The San Francisco Bay Area Portal
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...)
The Black Cat Bar
or Black Cat Café
was a bar in San Francisco
. It originally opened in 1906 and closed in 1921. The Black Cat re-opened in 1933 and operated for another 30 years. During its second run of operation, it was a hangout for Beats
but over time began attracting more and more of a gay
Because it catered to gays, the bar became a flashpoint for the nascent homophile movement. The Black Cat was at the center of a legal fight that was one of the earliest court cases to establish legal protections for gay people in the United States. Despite this victory, continued pressure from law enforcement agencies eventually forced the bar's closure in 1964.
The Black Cat opened in 1906, shortly after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. When entrepreneur Charles Ridley acquired the bar in 1911, he turned it into a showplace for vaudeville-style acts. Over the next several years, Ridley and the Black Cat came under increased police scrutiny as a possible center of prostitution. In 1921, the bar lost its dance permit and closed down. (more...)
(August 25, 1796 - October 1, 1876) was an American
builder, land baron, and patron of the sciences. At the time of his death, he was the wealthiest man in California
, and left the majority of his estate to social and scientific causes.
Lick arrived in San Francisco, California, in January 1848, bringing with him his tools, work bench, $30,000 ($784,700 with inflation to 2012) in gold, and 600 pounds (275 kilograms) of chocolate. The chocolate quickly sold, and Lick convinced his neighbor and friend in Peru, the confectioner Domingo Ghirardelli, to move to San Francisco, where he founded the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.
Upon his arrival, Lick began buying real estate in the small village of San Francisco. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento a few days after Lick's arrival in the future state began the California Gold Rush and created a housing boom in San Francisco, which grew from about one thousand residents in 1848 to over twenty thousand by 1850. Lick himself got a touch of "gold fever" and went out to mine the metal, but after a week he decided his fortune was to be made by owning land, not digging in it. Lick continued buying land in San Francisco, and also began buying farmland in and around San Jose, where he planted orchards and built the largest flour mill in the state to feed the growing population in San Francisco. (more...)
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San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds
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Litquake is a literary festival in San Francisco, first held in 1999. It has been described as "Literature as Carnival". In 2012, Litquake featured a total of 860 authors over the course of the 9 day festival. The festival closes with a "Lit Crawl," a literary pub crawl that includes bars, cafes, bookstores, theaters, galleries, clothing boutiques, furniture showrooms, parking lots, a laundromat and even a bee-keeping store. (local author and attendee Zarina Zabrisky pictured)
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