July 27, 2008
cafe, Downtown China Camp
click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney
Well, yes, there is a cafe in beautiful downtown China Camp, but don't arrive hungry because the odds are 365 to 2 that the place isn't going to be open... And yes, it WILL be open this year on August 30 and 31 for China Camp Days, but even then they won't be serving food or beer -- however you WILL be able to buy a genuine China Camp tee-shirt.
China Çamp, located on the western shore or San Pablo Bay (the upper thumb of San Francisco Bay) is a Chinese shrimping village that was quite active 100+ years ago. In those days racial discrimination was part of established law, and shrimp fishing, along with laundering clothes, was one of the few businesses a Chinaman was allowed to engage in.
Today China Çamp has been taken over by the California Park System, but there is still one permanent resident, Mr. Frank Quan, who continues to operate his shrimp boat occasionally. Unfortunately, these days Mr. Quan doesn't net as many bay-shrimp as he used to. Shrimp populations in San Pablo Bay depend on fresh-water releases from the Sacramento Delta, and the sad fact that there just isn't enough water for both the farmers of the Central Valley and San Pablo Bay, so the salinity of the bay has increased over recent years to the point where it is barely worth Mr. Quan's time and effort to try catching any shrimp. Sigh...
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