The words never listen...And teachers, oh, they never learn. I've sat back for years while people searched for a wall and a door in San Francisco which they can shoehorn into their "solve". Unfortunately, they always seem to be just random doors and walls. Some made of stone, some not. Nothing objective or clever in how they were determined to be At stone wall's door.
It begs the question, is there a way to arrive at an answer to this riddle which is less ambiguous? The birthstone in the June puzzle is the pearl. It's objective and I believe we all can agree on this.
Stone = Pearl
Now we are left with wall's door. Looking to the painting, we find a barred opening high atop a mountain. Both a wall's door and barred opening in a mountain could be referred to as a gate without too much debate.
wall's door = gate
Let's combine them.
At stone wall's door = At the pearly gates
Ask yourself, if you were to decipher this riddle in the early 80's, how would you begin to search for the pearly gates in San Francisco. It's a religious reference and this puzzle's immigration tie is Chinese. Perhaps, we should look in and around Chinatown at religious things...churches and such. Low and behold, Grace Cathedral...what a unique set of doors. If you are not familiar, let's start with a bit of history. Lorenzo Ghiberti is famously known for creating the bronze doors of the Florence Baptistery. Bronze doors which Ghiberti turned gold by painting with mercury and gold dust, then heating the bronze panels so the gold would bond. Grace Cathedral has a replica set which were cast from the mold of the originals. Oh, I forgot to mention, Michelangelo coined these doors the Gates of Paradise. Is this all not becoming a bit too coincidental? We now have a synonymous phrase to the pearly gates, Gh-iberti's gold doors plus a gold leafed Gh in the painting...I know, I know, this can only be Ghirardelli, right? Just like high posts are three was Sutro Tower until, um, they were said to be made of wood.
I present to you At stone wall's door...the Gates of Paradise, arguably San Francisco's most famous doors.
I'll leave you with one last thing to think on. The theme of June's puzzle is union/marriage. We are starting our journey just outside of Chinatown at Grace Cathedral...Mary, mother of grace? Take a guess where we will end...St. Mary's Square in Chinatown. Notice the connection? I believe the theme is pertinent to both the beginning and end of each month's puzzle.
Till next time...Say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven...