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At the corner of Bush and Grant, a large gate adorned with lions and dragons marks the entry to Chinatown and once you've crossed through, you'll know it immediately. Grant and Stockton streets are narrow and lined with bustling everything shops, temples, dim sum restaurants, and a teeming population of Chinese Americans. While much of the traditional Chinese architecture was added to ordinary buildings during the 1920's tourist boom, visitors hoping for a little culture shock won't be disappointed, particularly if they start out on the infamously long and crowded 45 bus down Stockton.
This neighborhood with it's rich cultural ties to China and the birth of California is a well known tourist destination. Yet strangely enough, Chinatown is a functional district where many new-to-SF immigrants and long time Chinese descended residents live. A true treasure in San Francisco that maintains a special place in the psyche of San Francisco residents.
photographs by Heart Patrick