RU  UK  EN
Статьи  >  Imagine  >  World ghettos: Chinese Scope in San-Francisco

World ghettos: Chinese Scope in San-Francisco

Автор: 01.12.2019 | USA, China, world ghettos
We continue our series of features about national ghettos. Today OUTLOOK tells you about the largest ethnical enclave of the city of San Francisco in the USA – about local Chinatown.

The Right to Life

The story of San Francisco’s Chinatown originated in late 19th century. Back in the days the city, just as the country, was being actively industrialized and built in. Main constructions of those times were Central Pacific and First Transcontinental Railroads. In order to cope with such sockdolagers a lot of manpower was need; Americans were already accustomed to a certain level of wealth and comfort, also, it was pretty expensive to lure local craftsmen while the Chinese agreed to work for far smaller salaries. They kept arriving on ships and getting settled nearby each other, having decided not to adjust to conditions but to reshape everything in a manner of their own. The 24 districts of Chinatown that exist nowadays are a graphic picture of the fact that it is almost as if there isn’t even a smell of America there – it’s all about dragons, hieroglyphs and flags of the Celestial Empire’s offspring.

In the era of unemployment and crisis such behavior of foreigners started to irritate indigenous community. But there was nothing they could do; and all the jobs at constructions had already been taken by the Chinese. This lead to several xenophobic conflicts; they even resulted in prohibition for Asians to enter the country. It remained in force till the end of the World War II when a need for skillful hands arose again and ships loaded with thousands of People’s Republic natives started arriving again.GI-956247142-SFChinatown-header.jpg
Photo tripsavvy.com

In 1906 a powerful earthquake took place in San Francisco to destroy the city almost down to rock bottom, so, the majority of locals decided not to come back there again. However, successors of Confucius toughed the cataclysm out and rebuilt not just their district but also neighboring ones thus earning respect and honor in two countries. Therefore the Chinese from San Francisco of all people earned their right to live there by sweat of their brows so nowadays no one complains about their residing in the city.

Landmarks

A walk around the district, situated in between Kearny Street, Financial Centre and Union Square, most likely, begins with entrance through the Dragon Gates that have this aura of authenticity about them, the one that tourists keep coming here for. This gift from the People’s Republic of China decorates the entrance to the enclave since 1970. Lions and dragons that protect the present, however terrifying they look, are friendly because the translation of hieroglyphs on the walls means “peace”, “respect”, “trust” and “love”.the_street_of_painted_balconies_1.jpgPhoto the500hiddensecrets.com

Main street of Chinatown – Grant Avenue – is called so in the honor of the US President Ulysses S. Grant. When in this street, even native New Yorkers feel at a loss due to abundance of shops and cafés. Alongside shop windows and bright flowers, visitors are attacked by odors and smells of food that is cooked and eaten far and wide. Tourists, as well as citizens of San Francisco, rarely get out of there without all kinds of necklaces, kites as well as folk medicine and hygiene products. One gets a feeling that this trade madness makes people purchase even things they don’t need at all. While having a walk there one can watch acrobats’ performance, gamble and attend a tea ceremony over ten minutes. It seems like time flows in a very particular way there.

Those who managed to leave Grant Avenue with emptied wallets but with all kinds of souvenirs instead, usually head to Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral. This erection is famous because it was the only one to survive the earthquake we’ve mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, fires that reigned in the city abandoned by people destroyed the cathedral, too, and left only several walls intact. It was around them where it was decided to rebuild the Cathedral in 1909. Speaking of that, it was China where granite for it was brought from.

Another iconic spot is Portsmouth Square; in 1835 the first house on this territory was built there, and eleven years later John Montgomery, captain of the ship called “Portsmouth”, proclaimed it to be a part of the USA. Today it is Chinatown’s central part where it is customary to discuss news of the district, play Mahjong and listen to music. To have some rest from noisy streets and to come to your senses it is better to go there.ct_hdr_1post-1_photo-resizer.ru.jpgPhoto mycamerajournal.wordpress.com

We’ll proceed to Ross Alley where a factory producing legendary “fortune cookies” operates. When inside you’ll probably cease believing in them because a picture, which is far from a fairy tale, greets you eyes: three women fill shapes with dough and send them to an oven and on the other side of the line several more employees at random attach fortune-telling papers to delights by taking them out of a huge box. A little disappointing, but now we know it.

Final stage of a stroll around Chinatown is Chinese Culture Centre – a huge modern museum where they show and tell about literally everything that has to do with life of the Celestial Empire’s offspring in San Francisco. Unique pictures, exhibits and installations will carry visitors over to currently distant 20th century and help feel what it is like to sail thousands of kilometers to build railroads for peanuts in a strange and not always friendly country. It was the Chinese who contributed to the fact that nowadays it is much easier for emigrants in the United States because under their pressure vital laws were adopted. Entrance fee constitutes 5 dollars for an adult.ct_hdr_6_post-1_photo-resizer.ru.jpgPhoto mycamerajournal.wordpress.com

Curious facts:

It is impossible to picture today’s city without Chinatown, because over 200 thousand natives of the People’s Republic reside here; that constitutes about one fifth of entire population of San Francisco.

Hundred years ago the district was known for its brothels, gambling houses and opium dens. All of it is gone by now but tour guides take pleasure in walking people around most iconic lanes and backyards so make sure to go on a topical tour. In Chinatown they are interesting, indeed, because only from them you can learn what it means, for instance, “to go Shanghai”. This is what they used to say about a person who got so carried away with drugs and alcohol that would find himself on a ship to either Shanghai or Hong Kong upon regaining consciousness.

Nowadays rules are far stricter and fine for smoking in a public place constitutes 500 dollars.

Ghetto became an integral part of cultural life of the USA – and it is for a reason that it was perpetuated and anthemised in the namesake novel by Roman Polanski.

