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January 1, 2019

San Francisco: Architecture

Modern buildings in San Francisco’s Financial District, with the city’s new-largest building, the Salesforce Tower, under construction in March of 2017

Modern cities can be a hodgepodge of old and new buildings. In London, for example, the Leadenhall Market, dating from the 14th Century, sits adjacent to the ultra-modern “High-techLloyd’s Building, completed in 1986. Planned poorly, the combination of styles can be jarring and unattractive. However with well-planned and attractive architecture, the combination of old and new can be striking. (more…)

San Francisco: Streetcars

Painted in Cincinnati’s colors 1057 is a PCC design streetcar. This picture is from January of 2017. The car is currently back in restoration.

In 1982 San Francisco faced a dilemma. The city’s famous cable car system needed a major rebuild. With the cable cars projected to be out of operation for 18 months the city would lose one of its major tourist attractions. San Francisco needed something else to appeal to tourists. (more…)

December 31, 2018

San Francisco: Street Art

“In Memory of Pico Sanchez”, Mel C. Waters, Clarion Alley, 2010

Pretty much every major metropolitan city has street art. San Francisco is no exception. Like many upscale cities San Francisco’s street art tends to be confined to particular areas. Exuberant art does not spill out in all sorts of unexpected places like it does in rougher cities like Valparaiso Chile. (more…)

December 28, 2018

San Francisco: The Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge appears from behind a hill.

There’s no more iconic sight in San Francisco than the Golden Gate Bridge. The Art Deco masterpiece sits at privileged location at the mouth of the San Francisco Bay. It’s a rare combination of an attractive structure built in a beautiful location. (more…)

December 26, 2018

San Francisco: Escape to Alcatraz

Filed under: Architecture, Photography, San Francisco, Travel, United States — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 10:16 pm


Inside an Alcatraz cell block

Every tourist that spends more than a day in San Francisco heads to Alcatraz. That’s a fake fact that I just made that up. But it does seem that way. Alcatraz is without doubt one of the City’s premier tourist attractions. (more…)

December 22, 2018

San Francisco: Haight Street Art Center, A Ralph Steadman Retrospective

“Bombing in Las Vegas” Ralph Steadman (1972)

Urban areas often have a variety of interesting and free things to do and to see. It is one of the things I like most about cities. This is no commitment tourism; you show up and look. If it is not interesting you leave. There’s no motivation to get your full value out of the price of admission. (more…)

December 3, 2017

San Francisco: The Embarcadero

Looking back at the Embarcadero waterfront: Perhaps the best thing that happened as a consequence of the Loma Prieta Earthquake was the demise of the freeway that once dominated this area.

San Francisco has a storied freeway history. There were once grand plans to build a web of cross-city freeways. These plans fell to the determined opposition from the city’s residents. In the end, only the stubs of the planned highways were built. San Francisco remains to this day without a through freeway link between the US Highway 101 to the north and south of the City. Though it is less convenient for drivers, there is little doubt blocking the construction of the cross-city freeways preserved the character of many San Franciscan neighborhoods. (more…)

November 28, 2017

San Francisco: Dogpatch

Abandoned buildings on San Francisco’s waterfront

Dogpatch is a mixed-use neighborhood on the bayside of San Francisco. Its location is cutoff from much of the City by the two main freeway arteries that run north south through the eastern side of San Francisco. The freeways make the neighborhood convenient for those who need to commute down the peninsula. But at the same time, the location makes Dogpatch less convenient to the City’s services and attractions. (more…)

San Francisco: Conservatory of Flowers

A water lily blooms inside the Conservatory of Flowers.

Construction of San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers was completed in 1879. It is the oldest building in Golden Gate Park. The conservatory is worth a visit not just for the collection of rare and exotic plants but also for the building itself. As an added bonus in 2017, when we visited, there was a special exhibition, “Butterflies and Blooms,” featuring an assortment of North American butterflies and moths. (more…)

San Francisco: The Haight and the Grateful Dead House

Haight-Ashbury has become a brand.

A little over fifty years ago, in 1967, it was the Summer of Love in San Francisco. In many ways the Summer of Love represents the peak of the hippie movement. That summer an estimated 100,000 hippies came to the City by the Bay to celebrate peace, love, and all things countercultural. Within the City the epicenter of the movement was Golden Gate Park and the Haight-Ashbury District. (more…)

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