So what are the lessons I have learned about San Francisco?
- Harvey Milk, USA’s first openly gay elected official, lived there.
- America’s first chinatown was built 1849 in San Francisco. After the earthquake, officials planned to oust the Chinese residents there, but chinese businessmen took courage and with creativity turned the area into a tourist attraction.
- The plot to overthrow China’s last emperor took place on Spofford Alley.
- San Francisco rose from the ashes after the great earthquake in 1906. Pretty much reminds me of the Phoenix bird, burning to the ground and rising back to life.
- Gun-battling bootleggers and prostitutes abound there in the old days.
- Many Mexican, Spanish and Filipino women died in Ross Alley during the 1906 earthquake and fire. They were workers who were locked behind doors after work, so they could not escape when the catastrophe struck.
- Ross is a store to buy branded products at cheap price.
- Sea lions like were said to dock in Pier 39. We didn’t see any when we were there though.
- We hired a cab a whole afternoon and drove down the zig-zag section of Lombard Street, among others.
- In the old days, the Marina District stank of drying fish, cattle and dirty laundy until its waterfront marshland was filled with rubbles from the quake 1906. (Pretty much like the Old Towns of Europe – smelly in the old days).
- We lived walking-distance from the Palace of Fine arts, created originally as an artificial ruin for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Once the expo was over, the people wanted to keep it, so it was recast in concrete.
- The Golden Gate Park was once a thousand acre dune desert that was developed into the largest developed park in the world.
- I bought my first Mac lipsticks at Macy’s.
- We hanged out at Union Square – where all the tourists in San Francisco seemed to have agreed to gather.
- I bought my very first Ipad in San Francisco. It still works, and is in possession of my now eight-year old daughter.
- San Francisco reminds me of Lisbon, Portugal, with all its giddy hills.
Credit to my relatives, tour bus guide, Lonely Planet and taxi driver for the information.
We were there July 13-17, 2012. We stayed at one of the oldest motels in America, Marina Motel, on Lombard Street.
Many from the Santiago clan live in San Francisco – and it was fun to have met my long-lost, warmhearted relatives who spontaneously called a mini-reunion at a Chinese restaurant for our sake. We will always appreciate the warmth and love.
More pics above – topmost – where the picture gallery is. (Just push the arrows to the left or right.)
Photos: Jeanina Santiago, Marcus Lindström
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