San Francisco and Chinatown Essay

San Francisco and Chinatown Essay

Length: 2141 words (6.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

San Francisco and Chinatown

Gilded age San Francisco stood as a beacon for travelers bound for the western coast of the United States. The most prominent city in the developing west during the latter parts of the nineteenth century and the opening of the twentieth, San Francisco encompassed a range of conflicting identities. This time period marked a transitory stage in the development of San Francisco, evolving from a booming “frontier town” to a “civilized metropolis,” the emerging San Franciscan identity retained qualities from both poles of this spectrum. Chinatown, existing as a city within the city, shared this relationship of extremes with San Francisco. To travelers visiting San Francisco, Chinatown was a necessary stop. The writings in travelogues published during this period describe Chinatown through a mix of revulsion and curiosity, its inhabitants virtuous and sub-human. In short, within the developing city of San Francisco, an expedition into Chinatown remained a visceral exploration of a foreign and exciting environment.

Emily Faithful, an Englishwoman writing in 1884, traveled through America in order to explore the changing position of women during the nineteenth century.[1] Faithful remarked, “San Francisco is a city of strange contrasts. Perhaps there is not a faster place in the world, and yet there are few more conspicuous for works of true benevolence. There is more drinking, and more fanatical total abstinence than I ever encountered elsewhere…”[2] Faithful focused mainly upon the moral decay accompanying San Francisco’s prosperity, however she closed her description of San Francisco by contrasting the decadence of the “so-called society set,”[3] to the equally large “cultured...

... middle of paper ...

...ities (Philadelphia: Hubbard brothers, 1883), 455 and Alfred Falk, Trans-Pacific sketches; a tour through the United States and Canada (Melbourne: G. Robertson, 1877), 23.

[8] Glazier, Peculiarities of American Cities, 464.

[9] Nicholas Everitt, Round the world in strange company; America, British Columbia and the west (London: T. W. Laurie Ltd., 1915), 270.

[10] Green, Notes, 65.

[11] Glazier, Peculiarities of American Cities, 468.

[12] Glazier, 469.

[13] Catherine Bates, A Year in the Great Republic (London, Ward & Downey, 1887), 140.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Bates, A Year in the Great Republic, 141.

[16] Ibid.

[17] ibid, 142.

[18] Glazier, Peculiarities of American Cities, 469.

[19] Green, Notes on New York, San Francisco, and Old Mexico, 71.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Green, Notes, 71.

[22] Glazier, Peculiarities, 470.

[23] Ibid, 471.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Earthquake Of San Francisco Essay

- At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, the people of San Francisco were abruptly awaken to one of the world’s most expensive and impacting earthquakes of the 20th century. The magnitude of the earthquake is debatable, ranging from 7.7 to as high as 8.2. However, the most accepted measurement is 7.9. The main shock epicenter occurred offshore 3.2 km from the city, near Mussel Rock. It ruptured along the San Andreas Fault northward and southward for 476 km (296 miles). The quake was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, inland as far as Nevtada....   [tags: 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Earthquake]

Powerful Essays
2545 words (7.3 pages)

What I Love San Francisco Essay

- “Oh, San Francisco, you never let me down” I said after watching a group of young kids break dancing down on the end of Pier 39. Tourists were coming from all directions to throw a few bucks in the enormous bucket labeled “tips”. My friend Joey couldn’t believe his eyes going on to say “they make more tips in one show then I do working all day!” Coming from the Bay area, San Francisco has always been my favorite get away. I’m able to spend hours in The City with no prior planning at all. I love San Francisco for its amazing scenery, outstanding choices in food, as well as its unique culture and people....   [tags: San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area]

Powerful Essays
1055 words (3 pages)

San Francisco 1906 Earthquake: Impact and Reconstruction Essay

- At 5:12 a.m. on April 18th, 1906, the California city of San Francisco was awoken by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Chaos erupted with the earthquake leading to fire break outs throughout San Francisco (Cameron and Gordon. Pgs 69-73).The earthquake and the resulting fires caused destruction to majority of the city with buildings crumbling and igniting into flames. Many people died along with thousands and thousands of people being left homeless. This devastating earthquake left the city and United States in a financial crisis....   [tags: Damage, Casualties]

Powerful Essays
1620 words (4.6 pages)

