Hello Friends and Family,

Chinatown and Renaissance Festival, 1980

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

In 1980, I went to San Francisco with two friends for brunch at a dim sum restaurant in Chinatown. For those not familiar with Chinatown in San Francisco, it really is a Chinese enclave. If you look closely at this photo and the following one, you can easily see that almost all of the signs have both Chinese and English. It is hard to tell from these photos but if you go there in person, you will note an abundance of Chinese people — both shopkeepers and customers.

A close Chinese friend from HP recommended Hong Kong restaurant as THE place to get the best dim sum. She was right, the food was excellent.

Here we see Portsmouth Square, a popular meeting place for local residents. Below street level is a parking garage — conveniently located within walking distance of the dim sum restaurant.

After dim sum, we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County to enjoy the Renaissance Festival being held there. The lavish costumes worn by the participants and vendors really takes you back to the 15th and 16th century. This person appears to be royalty or at least upper class.

Here we see a youngster at work selling clothes she carries on a hanger over her shoulder. So cute.

This young man appears to be having his beard braided.

Singing groups were everywhere. They all were quite good. I can't recall but I'd bet these guys were singing drinking songs.

Another young girl — just as cute as she could be.

This fellow was playing an instrument with which I am not familiar. So a quick online search suggested that it is called a hurdy-gurdy. When the musician turns the hand-crank it rotates a rosined wheel that rubs against the strings. The sound is somewhat similar to a violin.

I did not know this instrument so again I did an online search and could not find a match. But I did find something, not out of the Renaissance but out of tomorrow — click here. I hope you enjoyed this quick trip to the future.

And here is another Renaissance singing group — a larger group with wonderful harmony and beautiful costumes.

Last for this visit is a harpist playing and singing.

I do want to add that I thoroughly enjoyed this my first visit to any Renaissance Festival. They are held all over the country. I have been to the festival in the Phoenix area twice and have shared the photos from those visits. One can easily observe that the festivals have grown and, likely, will continue to grow. Look for one in your area — they are lots of fun.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com