Is SF Chinatown A Dinosaur?


Living off of your daddy’s wealth does not make me envious…


Nothing wrong with Chinatown actually. I would rather build something than enter an established and frankly stiff collared neighborhood. It is like a kid born and raised in the ghetto and then going to an Ivy League school. Great opportunity for sure but more than likely that kid will feel out of place and will have a hard time relating to his/her more well heeled peers.


I have mixed emotions about this. I hope I don’t get anybody mad.

Certainly the hanging of clothing outside your home, be that done on your porche, the back of your house or inside your rooms is something out of the 50’s or 60’s. But if not illegal, let it be.
We bathe our dogs once a month, and their towels are hanged to dry on the backyard, it is convenient, too much effort on drying them in the, well…dryer. That is something normal around my area. And I am not going to point to a nationality to make a point. But I know an Asian family that hangs their clothing in front of the garage. Lots of kids in that home, and I don’t blame them, they are recent immigrants, perhaps from Afghanistan or India, and their home is not visible to the usual driver, plus they live in a cul de sac.

Now, I am of the opinion that we immigrants need, and have to assimilate, respect the culture we come to visit or live in, be this uninvited as is my case or as a result of a chain migration. But, to what culture or what line of thought we assimilate?
Is it the culture of the 60s or 80s, the hippie culture or the culture of what is becoming the norm, the white culture that is coming out of the hole to remind us, we the immigrants, that we are having one too many rights? How about the “rednecks” that are portrayed as one tooth, ignorant, dumb people? Or, the unfounded notion of the Black community selling drugs as it is portrayed by movies or some other TV programs as 48 Hours, or the Magic Johnson, Alí, or any sport figure. What better culture than ours if we have many of our own in the town ve live in and we feel comfortable with them? Do you think an Asian would be accepted in the neck of the woods as they seem to have hard feelings about Black and Hispanic people?

I see certain resilience, certain attitude in older people, be Hispanics or Asians or Europeans if that’s the case, to not learn another language no matter what. It could be due to the lack of education, it could be that they are too busy taking care of the grandkids, or, the same language barrier makes them prompt to work with people who speak their own language and that perpetuates that “laziness to learn anything”.
Obviously, if they never learned to write other than their native language, how do we expect them to learn a new one, and one that is difficult to learn as the English language is. What can we do to change their laziness or disregard for English, or coming out of their comfort zone? Shall we institute a timing where everybody has to go to a test on civics and English and if they can’t pass it 3 times they go to go? Shall we cut their liberties to live wherever they want? Shall we hoard them out of any given location and move them anywhere thus disrupting their lives?

How about not letting in more old immigrants, people older than 40 years? How about 50 years olds? Well, as far as I know, that’s coming. You are calling for a merited immigration, where the immigrants either learn or know the language or they are not allowed into the US. Do you have a history of anybody in your family suffering of strokes, cancer, diabetes, etc? Well, you shouldn’t be here then, sooner or later you will be a sick person, we can’t afford you. Only athletes need to apply, no fat person, no handicapped people, no this, and no that, out of here! It is coming!

The Chinese people, same as Irish, Italians, and others, didn’t have a nice welcoming when they first came to this country, mind you that this country was being formed by different nationalities or races. Though the first people couldn’t have been that ingenious, nor that smart, who knows what, they were the most hard working people you could find, and still are. The US was needing , without telling the entire world, they wanted all sorts of people from different races and nationalities to make America great. But the newcomers were subject of discrimination and of course, they were plagued with the usual crime and drug, alcohol, and whatnot addiction. And it wasn’t only the Asians with that problem, drugs and crime has been reported in all races and nationalities coming to this country.

