Thursday, 7 August 2014

Chinatown with Mamma & Papa

One more post from my parents' recent visit from Australia. I'm almost done, I swear!

This one's a quick look at our visit to San Francisco's Chinatown.




We started our visit to Chinatown with a stop in Washington Square Park. Here the girls played in the playground (which for some reason I didn't take any photos of) and we watched groups of people playing card games. I noticed that in general the ladies played cards on one side of the park and the men on the other. There was some pretty heavy smoking going on over where the men were playing cards so we kept away from there. Their cigarette packs were kind of pretty though!





Like most tourists we spent most of our time on Grant Avenue, the lantern decorated main street of Chinatown. Ava and Lola were pretty impressed by the red lanterns hanging across the street. However, what impressed them most was the sheer number of penny squisher machines on Grant Avenue! You know those machines that turn your pennies into tiny, flat souvenirs? My girls are a little obsessed with them and we collect squished pennies everywhere we go.  









The girls were pretty intrigued by the colourful displays of products in the store fronts we passed. Their keen eyes scanned for anything with Hello Kitty on it as well as packs of Pocky and Hello Panda cookies. I swear they can spot their favourite treats a mile away. Ooh look... I see Hello Panda cookies below!





The girls' favourite part of our quick visit to Chinatown was the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. This tiny establishment located in an alley way isn't quite the industrial behemoth that comes to mind with the word factory. Just three ladies working at three machines; baking, assembling and folding fortune cookies. The girls were given a big handful of freshly baked flat fortune cookies each to enjoy. Are they still fortune cookies when they are left flat and don't contain a fortune? Hmm... who knows. They sure do taste good fresh though.





The fortune cookies factory is so tiny that we barely all fit inside at the same time so Dad waited out in the alley way. And we were the only people there at the time which just goes to show how tiny it really is!

 


Heading back down Grant Street I noticed how perfectly the Ferry Building's tower down on the waterfront fits between the buildings on Commercial Street. Do you see it there right down the end of the street?



We left Chinatown through the Chinatwon Gateway on Grant Avenue at Bush Street. This is the famous gateway that you see in every tour book. The girls were fascinated by the lion sculptures at the bottom of the gate. Are they lions or are they dragons? I never know. Maybe they're lion dragons! The gate is also known as the Dragon Gate so I guess they're dragons. Either way, the girls thought they were pretty cool.
  






Chinatown is a colourful and fun neighbourhood to visit in San Francisco. Stopping by for shopping and dim sum is a must. That said, we didn't eat there though as much of the food is pretty authentic and my kids (or maybe my parents!) can be a little fussy when it comes to what they eat.

Chinatown is also a great spot to pick up cheap San Francisco souvenirs and, as I mentioned earlier, lots of squished pennies!

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