Ben Fong-Torres says 'Bon Voyage' to fellow San Franciscans heading to the Shanghai Expo.
James Fang, San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee Chairman, presents former S.F. Mayor Willie Brown with the recently published history, A Celebration: San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee, Honoring 30 Years of Friendship, 1980-2010 . They will be part of San Francisco Week June 17 - 25 at the Shanghai World Expo.
We were in a well-appointed luxury apartment with a tenth floor Bay view to die - or at least get severely injured for. And most of the 40 or so guests, it seemed, were packed and set to jet off, in the next day or two, to China.
It reminded me, kinda, of a sendoff bash some 30 years ago, when I was part of a crew for Cycling Through China, an entertainment documentary. Two of the sponsors hosted a bash a few nights before we took off for Guangzhou, by way of L.A., Macau and Hong Kong. The room in their Pacific Heights home buzzed with excitement. The doors to China had opened, but the country was still in transition, with larger cities going through Westernization. Hotels and discos were being built, fast.
The title, Cycling Through China, said a lot. The primary mode of transportation was the bicycle. Highways were few; there was little need for them.
This time around, I was not going to China, but the buzz around the rooms was familiar. We were gathered to send off several contingents of San Franciscans, from political and social lights to ten groups of...