San Francisco's Chinatown on Zoom | Mechanics' Institute

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San Francisco's Chinatown on Zoom
With authors Dick Evans and Kathy Chin Leong

This meeting will take place over Zoom. To receive an invitation to the meeting, please sign up using the Eventbrite link below. You will receive an invitation and a link to Zoom two days before the event.

If you have not received a Zoom link by the day before the event, please contact us at [email protected]

Even though the 2021 Chinese New Year Parade has been cancelled due to COVID- Enjoy this book and take a self-guided walking tour of Chinatown to celebrate the Year of the Ox!

“A vividly realized tribute to one of Northern California’s most revered cultural neighborhoods.” —Kirkus

Following his award-winning book on San Francisco’s Mission District, Dick Evans turns his attention to Chinatown, the fifth of a square mile that attracts more tourists than the Golden Gate Bridge but where the median household income is a quarter of the citywide average. From delicious dim sum to wok-filled shops, from iconic red lanterns to elaborate parade floats, from inside single-room occupancy apartments to outdoor games of Chinese chess in Portsmouth Square, Evans captures a place filled with diverse residents and a unique mélange of American and Chinese architecture, cuisine, and culture. Vibrant images are interspersed with sidebars highlighting particular people and institutions, deepening viewers’ immersion into this community. Kathy Chin Leong’s lucid text introduces readers to the history of the neighborhood, as well as to themes of tourism, daily life, and celebrations. At the heart of the book is a tight-knit community and a thriving neighborhood, which welcomes immigrants with supportive institutions and entices tourists to experience a wide array of Chinese traditions. Evans’s photos highlight a place undergoing visible progress but, unlike other San Francisco neighborhoods that are gentrifying, maintaining its unique character and authenticity.


Dick Evans is a San Francisco resident photographer with an interest in documenting the colorful and rapidly changing neighborhoods of the city. This book follows his 2014 Haight Ashbury and 2017 award-winning book on The Mission. Born into a ranching family in Eugene, Oregon, he graduated as an engineer from Oregon State University and subsequently obtained a master’s degree in management from Stanford. He has spent a fifty-year career in the global metals sector, living in five countries and multiple locations in Africa, Europe, and North America. It was during these travels that he developed an appreciation for the diversity and richness of different cultures—both global and local—and an interest in documentary photography. Chinatown is his third book.

Kathy Chin Leong, a lifetime career journalist, covers travel, technology, business, art and architecture, and anything that piques her interest. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic Books, Sunset Magazine, and other nationally recognized publications. Growing up in a bi-cultural environment, Chinese at home and American at school, she is typical of many ABCs who struggled with identity issues and eventually learned to embrace their Chinese heritage. While she has traveled the globe to the Middle East, Europe and Asia, rediscovering her Chinatown roots through collaboration on this book has been the journey of a lifetime. She lives in Sunnyvale, California.






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Meet the Author(s)

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