Magazine article Sunset

Russia in San Francisco

Magazine article Sunset

Russia in San Francisco

Article excerpt

RUSSIAN HILL YOU'VE heard of -- that pricey peak named for 19th-century seal hunters. But the Russian presence in San Francisco runs deeper: you can find it in shops, in restaurants, and, this month, at a Russian festival.

FESTIVALS, CATHEDRALS,

AND GORBY T-SHIRTS

The first big wave of Russian immigrants to San Francisco arrived after the 1917 Revolution. A second came in the late 1940s, as Russians living in China fled the Communist takeover. In the 1970s and '80s, San Francisco drew Russian Jewish emigres; today, the Bay Area's Russian population is about 80,000.

Since 1939, one community focal point has been the Russian Center at 2450 Sutter Street, in the Fillmore. February 7, 8, and 9, it will hold its fourth annual Russian Festival, with dance and musical performances, and sampling of piroshki (turnovers), and other foolds. Tickets are $5; call (415) 566-0519.

Elsewhere (mainly in the Richmond and Sunset districts) lie other Russian institutions of interest. The city's two largest Orthodox cathedrals welcome visitors to view their beautifully gilded interiors. Both Holy Virgin Cathedral, at 6210 Geary Boulevard, and Holy Trinity Cathedral, at 1520 Green Street, are open daily; women must wear dresses to enter. …

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