Who has read of what happened many years ago to the Irish people, of the signs on hotels or rental units stating “Irish not allowed, dogs welcome”? So, people like them, were forced to form clusters, they lived one next to the other, and that’s even present to these days when we see very visible how some sections of any town are very Asian, or “Mexican”, or Black or whatever. It’s a self determination, a self defense, a way to share the same culture or values. People no matter what get stuck to their identities, their wrong, weird, ridiculous or valued ideas, it is a diversity situation, a word that has been banned recently by this administration, believe it or not. That diversity made America what is today, and, by trying to change in a few years or in the near future something that may have taken centuries to do is not only impossible, but suicidal or stupid. Pardon my French.

Most posters know me here. I am not going by the branches. I go straight to the point, and when I see somebody using words that explicitly denote racist or discriminatory remarks, as pointing out only to certain race or nationality I make my protest valid. We, as immigrants, some with their families having a good legacy in this country shouldn’t be discriminating against other immigrants. We shouldn’t join parties, groups or line of thoughts trying to distort or eliminate our legacy.

My point: I hate, to the point of not mentioning his name but nicknames, the actual president. And I find insulting, condescending, that some immigrants, some on this forum, with their support, perpetuate the unfounded idea that certain culture, nationality or race is full of criminals, dumb, not educated people, you name the adjective. That was the point that pushed the actual liar in the white house to lead this nation. It was his false interpretation of the Mexicans=Hispanic community --because most Americans think we are all Mexicans-- of being criminals. That sentiment is waking up the anti-immigrant response from those people whose families in the past treated any immigrant like crap, which gave way for the prosecuted culture to form their _____fill the gap “town”. They, by merit of being prosecuted, ridiculed, or discriminated, deserve to live where they please. History is on their side, period!

It’s been my crusade, to let know posters here that maybe, maybe they ought to think twice before voting for a party, or a line of thought that today is pushing the boundaries of discrimination to be the norm. Never before we saw so many cases of racism, so many groups going to the streets claiming that others not having the same skin tone should be exterminated, and in that my friends, you, as an Asian or Hispanic or non White European are included. I didn’t see any of you, except for a very, counted few, expressing their discontent for the discriminatory and criminal generalization of people from Mexico, whom by the way as I said seem to be including everybody who speaks Spanish, someone like me. Where were you then?

Now, when it comes to assimilation, the best way to check the failure of anybody to do so, it should be in the language arena, and for that, I blame the Immigration department for not “vetting” correctly those who have been here for many years by not throwing at them a real civics-English test. I was mumbling jumbling English 6 months after I put my first foot on this country, and when I celebrated 10 years, I was the one translating for “American citizens” anything legal. I couldn’t believe that people who have been here more than 20 years couldn’t do what I was doing. Really! I am a rare example of maybe one of the few old farts from my former town that can proudly almost speak English.

So, in my own skin, my own case, I know so far, 3 cases I witnessed that I can tell you disappointed me big time, besides the usual “I am an American” ridicule expression at the airport from people like the following not making sense in English:

1- I was offered a job in Lockheed (NASA) in Moffett Field in 1997-1998. I found out that because I couldn’t show a clearance = American passport I couldn’t get a job there at $25/hr. 3 Years ago, I was called for jury duty. I went to the respective department to say in person I was a legal resident, not a citizen. There, I witnessed this other Hispanic guy trying to make sense of his English. I had basically to translate for him. He was a US citizen! Guess where he worked? NASA!

2- I went to the DHS office in San Jose to inquire why my interview for my citizenship had taken too long, my wife was a citizen already and she was here because of me :triumph: Again, I witnessed another Hispanic guy mumbling jumbling English. I translated for him that he didn’t need to memorize the pledge of alliance or the oath. Well, he had just received the OK to become citizen so he was waiting for the next ceremony date, probably it was last year, on July 4th.

3- As I was happy telling everybody in my block I had become a citizen of the US, I didn’t see when somebody had moved my recycling and garbage bins and parked their car there (same as Roy’s ordeal). So, I went to my Vietnamese friend’s home across the street and there it was, the oldest grandpa. I asked him in English if he had seen who moved my bins and he looked at me as if I was a ghost. I then used hand gestures and a very slow English to ask him who moved my bins and he didn’t understand anything at all. I got so disappointed but I understood they were kind of new in this country as I was told. Later on, as I went to tell the young guy in that house I had became a citizen, he congratulated me and told me “my father in law bit you to it, he became a citizen last week”. Yeah! The old guy was a citizen already but couldn’t understand simple English words. And, I knew grandpa and grandma were going to ESL classes. Grandma didn’t make it I hear, still listening to the CD with 100 questions.

