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19 Portsmouth Square

Portsmouth Square

Portsmouth Square
Right across the street there we can see Portsmouth Square, which is often called the heart of Chinatown. If you take a walk around inside, you'll soon see why because it's full of Chinese people socializing. You often see huddles of men playing different sorts of games. If you go early in the morning and evening, you can also catch people doing their Tai Chi practice as well. In the mid-1840s the American-Mexican War was going on. On July 9, 1846, Captain Montgomery declared San Francisco for United States territory. This little plaque marks the very spot where he raised the United States Flag for the first time in San Francisco's history. Right behind the card players here we can a memorial to Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of course of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He spent a few years here in San Francisco between 1879 and 1880. The memorial here went up a few years later in 1897. While Stevenson of course, he was Scottish, but he came to San Francisco for love. Stevenson's love story started in Paris where he met the San Franciscan lady Fanny Osbourne. But unfortunately for Stevenson she was already married, and she came back to San Francisco to be with her husband. But her husband wasn't a very good sort and he was philandering with other women. So Fanny sent for Stevenson. And he came here to San Francisco, and he spent many days longing for Fanny here in Portsmouth Square. Stevenson's waiting here in Portsmouth Square finally paid off when Fanny managed to get a divorce from her husband. The whole story has quite a happy ending when Stevenson whisks Fanny away to his native Scotland. Just across the street from Portsmouth Square we can see a brick facade there with a sign that's been left over from another era. You can see the signs advertising rooms for rent for 25 to 50 cents per night, or $1.50 per week. Sadly, those days have long since gone in San Francisco.
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The Great Star

The Great Star

The Great Star

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