We lived in San Francisco for five years. One thing that I realized as a result is that it is easy to take for granted where you live. San Francisco is an amazing world class city that many people would love to visit, and many do! That being said, I did not take a lot of photos when we lived there. I always thought, I can go see the Golden Gate Bridge any time, or I can go to Chinatown any time, and we have been to both of those places many times, but I never stopped to document any of it, it just seemed “normal” to always have access to these wonderful places.
That is why on our most recent trip there, I finally decided to take photos and also go somewhere that I never went when we lived there, the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company in Chinatown. On a visit to this small factory located in a narrow alley you get to see up close how the fortune cookies are made. You can buy all kinds of cookies and you get a sample of the flat cookies (before they are folded). The lady gave Sam an extra big handful of flat cookies.
In case someone does not know, fortune cookies most likely did not come from China, nor are they Chinese-American in origin. They most likely came from Japan. This NY Times article gives a great history of them based on a lot of research. At some point they made the jump to being served in huge numbers of Chinese restaurants.
Some fortune cookie manufacturers are very automated. Golden Gate still makes them by hand.
There is a wide variety of cookies for sale including chocolate cookies, supersized cookies and in case you have a bachelor(ette) party to plan, adult version cookies in both chocolate and vanilla, haha!
On our way to and from the cookie factory, we decided to meander around Chinatown and enjoy the city. That included getting a few pork buns to go, who could resist buns on display in a window??
My recommended itinerary for Chinatown is to NOT have an itinerary, but rather to just walk around and take in the streets around you. A good beginning for that walk is the Gateway Arch at Grant and Bush Street.
On your walk, you will see street art, beautiful lanterns, amazing architecture, and mysterious foods and traditional medicines.
I made a small dent in documenting a city I used to live in. I hope you go and explore those places you have been meaning to visit in your communities.