Tag Archives: Chinatown

A brief neighborhood guide to San Francisco: Chinatown

(Note: This is part of my San Francisco neighborhood guide to be published individually, then in its entirety at completion. Also, as a result of the ongoing business restrictions during the pandemic, some of the restaurants and retail businesses I talk about in the guides may close shop with little warning.)

Chinatown The most iconic neighborhood in San Francisco is also the oldest Chinatown in North America (est. 1848) and largest outside Asia. When I used to visit San Francisco during my time away, I would stay at the SF Plaza, a basic old hotel on the corner of Bush and Grant. It’s right next to the Dragon’s Gate at the entrance of Chinatown, and it was fantastic, grabbing a morning coffee at Café de la Presse then wandering

Continue reading A brief neighborhood guide to San Francisco: Chinatown

Top 5 things to do in the Bay Area this weekend

Perseids Meteor Party
Every year in August, the night skies rain down a shower of meteors known as the Perseids. The best place to enjoy the full show is somewhere away from the light pollution of cities, someplace like Coyote Lake/Harvey Bear Ranch County Park outside of Gilroy. Bring blankets and snuggle up for the late-night event, with a park ranger on duty to answer your questions. Friday/early Saturday, 8/15, 1-4am.

SF Street Food Festival
San Franciscans love food trucks about as much as they love food, so a festival that celebrates foods bought and eaten on the street is a big Of Course. Over 100 food vendors will be on hand at Pier 70 in the Dogpatch, as well as a craft beer garden and live music from a host of local bands. Saturday and Sunday, 8/15-16, 11am-6pm.

Ft Point Living History Day
Built just prior to the Civil War, and the only fort on the west coast, Ft. Point’s historic heyday as California’s first line of defense comes alive during its Civil War Living History Day. Live reenactors will go through infantry and artillery demonstrations, while the medicine, music and dance of San Francisco of the mid-1800s will be on display. Saturday, 8/15, 10am-5pm.

Umoja Festival
Umoja, or ‘unity’ in Swahili, is the theme for this all-day celebration of African art and culture in Oakland’s Lowell Park, featuring an inter-African soccer tournament with players from around the Bay Area. Enjoy African cuisine from a host of vendors, and a musical lineup that includes Jah’Mila and master Senegalese drummer Samba Guisse. Saturday, 8/15, 10am-7pm.

Chinatown Music Festival
Come for the dumplings at Good Mong Kok Bakery, stay for the music. Now in its fifth year, the Chinatown Music Fest features traditional and contemporary pop, jazz, classical and R&B, along with a bit of Mongolian dance. The lineup includes local Chinatown band Jest Jammin’ with roots harking back to the ‘60s. Saturday, 8/15, 11am-5pm, Portsmouth Square.

5 Things to do in the Bay Area this weekend

Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema
The Film Crawl on Courtland Avenue, or three blocks of it, is now in its 11th season and features the short films of local filmmakers and artists, including animation, documentary, narrative, performance, art and music video. Continue reading 5 Things to do in the Bay Area this weekend

A perfect day in San Francisco: or, what to do with your one day in the city, Part I


The editors of KQED’s Pop blog recently asked coworkers what they would do on a hypothetical last day in San Francisco. It’s a fun exercise, and the station’s staff offered up lots of great suggestions on food, drink and shopping. But when I thought about my own perfect day, it had more to do with the enduring physical aspects of the city that made me fall in love on my first visits – walking its streets, climbing its hills and wandering its neighborhoods, and taking in all the sights and sounds with choice stops along the way. Continue reading A perfect day in San Francisco: or, what to do with your one day in the city, Part I

5 Things to do in the Bay Area this weekend (Sept 22-23)

Sandcastles 101
Once upon a time, I helped organize this very same AIA (American Institute of Architects) event, though in Miami. And if the event here is half as cool as what we had there, then Ocean Beach is the place to be this Saturday, especially on what promises to be a Miami-esque weekend. Be sure to check out other Architecture and the City events going on the rest of the month, such as the Angel Island Immigration Station Tour and the Sightglass Coffee Tasting + Tour. Continue reading 5 Things to do in the Bay Area this weekend (Sept 22-23)