators knew their patrons by names, not telephone numbers.  The exchange was
destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and rebuilt.  With the advent of rotary phones in 1949,
the exchange closed.  In 1960, the Bank of Canton bought the building and restored it.

A VERY greasy duck
Tea shop

Items for tea

Rose buds for tea

Erhu played by Ma-Xiao Hui who is the most famous erhu player of Chinese
women in South Korea

Music title is 江南小鎭 ( ganng nam sou jin ) that means

"A little town at the Southern side of River Yanja"

This video is prepared for erhu-mania groups named "erhu-rang"( in
Seoul, South Korea.

I am taking part in Unknown Mami's Sunday in My City - join in the fun!


  1. I'm wondering if there is that particular buzz in China town? I think back to being in Taiwan and being even on the busiest of city streets, somehow there was a low perspective, as though I had shorter legs and smaller feet and a quicker pace. I don't really get that in the solid of this cityscape. I'm wondering if it's there?

    Nice display of history, Carmen. I'm always up for some learning.


  2. what an interesting and diverse glimpse you give us - thank you!

  3. wow! thanks so much, I, personally love San Francisco. China town rocks and I love the history behind all of the large cities. Please come over and take a look at my new blog, if you like it please follow. I would be honored! Thanks again.

  4. would have been more helpful in finding my blog if you had the address...

  5. Wherever we travel we check out Chinatown and have dim sum for lunch. Great pictures, Carmen!

  6. Beautiful shots of China town. What an history associated with place.

  7. Looks like a wonderful place to visit. The architecture is stunning.

  8. been years since I've been there but it all looks the same thanks for the intesting pictures

  9. It's been twenty years since I've been there but still looks the same to me but I remember the markets and all it's a very interesting place to visit.Thnks for sharing

  10. I've been to San Francisco but have ever been to Chinatown. I will have to put that on my agenda the next time I go. You gave a wonderful tour - thank you!

    Kristin - The Goat
    by way of SIMC

  11. You've really captured the flavor of the district! I like the red roofs, art, etc, but I'm not a fan of the food.

  12. There seems to be a China Town in almost every city. I always love visiting them. Fantastic photos!

  13. I love China towns wherever they are!
    Yummy looking food!

  14. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Cool structures. I also really like the shot with the California street sign! Nice perspective of the entire scene! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Wow! I've always wondered what it was like. It looks fascinating. I didn't realise it was the oldest Chinatown in the USA.

  16. I have always liked the way those buildings looked. I feel the same about the art there. Not so much for the food. I'd love to be able to walk through those streets though.

  17. I love San Francisco's China Town. If you step into the smaller streets, you really feel like you are outside the US.

  18. Beautiful shots. You have such a good eye to capture the essence of a place. I have always been fascinated by the magic of the China Town in San Francisco. Thank you for bring it all back to me. Thank you also for your comment on my post. For us, people who love to travel, when all goes south at least we know we have endless possibilities of exploring something else, like The World, thus making the best of any situation. Strongly suggest stopping in Kathmandu if you get the chance. People are wonderful and there is much to see and experience there.

  19. Anonymous4:06 PM

    What a joy this walk has been. Would have loved to visit the tea shop. Great photos. Please have a good start into the new week.

  20. I love the Chinatown in SF. I love the look and feel of it. I love the bakeries and food. I like it on Christmas.

  21. That is one place we breezed through when we were in SF...your pics are wonderful!

  22. Woman in a Window -
    You've been to Taiwan, too? I had a wonderful
    time there with my younger sons many years ago.
    For five days, we wandered all over, ate all
    kinds of unusual but declicious things, and
    enjoyed the National Museum and other venues!
    Our Chinatown is not the same, of course, and
    the city encroaches on all sides.

    At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
    ( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )
    Check it out and read the reviews!

    Manuela -
    How does it feel to be home? Such a difference
    from Cambodia! How long were you there total

    C.J. -
    I enjoyed your blog. It made me laugh. I signed as a follower and look forward to getting to know you better.

    At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
    ( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )
    Check it out and read the reviews!

    Ann in the UP -
    I love dim sum but am amazed how quickly the price adds up for those scrumptious little dumplings.

    Rajesh -
    In addition to our main Chinatown, we have to
    other areas of our city with large Chinese populations. I usually go there for Chinese food and shopping since parking is much easier
    in those areas.

    Tara R. -
    Chinatown is so interesting with its pagodas and
    visual differences from the city's Victorians
    and modern high rise buildings. We also have
    a Japantown and a North Beach Italian section
    as well as a smaller Russian area.

  23. Larry -
    I don't get to Chinatown too ofen - mainly because parking is so difficult. It's a little bit after the summer hordes of tourists leave.

    Kirby3131 -
    Chinatown runs into North Beach, the city's Italian section, then that runs into Fisherman's Wharf so a trip there is good for an all day outing!

    Sharkbytes (TM) -
    I love Asian food but there are others I like better than Chinese.

    Sonya -
    Many cities do have Chinatowns but I rarely visit those outside San Francisco's since our is so large and excellent.

    At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
    ( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )
    Check it out and read the reviews!

    Blogitse -
    I like Chinese food, especially the spicier dishes.

    Lynn -
    So glad you liked my Chinatown photographs.

    Welschcakes Limoncello -
    When I arrived in Rome a couple of years ago, I went in search of my favorite ( and most effective ) cough syrup - Jiom Pei Pa Koa. I found a little Chinese shop near my hotel - it
    was double what I pay for a bottle twice the
    size in San Francisco!!

    Ratty -
    I've always liked Asian art. I prefer most other Asian cuisines to Chinese. Japanese, I think, is my favorite and I really like Thai food as well.

    secret agent woman -
    I like wandering the back streets of Chinatown,
    too. Usually, it's not so crowded as Grant Avenue.

    Christine Forest, M.D. -
    If all goes well, I may get that chance to visit
    Kathmandu. I am planning a six month stay in India from Nov to May - sort of a grand finale to a lifetime of travel, using up my frequent flyer miles. I have many dear friends in that country and have an invied to stay at the home of Royal Caribbean crew friend in Kathmandu which will make it even nicer.

    ρομπερτ -
    I hope you have a great week. Has autumn started arriving in Greece?

    Unknown Mami -
    I like going to Chinatown really early in the AM to the groceries and seafood markets!!!

    Erin -
    There is so much to see and do in San Francisco,
    it is hard to figure out how to spend one's time!!

  24. Gorgeous pictures of China Town, Carmen, and the music is beautiful to hear too..

  25. Haven't been there in years... I'll make it a point to go this fall. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Icy BC -
    Glad you enjoyed your visit to China Town. I love ehru music when it is well played, it can be so wonderfully relaxing!

    newmami_rgv -
    How nice that you will visit San Francisco. I am hoping to leave for six months in India in November but you should let me know if you'll be
    there before then.

  27. Okay, okay, so you DID label the photos so that no one could steal them; ether that or everything in San Fran is named after you, including the pretty blue sky. I've been to Chinatown, and the thing I remember most is all the dead things hanging in the shop windows. Sort of sad that that's my main memory, but it is.

  28. Snowbrush -
    Yes, I had the experience of someone passing off my photos as her own so I've been putting my name on mine...I've started putting "photographed by Carmen Henesy" now so folks won't think the flowers are a variety called "Carmen Henesy" - yes,many of the Chinese stores have ducks, chickens, pork, etc hanging in the windows.