Saturday, December 03, 2011

Anything Goes Saturday - Chinatown, San Francisco

On today's "Anything Goes Saturday", we head back to San Francisco (remember when we saw the Cliff House?), this time to see that city's famous Chinatown, on a slide dated "January 24, 1943". San Fran's Chinatown is the oldest such neighborhood (or "city with a city") in the country, and is one of the largest outside of Asia. It was established in the 1840's (so, about 100 years before this photo was taken), and is still a vital, influential part of San Francisco.

This photo is chock full of 1940's Kodachrome goodness! The cars with their streamlined chrome, the man with his fedora, overcoat and scarf, and the wonderful signs advertising such exotic Chinese dishes as chow mein and chop suey! Fedora guy is checking out the lady in the fur coat, who is showing her gams in spite of the chilly January day!

I wanted to do my usual trick of showing the same view as it looks today (using Google Maps Street View), thinking that the "Pine St." sign would make it easy. But I couldn't find a match - in fact, Pine Street seems too far south to really be near Chinatown. If anybody has better luck, let me know!


OK, I admit it, I am lame! But my readers aren't! Rain and OC Native both knew that this was Pine Street at Grant, and they are correct. And reader Marc sent me a screen grab from Google Maps (thanks Marc!)... take a look:

Yes, it has changed, but see how much is still there after so many years! The street lamps, and even the basic buildings are, in many ways, very much like they were 70 years ago. Below is another image grabbed from Google Maps that is very similar to the 1939 photo. Thanks, folks!


Rain said...

Pretty sure that's Pine and Grant. Pine borders the edge of Chinatown. You can see it here:

TokyoMagic! said...

I want to have chicken and steak at the Dragon's Lair!

Nancy said...

so cool. I just found out there was actually a street they called Chinatown here in Pittsburgh a while back (Rachel is taking a class on the history of Pittsburgh at AI). a few of buildings are there, so now i have to rememebr to take a picture of it for my Pittsburgh photo album ;) a few of them are little restaurants, will have to try them out next time we are downtown!

Chinatown is a place hope to visit someday when i ever get to San Francisco. i love all the signs in this picture, ill bet it was beautiful all lit up at night!

Orange Co Native said...

Yes. Rain has it. This street hasn't changed too much since the 1940's.

It is too bad when some of these cities were being built that they did not include enough room for some trees. Not a tree to be seen in either picture.

Too much hard scape for my liking, but hey, that's just me.

Connie Moreno said...

Wow!!! Dig those street lamps!

JG said...

Very Cool, Major. I approve of these posts.

I bet the 1943 street was cleaner, and any dirt that was there in the first picture, is probably still there today.

San Francisco has the dirtiest streets of any US city I have seen.


Major Pepperidge said...

Is San Fran really that dirty? The photos I see always look so nice.

Rain said...

Like every major city, there are some areas that are dirtier than others.

But it's not like if you walk around you're going to be wading through knee-deep piles of garbage or something!

I've lived here my whole life, and that's only happened ONCE.

(Heh. Kidding.)