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Down Memory Alley - San Francisco Chinatown, 1970

Down Memory Alley - San Francisco Chinatown, 1970

Old Oct 16th, 2020, 10:42 AM
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Down Memory Alley - San Francisco Chinatown, 1970

Still in a very restricted world, I've been digitizing many of the thousands of slides and prints in my collection before they disintegrate. I thought these pictures from Chinatown in 1970 were interesting.





One of the (possible) "sweat shops" that were common in the district, often using illegal immigrants. The door was slammed in my face after I took this picture.















No starch, low voltage please.

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Old Oct 16th, 2020, 02:02 PM
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For some reason SF Chinatown is the place in the world I feel most at home. Born in SF, since childhood I've headed there at every opportunity for the smells, food, colors, people, where I first felt that edge that became my affinity with Asia. Thanks for these!
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Old Oct 16th, 2020, 02:20 PM
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Thank you Gardyloo. Brought back memories, tastes and smells for me as well, I used to go there on a semi-regular basis in 1972, then 75-6 when I worked at Fisherman's Wharf. Your photos are priceless.
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Old Oct 16th, 2020, 03:26 PM
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When I was in college (1969-73), friends and I would fly to SF on PSA for $32 r/t, see some sights, have an inexpensive dinner in Chinatown, cram/sneak into one hotel room and then have brunch at Sears on Sunday before flying home late that afternoon. Under $100 weekend!
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Old Oct 16th, 2020, 07:54 PM
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I was disappointed in SF's Chinatown.. Seemed pretty weak tea after New York's. Nice pix.
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Old Oct 17th, 2020, 02:30 PM
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Thank you for sharing!
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Old Oct 19th, 2020, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
When I was in college (1969-73), friends and I would fly to SF on PSA for $32 r/t, see some sights, have an inexpensive dinner in Chinatown, cram/sneak into one hotel room and then have brunch at Sears on Sunday before flying home late that afternoon. Under $100 weekend!
if you took the midnight flight, it was only $10 each way! (I was in college the same years as you, and moved to San Francisco in early 1973 (and stayed for 45 years).

gardyloo, the pictures are wonderful.
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Old Oct 19th, 2020, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Fra_Diavolo View Post
I was disappointed in SF's Chinatown.. Seemed pretty weak tea after New York's. Nice pix.
I honestly think exactly the opposite!
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Old Oct 19th, 2020, 08:41 AM
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Here are a few more from the same time, not Chinatown.

Civic Center art festival







Alemany Farmers Market





The bridge (mostly taken from my $100/month apartment on Russian Hill, complete with Murphy bed and an insane neighbor who tried to set fire to his mattress.)










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Old Oct 19th, 2020, 12:08 PM
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Great stuff Gardy, love the bridge photos. I worked just down the hill from your place at Pier 39, aboard the Balclutha, but not until early 1975. Did you ever go down to the Eagle Cafe? It was our after work joint, and where I recall having my first taste of Guinness.

I found this picture of it online ... taken by Dorothea Lange!
https://picryl.com/media/eagle-cafe-...an-francisco-6


Significance: The Eagle Cafe was constructed as the first steamship passenger waiting room in San Francisco. It currently serves as a maritime worker's cafe noted for its authentic atmosphere.
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Old Oct 21st, 2020, 11:44 PM
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That photo of the man in a blue coat and black hat with a lime green sweater is spectacular! It is a wonderful portrait.
Thank you.
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Old Dec 9th, 2020, 01:02 PM
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Wow, brings back memories! Lived in Davis in the early to mid '70s. Spent a lot of time in SF. Loved the guy who used to walk up and down near the wharf saying, "No more jazz from Alcatraz!"
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Old Dec 10th, 2020, 11:40 AM
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Loved the photos! I was in college same time as Jean and SF +1 year, and we'd also take the cheap PSA flights up to San Francisco to go to a concert, then take the midnight special back to LA. Or drive up and sleep in our car. (VW Bus). We loved hitting up Chinatown. Still do.