Modern Day Chinatown Essay

- Modern day Chinatown is a vibrant and bustling community full of bright colors and Chinese characters adorning buildings as far as the eye can see. Chinese elders roam around the narrow and unkempt streets while children frolic around from store to store with wide smiles, riffling through toy stores as store owners look on. Mothers scurry from store to store searching for the most tender meats to buy for the night's dinner or for the next day's lunch. Tourists from nearby downtown drift into the heart of Chinatown with large and expensive cameras, posing for pictures with Lion head statues and continue on, buying cheap Chinatown goods along the way....   [tags: Asian Americans]

Powerful Essays
1619 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Another San Francisco Detective Novel

- Bang. Crash. The purity of the nighttime silence has been broken. A struggle ensues. One gets the gun and stands above the other. “Where is it?” he demands hostilely. The subdued man points a shaking, bony finger at the cupboard above his head. After a quick rummaging, the man with the gun finds what he is looking for. A grin forms on his face, barely illuminated by the dim streetlights outside. “Now I can finally get that cabana in Cuba and live happily ever after.” “Over my dead body!” “Precisely.” Bang....   [tags: Creative Writing Essays]

Powerful Essays
893 words (2.6 pages)

Old Chinatown of Los Angeles Essay examples

- Old Chinatown of Los Angeles Chinese first established their community in Los Angeles at today's El Pueblo Historical Monument. About two hundred settled by the year 1870. This number gradually increased over the years when the Southern Pacific began to construct a railroad from San Francisco in the 1870s. They were farm laborers, servants, road builders and small shopkeepers. Even with heavy discrimination during this time, Chinese held a dominant economic position in the Los Angeles laundry and produce industries for several years....   [tags: Chinese China History Essays]

Powerful Essays
1422 words (4.1 pages)

Chinatown: The Spread of Eastern Culture in a Western Society Essays

- In the past few decades of history, the span of globalization and mixing of world cultures has been particularly prevalent. Through the spread of technology and communications across national boundaries, the various superpowers of the world have begun immersing themselves into foreign cultures and have introduced their own cultures to nations that are not their own as well as have accepted certain parts of foreign culture in their own homes. One of the greatest examples of this exchange of culture is the prevalence of Chinese culture in the West through the establishment of various “Chinatowns” throughout popular cities in Europe and the Americas....   [tags: Spread of Technology and Communication]

Powerful Essays
1138 words (3.3 pages)

Chinatown Essay examples

- Chinatown Before the 1960s, the era of the Civil Rights Movement and People of Color Movements, ethnic towns were formed due to the anti-ethnic legislation, which forced many people of color to live in certain areas of the city. After the relaxation of some anti-ethnic legislation, especially in residential segregation, these ethnic towns changed. No longer are these ethnic groups forced to live in segregated areas due to legislation, but rather because of economic and cultural survival due to the resources that are found in these ethnic towns....   [tags: Culture Cultural Papers]

Powerful Essays
1155 words (3.3 pages)

Barbara Berlund 's Making San Francisco Americ Cultural Frontiers Of The Urban West

- In Barbara Berlund’s Making San Francisco American: Cultural Frontiers in the Urban West, Berlund explains how San Francisco grew from a young settlement which grew rapidly thanks to in part of the California Gold Rush which took place in 1949. Of course with the growing of this small settlement came it’s conflicts and how it rised to where it stands present day. A primary factor which helped San Francisco flourish a ton was the influence from those who had power and chose what would happen throughout the city, for example the Big 4....   [tags: White people, Black people, Race, Sociology]

Powerful Essays
1378 words (3.9 pages)

The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Essay

- The 1906 San Francisco earthquake a natural disaster that was estimated to be magnitude 7.8, which destroy the city, caused the casualties of 2,000 people’s death and an estimate of 2,000 residents in the streets (The Center for Legislative Archives, n.d.). In addition, the 99.7 chance for future earthquakes due to San Andreas Fault and the important measurements that every resident in California should take to reduce accidents and damage. 1906 San Francisco Earthquake The earthquake that only lasted 45 to 60 seconds, but “was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles and inland as far as central Nevada” was the disastrous 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (USGS 2012)....   [tags: 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Earthquake]

Powerful Essays
1908 words (5.5 pages)