Some San Francisco residents celebrate non-traditional Thanksgiving

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- At the Sun Fat Seafood Market in San Francisco's Mission, it's a crustacean celebration with customers going crazy over crab.

Shirley Lai has worked here for 20 years. Every year on Thanksgiving, it's the same fishing frenzy.

"We open at 9 but people get in line at 8 already," said Lai.

1,500-pounds of Dungeness crab will be sold for Thanksgiving alone, along with other non-turkey related treats from the sea.

Nikhil Iyer and his roommate were scooping clams and oysters from large bubbling tanks. For him, Thanksgiving has always revolved around seafood.

"My family is a bunch of immigrants and seafood is a celebratory thing, and we think its tastes better," said Iyer.

Philip Kuttner is on the hunt for different shelled seafood. "Linguine with mussels, lots of garlic, white wine. My mouth is just watering."

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Carolyn Prien spent more than 20 years at the firehouse with her fellow firefighters for Thanksgiving. She recently changed jobs and has the day off to celebrate.

"The last couple years not working at the firehouse, I was adopted by a New Hampshire family and their tradition is lobster, so my contribution tonight is lobster," said Prien.

At Golden Gate Park, the tradition is now a family affair of enjoying the scenery, taking a walk, and having desserts first for the Bernstein family. One of mom, Tanya's daughter's clutching a large ice cream sandwich, with chocolate dripping down her chin.

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"I am originally from Ukraine and my family is in Pittsburg so this is the first time here with my kids, 5 and under. I am so grateful," said Mrs. Bernstein.

Then there are those, looking for libations.

"Some people need to run away from their family and step away for a while and have a drink. That's what we're here for and everybody's happy," a bartender told ABC7 News.

Thousands of the Buena Vista Cafe's Irish coffees are slung here each day. It's a well-deserved drink for some.

"We volunteered at St. Anthony. At last class we fed 2,000 people!" says a woman and her significant other, who had just sat down at a group table with 4 new friends.

All total strangers, brought together by a tradition of coffee, and Irish whiskey.

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