Happy New Year, Bay seniors! I am, of course, speaking of the Year of the Dragon which begins on January 23 with the traditional mob scene parade on February 11. (Can you believe that like almost everything else these days it’s been branded? Officially it’s the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year’s Parade!) According to tradition, it will be a year of excitement, unpredictability and intensity. Try to remain calm. For a taste of a less congested Chinese culture you can always visit Oakland’s Chinatown or the massive Marina Market in Fremont. Grant Avenue is strictly for tourists but a block away on Stockton Street between Broadway and Jackson, you can have a much more authentic shopping experience. Body to body throngs are picking through the quail eggs, sea cucumbers, durians, barbecued ducks and black moss seaweed at $60 a pound. The Geezer looked in vain for the Chinese herbalists he remembered and their stock of alarming medications like deer fetus and ox penis.

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