San Francisco

Earthquakes, Tolerance, Hippies, Trams, That Bridge, The Rock & Those Hills


Powell Street, San Francisco, California. March 31, 2013

I‘ve spent the guts of a week, split between two different visits either side of an 8-day California-Nevada-Arizona-California road trip, here in San Francisco, one of those premier world destinations I’ve always longed to visit and now have. Known for earthquakes, LGBT communities, hippies, and for being one of the most liberal and laid-back places on earth, there is lots to do & see here, the centrepiece of the Bay Area & one of the most visited cities in the US. But all that said, the simple highlight of the city for me was wandering the streets, camera in hand, enjoying the unique Victorian architecture & tackling the notoriously steep inclines (they are killers) as I went – views & pleasant surprises abound. San Francisco, one of the oldest, most beautiful and amazing cities in the world, is that kind of place. Yes it rained a lot and I got wet a few times but that’s hardly worth mentioning, even though I just did.

AT&T Park || Home of The San Francisco Giants

One of the first stops for me in the city was a tram down the waterfront Embarcadero to AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. Snooping around the outside one of the most beautiful stadiums in baseball was a thrill.

AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco, California, USA. March 30th 2013.

AT&T Park, San Francisco (map-pointer-icon), California, USA. March 30, 2013.

A Juan Marichal statue outside of AT&T Park, San Francisco, California, USA. March 30th 2013.

The Juan Marichal statue outside of AT&T Park. A former right-handed pitcher, Marichal played all but two of his 1960-1975 Major League years with the San Francisco Giants, winning more games in the 1960s than any other pitcher. A Hall of Fame inductee in 1983, he was known for his high leg kick, pinpoint control and intimidation tactics, which included aiming pitches directly at the opposing batters’ helmets. Outside AT&T Park, San Francisco, California, USA. March 30, 2013.

As enjoyable as snooping around the exterior of AT&T park was on my first visit to the city last week (& it was), getting inside to see a game was even better, something I did upon my return to the city from my road trip a few days ago.

Crowds in AT&T Park, San Francisco, California, USA. April 10th 2013.

Crowds in AT&T Park. On this particular day the Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 10-0 (& I spent a bit of money on $10 plastic-cup beers & hot dogs). AT&T Park, San Francisco, California, USA. April 10, 2013.

An iPod panorama from the inside of AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. San Francisco, California, USA. April 10th 2013.

An iPod panorama from the inside of AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. San Francisco, California, USA. April 10, 2013.

The Embarcadero, Bay Bridge & The Ferry Building

The Bay Bridge as seen from the waterfront Embarcadero, San Francisco, California, USA. March 30th 2013.

San Francisco is located on a small 11 x 11 kilometre (7 x 7 mile) square of land at the tip of a peninsula between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific coast. It has a population of under a million but is the centre of a metropolitan area of 7.1 million & is just one of the cities which makes up the entire San Francisco Bay Area, including the municipalities east of the massive, oft-forgotten Bay Bridge, San Francisco’s ‘other’ bridge, seen here from the waterfront Embarcadero. San Francisco, California, USA. March 30, 2013.

Skateboarding outside The Ferry Building, San Francisco, California, USA. March 30th 2013.

Skateboarding outside the 1898 Ferry Building, a designated San Francisco landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with its 245-foot tall clock tower – complete with four clock dials, each 22 feet in diameter – in the background. San Francisco. California, USA. March 30, 2013.

Looking down Market Street from outside The Ferry Building, San Francisco, California, USA. March 30th 2013.

Looking down Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, from outside The Ferry Building. San Francisco, California, USA. March 30, 2013.

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge, the city of San Francisco & the distant lights of the Bay Bridge as seen from Battery Spencer, Marin Headlands, San Francisco, California, USA. April 10th 2013.

