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.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 13th: High camp - Thorong La - Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Architecture & Design
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
shadow of success
Ceremonies and Festivities
Champoton, Mexico

Rodeo Under Sombreros

Champoton, in Campeche, hosts a fair honored by the Virgén de La Concepción. O rodeo Mexican under local sombreros reveals the elegance and skill of the region's cowboys.
Hué, Communist City, Imperial Vietnam, Imperial Communism
Hue, Vietnam

The Red Heritage of Imperial Vietnam

It suffered the worst hardships of the Vietnam War and was despised by the Vietcong due to the feudal past. The national-communist flags fly over its walls but Hué regains its splendor.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
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.
Chefchouen to Merzouga, Morocco

Morocco from Top to Bottom

From the aniseed alleys of Chefchaouen to the first dunes of the Sahara, Morocco reveals the sharp contrasts of the first African lands, as Iberia has always seen in this vast Maghreb kingdom.
Christmas scene, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
Shillong, India

A Christmas Selfiestan at an India Christian Stronghold

December arrives. With a largely Christian population, the state of Meghalaya synchronizes its Nativity with that of the West and clashes with the overcrowded Hindu and Muslim subcontinent. Shillong, the capital, shines with faith, happiness, jingle bells and bright lighting. To dazzle Indian holidaymakers from other parts and creeds.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Passage, Tanna, Vanuatu to the West, Meet the Natives
Tanna, Vanuatu

From where Vanuatu Conquered the Western World

The TV show “Meet the Native” took Tanna's tribal representatives to visit Britain and the USA Visiting their island, we realized why nothing excited them more than returning home.
Sentosa Island, Singapore, Family on Sentosa Artificial Beach
Sentosa, Singapore

Singapore's Fun Island

It was a stronghold where the Japanese murdered Allied prisoners and welcomed troops who pursued Indonesian saboteurs. Today, the island of Sentosa fights the monotony that gripped the country.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
travelers contemplate, monte fitz roy, argentina
Natural Parks
El Chalten, Argentina

The Granite Appeal of Patagonia

Two stone mountains have created a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. But these countries are not the only suitors. The Fitz Roy and Torre hills have long attracted die-hard climbers
Kayaking on Lake Sinclair, Cradle Mountain - Lake Sinclair National Park, Tasmania, Australia
UNESCO World Heritage
Discovering tassie, Part 4 - Devonport to Strahan, Australia

Through the Tasmanian Wild West

If the almost antipode tazzie is already a australian world apart, what about its inhospitable western region. Between Devonport and Strahan, dense forests, elusive rivers and a rugged coastline beaten by an almost Antarctic Indian ocean generate enigma and respect.
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.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
holy bookcase
Tsfat (Safed), Israel

When the Kabbalah is a Victim of Itself

In the 50s, Tsfat brought together the artistic life of the young Israeli nation and regained its secular mystique. But famous converts like Madonna have come to disturb the most elemental Kabbalist discretion.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Mahu, Third Sex Polynesia, Papeete, Tahiti
Papeete, French Polynesia

The Third Sex of Tahiti

Heirs of Polynesian ancestral culture, the Mahu they preserve an unusual role in society. Lost somewhere between the two genders, these men-women continue to fight for the meaning of their lives.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Cape cross seal colony, cape cross seals, Namibia
Cape Cross, Namíbia

The Most Turbulent of the African Colonies

Diogo Cão landed in this cape of Africa in 1486, installed a pattern and turned around. The immediate coastline to the north and south was German, South African, and finally Namibian. Indifferent to successive transfers of nationality, one of the largest seal colonies in the world has maintained its hold there and animates it with deafening marine barks and endless tantrums.
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.