The main Chinatown in the Californian city of San Francisco, with its epicenter around Grant Avenue and Stockton Street, is said to represent the largest concentration of Chinese people outside of Asia. It numbered more than 100,500 residents at the time of the 2000 Census, supposedly having the thickest population density on the U.S. west coast, according to the Wikipedia article on the community. The article also points out that this was the first Chinatown to be established in North America, in 1848, having since become “highly important and influential in the history and culture of ethnic Chinese immigrants in North America.” The earliest immigration wave into this particular Chinatown came from the 1850s to the early 1900s, and was made up predominantly of people from Guangdong Province. Large numbers of Hong Kong immigrants began arriving from the 1960s on, and since then, Cantonese has become the dominant language in this San Francisco-based community. Wikipedia describes it as “an enclave that continues to retain its own customs, languages, places of worship, social clubs, and identity. (…)Visitors can easily become immersed in a microcosmic Asian world, filled with herbal shops, temples, pagoda roofs and dragon parades.” That’s despite its tourism draw, which is supposedly bigger than the Golden Gate Bridge‘s.
Last year in January, during the same trip where I visited Napa Valley, I spent an early afternoon in Chinatown with my family in the midst of trekking across San Francisco. Today I randomly decided to put some of my photos here to give you a little taste. Because it’s a mellow Sunday and… why not?
All photos (c) A. Ribeiro (CLICK TO ENLARGE)