The Golden Gate Bridge, the city of San Francisco & the distant lights of the Bay Bridge as seen from Battery Spencer, Marin Headlands, Marin County, San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, a 1.6 kilometre-wide, 4.8 kilometre-long strait in western California connecting the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay that was discovered in 1579 by Sir Francis Drake – it was known as the Golden Gate long before the name gained popularity during the gold rush of 1849 & the completion, in 1937, of the iconic bridge which spans it. The bridge links the city of San Francisco, situated on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County, bridging both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. It is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, the US West Coast & the US. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers, & the Frommers travel guide considers it “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world“. San Francisco, California, USA. April 10th 2013. See here for a dedicated entry with (lots) more information on & pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Boisterous Sea lions at Pier 39, San Francisco, California, USA. March 31st 2013.

Wildlife. Boisterous Sea lions at Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, one of the most popular areas in the city with tourists (tourist tat abound). Nobody really knows why but Sea lions started gathering here after the 1989 San Francisco/Bay Area earthquake. They haven’t left since and seem quite content to stay put. Now one of San Francisco’s most popular attractions, I’m guessing the shops & restaurants that benefit from the crowds they attract hope the sea lions don’t go anywhere any time soon. Pier 39, San Francisco, California, USA. March 31, 2013.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz island as seen from the waterfront near Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, California, USA. March 31st 2013.

Alcatraz island, a.k.a. The Rock, in San Francisco Bay as seen from the waterfront near Fisherman’s Wharf. San Francisco, California, USA. March 31, 2013.

Cell blocks on Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California, USA. April 9th 2013.

A few days ago I paid a visit to Alcatraz Island. Although the site of the first lighthouse & US built fort on the West Coast, it’s better known as the location of the maximum security federal penitentiary, long off-limits to the public. Between 1934 & its closure in 1963, Alcatraz held a total of 1,545 prisoners, including the likes of Al ‘Scarface’ Capone (in on tax evasion charges), George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly & Robert Stroud, a.k.a. The Birdman of Alcatraz. The audio, self-guided tour around this facility was awesome, yet another highlight of my time in San Francisco. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California, USA. April 9, 2013.

Trams

What’s San Francisco with its trams?

Powell Street, the terminus for many of San Francisco's famous trams. San Francisco, California, USA. March

Powell Street in downtown San Francisco, the terminus for many of San Francisco’s famous trams. San Francisco, California, USA. March 31, 2012.

Riding the tram on Powell Street, San Francisco, California, USA. March 31st 2013.

Riding the tram on Powell Street, San Francisco, California, USA. March 31, 2013.

Distinct Neighbourhoods

San Francisco, a city famous for its hippies & it's liberal, laid-back outlook/attitude, has many distinct districts, each with their own very unique culture and feel. One of the best districts to tap into the hippy scene is here on Haight Street in the Cole Valley, the area of the city I called home. San Francisco, California, USA. March 31st 2012. (iPod)

San Francisco can be broken down into a variety of districts, each with their own very unique culture and feel. It’s a city famous for its hippies & it’s liberal, laid-back outlook/attitude & it boasts many distinct districts, each with their own very unique culture and feel. One of the best areas of the city to tap into the hippy scene, something the city is renowned for, is here on Haight Street in the Cole Valley district. This is the area of San Francisco that I called home for my time in the city. Cole Valley, San Francisco, California, USA. March 31, 2012. (iPod)

Murals in a lane in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, USA. April 11th 2013.

One of the most colourful districts in the city is the artsy Mission District where walls & fences are decorated by awesome street murals & paintings of Latin American culture by local artists, murals initiated by the Chicano Art Mural Movement of the 1970s and inspired by the traditional Mexican paintings made famous by well-known Mexican painters such as Diego Rivera. The Mission District is just one more pleasant place to wander when in San Francisco and certainly one of the more colourful areas. San Francisco, California, USA. April 11, 2013.

A Few SF Randoms

The view from Lombard Street, San Francisco, California, USA. March 31st 2013.

Hills, hills & yet more hills. The view from Lombard Street one of the city’s most well-known streets. San Francisco, California, USA. March 31, 2013.

Ellis Street, San Francisco, California, USA. April 10th 2013.

Ellis Street, San Francisco, California, USA. April 10, 2013.

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