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quote:Originally posted by steve barker

Yep, that's Market Street, northeast-bound, from Van Ness to the Ferry Building.

If you got off that streetcar at the end, and walked north, you would be in Chinatown. Drop off your laundry at Sing's on Stockton Street. Faint odor of opium coming from an unmarked door at Grant and Pacific. Better move along quickly, and get out before dark, when groups of young men with knives roam the fog-shrouded streets looking for easy marks.

Go south to the Mission District. Dusty, horse-poop-covered streets. Grimy warehouses full ship's provisions and contraband. The smell of salt and seagull droppings in the air. Flea-infested flophouses and seedy bars full of drunken sailors.
is that then or now?
 

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Then. Or at least I was imagining what it might have been like back then. Now Chinatown is all trinket shops and bad restaurants. The Mission is all cleaned up now and is populated with tech geeks, yuppies and hipsters with million-dollar lofts.
 

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Back when we lived out there (Napa), SF was a completely different place. There were a lot of obvious (and flamboyant) homosexuals. Harvey Milk & George Moscone were assassinated when we lived there. The Mission district was a dangerous place, as was the Tenderloin. I had a cousin from RI who lived with us for about 6mos, and one night he borrowed my parents' car for a trip to the city; He came back home with a tattoo on his ass, and my mother was horrified to find out that he was hanging around the tenderloin by himself at night.

Sidewalks back then were crowded, from Fisherman's Wharf to Ghiradelli Square, with buskers & street vendors. They used to close off huge sections of road in Golden Gate park on weekends, for roller-skaters - not bladers, disco era roller skates. I can't tell you how many times I had to endure the Chinese tea garden (and requisite tea service afterwards) in Golden Gate park - torture for a 12yr old boy. We made countless day-trips to the city, for picnics in the park. I remember more than one occasion, watching somebody washing their car by hand in the park, with a bucket of soapy water, while we sat on a blanket having our picnic. There was also an outdoor fish market at Fisherman's Wharf, and my dad used to buy my sister shrimp cocktails on the sidewalk, for noshing while we wandered around.

We had neighbors who were born in China, and they made a weekly trip to Chinatown to do their shopping. While there were a lot of trinket shops, there were also a lot of genuine Chinese businesses there, and I remember whole bird carcasses (ducks & geese) hanging in butcher shop windows. My mother used to visit a restaurant supply in Chinatown & buy us fortune cookies in 25lb quantity boxes, which made me a lunchroom hero. Do you know how many fortune cookies are in a 25lb box? After a week, I'd trade them to anybody at school, for anything. After a while they'd get stale, and my mother would still pack them in our lunches. She used to complain that workers in a lot of those shops would ignore her when she went in, helping all the Chinese customers first.

I went back for a visit years later (the same week as the Oklahoma City bombing), and all the street vendors were gone, along with all the other weirdos, etc. Kinda disappointing, actually.
 

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I was there in 2005 and rode in the cable cars which is still a great way to get around. They do operate at night after dark and move faster than the ones you see in the film.

At 2:22 a cool looking road bicycle crosses the path and near the end of the film, a car cuts in between the cable car and another one going in the opposite direction.
 
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