Walkshop 5

“Traveling Home through Place, Histories and food”

January 13th, 2018
LED BY Shirley Huey

"Places where love comes to being are, though they don’t always feel that way, sacred spaces. They are spaces that should be treasured and held tightly.  We never know when those spaces may fall away…" (Shirley Huey)

What do we see when we travel to a new place? What do we experience when the place that is new is also familiar? In a time of tremendous change in the City, how do we—whether longtime residents and locals or newcomers—experience and engage with the spaces and the communities around us? This walkshop, was led by writer Shirley Huey, a native San Franciscan, who explored what is transient and enduring about a place through the lens of food, history, and memory in Chinatown.

Along the way, we walked by bakeries, produce shops, herbalists, noodle and jook joints, and local parks. We also saw local and historical landmarks such as the public housing complex Ping Yuen; the Chinese Hospital, built to serve the Chinese community in a time when they were not allowed to access the hospitals of white folk; the Great Star Theater; Old St. Mary’s, the first cathedral built in California and beloved lunchtime music venue; Cameron House, former mission for trafficked women in the early 1900s and longtime community organization serving children and youth, and places on the periphery of Chinatown, such as the site of the infamous I-Hotel tenant struggle in the 1970s, now a community art space and senior housing.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Shirley Huey is a storyteller and writer. She has read her work at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, the Bay Area Generations reading series in Berkeley and Oakland, Liminal in Oakland, and Book Passage in San Francisco’s Ferry Building. She is a VONA/Voices alum in travel writing and memoir, and writes about arts and culture and social justice issues. She is also a facilitator, researcher, and consultant who works on community building, organizational development, and transformational social change projects.

  • Location: 555 California Plaza, San Francisco, CA (California Street between Montgomery and Kearny) 

  • Start Time: 2pm

  • Duration: approx. 3 hours

  • Equipment: Journal, notebook, camera or related recording devices

Photography by Minoosh Zomorodinia