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Portsmouth Square

Things to do Chinatown
Portsmouth Square
Photograph: Michael Fraley/Flickr

Portsmouth Square started life as the Spanish plaza on the then shores of the bay, when the city was still Yerba Buena. It’s famously where Commodore John Montgomery claimed San Francisco for the United States in 1846, during the Mexican-American War, and where local newspaperman Sam Brannan is apocryphally said to have leapt off a ferry in 1848, declaring the existence of gold in the American River. Today, the plaza is a casual meeting ground where Chinatown’s residents come to play card games and Chinese chess, sitting around cardboard boxes. The Square also plays host to a range of events around the year, from annual music festivals to outdoor ping pong tournaments.

By: Radhika Rathinasabapathy


Venue name: Portsmouth Square
Address: Kearny St
San Francisco

Cross street: between Grant Ave and Clay St
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