Monday, May 25, 2009


Today we explored Chinatown starting with an incredible lunch at House of Nanking. We had to wait outside in the cold for an open table, but it wasn’t long and was well worth it. We started with hot and sour soup with tofu, followed by fried eggplant with black bean sauce, Nanking fried shrimp, chicken in lettuce wraps, and the most delicious fried fish in garlic sauce; all served by a brusque Chinese woman who abruptly moved on to the next table when we answered “we have a couple questions” to her inquiry of “are you ready to order?”.

We spent the next hour or so walking through the maze of streets, hoping to get off the tourist path and discover the real Chinatown where we might find something of value, but like most tourists wound up moving from one shop to another, all of which seemed to be selling very similar merchandise. We happened upon a funeral procession for which they blocked off side streets, seemingly very last minute, catching some motorist in a backup on oneway streets—many of whom were getting out of their cars to walk to the corner to see what the hold-up was. There was a lead car with a picture of the deceased, followed by a small marching band, followed by a long procession of cars.
The sidewalks were crowded with tourists and Chinese locals doing their Sunday shopping for exotic looking vegetables and dried seafood, all of which were on display outside the stores in boxes.
Afterwards we went to Crissy Field to view the Golden Gate Bridge and walk along the shore. There are beautiful views of the city as well, but today the fog made for poor photo opportunities.

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