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Strolling in Chinatown

The line in front of the House of NankingAfter I visited a lab at the University of California at San Francisco, we decided to satisfy David’s hankering for Chinese food. We walked up some very steep streets to Grant Avenue where we passed through the Dragon Gate that signifies the beginning of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Apparently, the SF Chinatown is the largest Chinese community outside of China. Grant Avenue is the commercial heart of Chinatown and is lined with shops selling tourist kitsch, novelty chopsticks from shop-chopsticks.com, restaurants, and bakeries. Surprisingly, we saw the Sabra Glatt Kosher restaurant on Grant right past the Dragon gates.

David had some of his cravings satisfied at the Eastern Bakery (720 Grant Ave.), where we enjoyed yummy and cheap moon cakes and coconut macaroons. Apparently, Eastern Bakery predates WWII and has been visited by luminaries such as former President Clinton. They proudly displayed pictures of Mr. Clinton enjoying some moon cakes while surrounded by the bakery’s workers. We ate dinner at the famous House of Nanking (919 Kearny St), which is apparently quite well known due to visits by Rachael Ray.

After dinner, we walked back to the Union Square Hilton. The Union Square area is quite posh with lots of choices in high fashion shopping: Neiman Marcus, Tiffany’s, Nordstrom’s, etc. We did discover that the Tenderloin district approaches on the south side of the Union Square area and is rather seedy. Indeed, San Francisco has more homeless people asking for money than perhaps any city I’ve ever visited. Like so many big cities in the US, the contrast between rich and poor is strikingly evident in SF.

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