Chinatown’s Grant Ave. Is Going Out Of Business

Things in Chinatown are looking a little grim. A lot of shops on Grant Ave. have closed their doors. In fact a lot of them have had closed doors for quite some time. These are not stores on the side streets of Grant, but stores directly on Grant.

Recently a few stores closed.

918 Grant Ave.

There is a 918A the big one and a little downstairs one 918B. Both have been closed for a while and maybe 918B has been closed for a year or more. Not sure.

900 Grant Ave.

This one just closed in December. I think several stores have been in that one since I have been here. The last one sold like massage chairs.

808 Grant Ave.

This weird pink guy has been hanging around 808 Grant since they closed 6 months or a year or so ago.

801 Grant Ave.

This just closed in December.

730 Grant Ave.

This just closed in December.

729 Grant Ave.

I was surprised to see this one closing. They just closed at the end of December.

716 Grant Ave.

This one closed maybe a month ago or so.

708 Grant Ave.

Kan’s has been closed for a long time like maybe 1-2 years.

700 Grant Ave.

Floating Sushi Boat closed maybe a month or so ago.

615 Grant Ave.

Not sure when this one closed, but it’s been quite a few months.

601 Grant Ave.

This one has been closed for a long time. It used to be Food Court and then that closed and it looks like someone started to move in, but didn’t make it.

528 Grant Ave.

Not sure about this one, but it’s at least been many months.

Why are there so many closed and empty businesses on Grant Avenue?

I don’t know, but I wonder if fewer tourists are going to Chinatown than ever before???

Since I have been here in San Francisco (for 4+ years) I don’t think I have ever seen so many stores closed at once. Aside from summer, the weekends and holidays it’s often dead in Chinatown.

I don’t think it got any busier for me either.

I have seen some other stores around Chinatown with signs saying that they are going to retire or go out of business. Actually I used to think that those signs were just like “sale signs”, but some actually went out of business or closed.

How I made KOMBUCHA without a scoby at home

This is how I made Kombucha at home from scratch without a scoby. This was my first time and I thought it turned out pretty good. It was easy and cheap to do.


1. Get a large glass jug. Glass is better as plastic leeches into your tea.
2. Get some green tea (loose leaf, bags or just bagged green tea).
3. Buy some kombucha (plain) at the store. I suspect flavored might work too, but was told plain.
4. Get some sugar.
5. Heat your water.
6. Fill your jar.
7. Add the tea and steep 5 minutes or so.
8. Take the bags out and add the sugar. I was told a cup, but did about half of cup and it was o.k.
9. Stir and dissolve sugar.
10. Let it cool a bit then add the kombucha.
11. Cover the jar tightly with a thin cloth or coffee filter.
12. Keep it at room temperature out of the sun.
13. Wait 7-10 days or longer if you want less sugar.

Mine turned out good. I tasted it around 8-9 days and then partook on the 10th day. It was good!

A little scummy thing called a scoby starts to form. Mine was pretty thin I did read a 1/4 inch think was o.k. Mine was probably an 1/8th of an inch thick.


Today I made a second batch. I poured out the kombucha into bottles and my tummy;) Then left that little scummy scoby in there. Then poured back in the mixed tea and sugar.

But before I did I let it COOL. I figured the hot water could damage the scoby.

The scoby kind of sank to the bottom as it was pretty thin, but I think it will be alright.

We’ll watch and try it out in 7 days or so.

Is a college degree worth it?

I am going to speak from experience here. It’s not worth the debt. Don’t take out debt. I still have debt from 20 years ago. Yikes sounds scary. Time flies.

It’s a good experience and it might help you, but for me not really. I mean by itself it didn’t get me ahead. I studied art with an emphasis on painting.

If you are not sure then wait till you are. Do other stuff. Travel, learn, get experience and do the things that you want to do.

I guess it depends on what you want to study. But I repeat it’s not worth the debt. Stay debt free. A lot of people are going to tell you to do it probably but…

2 months on the ketogenic diet

A few months ago I made a post about sugar, the ketogenic diet and time restricted feeding. And not so long ago I completed 2 months on the ketogenic diet.

