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Thread: Chinatown, San Francisco

  1. #1
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    Dec 1969
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    South FL. Which is not to be confused with any part of the USA
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    9,297

    Chinatown, San Francisco

    going to go there tomorrow.

    anyone know if there's a good bookstore to pick up hard to find kung fu books?

    any other places I should go while there?
    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any easier...at least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

  2. #2
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    San Antonio
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    4,544
    pm MonkeySlap. He's in the area.
    I have no idea what WD is talking about.--Royal Dragon

  3. #3
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    cool, thanks.
    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any easier...at least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

  4. #4
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    The best bookshop is called Eastwind I think...there's also a great VCD store off one of the side streets (there are plenty of these shops - but this one really gets it) - and other cool stuff. Gene Ching prbably knows better than me.
    "Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake."
    --- Napoleon

    "MonkeySlap is a brutal b@stard." -- SevenStar
    "Forgive them Lord, they know not what MS2 can do." -- MasterKiller
    "You're not gonna win a debate (or a fight) with MST. Resistance is futile." - Seven Star

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    great, thanks.
    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any easier...at least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    los angeles
    Posts
    133

    china town

    go eat fish at YUET LEE, 1300 Stockton & Broadway
    phone # 982-6020

    get the steamed clams in black bean sauce

    go this little candy shop in china town where they sell crazy candies like dried lemon peel and 10 differenty types of dried plumbs..the herb dired plumb is best

    go to the little hole in the wall bakerys on the side streets and get how gar (shrimp dumplings for 1.00 each)

    peace
    Bryan Davis

  7. #7
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    ok, so Chinatown is mostly a big tourist trap.

    did have some good dim sum at the Golden Palace (i think that was the name)

    the trippiest bit was walking down the street w/ all the markets and being very afraid of some 4 and a 1/2 foot tall chinese ladies trying to get to the fresh fish as it was coming off the truck.

    didn't find Eastwind or anyone who would tell me if they knew where it was. went into 'Louie's' book store and he had a decent collection but nothing bilingual that interested me.

    and don't waste your time at the Cliffhouse till they get done with the remodel. lot of money spent for very poor service and ho hum food.

    climbing around at the bath house ruins was fun, though.

    tomorrow is winery day...yum yum.
    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any easier...at least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    So. Oregon
    Posts
    344

    Oso

    Oso

    South of Jackson st is a big tourist trap. But North of it is where I shop most of the time. Thats where the locals go.

    ~Jason
    館術國勇威 Wei Yong Martial Arts Association
    戰挑的權霸統傳 The Challenge for Traditional Supremacy
    http://www.weiyongkungfu.com
    _________________________
    What is 'traditional kung fu' ?
    Chinese fighting arts developed before the advent of the modern age in China. Not to be confused with modern, post-1949, Wushu or competitive fighting such as kick boxing .
    By Shanghai Jing Mo

  9. #9
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    thanks, bro, i'm printing this thread for the next visit.
    I'll be back out here again within the year, the girls mom is here.
    it was fun.
    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any easier...at least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

  10. #10
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    You are standing in my space.
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    Next time you come out, make sure you call me. PM'd you my number, but didn't hear a peep - musta been having a good time, eh

    Be happy to give you the tour next time.
    "Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake."
    --- Napoleon

    "MonkeySlap is a brutal b@stard." -- SevenStar
    "Forgive them Lord, they know not what MS2 can do." -- MasterKiller
    "You're not gonna win a debate (or a fight) with MST. Resistance is futile." - Seven Star

  11. #11
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    crap!

    naw, I didn't get the popup telling me I had a new pm. probably cuz of the settings on my mom-in-law's computer.

    sorry about that. would have definitely called you. thanks for the offer, next time maybe.
    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any easier...at least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Dublin, Ca.
    Posts
    194
    Well I'm from the bay area, (actually was born in SF) and know of lots of places to go as well, not too familiar with the Chinatown area however. There are a few other members from the bay area that are on the board to I'm sure that can help ya out as well. I will probably be spending a bit more time in the Chinatown area in the next few months, so I'll let ya know of some good spots to hit up!!
    The sign over the toilet says:
    "Do NOT eat the big white mints!"

  13. #13
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    thanks.
    back on the east coast now.

    highlight of the return trip was all the wwf dudes, and dudettes, on the plane back from Sacramento.

