Let the Games Beijing

Spend a day of Olympic proportions beyond the Dragon's Gate.

8. Take a wok

Seasoned woks, hand-hammered woks, nonstick woks — The Wok Shop (718 Grant at Commercial) has them all. This store is the real deal, and the women who run it know their trade. On the flip side, they don't speak English too well, but they are happy to use miming, gesturing, and smiling to communicate their knowledge. When all else fails, just buy what looks good, take it home, and start cooking.

9. Get a foot massage

Spending the day in Chinatown means being on your feet all day — the streets are too crowded to park a car. The experts at Lucky Foot Massage (770-C Sacramento at Grant) specialize in a nice long foot rub, the traditional antidote to aching arches. For only $25, you get a 40-minute (including a 10-minute soak) acupressurelike foot massage that feels as good or better than what you might get at a fancy nearby downtown spa. The masseurs are from different parts of southern China and don't speak much English, but that's a great excuse to close your eyes and enjoy the rub.

10. Watch the Olympics

... maybe

Surprisingly — or maybe not so surprisingly — the locals in Chinatown don't seem to care a whole lot about the Olympics, if they even know it's coming up. In all fairness, most of them work long hours and are more concerned with the day-to-day, as well as trying to get help to the earthquake victims on the mainland (Silicon Valley Tsinghua Network's relief fund is a good place to send money, by the way). There are three main bars in Chinatown where watching the games might be an option: the front bar at the popular Far East Cafe (631 Grant at California), a smoky little bar called Red's Place (672 Jackson at Grant), and dive bar Li Po Cocktail Lounge (916 Grant at Washington). No employees or bar owners could guarantee the Olympics would be shown, but, when asked, they all nonchalantly reasoned, "Probably. We have a TV, right?"

Read more articles from Summer Guide

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Music for Swingers: The Giants' theme songs get us thinking outside the batter's box.

Half in the Bag in Half Moon Bay: It's worth the gas to get gassed Coastside.

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