SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco is preparing to welcome in the year of the tiger. Chinatown is buzzing with activity, as the neighborhood prepares to welcome the Lunar New Year and the visitors it brings.
The Department of Public Works has painted the dragon lights, and steam cleaned the iconic Dragon Gate. San Francisco police foot patrols are out on the streets as well.
"Preventing robberies and burglaries and car break-ins, scams. A lot of it is community, like I was talking about before, community relationships," said San Francisco Police Officer William Ma. "We can't be everywhere at once, we can increase presence, but what's really helped is us that the community themselves telling us what's going on."
But with the new year within sight, it's not all work, officers here say they're ready to welcome visitors to Chinatown. "In addition to talking to the people we usually see we love speaking with people asking for directions asking for recommendations for where to get food. If you come to Chinatown and ask us for a recommendation for food we will not disappoint," said Officer Ma.
Nancy Yu Law and her family started what has now become a tradition, the zodiac wall, in Kerouac Alley next to her business, as a way to spruce up the area, and spread cheer about the new year. The character that was chosen this year embodies the struggles the AAPI community has faced this last year.
"For year of the Tiger we wanted to do strong, strength," said Law. "So the Chinese character up on the wall is going to be strength. We wanted to unite the community, we want a strong community."
Lunar New Year festivities get underway in earnest Saturday with the flower market fair.