The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge for this first week of September is Commercial Buildings and Store Fronts.

One of my favorite places in San Francisco is Chinatown. There are two major streets through Chinatown. Grant Ave. which I try to avoid, is where the souvenir shops peddle threadbare t-shirts, postcards and plastic Buddhas. Stockton Street is where the local residents shop for baked goods, meats, produce, groceries and medicinals. Along with Chinatown’s alleys, Stockton Street is the place to go when you’re in the area.   


Hing Lung Company is a tiny hole in the wall that puts out the best duck & Chinese BBQ pork

Two hundred miles or so east of San Francisco is Virginia City, an old silver mining town in the mountains of western Nevada.

The Territorial Enterprise is where a young writer named Mark Twain started his career as a journalist.

Meanwhile back in San Francisco.  Fox Hardware is an old school hardware store in downtown.

In 1980 I was working retail in the tool department when I met my wife to be who was doing the payroll for the company.  This is how the store looks today, still going strong. Not shown is the dive bar across the alley from the store where my coworkers and I would go to have shots of Jack Daniels during our morning and afternoon breaks  Some things have changed; The inside has been greatly rearranged in the intervening 40 years; As with most companies these days it’s likely that employees don’t date each other; and I doubt that the employees visit a bar to drink while on break.

To view Cee’s site and her gallery of photos and links to other photographer’s cites please follow the link.

9 thoughts on “Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Commercial Buildings or Store fronts

  1. Wonderful pictures! I love visiting Chinatown but next time I’m in San Francisco – when oh when will that be?? – I will focus on Stockton rather than Grant which is where I’ve always gone.

    1. Paulie says:

      About a month ago I couldn’t stand it anymore so I took the 40 minute drive to Chinatown, and the extra 20 minutes to find parking just so I could get some duck and pork from Hing Lung to take back home. I did walk down Grant and sadly a lot of the businesses are boarded up. Stockton is thriving and Grant is dying.
      By all means go to Stockton Street and also take in some of the alleys.

  2. I don’t know about the dating but I ‘m rather confident that employees don’t go for a shot of Jack Daniels during their breaks anymore. Not even the Spanish workers who used to start their working day with a wholesome brandy next to their morning coffee in the bar. 🙂 I like store fronts, especially the ones that haven’t changed in half a century or so, faded colours, lettering from the fiftees, a shop window with merchandise covered in dust…

    1. Paulie says:

      It wasn’t that long ago, well maybe it was, that a three martini business lunch was a common practice. I don’t know how much business could get done after three martinis. I did that on an occasion or two and after the second martini there wasn’t much business getting done.

  3. Teresa says:

    Lovely photos. I like that wall with the dragon.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Teresa. There are a lot of those in Chinatown, like more than one per block.

  4. Cee Neuner says:

    You have some super fun store fronts for this week. Thanks Paulie 😀

  5. SandyL says:

    Your photos capture a lot of character Paulie … and you’ve solved the problem of what I’m having for dinner today – BBQ duck & pork!

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Sandy. This weekend might be a good time for a run to Hing Lung for more duck and pork.

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