Frida Kahlo¬ís encounters with ¬ìGringolandia¬î (as she called the United States) were formative and complex. She appreciated the beauty of San Francisco in particular, relished the ethnic diversity of the city, and was mesmerized by Chinatown. She also met fascinating people, many of whom became her lifelong friends. It was in San Francisco, the first city she visited in the U.S., that Kahlo began to fashion her indigenous Mexican identity, deliberately distinguishing herself from the local women, whom she called ¬ìscarecrows¬î and ¬ìdull.¬î
¬ìThe gringas really like me a lot and take notice of all the dresses and rebozos that I brought with me, their jaws drop at the sight of my jade necklaces and all the painters want me to pose for them,¬î she wrote her parents shortly after her arrival.