That diet is a low carb and high fat diet. Some of the benefits are:

  • weight loss
  • cancer fighting
  • lower cholesterol
  • lower blood sugar and insulin levels
  • decreased inflammation
  • less tooth decay and gum disease
  • mood control

Read more about the benefits of keto.

It was hard to adapt to at first. It definitely took a good month until I felt normal. I remember feeling a bit weak and irritable.

Ketosis is a state where you burn fat mostly instead of sugar for energy. If you fast then this is what happens. The sugar runs out, but the fat is a more sustainable source of energy.

Changes from keto?

I don’t know if I noticed any changes really. It hasn’t been long. I might have lost a few pounds, but not much. Before I started it I think I ate relatively healthy but I did eat a fair amount of carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice, bagels and fruit.

As of recent I haven’t been following it so strictly as I have been eating some beans. They are a cheap form of protein, but they are high in carbs. To remain in a state of ketosis it is said that you should aim for eating less than 50 carbs a day.

A can of beans has close to that or more.

But aside from that and a few foods my parents sent on my birthday I still have been following the diet. In fact I found some new yummy foods to eat since then.

  1. Nutritional yeast. I have been sprinkling it on things like eggs or just as a cheese substitute. It’s really good.
  2. Chia seeds. You can make an interesting pudding with them as they gel like tapioca.
  3. Coconut flakes. I can eat a couple cups of these a day.
  4. Inchi seeds. Trader Joe’s has these salted ones that are really good. They are supposed to be high in good fats.
  5. Almond flour.

Wheat is sweet

It’s funny after you stop eating sugar and fruit you start to taste the more subtle flavors that you didn’t before. Like I never thought coconut flakes were sweet, but they taste pretty sweet now.

Then I ate a cracker with wheat in it and it tasted pretty sweet.

I have eaten very little fruit, but was thinking that raw cabbage tastes kinda sweet the other day.

There’s sugar and carbs in a lot of food. Vegetables have them too.

I don’t really miss the carbs like rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. I can live without those. There are other yummy foods out there. I’ll continue eating mostly keto foods, but I probably won’t follow it so strictly.

Yoga for forward head tilt

Looking at a computer or your phone will give you forward head tilt if you are not careful. Forward head tilt can be learned as well.

So I made this video by doing yoga to improve your posture.

I think it may also be created by your mindset. Stand tall and confident!

I fasted for 2+ days & this is what happened

For the last year or so I have been fasting on Sundays. I’ll stop eating sometime between 8 and 10pm on Sat. and then I won’t eat anything till 7pm or so the next day.

But this time I decided I would go a little longer. It wasn’t planned out, but I just thought it would be good. There was no jiujitsu this week so… good timing.

The first day is not that hard. Yes you still think about food, but you just drink water when you are hungry.

I found that it’s good to get work done. You have more time if you don’t eat.

I slept pretty good the first night.

By the second day night I was pretty consumed with thoughts of food. My energy was low and not so focused. Meditation is good when you are fasting I probably should have done that even more instead of trying to work on my website.

I remember lying in bed thinking about food. I did go 3 days (81 hours) once without food. This time seemed harder. Fasting is difficult.

Changes your digestion going off and coming back on. Fasting is difficult, but good.

I am going without dairy for 2 weeks too. Just to see if I notice any differences. Been doing the ketogenic diet and I will report on that soon enough.

I said ummm 35 times & made this video

I recently made a video called What’s your kung fu? I did a lot of editing in that video of little bits like ummm, ahhh or ughhh.

I edited it because it seemed to drag on and ughhh like slow it down. After I decided I would try to make something with it. So I did.

  • First I made a beat with stuff I chopped and sampled from Garage band including my voice in the video.
  • I cut all the little bits up (35 total) and started a new video.
  • I took the audio from that video and ran it through my computer to my turntables and then scratched it.


I added a few more bits like a dragon fly from Shanghai and some rock jumping in New Hampshire.

So I tried to make a piece of art from my own junk. It was kinda interesting and fun. I think I like it too.