4- At my school, I help in a daily basis with the traffic situation. Both Asians and Hispanic get the deer on the spot light face when I talk to them in English. It breaks my heart that they are sending their kids to school, and after picking them up they have to make sure they are doing what the daily lesson told them to do. How? How did they become citizens?

5- Then, listening, reading, and looking at allegedly “Americans” making this bunch of dumb questions about something they should know. Be this real estate, stock market, or life in general.

So, the “Make America Great Again” that you hear anywhere, is not a good thing for the type of protest I hear from you. You are repeating what these racist, KKK, white supremacist people want to make others hear in a bad way. They see the examples above, the complaints of clothing hanging anywhere, the no speak English excuse, the clustering of people around their own people, and they think that if they are not willing to assimilate, they got to go, not traveling, but eliminated as the Nazis did with all non white or Aryan. It is a hatred campaign, that’s for sure.

That’s why, I feel ashamed myself when I see Asians, yes, Asians, and Black, and Hispanic people cheering up the leader of that pack in the white house that said so many things that would pale in comparison to anybody from the KKK. That leader mocked most everybody, the “we want deal”, “Mexicans are criminals” and more. There you see assimilation into politics, but of the cow joining the herd when they are going to the slaughter house. They wouldn’t make it in any other state where an “alien” is seen as something that has too many rights. That’s the reason Chinese, Mexicans, Italians, Portuguese and Korean and other people have defended themselves, by living one next to each other for comfort and to share the same culture and language. Do I blame anybody for that? Shall we force them to learn the language they can’t and don’t want to learn?

Moving people out of their comfort zone, and changing their current habitat to others where they may not survive, if I may say so, it is an attempt to copy the efforts of a party in certain country in the past that moved millions to areas they were sent to die. Because if we expect people to move because other people don’t like the way they live, I don’t think so.

The following is is for what some people on this forum voted for. Didn’t they know that what you see on these videos pertain to them? Of course they didn’t! And that, in my opinion, shoot me for that, may be the reason sometimes people shouldn’t be out of their comfort zone, the reason they shouldn’t “assimilate”, they become the prey, the puppets in the hands of their masters. And the masters are using them as a front. Look at that Black lady Omarosa. Used, and then thrown out of the masters plantation house.


Come on, THIS is why we are hanging our clothes out of windows!!! Laundromats are disappearing all over the place!!!



While the project on Pacific Ave seems to be moving along, did you see this beauty that went up on nearby Clay Street (by Wetmore, between Taylor and Mason Streets)? Wow, impressive. I had to pull over to take a few snaps for my deep pocketed Big Bro to give him hints. Keep in mind now that this used to be a freaking street level parking lot!!!! I couldn’t locate an old picture from Google but this corner lot was nothing, maybe parking for oh 5-6 cars. There was an upslope to the lot so not all of it was useful at the time. So, someone either bought the lot or maybe the owner got ambitious and decided to make a killing. Come on, this property is worth what now, $5-10M??? Each unit would be +$1M easily. Need to contact the contractor for more details…


Hi sfdragonboy, yes, that is the ex-parking lot / building that I have been watching going up over the past 3 months REALLY QUICKLY. Back in October, there was no facade/windows on the outside at all — it is a really impressive building.

There is a smaller but equally impressive new gut-rehab going up two blocks over on Jackson between Mason and Taylor as well.

All of this I consider to be eastern-Nob-Hill ----- but 2 blocks over onto Stockton would be Chinatown (with Powell kind of a demarcation line).

