Monday, April 29, 2013

Four Chinatowns in four months: Seattle, Incheon, Busan, and San Francisco

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International Squire, Seattle
I noted a little while ago, in "Trying to Find Chinatown" my visits in March to the Chinatowns of Incheon and Busan in South Korea. I neglected to mention then my visit earlier in the year (January) to International Square in Seattle, which is now expanded, "internationally" to more than just a Chinatown. In addition to some great sushi spots and a large Japanese market/shopping center (that, I might add included a huge Kinokuniya bookstore).

In keeping with the theme of many Chinatowns around the world -- especially those that haven't been "gentrified" (like the sad remnants of the Washington, DC Chinatown) -- there remained a bit of a sketchy (I'm thinking of Vancouver here) atmosphere.

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Incheon, South Korea
So, Seattle in January, the two Korean locals in March, and then in April, a trip to San Francisco where I had to take the opportunity to stroll down Grant Avenue (I know, Stockton is more authentic, but it was later a night and the lights on Grant were brighter) and take in the sights. I stopped in a couple of the "emporia" and picked up a few things (you can always use extra chopsticks, fans, and a Buddha or two, right?) . I was pretty well stocked with tea (and Vital Leaf was closed), so I passed on over to Columbus Avenue, North Beach, and then back to my hotel.

Grant Avenue, San Francisco:

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