|The Azteca ticket booth last night.|
Maria of Chinatown?
Could she be out of this world?
Recent events in Fresno's Chinatown suggest there may be unforeseen forces at work.
Story and photographs by David Owens
Original story: Who kidnapped Maria of Chinatown?
A few years back the underground tunnel publicity in Chinatown revealed a mysterious history under our feet. Silent ghosts, buried secrets, passages to nowhere, murder, and forgotten lives fuel our imagination. But this is Chinatown's past and the tales we can imagine are far more exciting than the facts known.
Every night the streets of Chinatown bring their own plots and subjects for the imagination. People appear out of nowhere, some on a mission, some wandering about in odd ways changing direction and speeds in rhythms only they can understand. Behind these characters that grab our attention, the local residents go about their business, meeting someone, going down to the store for groceries, getting a burrito at Chris's Meats.
On weekends a taco stand sets up in front of the Azteca and smiles and laughter are heard as people eat and chat. Cars bring customers to La Fiesta the Spanish music night club next door. Still more cars bring people down F Street to the Full Circle Brewery for some of the most interesting live music and events in Fresno.
|A shadowy figure with slender limbs and large |
head lurking in doorways on F Street.Alien? Nah, could it be?
Seen here at Salaam Seafoods, a great
restaurant during the day.
However, after more than a dozen years on the nighttime streets of Chinatown I feel safer here in the Tower District. Less theft and less violent crime in Chinatown. I am safe here. Aware of my surroundings and safe. None of these street people have guns. If they did they would have sold it for a beer or illegal substances they crave. The worst problem, though minor, is an insistent panhandler. "You gotta dime? Got a smoke? A sincere no usually sends them away. Often the only word heard is 'Hey," the rest is communicated with gestures and body language.
For the person prone to a medical emergency, Chinatown is the place to have it. The response from Fresno Fire Station #3 at Fresno and E Streets is phenomenally fast. Fire suppression? No problem. The Fresno Police Department does well, but since they have not been able to have the dedicated neighborhood patrols as they did some years ago, they are not able to do as much proactive work as before.
Aliens of all kinds
Last night at the Azteca ticket booth a ghostly green light appeared in the shape of an alien. At first appearing to be menacing, soon I understood the expression was simply tranquil, eyes probably closed and observing F Street through other senses. Hey, maybe...
|838 F Street|
K-Jewel music floats under the marquee, Cranberries, Avril Lavigne ... a change! Music from foreigners...aliens! Under Maria's reign as patron saint of F Street K-Jewel was a Sinatra station, the real classics of the American songbook. Change is a certainty, even in historical Chinatown.
Before the railroad came to begin the future Fresno on the sinks of Dry Creek there were Chinese citizens living in wood houses and building underground basements and tunnels. They came originally for the gold rush and stayed. They were non-citizens ... again aliens! The aliens occupied Fresno before there was a Fresno.
Each wave of immigrants that came to new agricultural hub called Fresno started in Chinatown, The West Side, or the wrong side of the tracks. The Italians, the Armenians, the Mexicans, the Japanese, the Volga Russians and the rest. The aliens came to Chinatown to get a start a new life in America, to become un-alienated.
|Suddenly, people walk down the middlle of the street, a car appears.|
There are still some hard working people looking for their way up the ladder of success. Some are undocumented aliens from Cuba, Mexico and South Americas still looking for their place. But there are also many who will never find the first rung.
Let's "Keep Chinatown Different"
Chinatown is the one area of town where the unexpected happens daily. If aliens live among us, they started in Chinatown. Anything can happen. A manikin can be named Maria and become a saint. And disappear in a mysterious abduction. Alien abduction? Too soon to tell.
Serious UFO hunters say Fresno lies at the bottom of the "Nevada Triangle" that includes Area-51 and China Lake. The other areas have military aircraft activity that can spark unexplained observations. However, Fresno does not. Could the Chinese tunnels connect to alien portals? Are the Chinatown night behaviors caused by alien experiments? Can we conjecture that Chinatown disappearances are alien abductions?
Questions about aliens and UFOs in the Fresno area are not new.
|Celestia, aka Anne Heche|
|Under the marquee at the Azteca Theater|
In all seriousness, Chinatown is where unusual things do happen in Fresno. Where Maria the Manikin went is open to speculation and over-active imaginations. Maybe she will return and add another chapter to her story. For now, I'm glad Chinatown is different.
Keep Chinatown Different. A new mantra.