Chinese Culture Center
You can see all the way to China from the Hilton's 3rd floor inside this cultural center, which hosts exhibits ranging from showcases of...
Chinese Telephone Exchange
California's earliest adopters of advanced technology weren't in Silicon Valley but right here in Chinatown. This triple-decker tiled...
Back when the red lights of Commercial St could be seen down by the waterfront, this strip provided many provocative answers to the...
Beat a hasty retreat to red vinyl booths where Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac debated the meaning of life alongside a bemused golden...
Elementary school cafeterias could outclass the Golden Star for atmosphere – but if you know pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), this is the...
733 Kearny St · interesting places nearby
Portsmouth Square information
Chinatown's unofficial living room is named after John B Montgomery's sloop, which staked the US claim on San Francisco here in 1846. This is where the Gold Rush began and where San Francisco's first city hall took over burlesque Jenny Lind Theater in 1852. The resident deity is the Goddess of Democracy, a bronze replica of the statue Tiananmen Square protesters made in 1989.
The action begins early and runs late in Portsmouth Square, where tai chi practitioners greet the dawn with outstretched arms and a lively night market is held during Chinese New Year and in summer (July to October). Each afternoon, toddlers rush the playground slides and tea-drinking crowds gather at the kiosk under the pedestrian bridge to joke and discuss the day's news. Checkers and chess played on concrete tables in gazebos late into the evening aren't just games but year-round obsessions, come rain or shine.