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Chinatown

S.F.The entrance to Chinatown at Grant Avenue and Bush Street is called the "Dragon's Gate." Inside are 24 blocks of hustle and bustle, most of it taking place along Grant Avenue, the oldest street in San Francisco. This city within a city is best explored on foot; exotic shops, renowned restaurants, food markets, temples and small museums comprise its boundaries. Visitors can buy ancient potions from herb shops, relax and enjoy a "dim sum" lunch or witness the making of fortune cookies.

Portsmouth Square at Clay and Kearny Streets is generally considered the center of life; residents gather for board games, discussions and solemn tai chi rituals.
The Pacific Heritage Museum at 608 Commercial Street, on the site of the original San Francisco Mint, focuses on art of the Pacific Rim.
The Chinese Historical Society, 965 Clay Street, contains numerous artifacts tracing the history of Chinese immigration.
The Chinese Culture Center at 750 Kearny Street rotates exhibits of Chinese arts and crafts.
The former central telephone exchange of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company stands at 743 Washington Street. Now a bank, it is the first Chinese-style building constructed in San Francisco, and the exact site where California's first newspaper was printed.
Visitors to Ross Alley can watch fortune cookies being made; a small factory produces some 200,000 a year.

Each February, Chinatown is the focal point for one of The City's most popular festivals, Chinese New Year. A week's worth of fascinating festivities culminates with a huge downtown parade overflowing with Chinese folklore, including a block-long Golden Dragon.

 

 




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