Portal:San Francisco Bay Area
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Portal:San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area Portal

California Bay Area county map
SF Bay area USGS.jpg

The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, along with smaller urban and rural areas. The Bay Area's nine counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Home to approximately 7.68 million people, the nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, and commuter rail. The combined statistical area of the region is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 43rd-largest urban area in the world with 8.80 million people.

The Bay Area has the second-most Fortune 500 companies in the United States, after the New York metropolitan area, and is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area ranks second in highest density of college graduates, after the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and performs above the state median household income in the 2010 census; it includes the five highest California counties by per capita income and two of the top 25 wealthiest counties in the United States. Based on a 2013 population report from the California Department of Finance, the Bay Area is the only region in California where the rate of people migrating in from other areas in the United States is greater than the rate of those leaving the region, led by Alameda and Contra Costa counties. (more...)

Selected article

Levi's logo.svg
Levi Strauss & Co. is a privately held American clothing company known worldwide for its Levi's brand of denim jeans. It was founded in 1853 when Levi Strauss came from Buttenheim, Bavaria, to San Francisco, California to open a west coast branch of his brothers' New York dry goods business. The company's corporate headquarters is located at Levi's Plaza in San Francisco.

Levi Strauss started the business at the 90 Sacramento Street address in San Francisco. He next moved the location to 62 Sacramento Street then 63 & 65 Sacramento Street. Jacob Davis, a Latvian Jewish immigrant, was a Reno, Nevada tailor who frequently purchased bolts of cloth made from denim from Levi Strauss & Co.'s wholesale house. After one of Davis' customers kept purchasing cloth to reinforce torn pants, he had an idea to use copper rivets to reinforce the points of strain, such as on the pocket corners and at the base of the button fly. Davis did not have the required money to purchase a patent, so he wrote to Strauss suggesting that they go into business together. After Levi accepted Jacob's offer, on May 20, 1873, the two men received U.S. Patent 139,121 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patented rivet was later incorporated into the company's jean design and advertisements. Contrary to an advertising campaign suggesting that Levi Strauss sold his first jeans to gold miners during the California Gold Rush (which peaked in 1849), the manufacturing of denim overalls only began in the 1870s. The company created their first pair of Levis 501 Jeans in the 1890s, a style that went on to become the world's best selling item of clothing. (more...)

Selected biography

MC Hammer (cropped).jpg
Stanley Kirk Burrell (born March 30, 1962, Oakland, California), known professionally as M.C. Hammer (and later simply Hammer), is an American rapper, dancer, entrepreneur, spokesman and occasional actor. He had his greatest commercial success and popularity from the late 1980s until the late 1990s. Remembered for his rapid rise to fame, Hammer is known for hit records (such as "U Can't Touch This" and "2 Legit 2 Quit"), flashy dance movements, choreography and eponymous Hammer pants. Hammer's superstar-status and entertaining showmanship made him a household name and hip hop icon. He has sold more than 50 million records worldwide.

A multi-award winner, M.C. Hammer is considered a "forefather/pioneer" and innovator of pop rap (incorporating elements of freestyle music), and is the first hip hop artist to achieve diamond status for an album. Hammer was later considered a sellout due in part to overexposure as an entertainer (having live instrumentation/bands, choreographed dance routines and an impact on popular culture being regularly referenced on television and in music) and as a result of being too "commercial" when rap was "hardcore" at one point, then his image later becoming increasingly "gritty" to once again adapt to the ever-changing landscape of rap. Regardless, BET ranked Hammer as the #7 "Best Dancer Of All Time". Vibes "The Best Rapper Ever Tournament" declared him the 17th favorite of all-time during the first round. (more...)

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East Palo Alto PA Airport Moffett Field P1190059.jpg
East Palo Alto is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of East Palo Alto was 28,155. It is situated on the San Francisco Peninsula, roughly halfway between the cities of San Francisco and San Jose. To the north and east is the San Francisco Bay, to the west is the city of Menlo Park, and to the south the city of Palo Alto. Despite being called "East" Palo Alto, this is a misnomer, as the city is precisely due north of Palo Alto. While widely assumed to be part of the city of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto has always been a separate entity, being located in a different county since its founding as an unincorporated community (Palo Alto is in Santa Clara County) and until recently having an entirely different demographic makeup. The two cities are separated only by San Francisquito Creek and, largely, the Bayshore Freeway (the vast majority of East Palo Alto is northeast of the freeway, while all of the residential part of Palo Alto is southwest of the freeway). The revitalization projects in 2000, and the surge of high income high-tech professionals moving into the new developments (including employees from Google and Facebook), have begun to eliminate the cultural and economic differences between the two cities. (more...)

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The Bay Area by year

1877
Frank M. Pixley, founder & editor of The Argonaut

Selected historical image

"Women shipfitters worked on board the USS NEREUS, and are shown as they neared completion of the floor in a part of... - NARA - 296892.jpg
"Women shipfitters worked on board the USS NEREUS, and are shown as they neared completion of the floor in a part of the engine room. Left to right are Shipfitters Betty Pierce, Lola Thomas, Margaret Houston Thelma Mort and Katie Stanfill. US Navy Yard, Mare Island,CA." (1943)

Did you know...

Emiko Omori and Victor Wong
Tim Stearns
The Oceanic, 1871
Ghost Ship warehouse interior

 • ... that filmmaker Emiko Omori (pictured, left, with Victor Wong) began her career in 1968 at KQED, becoming one of the first camerawomen to work in news documentaries?
 • ... that Fisher Creek is tributary to the largest freshwater wetland in Santa Clara County, Laguna Seca, a seasonal lake important to groundwater recharge and migratory birds?
 • ... that San Francisco based architect Jack Hillmer is known for his meticulously hand-crafted Modernist homes built from redwood, and was an exponent of what Lewis Mumford called the "Bay Region style"?
 • ... that Stanford University Department of Biology chairman Tim Stearns (pictured), together with his wife, medical researcher Susan Cleveland, tend a fruit tree orchard at their home in Redwood City?
 • ... that the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company's flagship, the Oceanic (pictured), set a Pacific crossing record of 16 days and 10 hours, 8 days less than the ships of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company?
 • ... that the building consumed in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire had at least ten complaints filed on it since 1998? (interior damage pictured)
 • ... that after Agnes Fay Morgan conducted a nutritional study with foxes, she presented her data wearing a stole made from the fur of her subjects?

Previous Did you know...

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Joel Selvin BBQ pepper.jpg

May/June 2009

Selected periodic event

San Francisco Boys Chorus, past performers at the festival

Midsummer Mozart Festival is an annual music festival that exclusively features the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The festival was founded by George Cleve in 1974 and is held at various venues across the San Francisco Bay Area. (The San Francisco Boys Chorus, past performers, pictured)

Quote

Bret Harte young.jpg
~ "San Francisco, from the Sea", Bret Harte (1836-1902)
*more quotes about San Francisco from Wikiquote

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