    2 guys I know are pretty big names and the dude from the first season of "Tough Enough" was right behind us. I think his name was Maven or something like that. He's gotten HUGE since TE.
    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any easier...at least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

  14. #14
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    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
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    44,251

    SF is in decline

    I've been hoping for some revitalization with the restoration of the Great Star Theater but that hasn't had too much impact.

    SF Chinatown businesses fighting to survive
    By Lia Zhu in San Francisco | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-11-15 00:07


    Daisy Xie works during a slow day in her barbecue restaurant in San Francisco's Chinatown. LIA ZHU / CHINA DAILY

    Customers don't come into Daisy Xie's restaurant in San Francisco's Chinatown even at lunch hour anymore, so she spends most of the day looking out the window.

    "Times have changed," said Xie, owner of the Chinese barbecue restaurant New Golden. "Chinatown used to be very busy and vibrant".

    With a history spanning more than 150 years, Chinatown, with a high density of small businesses, has long been a shopping and cultural hub and a tourist destination. But as Xie said, "times have changed''.

    The compact area of Chinatown's 27 blocks house a community of more than 14,000 residents and over 900 small businesses, according to a 2017 report by the Chinatown Community Development Center.

    Aging buildings and infrastructure, gentrification pressures and other factors are leaving Chinatown at a "critical juncture", said the center.

    Like Xie's New Golden, most of the shops and restaurants on Stockton Street — the main shopping and business area in Chinatown — have little business on a Sunday.

    Xie blamed the years-long construction of the central subway Chinatown station right in front of her restaurant.

    "The businesses on both sides of the street are disrupted because of the traffic condition," she said. "I'm afraid the rent will hike after the construction is complete."

    In the Stockton Street area, eight or nine other businesses have closed because their leases were not renewed. Many other business owners say that they fear the same fate as landlords favor more upscale tenants.

    Across the street from New Golden, a new bubble tea shop called Subway Station' replaced a barbecue restaurant a month ago. Young people packed the small shop recently and loud pop music played.

    Xie said the new shop was a good sign. "The buildings are too old in Chinatown," she said. "Every time I walk by the Italian neighborhood, I think we should learn from them. We need better planning and to smarten up ourselves."

    But she said she was reluctant to invest in renovations because she didn't know when her rent would be increased to an unaffordable level.

    "It's a shame to lose the cultural district," said Naveed Naficy of Seattle, while queuing outside Good Mang Kok Bakery for his favorite radish cake.

    Every time he goes to San Francisco, he stops at the bakery for authentic Chinese food. "I like chicken feet as well," said Naficy, calling himself an "adventurist".

    A "Sustainable Chinatown" initiative was launched last year by CCDC and San Francisco planning and environment departments to help preserve the community by increasing its affordability and resilience in the face of gentrification and other challenges.

    "Chinatown has been going downhill since 10 years ago. It only got worse in the past two or three years," said Raymond Hong, 58, owner of Rainbow Photography.

    "Everything is so expensive now, and it's difficult to find a parking space," said Hong, who has run the shop for 25 years on Stockton Street.

    Hong declined to say how much he pays in rent, but said a shop of his size, about 800 square feet, could cost $5,000 to $6,000 a month, and a one-bedroom apartment could command $1,600 a month.

    He said he has to work by himself every day to stay in business, but even then, Hong said he barely breaks even.

    "I'm not worried about myself. I'm worried about Chinatown. I fear it would fade away some day, like the one in Los Angeles," he said.

    Contact the writer at liazhu@chinadailyusa.com
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
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    Empress of China to become Empress by Boon

    Gentrification Fears Mount in SF’s Chinatown as Another Spendy Newcomer Nears Its Debut
    As Empress by Boon moves into one of Chinatown’s most recognizable buildings, activists worry it won’t really serve the local community
    by Luke Tsai Feb 18, 2020, 2:50pm PST


    timparkinson/Flickr

    The reopening of a restaurant space on the top floor of one of San Francisco Chinatown’s most recognizable buildings has come under fire from local activists. Empress by Boon, a 7,500-square-foot modern Cantonese restaurant, is slated to open this spring in the old Empress of China Building at 838 Grant Avenue, right in the heart of Chinatown. But community activists are worried that the upscale restaurant’s arrival is a sign of looming gentrification in Chinatown, the SF Chronicle reports.

    Should the opening of a Chinese restaurant helmed by a Chinese chef and located in a building that’s owned by a Chinese-American SF Chinatown local spark those kinds of concerns — especially here in San Francisco, where Chinatown remains a vibrant and distinctly Chinese American neighborhood? In some ways, that’s a hard question to answer.

