11 Images

San Francisco’s Chinatown

Kitsch is in ample abundance along Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Glass-pig collectors will hit the jackpot in 2007, the Year of the Boar. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)
A mural on a building on Stockton Avenue shows the many faces of San Francisco’s Chinatown. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)
Shops along Grant Avenue usually close up for the evening, but the lighted red lanterns provide a welcoming glow for tourists. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)
But Grant Avenue in Chinatown bustles in the daytime. New immigrants from China often find their start in the neighborhood. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)
Chinatown’s dragon gate, which spans Grant Avenue, looks old, but it was built in the 1970s to mark the entrance to the neighborhood. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)
Peter Luong, right, chats with customers Si Salais, left, and Carlos Stewart of Dallas at the family tea shop, Red Blossom Tea Co., that he’s helped to update. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)
The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, which opened in 1962, is the last fortune-cookie company in Chinatown. It may seem to be mostly a tourist draw, but it sits on Ross Alley, which holds other finds. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)
Images of Mao Tse-tung are a popular item in souvenir shops in Chinatown. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)
House of Nanking on Kearny Street is a legendary restaurant that often has long lines. It’s known as much for its surly service as its food. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)
There are fun ways to get around San Francisco’s Chinatown, but the best way may simply be on your two feet. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)
The United Commercial Bank used to house the multilingual operators of the Chinese Telephone Exchange from about 1909 until the 1940s. (Michael Robinson Chavez / LAT)