Sugar, Time Restricted Feeding & The Ketogenic Diet

I have been making some changes to my diet. Experimenting with a few things that I have learned.

One thing led to another. I saw the first video below about sugar that was interesting. My teeth had been hurting so I decided to reduce my consumption of fruit including dry fruit which is loaded with sugar.


It seems like pretty much everything breaks down into sugar. Well not everything, but potatoes, bread, rice, grains, pasta, fruit, etc.

So what’s the difference between eating brown rice and straight sugar? Is it just the vitamins?

Time restricted feeding

Then I saw another cool video about time restricted feeding. Sounded kinda similar to the fasting I was doing for the last year or so on Sundays.

Well actually sounded more like the first fasting I tried the Warrior Diet (eating 4 hours a day).

Some of the benefits of that which appealed to me were a leaner body: less fat and more muscle. Apparently some studies of mice showed that just restricting their diet to eating in a window between 8-12 hours made them less fat even if they ate crappy food.

More interesting it also made them more muscular. So I have been mostly keeping my feeding within 10 hours and still fasting for 21-24 hours on Sundays.

I used to eat all the time. From when I woke up to until I went to bed.

Apparently eating many meals over a long period of the day isn’t as healthy.

She also made some interesting comments about sulphuraphane and the benefits of eating cruciferous vegetables.

Ketogenic diet

The first video with Gary Taubes mentioned this. I got curious and looked it up and then it showed up again. First with this video.

I guess your body can burn fat instead of sugar and carbs. There are a lot of benefits I guess to this diet. Lower inflammation, less fat, etc. It’s supposed to be good for fighting cancer as cancer cells can’t feed on fat or something like that.

Basically it’s a high fat diet, some protein and few carbohydrates – no pasta, no potatoes, mostly no fruit, etc.

I have been experimenting with this a bit. I haven’t been real strict yet, it’s been a little tough. I was gradually reducing carbs like potatoes, brown rice and sweet potatoes to none.

I guess it can take 6-8 weeks. It’s different for everyone. We’ll see. And I’ll post a future update.

What’s your Kung fu?

When I lived in Tainan, Taiwan I took some kung fu classes. Downstairs was a guy who owned a t-shirt shop. He said his kung fu was making t-shirts.

That’s actually the real meaning of the word. Kung fu can be pretty much anything. It can be skill like a martial art, making t-shirts, coding, writing, teaching, playing golf, etc.

I find myself sometimes in awkward positions reaching for something sometimes and then ask myself, “how’s my kung fu?” or just notice that my kung fu is bad.

What’s my kung fu?

Nowadays it’s jiu-jitsu, art (scratching records, beatboxing, performing, etc.), yoga, meditation and ESLinsider.

What’s your kung fu?

How I went from NOT kneeling to kneeling

3 years ago when I started jiu-jitsu I realized I couldn’t kneel without pain. I didn’t know what happened as I used to be able to kneel. But my left knee cap would catch and I couldn’t sit back on my heels.

In fact I used to do it when I did yoga. In yoga there’s a position called child’s pose that is similar. However, somewhere along the way I stopped doing that and lost that mobility in my knee.

I was kind of obsessed with kneeling though as everyone did it in jiu-jitsu, but I couldn’t do it without pain. Then I remember seeing some squatty potty videos and others about deep squats.

It also seemed like the natural thing to do. But that had become a little painful to do, but I decided that I was going to push through the pain a bit and deep squat more often.

Public toilets

I share bathrooms with many other people here where I live. So since I do I never sat on these toilets or touched them, but decided to go back to standing on them. For a long while I had been hovering.

I also started doing deep squats just here and there and gradually I found myself able to kneel in judo and jiu-jitsu.

My advice…

Do deep squats for your knees. It may hurt a bit, but if you do it consistently I think your mobility will improve.

I think it’s also good for your hips and low back.

Previously a doctors told me that it puts a lot of pressure on the knee. Like 50X or something. He sort of suggested that it wasn’t good, but now I can see how it benefited me.

I had done a bunch of rehab exercises which didn’t seem to do much or improve the mobility. Deep squats improved it though.