San Francisco, USA

with the head on the moon

Chinese-born singers liven up the Moon Festival with epic and popular Chinese themes.
dragon dance
Chinese-American youth perform a dragon dance in the streets of San Francisco's Chinatown.
Dragon head
Chinese-American youth perform a dragon dance in the streets of San Francisco's Chinatown.
Couple put stickers with the US flag on gingerbread packages.
maternal support
Mother encourages her daughters, about to perform in a traditional Chinese music exhibition.
string melodies
Young songs play traditional instruments for a moving audience.
China in San Francisco
Typical architecture of San Francisco's Chinatown, also decorated with Chinese and US flags
the visionary
Elder exhibits his long theory that explains the election of Barack Obama to passersby.
moon cakes
Chinese pastry vendors in the sweet heart of Frisco's Chinatown.
Bell Crowd
Crowds roam the streets of Chinatown during the San Francisco Moon Festival.
Political and Controversial Mural decorates a street in Chinatown.
former President Hu Jintao
Painting Seller has, in prominence, the portrait of the then Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Little Chinese Americans accompany an artist's performance during the San Francisco Moon Festival.
September comes and Chinese people around the world celebrate harvests, abundance and unity. San Francisco's enormous Sino-Community gives itself body and soul to California's biggest Moon Festival.

It's mid-afternoon and the streets of the big red neighborhood are bustling like never before. Men of short stature but great vigor unload endless crates into the hands of porcelain ladies who receive them without apparent harm and arrange in the depths of their stores and warehouses.

Everyday Chinese life is repeated there, driven by the already deeply genetic vocation of pursuing profit almost without rest.

We arrive in September and the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunisolar calendar is approaching, a harbinger of the autumnal equinox. The vast population in the diaspora responds to the millenary appeal of the celebration of prosperity that, at one time, contemplated almost only rural benefits, but today, due to the evolution of the economy, it also takes into account its numerous businesses - for some reason they became known - of the China.

Chinese, American or Sino-American?

We investigate the action in one of the central streets of the neighborhood when we see an entertaining couple placing stickers with the United States flag on plastic packaging, over large open barrels, full of ginger.

Store Owners, Chinatown-San Francisco, United States of AmericaCouple put stickers with the US flag on gingerbread packages.

We approach and follow the procedure that the head of the household's sunglasses make us look even more intriguing.

At this time, the Yankee nation remains in crisis and calls to consume American and reject Chinese products come from everywhere but mostly in shortwave and via satellite and cable by ultra-conservative activists, Tea Party and Fox Channel as the incorrigibles Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Levine, among others.

At first, Li Chin is flustered but soon realizes that we don't want to harm him and assumes the cheat. “They want to buy national, we give them our national. Believe me, most are not smart enough to tell the difference.

Some of this ginger is from here, another is from China, the stickers, those, are all patriots. If we offer packages with Chinese letters for sale, they boycott us. Here is the American product that they so much advocate.”

It doesn't hurt to realize that despite nearly 200 years of presence in San Francisco, the integration of its Chinatown remains to be completed. Chinese culture – especially of the predominant Han ethnic group – has always been supreme and does not give itself once and for all, not even in old California which, even in debt up to its neck, contemplates the rest of the United States and the world from the top of a pedestal.

We pass by a wall on which a huge Stars and Stripes with the expected inscription of God Bless America. But the author omitted the B from the sentence and, despite later correction, the message remains distorted, for the contemplation and reflection of residents and outsiders.

Flag mural, Chinatown-San Francisco, United States of AmericaPolitical and Controversial Mural decorates a street in Chinatown.

Moon Festival: a Moon Cake Festival

At the confectionery shop next door, there is no time to waste on philosophical analyses. It's festive season and neither the owners nor the employees have a rest with so many requests for moon cakes, sponge cupcakes and other delicacies.

Made from egg yolks, beans, sesame and jujube, the festival's official little pastries are dense and heavy, as massive as they are delicious.

Mooncakes, Chinatown-San Francisco, United States of AmericaChinese pastry vendors in the sweet heart of Frisco's Chinatown.

We devour two each effortlessly and we also unveil the derisory fate dictated by the papers hidden in the fortune cookies, satisfied, above all, by the palpable luck of the owners having offered us a small assorted box of Cantonese pastries.

San Francisco's Chinatown's Already Secular Past

The afternoon progresses and the cable cars that go up and down the surrounding San Francisco hills pour more people into the neighborhood. This Chinatown was formed like the city itself, when the 1849 Gold Rush it attracted people from all over the North American territory and from other countries.

