Wednesday, May 20, 2009

San Francisco

Welcome to San Francisco, the 13th most populous city in the United States! Here I am in downtown, shortly after I got off the BART. What's a BART? Why it's the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, a network of subway and above-ground light rail trains to help move people efficiently. You need something like that when you've got over 800,000 people living in the city, and over 7,000,000 people living in the San Francisco Bay area!

San Francisco is a beautiful and functional city, and a real melting pot of cultures that makes any visit an enriching experience.

On the other hand, I'm not sure if I would want to live there. It's close to two major earthquake-producing fault lines. In 1906, the whole city was destroyed when an earthquake struck in the early hours of the morning. Not exactly the kind of alarm I'd like to wake up to!

Even still, with its thriving arts and culture, attractive hilly terrain with adjoining waterfront, and mild climate, it is easy to see why people are drawn to live here.

This is Vaillancourt Fountain in part of the city known as the Embarcadero. It's really a cool structure that has pathways around and throughout it.

I liked this metal man statue. :-) In the background you can see the clock tower of the ferry building. Thanks to the bridges, not many ferries run anymore. The ferry building has become a place for nice restaurants and boutique shops. Behind the building they have a farmers' market on the weekends.

If you like lines in your architecture, there are plenty of picturesque city shots to enjoy.

San Francisco has a large China Town. In fact, about one third of the population of San Francisco is Chinese American. This district has many jewelry stores, trinket shops, and Chinese-flavored home furnishing stores.

This is part of Golden Gate Park, a large span of green space close to downtown. It's a great escape to trade skyscrapers for towering trees. :-)

On top of Buena Vista Park, you can get wonderful views of the cityscape, but my favorite photo from this park was of these trees.

One of the things that San Francisco is known for is their pretty and historic Victorian-style townhome.

Home like these made the walk through the city quite enjoyable.

Mmmm... Philz Coffee! This is one of my favorite coffee spots in the whole world. :-) They've got about 20 hand-crafted coffee blends to choose from, and they'll brew each one a cup at a time for you. Yummy!

This it the Bay Bridge, connecting San Francisco to Oakland, replete with a little touch early morning fog to give it a magical quality.

I'm not sure if you can see me, but I am riding this metal arachnid! There were several pieces of public art accenting the city to ponder, inspire, and enjoy. As for me, I'm going to ride off to my next adventure...