I do remember Chinatown from 1966, when we flew up for a few nights to witness my mom getting sworn in as an attorney. (Don't know why we had to go to SF to do this; by the time I passed the bar, we were sworn in in LA, I think at the Shrine). Anyway, I remember buying a Chinese puzzle box in one of the shops (still have it!). And going to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. My grandpa loved the spareribs until he found out it was not beef, but pork.
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Old Dec 12th, 2020, 04:19 PM
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I remember having an underage drink at red's place in 1970.
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Old Dec 12th, 2020, 08:07 PM
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Thanks for posting your photos, they bring back lots of memories of those days. Our favorite restaurant was the Golden Dragon on Washington which was open till 3:00 am. We would go there for late night meals after shows at the Fillmore, Keystone, Boarding House, Winterland, etc.

GD was also a hangout for the Wah Ching, easily identified with their shiny suits and slicked back hair. One night at the height of the war with the Joe Fong gang, my cousin and I stumbled in after a show, a couple of stoned, long haired Asians males. There were several tables in the back filled with Wah Ching and their girlfriends.

All the men immediately stood up and went through the kitchen doors, then one by one came through the front door and walked by our table checking us out. Until the last gang member sat back down and signaled it was cool the entire restaurant froze, no one moved, the waiters glued to the walls.

A few weeks later a couple of gang members came in with automatic weapons and shot the place up killing a number of customers. My cousin and I were like, hey we were just there!

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Old Jan 3rd, 2021, 12:41 PM
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A friend’s stories I’d like to share. Helen would have been 107 if she was still here. She passed at age 97. She was a member of the WWII Army Nurse Corp who worked on the hospital train as a nurse. The severely wounded soldiers would arrive from a ship in NY Harbor and they would board the train in NYC and get dropped off at the various hospitals across America that specialized in the area of care the soldiers needed.
I remember her saying facial shrapnel wounds was a Denver hospital and it bothered her when people would stare at the wounded soldiers as she would escort them through the station. Their final stop was San Francisco. Helen told me to visit the Mark Hotel in San Francisco because women would go to the top floor to get a final glimpse of the ships carrying their men as they left the harbor. She also said her and the commanding officer, a lady from Canada, would always give some of their food to a hungry guy who they regularly saw outside of a cafeteria they would dine at. When the train would arrive back in NYC they were told to throw out any uneaten food. She would put on a friends large bra and fill it with uncooked beef roasts and smuggled them off the train to give to needy families they had met.
She said young Canadian girls boarded and were meant to raise the spirits of the soldiers but she said the wounded men began fighting amongst each other claiming each girl as theirs so they were asked to leave.
She received her Army nurse Corp training in Atlantic City and later worked as a nurse in school, hospitals and for the police. She was active until the end and quickly left us. I feel fortunate to have been the one who helped her sit up in bed to eat her last meal of a KFC pot pie and chocolate ice cream.
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Old Jan 9th, 2021, 01:27 PM
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I don't think any businesses in your photos survived.

When we say "the bridge" we usually mean Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge in your photos is the Bay Bridge which connects SF with East Bay.
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Old Jan 10th, 2021, 08:00 AM
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Are you sure about the bridge? I think only the Golden Gate Bridge has an arch like that, on the Presidio side by Fort Point. Don't believe the Bay Bridge has arch on either side.
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Old Jan 11th, 2021, 07:49 AM
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They're all of the Golden Gate Bridge. There's no arch on the Bay Bridge, which was only a suspension span on the Yerba Buena Island - SF part of the crossing. At the time the Oakland - Yerba Buena section of the bridge had a cantilever design. Here's the section that collapsed in the 1989 earthquake (during which I was at Candlestick Park about to watch the World Series game.)


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Old Jan 11th, 2021, 02:42 PM
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Oooh Gardyloo, somehow I misssed this post. THANKYOU so much for your photos. What a fun thread to look thru (while stuck at home going nowhere -haha). I've visitd San Francisco briefly a few times on solo kick around the city trips or visiting friends out in Walnut Creek.
Hope you are well and your new digs are suiting you. Crazy times and all. Sending love from the 'north' here in Seattle. xo suze
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