It survived an outbreak of bubonic plague and the earthquake and mega-fire of 1906. Its ever-growing population also resisted prejudice and aggression from the criminal clans that between 1870 and 1900 ran brothels, opium salons, gaming houses and dens of slavery from the same sloping streets because they aspired millions of fellow countrymen to arrive.

Shortly after the big earthquake, authorities planned to evict residents and urbanize the area with valuable property. To avoid this, a core of Chinese businessmen led by Look Tin Ely has collected enough funds from their fellow countrymen to reinvent the neighborhood as the tourist attraction it is today.

Crowd, Chinatown, San Francisco-United States of America
Crowds roam the streets of Chinatown during the San Francisco Moon Festival.

They hired architects to create the Chinatown Deco lines it preserves, with pagoda-style roofs and dragon lanterns lined the shopping streets.

The end was reached, but it did not end with discrimination and with legislation that prohibited emigration, such as the Exclusion Act. The city's Chinese then reinforced their political and economic unity and circumvented the new obstacles.

The Delicate Reality Bell of San Francisco's Chinatown

Today, many survive on less than $10 a year in one of the most expensive cities in the US, but in their minds, once established in the corporate heart of the Golden State, better opportunities will arise. Above all, they have reasons to celebrate.

Dragon Dance, Moon Festival, Chinatown-San Francisco-United States of AmericaAmerican Chinese youth perform a dragon dance during the San Francisco Moon Festival.

We have reached a point where the crowd makes it difficult to move around. Groups of elders face mahjong and other challenges on card tables decorated with party program banners. Curious people watch the movements of the pieces over the shoulders of the protagonists and, from time to time, dare to suggest better solutions.

Young songs with mother, Chinatown-San Francisco, United States of AmericaMother encourages her daughters, about to perform in a traditional Chinese music exhibition.

At the same time, a procession of long, furry, gaudy dragons and lions animated by young people wind through the space regained by the security agents who serve the festival. This opens the way to the Grand Avenue where a music recital is about to begin.

Several groups play traditional themes and anthems with sounds of guzheng and other typical string and percussion instruments, supplanted by a couple of singers in a duet and typical costumes that make the audience shiver with the power of their contrasting voices.

Singers, Moon Festival-Chinatown-San Francisco, United States of AmericaChinese-born singers liven up the Moon Festival with epic and popular Chinese themes.

The day is about to last and surprises us with more and more oriental emotions. On a bucket, on a corner already in the shade, a toothless old man wearing a conical hat greets passersby and makes a point of promoting his own.

The Elder Prophet of Everything a Little

He remains apparently moved by Baraka Obama's election to the White House, and on a poster covered in printed text he enunciates a long, crazy theory that explains why God led him to the presidency.

His conjecture begins by introducing the Opium War and the British invasion of a Tibet which the advertiser considers, without any doubt, Chinese as Taiwan.

He argues that no one should accuse the Beijing government because each country must have a regime suitable for its population and moves on to various other assumptions involving Hitler, Bush, Sarah Palin, 666 the number of the beast and the Falun Gong spiritual discipline it claims to be, in reality, a terrorist group.

It also mentions a tiger from the San Francisco zoo, the accusation that Westerners wanted rain and other natural disasters to harm China and its Olympic Games, and so on. etc. etc.

He ends up blackmailing the nation that welcomed him: “Please forgive me for being chosen by God as his decoder. And please also pray for my longevity because if I die, the US will die. If I die early, the US die early.”

Messianic Message, Chinatown-San Francisco, United States of AmericaElder exhibits his long theory that explains the election of Barack Obama to passersby.

This party is about to last. We move to the square where the unavoidable closing firework will be launched and we wait for nightfall to bring us the great moon that mentors the Festival of the Moon and almost everything that we had seen happen.

Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Cape Coast, Ghana

The Divine Purification Festival

The story goes that, once, a plague devastated the population of Cape Coast of today Ghana. Only the prayers of the survivors and the cleansing of evil carried out by the gods will have put an end to the scourge. Since then, the natives have returned the blessing of the 77 deities of the traditional Oguaa region with the frenzied Fetu Afahye festival.
Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
The Haight, San Francisco, USA

Orphans of the Summer of Love

Nonconformity and creativity are still present in the old Flower Power district. But almost 50 years later, the hippie generation has given way to a homeless, uncontrolled and even aggressive youth.
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

Os United States continental islands seem to close to the south in its capricious peninsula of Florida. Don't stop there. More than a hundred islands of coral, sand and mangroves form an eccentric tropical expanse that has long seduced American vacationers.
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coasts concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the extreme southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessible via six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.
Grand Canyon, USA

