San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California is one California’s most important and most populated cities. Located on the very tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, the city is framed by the San Francisco Bay on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west. San Francisco is a teeming, vibrant city with a spirit and life unequalled throughout the world.
San Francisco was founded as a fort and a mission in 1776 by Spanish explorers. The Gold Rush in 1848 thrust San Francisco into the public eye as a centrally located sleepy little town that exploded into a miner’s haven of saloons, debauchery, and immigrants. Gentrified with time, by the 1906 earthquake San Francisco has expanded into a respectable city of prosperous business and trade. During the 1906 Earthquake, and The Great Fire that followed directly, a huge chunk of San Francisco was devoured and lost to us. But the residents of the city quickly rebuilt, and San Francisco went on to recover and reach new heights of fame and beauty.
San Francisco is a city primarily of diversity. Rolling hills around North Beach and Pacific Heights peter out to flat lands in the Sunset; Fog by the beach often surrenders to hot sunshine in The Mission; and there are people of all colors, cultures, and preferences, no matter where you go.
San Francisco has a long and wild history of development and prosperity, punctuated with adventure and tragedy. It was a city people flocked to during the Gold Rush, looking for wealth and liberty. It is a city that became the child of working men who climbed the social and financial ladder. It is a city once known for its ostentation, arts scene, and flamboyance, and which has both transformed completely and in essence, not changed at all.
A major theme to understand in San Francisco’s story is that of counterculture. San Francisco has attracted movements of every kind, from The Beat Generation, to Hippies, to Gay Rights, to Street Kids. The country’s curious, dissatisfied, and hungry are attracted to San Francisco by a fundamental quality. What it is can be argued, but the fact is there is something about San Francisco that calls to people.
The San Francisco climate is an incredibly unique one. Summers tend to be cold, with a lot of fog and wind. Winters are wet and mild, with a good deal of rain and temperatures that almost never reach freezing. San Francisco’s climate is affected by its proximity to the water; it is surrounded on three sides by water, and so it is heavily influenced by the Pacific’s cool currents. The warmest months in San Francisco are late summer and autumn. Any time of year, San Francisco is a fantastic place to be. There is always something to do, or somewhere to go.
Neighborhoods in San Francisco have the curious ability to place dirt beside glamour. Diversity is a bit overwhelming, as any neighborhood leads to another that is completely different. Mansions lead to projects in one direction, and to commercial hubs in another. There is a reasonable class diversity in San Francisco; the middle class is a strong presence in San Francisco, as is the very upper class, and the much lower. Pacific Heights, Sea Cliff, Nob Hill and parts of Noe Valley are extremely well off and offer views of gorgeous mansions to anyone just walking around those areas. The Marina, Castro, North Beach, and Haight Ashbury tend to be more middle class, and offer a good deal of shopping on the streets. Haight-Ashbury is now famous for its shopping, and North Beach is known for its restaurants and Italian cuisine. The Sunset and The Richmond, and The Mission are more working-class neighborhoods. The Mission is legendary for thrift tore shopping and Latin foods, from Mexican to El Salvadorean. Lower class neighborhoods include Western Addition, The Tenderloin, and Hunter’s Point. These areas are known for high rates of crime, though there are plans for urban renewal. There is a huge amount of diversity in San Francisco everywhere you turn. It can be shocking for people, but it can also be an amazing experience if you’re open to it.
San Francisco has a thriving culture scene and offers great shopping. San Francisco supports a high standard of living, which allows for a large entertainment and culture industry. While a lot of the shopping is centered in districts like Unions Square and the Financial district, San Francisco has the unique quality of mixed-use neighborhoods, which supply businesses and restaurants that residents can easily walk to. Cafes, diners, stores, all line the streets of San Francisco’s mixed-use neighborhoods, like Fillmore or Irving Street, for the convenience of their customers. There is also a plethora of cultural events to choose from. The War Memorial Opera House is home to the opera and ballet, and Davies Symphony Hall hosts the symphony. There are a number of music venues, including The Fillmore, The Great American Music Hall, The Independent, and Slim’s. Theater venues include A.C.T., The Curran, The
Orpheum, and the Golden Gate, which show world-renown and up-and-coming plays alike. San Francisco also has a number of museums, like SFMOMA (Museum of Modern Art), The Palace of the Legion of Honor, The Asian Art Museum, and the newly remodeled De Young Museum. For kids and adults alike are the Exploratorium and the Academy of Natural Sciences, and the San Francisco Zoo. A day in San Francisco can yield any number of adventures across the city; there is fun to be had, no matter how old you are. For sports fans, we have the San Francisco Giants in their home field of AT&T Park(now known Oracle Park). Nearby, you may also walk by the Golden State Warriors Chase Center. Chase Center is an indoor arena in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. The building is the home venue for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA)
San Francisco also offers great public transportation. MUNI runs frequently, and to all parts of the city. MUNI includes surface street busses and underground trains. Budget doesn’t need to stop you from exploring San Francisco, because MUNI is affordable and efficient. Another mode of transportation is the Cable Car, the famous mobile San Francisco monument, which serves primarily downtown and Fisherman’s Wharf.
San Francisco is a beautiful, exciting city with a wild and fascinating history. Its essence is still the same, making it an unforgettable city.