Dragon's Gate

Monument in North Beach & Chinatown
Image by Joe Potato Photo / Getty Images

Enter through the Dragon archway donated by Taiwan in 1970, and you'll find yourself on the street formerly known as Dupont in its notorious red-light heyday. The pagoda-topped 'Chinatown deco' architecture beyond this gate was innovated by Chinatown merchants led by Look Tin Ely in the 1920s – a pioneering initiative to lure tourists with a distinctive modern look. It worked: dragon streetlights chased away shady characters, and now light the way to bargain souvenirs and tea shops.