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Old 03-04-10, 01:19 PM   #1
Niles H.
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Little Saigon, the Punjab, Russia and Other International Touring Within California

You can see a lot of the world inside California, if you know where to look. The range of opportunities and diversity may not exist anywhere else.

If you go a block uphill from the tourist street (Grant) in San Francisco's Chinatown, there are many grocers and other shops that are used by the local Chinese, and it can feel very much like being in another country. There are also restaurants that cater to the local Chinese, but are off the beaten tourist tracks and rarely seen by tourists. Some of them have great food at much better prices.

You can also find all kinds of authentic street food there.

There are similar communities and opportunities in other parts of California, and there are cultural activities and events (films, festivals, others) that can give you a real taste of exotic cultures.

There is a large, colorful, and industrious Sikh community around Yuba City. They have an annual Sikh parade. It's a very different and interesting culture.

There is a large Russian community near Sacramento. They have some wonderful breads, and friendly people.

San Jose has Vietnam, and some very exotic foods to try. Not only the restaurants, but also the grocers carry a variety of exotic foods that you don't usually see in the rest of the US.

Fremont has Afghanistan.

Artesia has India.

King City has Mexico.

Many other small towns have Mexico. These towns can feel very much like being in Mexico, but in the authentic villages, not in the tourist traps.

Castro Street in Mountain View has a great mix. Silicon Valley has many Indians and Chinese.

Any other suggestions for internationalist touring in California?
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Old 03-04-10, 03:03 PM   #2
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I can remember street signs in Chinese in downtown Oakland back in the '70s, and a Russian style onion domed church on the Pacific Coast Highway, somewhere in Humboldt County.
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