‘Swinging Chinatown’ Exhibit @ Old Mint Fri-Sun
Soft, twinkling lights, snappy dance numbers, beautiful girls, and suppers of eastern delicacies called things like Chop Suey– What a night you could have in that enchanting Chinatown! The possibilities as endless as the stars in the heavens!
By the thirties, San Franciscan xenophobia had ebbed to a level where a night in Chinatown was considered thrilling and exotic instead of an instant trip to depths of depravity at the hands of the Mongol horde terrified Victorians had heard tale of.
Although culture could be co-opted into drinks laden in paper umbrellas and doubtless objectification, between the thirties and the seventies the district also became a large community of Asian-American talent and the setting of a boom era of swank nightlife and culture.
The SF Museum and Historical Society is continuing a special exhibit this weekend in honour of this lantern-lit history and as part of Year of the Tiger festivities entitled Swinging Chinatown at the Old Mint on 5th Street. Regular price is ten, and, with membership, five, but I’m told that student ID might suffice in lieu of the latter.
Apparently some of the old guys and goyls that once glided across the floors of places like the Forbidden City Club have been hanging out around the place as well. What’s a cover if you get to bask in the glitterati of Grant Avenue?
Swinging Chinatown: The Golden Age of Chinese Nightclubs
The Old Mint
88 5th Street (btw Market & Mission)
[South of Market]
Photo from DVD Beaver. Yeah it’s really called that.