Chinatown after dark

I took the new Central Subway back to Chinatown recently to stop in at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory before closing time at 7:00 PM. There’s something special about Chinatown after dark that’s almost as magical as Main Street in Disneyland at night. Later, I walked around Chinatown to update some old pictures and postcards of Chinatown at night. (Thumbnail images)

The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory is in Ross Alley. Long ago, this alley was an extremely dangerous place to be in, complete with hatchet men and Tong wars. In the cookie factory, you bring your fortunes in and the lady there puts them in a freshly baked fortune cookie, molds it into shape, and puts the cookie in a pagoda decorated little box.

Grant Avenue near Clay Street during the 1950s; lit up in the vintage picture like ‘Neon Noodle’ in the old Daffy Duck cartoon, ‘The Great Piggy Bank Robbery’. (

Grant Avenue near California Street in a postcard from the 1960s:

The old Lipo Lounge, at Grant Avenue near Jackson Street, is back open again. You can see part of their neon sign in my picture. The Lipo has this circular and exotic looking entrance. (

The Dim Sum Building, across the street from Old St. Mary’s Church, all lit up in 1911:

Grant Avenue near Pacific Avenue during the 60s: Near Broadway, this used to be a favorite dining area in Chinatown at night, but it’s kind of quiet now.

One thought on “Chinatown after dark

  • China Town is one of those places in San Francisco that I have almost no experience with. I never worked there, and only drove through it on my way somewhere else.

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