“What I’ve come to know is that the death of a loved one and the death of an era are equally sad.”Â – Jonathan Wilson in The Best Time in My Life, a selection from the Who We Are exhibition
In San Francisco, on Market street, they still have vintage street cars as part of the public transportation system.Â The cars seem to have been collected from cities all over the US that have long since abandoned their street car systems.Â It is a strange collision of the active and the nostalgic as the cars creak and clatter but the doors open automatically by some weight sensor when you exit the train.
I’m on vacation in San Francisco with my family. It’s been a long time since we’ve been on a family vacation, and it’s crazy how, even at 27, and even if it’s been more than a decade since I’ve lived with my parents, how some of the roles and scenarios feel so repetitive or familiar when we spend time together. Maybe the best way to describe this trip is in the map that Tim and I have been using to navigate our way around the city and note points we’ve been to and points we want to visit.
||My Bay Area Map
||Map I made of locations relevent to my current trip to the Bay Area
View Larger Map
In researching the details of a museum that my father wanted to go to on our trip in San Francisco, I read this. It’s crazy that, more than 100 years later, the motivations for limiting immigration and the use of legislation to exclude certain classes of immigrants persists. The faces of the undesireable immigrants is all that has changed:
During the 1870s, an economic downturn resulted in serious unemployment problems, and led to politically motivated outcries against Asian immigrants who would work for low wages. In reaction to states starting to pass immigration laws, in 1882 the federal government asserted its authority to control immigration and passed the first immigration law, barring lunatics and felons from entering the country. Later in 1882, the second immigration law barred Chinese, with a few narrow exceptions. Imperial China was too weak and impoverished to exert any influence on American policy. This law was originally for 10 years, but was extended and expanded and not repealed until 1943, when China was our ally in World War II. However, only 105 Chinese were allowed in legally each year, so the exception process actually continued into the 1950’s. Chinese were not on a equal immigration footing with other nationalities until immigration laws were completely rewritten in the mid 1960’s.