Despite the fact that the district is quite friendly, far from every local knows English. And, according to experts, Chinese is different on every street there because there are just as many dialects as in the People’s Republic itself.

Cover photo time.com

Вам это будет интересно:
We were there: New York, Washington and Miami
For certain reasons there are two capitals in America – official and actual. Context manager from Kyiv Bohdan Yanchev visited them both and told us about spirits of these cities, about their landmarks and about what they represent in reality. If you think that New York is imbued with expensive perfumes and there is nothing else to do in Washington but to lie on a lawn by the White House – you are wrong!
Taxi in New York Style
Next ‘character’ of our cycle about symbolic means of public transport is yellow cab of New York. It is impossible to imagine the Big Apple and especially its centre, Manhattan, without those bright and incredibly handy cars. Seemingly, there are more “checkers” than people.
The kingdom of ice and snow. Harbin Festival
For not to have among our readers too many sad and whiny people counting days till summer or even warm spring days, the OUTLOOK would like to share at least one reason to love the cold season with all heart. The opportunity is to go to the Chinese city of Harbin and eyewitness fantastic and cool festival of ice and snow.
The winter fairy-tale: which cities are the most beautifully decorated to New Year eve
Till the beginning of 2019 there is little time that’s why in case one hasn’t decided yet where and how to celebrate the most popular holiday on our planet, OUTLOOK offers the list of the brightest cities for the celebration. There all the wishes and dreams will, definitely, come true!
Super-chilled: Best festivals of ice and snow art
Ice and snow has long been used by artists to create different figures and objects, and only 1960, this age-old skill became a new trend of a land art! The largest number of winter artworks is created during special festivals about which we will tell our readers.
Slippery fun: Best world open air ice rinks
They build ice hotels and carve ice fountains pouring white wine, make samovars and even kerosene lamps. Photographers went even far and got the hand to use dry ice to create the effect of smoke and fog in picture. In the spirit of holidays, OUTLOOK prepared for you a selection of the world most popular ice arenas.
Life on water: 7 little-known Venice competitors
When we hear about "water city", Venice immediately comes to mind, doesn’t it? Tranquil gondolas, narrow waterways, gentle light of the evening sun and ancient architecture create that heady romantic cocktail which attracts tourists from all over the world to the Italian city.
Interesting not only in city centers. Residential districts of the world
There are hardly many travelers who would go somewhere further than city centre where their hotel is situated when on a short-term journey. And if location is a metropolis on top of everything else, such “outside” trips are sure to be put on hold till better occasions.
Canyons: Deep and long
When, if not now to conquer summits, overcome seas and climb on the rocks? People often make great efforts to enjoy the comfort through the whole lifetime. But sometimes our soul needs some romance, so OUTLOOK presents seven unique canyons.
Water gates. Impressive world harbors
Airports, railway and bus stations are almost always erected at a human whim, while ports and harbours are joint creation of homo sapiens and nature. In this article OUTLOOK presents you the most beautiful port destinations with their own unique character worth exploring.
Lombard street: Street swallowed by a Boa constrictor
Remember how the little prince taught to see not a hat, but a boa constrictor digesting an elephant? So, in San Francisco you have the opportunity to see the street part of which is swallowed by a boa. A serpent Lombard Street crawled into almost all the Frisco city guides.
On the Move. Street food from around the world. Part 2
Do you happen to get hungry? That is great as we go on with our story about the most popular street food from around the world. It’s freshly cooked - fall to, you guys! Let's start with the South Asian countries, namely Singapore - seafood-rich in vitamins and minerals occupy a key place in the diet of residents ...
Appeasement and beauty. Impressive temples of Asia
Buddhists say: to get rid of suffering, one should get rid of desire. There are special places for that. Today we suggest you to check out our top five of stunning temples, where Buddhists and tourists are looking for a way to harmony for their souls.
White gold of Tianxia. Chinese porcelain
The civilization of ancient China was one of the first to discover porcelain. It is established that back in II millennium BC the firing temperature of pottery found in the Yellow River was close to 1200 ° C. According to some researchers, the invention of porcelain was dictated by the desire to find a replacement for greenstone and jade.
On the Move. Street food from around the world
Experienced tourists believe that one of the best sure-fire ways to quickly tune into the beat of another culture is to try local food. In order not to be at a loss when choosing dishes and save precious time for spiritual food, Outlook gives you selective advice on street gastronomy from seven spots of the globe.
Rice fields: Grains of unbelievable beauty
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
World ghettos. Armenian Soul in the Heart of Tbilisi
OUTLOOK suggests you have a walk around one of the oldest districts of Tbilisi - Avlabari - that has been believed to be Armenian since down the ages. These streets, churches and weatherbeaten houses will tell about relations of these two peoples of Caucasus much more than books in history or documentaries.
Hold your breath: the most dangerous places for diving
After the legendary Frenchman Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his colleagues invented and perfected self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, scuba diving firmly entered the list of the most popular, but unfortunately, unsafe hobbies. OUTLOOK warns and talks about the most extreme places to do scuba diving.
The twenty-first will be their century: The most dynamically developing cities of the planet
It may be difficult to believe it now, but in a few decades, such important and advanced global cities as New York, London or Tokyo will not play such a significant role as they do today. OUTLOOK, armed with the latest analytical data and forecasts, would like to tell our readers about fastest-changing cities that have all chances to become world centres very soon.
Grab your sun umbrella and cocktail: The most amazing beaches of the world
With the onset of summer, many of us ever and again cast a glance at the calendar, waiting for annual leave. And since summer vacation to a greater extent is linked to the relaxation by the water, we usually associate it with beaches – desirable destinations that can be very different.
Закрыть
Outlook facebook page