A spontaneous trip wedged between two snow storms unfolded behind a small metal gate up the hill from the shuffling streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown. We wake up to Ravina swiftly jolting her body excitedly between Aidan and I in bed. Then spend 15minutes soaking in the symphony that swirled around the first street corner we happened upon. At the turn of the sidewalk signal a crescendo of traffic from all sides emerged; two men in thick gloves hauled boxes of gai lan and bok choy from truck to storefront, a chef wearing an apron stained with fish oil pushed green crates filled with crabs, one old woman yelled after her friend, and the other flagged the vegetable merchant from 10 feet away.
Every inch of the block begged for its own story. Locals of a past generation unknowingly abide by the standard Chinatown dress code - sweater vests, bucket hats, button down silk shirts, versatile patterned slacks, and functional footwear. Our adventures expanded to SFMOMA, Batteries to Bluff, The Castro, The Mission, a Trader Joes in Nob Hill. The go-to’s of the city. But the heart of our trip was unscripted mornings and very late evenings in a three bedroom walkup that echoed with contagious laughter of new and old friends in the heart of Chinatown.
Many thanks to our dear friends Ravina, Trina, Mark, and Maya. We'll see you guys soon. •