Anyways — this whole area – Eastern Nob Hill — all along Mason on Clay/Washington/Jackson/etc from Mason to Taylor I find is really bustling with development activity. And, with all the mandatory seismic upgrades going on, this whole area I find will be really really nice very soon — old world SF charm (you can see the Bay Bridge / Transamerica building from most blocks) coupled with modern buildings.

Plus — can you imagine what’s going to happen in a year or two once the new subway opens up on Washington and Stockton? Nice.


Man, you are on it!!! Thanks! I am only down there on weekend grocery calls or pickups but def notice the construction going on or newly rehabbed buildings, like on Pacific Ave more towards Jones and Hyde.


Oh, regarding the one on Jackson is that the one opposite of the cable car barn/repair facility? I believe they are doing some kind of garage entrance that is sloping down correct? Yeah, my Big Bro was in the area recently and told me about it.

Oh, apparently we got a letter about the building at the corner of Pacific and Mason (the laundromat, right below the Pacific Ave project) that the owner was building a legal inlaw. I haven’t seen the notice yet.


Ha! BTW — did you happen to notice the window of the closed restaurant MASON-PACIFIC has a new notice in it? They are going through a business ownership change. I wonder what they are going to be next…


You know, I had real high hopes that the restaurant was going to continue and succeed. If I remember correctly, it got decent reviews right? I remember driving by one weekend night and the place seemed busy with millennials everywhere. Ok, so someone new wants to give it a try? Hopefully it can stick.

If I remember correctly, you bought in the area correct? Any updates on what you plan to do? We are still sitting still for now since we don’t want our dear old mother to worry about anything. Last night, a family friend mentioned that his sibling is doing a retrofitting project on the other side of the Broadway tunnel where instead of doing just the earthquake proofing to a one car garage why not eliminate the garage altogether and make the entire ground floor or basement I guess 4 legal units? Man, cha-ching, to the max!!!


Carefull. You might get “Trumped”. :grinning:


God, used to watch my kung fu movies here back in the day…


I was talking to a lady the other day who runs a mobile artisnal coffee roastery/bar and uses the space @ Mason and Washington to hold pop up events ----- anyways she is super familiar with the going ons of the neighborhood — she mentioned to me that the restaurant at Mason & Pacific is turning into a wine bar … I’ll have to swing by and check it out.


I am heading down to Chinatown to check up on the family building, look at some of our mentioned monitored project sites on Pacific and Clay Streets respectively and get one of my favorite deals of all time, my 5 buck haircut…


Found you a better deal


I will gladly pay the 5 bucks and 5 bucks tip to the ladies inside a formal establishment… thanks though :grin:


Now THAT is a good deal. Makes me feel like I’m wasting money on my $12 haircuts. :slight_smile:


Chinatown still humming along, especially with Chinese New Year around the corner. Good thing I have my lucky street parking place (haven’t gotten a ticket in eons). Live crab at 7.99/lb for the big ones is not a deal. Next time. Got the hair trimmed and did a quick workout in the Embarcadero. Gosh, 5 buck haircuts and $24/yr memberships at 24 Hour Fitness. LIfe is not only good, but cheap. I got my wifey some smelly durian cake. Geez, a slice costs more than my haircut…I see they are finally moving along with the rehabbing of the block coming out of the Broadway tunnel. They removed a good chunk of the concrete peninsula and have placed red painted lamp posts between Powell and Stockton. That awesome building on Clay between Taylor and Mason seems to be coming along. They put the meters and such on the Clay side of the building though. I would prefer it on the alley street side, but i suppose they thought about it and couldn’t do it maybe. The redo on Pacific Ave seems to have topped off. They have framed the roof entrance.


I just walked by Mason and Pacific today - good news - the restaurant that closed down there is turnining into another restaurant - not a wine bar. And the team that is opening it hails from Quince, Incanto, Barbacco, Volta, etc. Looking forward to the tasting menu.


Ok, hopefully this seasoned team can do something with the space. I am still wondering why the guy who sent out notices regarding plans for the parcels next to the firehouse down the block hasn’t done anything yet.