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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Chinatown: 1930

Chinatown: 1930

San Francisco circa 1930. "Grant Avenue at Sacramento Street." 4x5 inch nitrate negative by Arnold Genthe. View full size.

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Home of the Flower Drum

"Grant Avenue, San Francisco,
California, U.S.A.
Looks down from Chinatown
Over a foggy bay.
You travel there in a trolley,
In a trolley up you climb,
Dong! Dong! You're in Hong Kong,
Having yourself a time."

Somebody's got to say it

Forget it, Jake...

Ya think?

Gee, I wonder if I could find some good Chop Suey around here somewhere. Even though this photo is 85 yrs. old, it still captured the hustle, bustle, sights, smells and sounds of San Fran's Chinatown. Wish I was there right now. New York's Chinatown is great too, but not quite the same. Living out on the prairie as I do now, I have to settle for Chinese takeout and old memories to pretend I'm there again. God bless America.

Looks a little different now

Steep climb to the left

Sacramento St. has a steep climb from here to the top of Nob Hill, hence the cable car tracks in the foreground. While the well-known California Street Cable Car line remains in service nearby, the Sacramento Clay line was removed in WWII and replaced with buses. When I lived there in the early 1980's packed diesel buses were still roasting their automatic transmissions as they climbed the hill waiting for new electric trolley buses to soon take over.

Earlier than 1930

I can't see the license plates clearly enough to read the year but the short, wide shape was last used in 1928. Starting in 1929 plates are taller in relation to width. My guess is 1928.

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