National Geographic : 1954 Jun
729 Moulin Studios Pungent Aroma of Boiling Crabs Stops Gourmets Along Fisherman's Wharf Sidewalk vendors on San Francisco's waterfront cook seafood delicacies before the customer's eyes. This couple selects market crabs, caught outside the Golden Gate and still hot from the steaming caldron. wood chests like ones I'd seen men carve in Hong Kong.* And on side streets we found old-time shops full of the delicacies and remedies of ancient China. There food stores feature whole roast pigs, tiny mottled sausages, and ducks that you blow up with bellows before cooking. Housewives bargain for dried squid, shark fins, octopus dried or fresh, bamboo sprouts, tiny shrimp, and greens. Moppets clutching pennies line up in candy stores for sugared coconut, preserved ginger, candied melon, and sweet litchi nuts. Drugstores exhibit dried sea horses, gin seng and other roots, pickled snakes, and strange bits of animal anatomy. As I was explaining these ageless remedies, we heard a sound that brought memories of the Far East rushing back to me. From a near-by theater came the crashing cymbals and the wailing, high-pitched song of Cantonese opera. We strolled from China to Italy on Grant Avenue, for it also cuts through the city's Latin Quarter. There long loaves of bread, Chianti bottles, and rows of salami and cheeses fill store windows. Restaurants by the score advertise ravioli, pizza, and spaghetti. Inside, men conduct business over leisurely 3-hour lunches, seal ing bargains with California wine. On back yard courts other diners settle meals with games of bowls. Narrow cobbled lanes climb steep Telegraph Hill in this section. Houses, jumbled together, seem to stand on those below. Neighbors gossip between levels, while youngsters play on step sidewalks. Lines of diapers flap like ships' pennants, and strings of fish and peppers dry in the sun. In the air there's the yeasty tang of bak eries, the vinous scent of wineries, and now (Continued on page 735) * See "Hong Kong Hangs On," by George W. Long, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, February, 1954.