While the huge festival crowds were clogging up Grant Ave, I took a shortcut through Ross Alley. It’s the oldest alley in San Francisco, and is the location of the famous Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company.
During Chinese New Year, I came across an elderly street band offering passersby a chance to play. While I feebly attempted to play a qinqin, one of the real musicians strummed some beautiful melodies using a guzheng. This is the instrument that most folks associate with Chinese music; movies, tv shows, and video games related to the culture typically use one as part of their soundtracks. YouTube has several videos demonstrating just how awesome this mass of wood and strings can be. It’s been over 2,000 years since its invention, and it’s still going strong.
Whenever I’m in Chinatown, I usually stop by Wentworth Place. It’s nice, secluded from tourists, and has places to sit. The fact that it also hides one of the best Gundam model stores in the Bay Area might also have something to do with it.