    At issue is a particular pattern that’s emerged in the past few years: As the argument goes, the neighborhood’s historic Chinese banquet halls have shuttered and been replaced, one by one, by a new wave of upscale restaurants that cater to customers who don’t live in the neighborhood. So, Four Seas was replaced by Mister Jiu’s. Gold Mountain was replaced by China Live. And now, the Empress of China.

    The trend is alarming enough to local activists at the Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) that they’ve filed an appeal to the city’s planning department, calling into question whether the top floors of the Empress of China building should be used as a restaurant at all. The hearing will be held on Wednesday night, the Chron reports.

    Concerns about the fate of the Empress of China have been building for years now. A 2015 feature for San Francisco Magazine, “Long Live the Empress” noted that the initial real estate ad mockups for the building positioned it as “an ideal space for creative technology tenants.” And indeed, after the real estate firm of current owner John Yee — an SF Chinatown native — purchased the building in 2016 for $17.25 million, his initial plans were to convert the top floor banquet space into either tech offices or a hotel — a since-discarded plan that was a source of great unease for Chinatown community groups at the time. Among their fears was the loss of yet another community gathering space — one that hosted events for organizations like Chinese for Affirmative Action over the years.

    As iconic a landmark as it was, however, the Empress of China itself was never exactly a beacon of affordability in Chinatown, as the massive banquets it hosted during its heyday in the 70s and 80s often cost upwards of $20,000. It, too, became something of a tourist attraction over the years — a place guidebooks would recommend to out-of-towners looking to sip on sugary mai tais while taking in one of the most impressive views in the city.

    But seen in another light, a certain anxiety around the news that yet another ritzy restaurant is coming to Chinatown is understandable: Chinatowns around the country — from Boston and Washington D.C. to just across the bridge in Oakland — have battled displacement for years, in the face of rising rents, expensive new real estate development, and pricy new businesses that aren’t really geared toward local clientele. In some cases, those battles have been all but lost — in D.C.’s Chinatown, for instance, where there were only 300 Chinese residents remaining as of 2015, the Washington Post reported, and where there are now only a scant handful of Chinese restaurants left amid a sea of new high-rises and generic chains.

    Empress by Boon, for its part, has revealed little about its specific menu plans thus far — other than that the food will be “modern Cantonese” — but the restaurant seems likely to attract a significant contingent of out-of-towners based on the reputation of Michelin-starred chef Ho Chee Boon. His prior gig was as the international executive chef for the Hakkasan restaurant group — known for its sleek, dark interiors and ultra-luxe interpretation of Cantonese cuisine. When contacted by Eater SF, representatives for Empress by Boon said that Boon would not be commenting, though building owner Yee told the Chron he believes the new restaurant will bring jobs and tourist dollars to the neighborhood.

    The broader question, though, is this: What responsibility do ambitious new Chinatown restaurants have to not only be a part of the local community, but also to serve food that’s accessible and appealing to Chinatown residents? This is something that all of the recent high-profile Chinatown openings — from Mister Jiu’s through China Live and Eight Tables — have had to wrestle with.

    George Chen, chef and owner of the massive, multi-venue China Live complex that opened in 2017, says that if the issue is the loss of big banquet halls, it’s largely a moot point. He says there just isn’t much demand among second- and third-generation Chinese Americans for the massive Chinese banquets that were in fashion during the heyday of Gold Mountain, the restaurant China Live replaced.

    That said, Chen acknowledges that China Live is moderately more expensive than other Chinese restaurants in the area (to say nothing of Eight Tables, his exclusive upstairs tasting menu spot where a meal for one runs a cool $225). But he says that he tries to draw in local customers — including by offering a 20 percent discount at China Live’s first-floor Marketplace restaurant to Chinatown residents who show their ID: “Just show me you live in the 22 blocks of Chinatown, and you get 20 percent off,” Chen says.

    “Do I have a responsibility? Yes, because we’re in that community,” he adds. “We’re not trying to create a place where rich people can feel like they’re slumming it in Chinatown.”
    I remember many posh banquets there celebrating so many occassions when I was young. My aunt was a translator and often got our clan in on various banquet tables for all sorts of odd happenings. I didn't realize how special so many of those were at the time.

    I used to love the grocery store below. They had this back area that always had Kung Fu weapons - some unique stuff too. Last weekend, my sihing Ted Mancuso was just showing me a dao he got there many years ago that was remarkable. I don't think I ever got a weapon there but I always looked. Mostly, I stocked up on White Rabbit.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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