Monday, March 23, 2009

City Lights Bookstore and dinner nearby

Here is one image of the famous City Lights Bookstore... home turf of Ferlinghetti and where Allen Ginsberg read "Howl" and was later arrested on an obscenity charge. In the alleyway by the
bookstore there are smooth stones with writing from Maya Angelou, an excerpt from Jack Kerouac's On the Road, some Chinese proverbs, and other literary tidbits. Inside, they have fiction and non-fiction as well as plenty of Ginsberg souvenirs. I saw many academic titles too, not always easy to find if you are interested in browsing them, along with a strong selection of books with social-justice themes. I almost purchased a nifty, newer annotated Communist Manifesto but then resisted the overly commodified moment of late Kudera-ism.

If eating more than reading is what satisfies your soul, within two minutes, you can walk into Chinatown and enjoy the extremely affordable Sunshine Breakfast where they serve both Chinese and American dishes. I ate American eggs, sausage, and pancakes for $2.50 and took some tasty veggie dumplings for the road. (I should note they do not serve Chinese rice porridge aka congee.) If you are looking for something more authentic and amazing, House of Nanking is nearby. As we walked into this small "New York Table" dinner restaurant, another visitor said his cabbie told him this was the best restaurant in Chinatown. After eating there, I don't doubt it one bit! Our entrees included fish, tofu, chicken, and lots of veggies and delicious noodles. We added soup for three, avoided the wine list, and ate a filling meal for $20 per person included tax and tip. The R & G Lounge and one called Chinatown were also quite good. For more middling but affordable meals, it is not difficult to find eight-dollar entrees in San Francisco's Chinatown although it is worth noting that rice is often served separately. (In a fashion similar to what I experienced in Seoul, South Korea, they will provide a small bowl for a dollar.) Mangez bien mes amis!

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