Sunday Traveler: The Story on the Corner in Chinatown


I had about an hour in San Francisco’s Chinatown a few weeks ago, and set up shop (leaning against a parking meter) to see what I might see of interest from this one corner. This was a suggestion I picked up from a photography workshop I recently attended, not necessarily leaning against a parking meter, but staying in one place for a while on the street rather than moving around. I found the parking meter method (I will copyright this soon)Β to be perfect for stabilization as I have no tripod, and it kept me out of the middle of the sidewalk and bumping into people and vice versa.


Within a matter of minutes a short story began to unfold; a couple of men starting putting up a cloth sign and set up to play some music.Β  I’ve captured a bit of the events in a few photos that I’ll display below, the photos pretty much say it all. This all ensued amidst a myriad other happenings all around me and them.









chinatown10 chinatown11 chinatown12




I had moved across the street for a few photos, and when I was leaving I dropped some dollars into the musician’s basket and thanked them; I said “I’ve taken a thousand photos of you” and the guy on the left with the sunglasses on replied in a very droll tone “yeah, I know”, how could he not have noticed?

I’ll be back next weekΒ with everything else that was going on around me.



About Angeline M

Love travel and photography. Living in Northern California. Photos of locations visited are personal file photos.
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32 Responses to Sunday Traveler: The Story on the Corner in Chinatown

  1. Debbie says:

    Great shots , really captures the people and their lives…


  2. restlessjo says:

    So much life and character in your little scene, Angeline πŸ™‚ Great idea!


  3. Amy says:

    Your photos really captured the stories, not just how they live now, but where they are from and their struggle, and a few seem say about their loneliness… Another great post, Angeline.
    I haven’t see your new posts in my Reader lately, sorry about missing your posts.


  4. InfiniteZip says:

    Been to Chinatown in DC but never SanFran:) some strange food but mostly good and very animated souls:)


  5. Mike Pratt says:

    Some excellent images here, though my favourite out of them all would have to be #4. That one is brilliant! It is really great to find a corner and just wait there, camera in hand – watching the world go by, snapping a few shots from time to time.


    • Angeline M says:

      I really appreciate hearing your feedback, Mike; thanks so much. For this being the first time I did this, I have to say I think I got a few good shots in. There was so much going on several times during this hour that I had a hard time staying on task and not letting my attention wander. Image #4 is fun in the sequence with what I saw as the lady telling the guys how to put up the sign, walking off, and their being nervous and fumbling with it after that. Glad you liked that one.


  6. ChgoJohn says:

    That’s such a great idea, Angeline. Had you been walking about, unless you passed that same corner a few times, you would have had no idea of the goings-on. As it turned out, you’ve a wonderful photo history of that corner on one afternoon. I’m going on a trip in a few weeks and I think I’ll borrow your idea, just to see what happens. Thanks.


    • Angeline M says:

      Oh, you can’t do that until you take my Parking Meter Method workshop, John. It can be yours in five easy payments of $199.99 each. But since you are such a loyal follower of my blog, I’ll let you off the hook πŸ™‚
      I’m glad to hear you’ll try it. Let us know how it goes! I recommend it highly. I truly “saw” everything this way in such great clarity.


  7. Patti Kuche says:

    Your first and last shots frame the set so well Angeline! Well done on the hanging around – the music would have had me running for the hills! I’ve tried so hard to develop an ear for it but so far it refuses to happen. Look fwd to your next street adventure!


    • Angeline M says:

      Thanks, Patti. I cannot believe the foot traffic past this one corner. Very honestly I was so engrossed in all the people that I did not hear one note. I know I have to have heard it, but I have not one memory of what it sounded like; I can kind of guess given the instruments they were using.


  8. Street life looks so good in monochrome, especially when it’s tinged with exotica! I reckon the parking metre’s a great hangout, despite it’s not being a foolproof camouflage πŸ™‚


    • Angeline M says:

      I agree to street life looking good in monochrome…why is that? It just makes such a difference somehow. Ah, my friend the parking meter…a stalwart friend indeed. I’d have to lose a few more pounds to hide behind it πŸ™‚


  9. Tina Schell says:

    What an interesting idea Angeline, and how lucky for you that you chose a corner with such wonderful action! Loved the “droll” comment at the end πŸ™‚ Not sure this would work in a smaller town but I guess you never know! Loved your Letters posts as well.


  10. thirdeyemom says:

    I also love the black and white!


  11. thirdeyemom says:

    These are great stories that truly tell a story Angeline!


  12. When will you hold your first Parking Meter Method workshop? It’s a fine technique, great results!


  13. suej says:

    Love the story here, and your parking meter tripod is great for those with stamina πŸ™‚


  14. Well you know me – I love watching life happen – and I really think this idea of yours is a great idea!! Kind of reminds me of the year long canvas I am doing – do you think you could do this for an entire year? It would make a great book!


    • Angeline M says:

      Watching life happen on a street corner, I’ve found, is fascinating. An idea I will have to ponder, maybe going in to the City at least once a month to do this, especially now that we’ve had the little rain we’ll probably get until next fall. Yes, sort of like your year long canvas, only in photography.


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