February 10, 2009

adventures in Chinatown


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Sunday was the wrap-up of the new year's festivities in San Francisco's Chinatown.   I showed up for a couple hours in the afternoon -- yes, I actually found parking on the other side of North Beach -- but didn't stick around for the parade.

Here's a snippet by Steve Rubenstein, lifted from the Chronicle:

A lot of traffic was diverted, a lot of barricades were erected, and a lot of firecrackers enlivened the scene and deafened the eardrums.

There were dancers in red outfits twirling gold fans. There were dancers in red outfits twirling green parasols. There were dancing rice bowls, dancing trash cans and dancing oxen. There was no shortage of dancers, both in the parade and on the sidewalk.

Spectators were 15 deep, standing shoulder to shoulder and chest to chest.

A vendor on Post Street, Andy Stemen, was a bit bummed over slow sales of his $5 plastic trumpets, $8 blinking light wands and $3 cotton candy. The police wouldn't let him into the crowds.

The centerpiece was the Hong Kong-born dragon, which at 238 feet long was the longest in parade history. More than 100 units were registered this year.

The parade - which ran for 15 blocks along Market, Geary, Powell, Post and Kearny streets - marked the climax of two weeks of celebrations for the Lunar New Year and the beginning of the Year of the Ox.

Parade organizers say the event, believed to date back to at least the 1860s, has become the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia. It certainly was the largest traffic jam in San Francisco all weekend.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney


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5 comments:

Tomate Farcie said...

You did the right thing (that is, if you wanted to be able to leave San Francisco relatively easily without getting stuck in massive traffic!). These are really nice pictures. The window display came out really good! Do you use some kind of polarizing filter? I can never get rid of the reflexion when I try to photograph windows.

AphotoAday said...

Hi T.F.,

Yep, I would have liked to stick around for the parade but I'm not too fond of crowds...

And nope, I don't have a polarizer filter yet, but I just lucked out with the reflections on that shot... I had to snap that one quickly so as not to get caught...

sfmike said...

The parade was Saturday, actually. I don't go to it because the firecrackers are thrown about a bit too indiscriminately for my sensitive nerves.

AphotoAday said...

Thanks for the info S.F.Mike...
I should have known -- I would have been standing there waiting for it, but I would have had a front row position...

Fish Whisperer said...

The shot of the clothes is really top notch. Beautifully done.
Cheers

 
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