Black and White Chinatown
Dragon’s Gate, the iconic entrance to San Francisco’s Chinatown, with a history that reaches back over one hundred years, is the doorway to one huge contradiction.
Words and Photography by Chris Wong
On the one hand, when walking through Chinatown, there is the feeling that you’re in a tourist trap. Shops line the street, selling custom named license plates and “I heart SF” T’s. It feels like a parody of Chinese culture.
But on the other hand, you notice all the Chinese who spend all of their daily lives in the area.
People who live and work in the district.
Chinese people, who seem to have spent a significant part of their life in this district, walk the streets as if the tourists don’t exist.
If you look past the buildings, plastered with kitsch colored paint, or the strings of worn Chinese lanterns, you can get a taste of the life they refuse to let go of and the culture that defines them.