Journey through the Abysmal North America

The Colorado River and tributaries began flowing into the plateau of the same name 17 million years ago and exposed half of Earth's geological past. They also carved one of its most stunning entrails.
Mount Denali, Alaska

The Sacred Ceiling of North America

The Athabascan Indians called him Denali, or the Great, and they revered his haughtiness. This stunning mountain has aroused the greed of climbers and a long succession of record-breaking climbs.
Juneau, Alaska

The Little Capital of Greater Alaska

From June to August, Juneau disappears behind cruise ships that dock at its dockside. Even so, it is in this small capital that the fate of the 49th American state is decided.
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Navajo nation, USA

The Navajo Nation Lands

From Kayenta to Page, passing through Marble Canyon, we explore the southern Colorado Plateau. Dramatic and desert, the scenery of this indigenous domain, cut out in Arizona, reveals itself to be splendid.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Herd in Manang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Architecture & Design

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Ceremonies and Festivities

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Cliffs above the Valley of Desolation, near Graaf Reinet, South Africa
Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

A Boer Spear in South Africa

In early colonial times, Dutch explorers and settlers were terrified of the Karoo, a region of great heat, great cold, great floods and severe droughts. Until the Dutch East India Company founded Graaf-Reinet there. Since then, the fourth oldest city in the rainbow nation it thrived at a fascinating crossroads in its history.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
Djerbahood, Erriadh, Djerba, Mirror
Erriadh, Djerba, Tunisia

A Village Made Fleeting Art Gallery

In 2014, an ancient Djerbian settlement hosted 250 murals by 150 artists from 34 countries. The lime walls, the intense sun and the sand-laden winds of the Sahara erode the works of art. Erriadh's metamorphosis into Djerbahood is renewed and continues to dazzle.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

With Chihuahua behind, we point to the southwest and to even higher lands in the north of Mexico. Next to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, we visited a Mennonite elder. Around Creel, we lived for the first time with the Rarámuri indigenous community of the Serra de Tarahumara.
Resident of Nzulezu, Ghana
Nzulezu, Ghana

A Village Afloat in Ghana

We depart from the seaside resort of Busua, to the far west of the Atlantic coast of Ghana. At Beyin, we veered north towards Lake Amansuri. There we find Nzulezu, one of the oldest and most genuine lake settlements in West Africa.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Torshavn, Faroe Islands, rowing
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

Thor's Faroese Port

It has been the main settlement in the Faroe Islands since at least 850 AD, the year in which Viking settlers established a parliament there. Tórshavn remains one of the smallest capitals in Europe and the divine shelter of about a third of the Faroese population.
Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, Mme Moline popinée
LifouLoyalty Islands

The Greatest of the Loyalties

Lifou is the island in the middle of the three that make up the semi-francophone archipelago off New Caledonia. In time, the Kanak natives will decide if they want their paradise independent of the distant metropolis.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Jingkieng Wahsurah, Nongblai Village Roots Bridge, Meghalaya, India
Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Natural Parks
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
UNESCO World Heritage
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

The Legacy of an Historic Shuttle

The founding of Colónia do Sacramento by the Portuguese generated recurrent conflicts with their spanish rivals. Until 1828, this fortified square, now sedative, changed sides again and again.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
El Nido, Palawan the Last Philippine Border
El Nido, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan: The Last Philippine Frontier

One of the most fascinating seascapes in the world, the vastness of the rugged islets of Bacuit hides gaudy coral reefs, small beaches and idyllic lagoons. To discover it, just one fart.
Peasant woman, Majuli, Assam, India
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

Majuli is the largest river island in India and would still be one of the largest on Earth were it not for the erosion of the river Bramaputra that has been making it diminish for centuries. If, as feared, it is submerged within twenty years, more than an island, a truly mystical cultural and landscape stronghold of the Subcontinent will disappear.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Police intervention, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
Jaffa, Israel

Unorthodox protests

A building in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, threatened to desecrate what ultra-Orthodox Jews thought were remnants of their ancestors. And even the revelation that they were pagan tombs did not deter them from the contestation.
herd, foot-and-mouth disease, weak meat, colonia pellegrini, argentina
Daily life
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Fishing, Cano Negro, Costa Rica
Caño Negro, Costa Rica

A Life of Angling among the Wildlife

One of the most important wetlands in Costa Rica and the world, Caño Negro dazzles for its exuberant ecosystem. Not only. Remote, isolated by rivers, swamps and poor roads, its inhabitants have found in fishing a means on board to strengthen the bonds of their community.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.