Is SF Chinatown A Dinosaur?


Um… You don’t seem to be a very compassionate person…


Well, I think concepts of compassion and having immigrants make an effort to adapt to the American way of life are somewhat orthogonal.

Why should we welcome people to come here with open arms if they have no desire to try and adapt a little - just a little bit of American culture?


I commend you for supporting your parents, but let’s not call them useless and burden…they will be broken hearted if they hear this from you…


In Asia old buildings are torn down and replaced with modern high rises
San Franciscans are stuck on nostalgia… calling old seismically unsafe buildings historic.
Chinatown has the highest concentration of unsafe brick buildings in SF… Time to rebuild…


Sometimes it’s not a comfort zone issue, but a matter of preference. America is supposed to be the land of the free, so they can do whatever the hell they want.


Fair enough - given then that America is the land of the free, then the new owners of the building referenced in the news article way above should also be free to ban hanging laundry in the common areas.

BTW - I would say that those who refuse to adapt are “preferring” to stay in their comfort zone - a pity.


Unfortunately it’s the truth and they know it full well. They are not heartbroken at all, they are enjoying every moment of it brought to them by yours truly… :wink:


It’s all about rent control and confiscating the owner’s property right. They don’t want to lose the low rent due to their habit.

Get rid of rent control and everyone will be friends


Good discussion, @aalj, since we decided to stay in tonight and have some fresh, dungeness crabs. My basically steamed version with only an oil/ginger dipping sauce vs. my wifey’s version of pepper and butter roasted crab ala Thanh Long style. Wifey thinks she kicked my arse, but I don’t care…

I think you really have to appreciate the fact that the Chinese immigrants who came here and continue to come here and who may reside in Chinatown really don’t have a whole lot at all, in terms of money or family support. Come on, they don’t even speak English yet they decide to come to one of the most expensive cities in the US to make a go of it. Who in their right mind would do that? I don’t know what your ethnic background is, but to me, it would be like if a non Chinese person goes to some place like Shanghai or Hong Kong with very little money to boot and expect to survive. Sure, perhaps more doable today due to more English speaking folks there but take it back say 20-30 years. Do you think someone like that would not only have survived but thrived? Sure, some do but also a lot do not. Come on, how many English speaking people come to San Francisco today and eventually end up leaving due to how expensive it is here?

The point of emphasizing that folks eventually leave Chinatown is to point out how industrious Chinese people in general are. I am obviously biased, but I do not know people more hard working than Chinese people. Come on, I rarely ever see a homeless person or a panhandler that is Chinese (at least here). If anything, I am reminded of my humble background and how I better work harder when I see the old, frail ladies hunting for recyclables in trash cans to turn in for a little bit of money to survive on. Would you prefer that they panhandle?

I speak from experience because I am the first generation of my family that is born here and we happened to grow up in Chinatown. The folks you speak of, the ones hanging clothes outside windows or spitting on the sidewalks are the really old school folks. They aren’t going to change, but be assured, that their offspring more than likely are just like you and me. They will grow up to appreciate all that America is all about. For most people, Chinatown is simply a chapter (hopefully a short one) in their journey towards being accepted and that is of course another story in itself.


Yes, Chinese people especially like to sacrifice for the next generation. They live cheaply and torture themselves to strive for a better future for their children…


Sfdb, wuqijun, ELT1, BAGB, I appreciate yout thoughts. It took me a while to think through how to articulate this -

I dislike the mentality of entitlement that comes about from long-term enjoyment of rent control. Worse yet, I despise it when ethnicity gets thrown into the mix — both subtle and overt implication that those who try to clean up the ghetto aspects of Ctown (like the hanging laundry or hocking lugies) are somehow not respecting the “historical context” of Chinatown.

I find that embracing this line of reasoning just perpetuates a 360 degree loop of poverty. As well, I find this to be fairly lazy - it isn’t like the 1880s anymore where racism made it impossible to survive outside Chinatown. Heck, as early ad the 1960s things had already changed big time - you could integrate with the rest of society.

We talk about industriousness (the old lady picking up recycling) - yes I find that to be industrious as well, but in a way that embraces the comfort zone and in a way that is dishonest to the purpose of coming to a new country to begin with. Look, you took a huge risk and left your country and went to a new one. That journey of risk taking doesnt stop once you arrive - it starts once you arrive. Now you have to adapt — don’t be lazy.

Sfdb, as far as my background goes, it is the same as yours. My folks were immigrants as well. They also spoke almost no English. But they settled in the midwest where there was no Chinese support network. They survived on factory work - and now they are true Americans. They speak English, kind of. They hang out w their caucasian neighbors and grill out of July 4th. But I see them, and they see themselves as integrated into American society in a way that I see Chinatown has not. And when folks in Chinatown resist integration today on arguments surrounding “historical character” or “ethnic context,” I see it as a whole ball of entitlement, refusal-to-go-out-of-comfort-zone, and self-imposed-exile all in one.


My basically steamed version with only an oil/ginger dipping sauce vs. my wifey’s version of pepper and butter roasted crab ala Thanh Long style. Wifey thinks she kicked my arse, but I don’t care…

Off topic - but BTW I am with you on the ginger/oil. I like mixing it with the yellow stuff inside the crab to make the best sauce. These days though, perhaps as you, I prefer doing that at home rather than going to a restaurant to eat as I find eating it at a restaurant to be too cumbersome. Also I find buying crabs off the boat to yield much sweeter crab than buying live crab in tanks at the market.


The best crabs are ones you catch yourself. I miss crabbing . We would catch them 3 miles off Muir Beach
Best steamed and eaten still warm with sourdough bread melted butter accompanied with Caesar salad and Rombauer Chardonnay


Um… there are also a lot of “self imposed exile, entitlement and poverty” in Ferguson. A lot of liberals (aka black lives matter) support them. It’s also hard to find a black person who doesn’t. So, as a Chinese person I fully support the entitlement attitude of the Chinatowners!!! At least they are not violent and running around vandalizing… :rofl:


Rent control is bad. The people are good.


If everyone does what you say then we wouldn’t be seeing young people paying for groceries using food stamps. There are going to be lazy people everywhere, not just Chinatown.


From my impression, immigrants, regardless of ethnicity, work harder and rely on government less than natives. We are talking mostly about Chinese here. But I think the same applies to Mexicans, Africans or what have you.

As to why some people chose the comfort of staying in Chinatown, I think mostly because they are old. It’s hard to learn a new language after 50. How many of us speak 2 or 3 languages? Did we learn those at 55? Probably not.


Medical cost is the biggest expense


I think @aalj is saying because his parents learned English late in life, other old folks should be able to do the same as well. However, you cannot assume others will do what you do, otherwise you will always come out disappointed.


Wise. Assuming so is… PC :grin: can’t uttter.