Before our country went into lockdown, Chinatowns were suffering losses up to 70% of their sales due to anti-Asian bigotry. San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. Once boasting over 930 storefronts a mere 150 are operating today. Chinatowns aren’t just restaurants and tourist attractions, they are cultural and financial hubs for generational communities. With Lunar New Year approaching on February 12th, a time of year that provides most of the revenue for these businesses, the streets will remain largely quiet with parades cancelled. These are photos taken of San Francisco’s Chinatown in January 2019.
Since 1962 the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory has been making fortune cookies by hand. Tucked in a small alley this local spot draws a crowd of locals, tourists and celebrities offering tours and custom cookies. Today, business is so slow the owner can’t afford to turn the machines on.