California Street

Jessica A. Lum, C.K. McClatchy High School - 12 grade

One of San Francisco’s main arteries, California Street, runs through the heart of the Grant Avenue Chinatown. At this intersection, it can be said, East meets West in a somehow harmonious chaos. Even at night, the famous old San Francisco trolley makes its way up and down the foggy slopes of California Street, running parallel to the crowded, fluorescent lantern-lit sidewalks of Grant. At the northwest corner, St. Mary’s Cathedral towers silently above dozens of tiny Oriental gift shops, restaurants, and glowing neon signs.

At this intersection, Chinatown becomes the image of a culture nestled within another culture, a unique piece of an urban mosaic. Just as Chinatown finds its roots in both the Far East as well as in the big city of San Francisco, Californians of all cultures and religions are able to celebrate their unique identities, and yet share the common bond of being Californian.

© 2005 Jessica A. Lum, Displayed with permission.