On Saturday we headed to Little Italy ( not a surprise ) , but first - took a wrong bus, then took a wrong turn and found ourselves right in the heart ( almost ) of San Francisco Chinatown. Let me tell you , friends, there is nothing like getting lost in your own city and finding a new corner just right about when you thought you already knew every rock. Do not ask me how we missed this part, but I am very glad we stumbled on it.
There is much to tell about Chinatown in San Francisco, and I will be back with a nice list of interesting attractions, food and shops. Until then , here is a little glimpse into the Grant Ave and a few interesting facts about Chinatown.
* San Francisco has the oldest and second largest Chinatown in North America.
* San Francisco's Chinatown is home to about 15,000 Chinese, the majority of whom do not speak English well if speak it at all.
* Approximately over 2,000,000 tourists visit SF Chinatown during a course of a year.
* Chinatown is the densest part of the city in California.
* Chinese New Year is always the biggest event of the year that also is accompanied by Chinese New Year Parade, a historical tradition started in the 1860s.
** San Francisco's Chinatown was first established in the mid 19th century, attracting immigrants from Chian's Guangdong Province. Most of the immigrants worked for Central Pacific Railroad, and very soon formed a little China inside of the city. By the end of the 19th century racial tensions in SF started to grow impacting the population of the Chinatown. Much of the neighborhood was destroyed in 1906 fire caused by the Great Earthquake.
Despite the setbacks, Chinatown soon started to revitalize and the area bloomed with new architecture and decorations by 1950s. At that time the area became a point of interest not only for Chinese immigrants, but a lure for the tourist population who wanted to find out more about the Chinese culture. It continues to remain one of the largest attractions of San Francisco today as well. **