Theoretically, there was nothing planned for this day. We made an impulse decision to make a last minute run to the Boston Public Garden with half the group since the other half was dead asleep. We ended up not going to the Boston Public Garden because people took too long to get ready, so we went back to Quincy Market instead to buy souvenirs. I’m not too sure anything interesting happened between our time at Quincy Market and our flight back to San Francisco; there was an enormous thunderstorm at Milwaukee minutes before our flight, but it ended so abruptly so there weren’t any delays. The rest is a blur.... I slept until we got to San Francisco. From my early childhood, I’ve always held a bit of unjustified resentment towards San Francisco’s Chinatown. I didn’t have any particular reason for it really, it just wasn’t too appealing of a place. Gradually, I started to recognize Chinatown for what it truly is—a local hub to serve low-income folks that needs it the most, whether through affordable services, affordable groceries, or affordable housing. It wasn’t until my visit to Seattle and Vancouver last year, and Boston, D.C., and New York this year that I truly realize the blood and effort labored by San Francisco Chinatown residents to maintain it as it is, and away from the tempting claws of high rises and technology firms. My passion for San Francisco’s Chinatown is not a birthright, it’s something that I’ve come to earn over the years. And just a disclaimer, I’m no age-old hippie that opposes technology and modernization. In fact, I’m all for those things, just—not at the sacrifice of neighborhoods essential to the livelihoods of thousands, perhaps millions of people.
Thank you Southwest for this amazing opportunity!