Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Super Bowl & Lunar New Year Prep in One Super Day

 Golden Gate Park is ready for the Super Bowl
I thought that it just couldn’t get better than my first day in San Francisco, on Friday, with daughter Marina as my guide—first a nude-in on City Hall steps (see  my last post) then ice cream made to order at Smitten, take-out pulled pork sandwiches and wine from the Fatted Calf, a drive through Golden Gate Park, and a picnic overlooking Cliff House and the Sutro Baths.  What could top that?

Try Sunday, which combined the preparations for the Lunar New Year in Chinatown, followed by the Super Bowl starring the home team.
 Nick and I were staying at the Orchard Garden Hotel on Bush Street, so Marina and I entered through this gate to walk up Grant Street Although the Lunar New Year is on Feb. 10 and the amazing night-time parade is on Feb. 23, the local populace was out and about making preparations.
 Red lanterns and red good-luck symbols to buy for the house
 There is a lot that I don’t know about how the Lunar (Asian? Chinese?) New Year is celebrated in San Francisco, but here’s what I do know:  2013 is the Year of the Snake. (So is my birth year, 1941. That makes me a snake.) 
 You have to buy flowers to decorate the house
Here’s what I learned from a wall hanging in Chinatown: “The Year of the Snake is filled with chaos and is unpredictable. It is a time for inquiry, reflection and careful exploration.  Snake people possess a profound wisdom.  Many are blinded by their hypnotic charm, elegance and style.  They are always on a mission.”

Kids were standing in line to be photographed with the Lion that will lead the parade.
At least I think it's a lion. Maybe it's a dragon.

 This was a man with a message.

This man was playing music on an Asian instrument

 We stopped for Dim Sum at the Great Eastern Restaurant at 649 Jackson Street.  President Obama stopped here for take-out exactly a year before.  He carried the bag out himself.  Afterwards the media turned it into a scandal because they learned this was one of the few restaurants still selling shark fin soup after it was banned at the start of 2012.   (Who else tells you this stuff?)

On our way out we saw this fellow in costume who was being photographed  with families.  He was as popular as Santa Claus in the Mall before Christmas.  I did a little research and think he may be the Jade Emperor.  I also think he has something to do with AT&T, but I don't know what.

He was very popular and he made the same gesture with all comers. I think it was a blessing.

We also saw a long line of older people waiting for the free health clinic.

And we saw a model modelling

And some monkeys avoiding evil.

As the sun set, San Franciscans gathered around television sets inside and outdoors to watch the game.  It was very intense.

After the power went out in New Orleans it got more exciting, but the way it ended left all San Franciscans feeling very dejected.

 Especially Seamus.  He was devastated.

But this was a birthday party as well as a Super Bowl party, and the ladies lit the candles.

And the birthday boy, Matt, blew them out.

And Geana and Marina assured Seamus there would be another chance at the Super Bowl next year.

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