San Francisco ~ Chinatown

How can I possibly not visit one of the oldest Chinatowns (which can be traced to have begun around the mid 1850’s) in the USA?

I wasn’t sure if one is supposed to begin one’s exploration via the entrance or simply walk through using many of its mini-sidestreets.

The “entrance” to Chinatown.

We roamed the steep gradient streets and found the official entrance which had the slogan  天下为公 (read from right to left) meaning The World is for All and decided to re-do our walk-in.

We were greeted by several of our primate ancestors’ effigies so I decided to capture a photo of one, simply as a reminder.

Me and my Gorri

Apart from the usual touristy shops, what captured my attention was the street wall-art. No matter which Chinatown one visits, wall art will always pertain to Chinese astronomy, religion and movie celebrities.

Chinese Zodiac Animals

Luke Dragon and a touch of Black History

Lord Buddha and Bruce Lee

The late Kung-fu celebrity Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco in the year of the Dragon, which is how he ended with the screen name 李小龍 or Little Dragon Lee. Thus, many of the images I saw of Bruce Lee had dragons for company.

A few hours of walking got us hungry, so did we settle for Americanized Chinese takeaway? Korean-Sushi cafe food?  We (at least I did) wanted real Chinese food with no substitutes or toned-down versions, hence a mini food hunt began …

We walked away from the touristy area. I looked for shops’ signboards that screamed ‘real food’. I watched the flow of seniors with packaged cooked food in bags dangling from their fingers and headed in the direction where they came from. Then suddenly there stood, with no glamor/pretense, a real Dim Sum shop with orders being given/taken in Cantonese!

A real local Dim Sum shop.

Menu on the Wall

Yam Cake, Shrimp Bonnet, Pork Dumpling, Gaau-ji (meat & vegetable) Dumpling plus a bowl of steamed Lotus-leaf rice.

This is as Chinese as any Dim Sum gets! 100% Hong Kong Dim Sum. We had to pack some as it was just too much for a 2-person lunch, yes, I over ordered. That amount of food plus drinks cost us US$12.

Mission Accomplished ~ now more walking needed, simply for digestion’s sake.

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