Learning about Ourselves by Exploring Other Cultures | San Francisco Village

With more than 330 members throughout the city, Neighborhood Circles are smaller, hyper-local groups that enable members to develop relationships closer to home.

The 94109 / 94133 Circle includes Nob Hill, North Beach, Telegraph Hill, Chinatown and Russian Hill.  Circle Co-chairs, Juliet Rothman and Roberta Rothman (not related) share their circle’s experiences of exploring the diverse cultures within our vibrant city.

To take advantage of all that San Francisco has to offer, we decided to visit San Francisco landmarks our first year, and the following year, water and ferries.  As one of our members said, ‘We go places I would not have gone alone!’  We decided as a circle during the third year to explore and learn about the various groups, mostly ethnic, that make up our city. 

With an emphasis on food, art, and history, we first visited the Mission, viewing art and murals; having a docent tour of the La Raza Community Gallery; and eating great pastries.  At the Filipino Cultural Center, we learned that the Filipino community is one of the oldest and largest, and that it was displaced from their original area of settlement in the downtown area.  Last month, we started out at an Afro-Cuban restaurant followed by a visit to the African -American Arts and Cultural Center and then an interesting lecture at the African American Historical Society.  Most recently, we visited the Castro, including the Harvey Milk camera store (now a Human Rights Center), a lunch at Harvey’s nearby, and a docent-led tour of the GLBT History Museum. 

During our monthly gatherings when we’re not exploring, we discuss what we’re learning. Glad to be part of this little community.  Adventurous, fun and enriching!

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