San Francisco – Two

Here are lots more places I recommend seeing in San Francisco. And when you are done with all of these, go spend a wonderful day in Sausalito just across the San Francisco Bay.

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1 AT&T Baseball Park in San Francisco, California

Since the home of the San Francisco Giants opened in 2000, it has had three names: Pacific Bell Park, SBC Park and after 2006, AT&T Park. But the 42,000 fans that fill the seats just call the stadium lucky because it has hosted the World Series in 2010, 2012 and again a few days before this photo was taken in 2014. The Giants won all three years but always clinched the title in an opposing ballpark.

24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107

2 AT&T Park Willie Mays Statue in San Francisco, California

Willie Mays started his rookie year in baseball in 1951 wearing a Giants uniform in New York. When the team moved to San Francisco in 1958, he continued to wear number 24 until 1972. At the end of his career, he had hit 660 home runs. This statue by William Behrends of “The Say Hey Kid” was erected in 2000 on Willie Mays Plaza in front of the AT&T Park.

24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107

3 Metreon Shopping Center in San Francisco, California

In 1999, the Sony Corporation of America opened this massive glass building over a portion of the Mascone Convention Center as a flagship for their innovative products and as an entertainment venue. Although initially successful, the concept failed to generate the expected revenue. It was subsequently purchased by The Westfield Group and converted into a food court that’s anchored by a Target department and grocery store. It also features 16 movie screens managed by Loews.

135 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

4 LeRoy King Carousel at Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, California

When this carousel was built in 1906 it was supposed to be delivered to San Francisco but it never arrived because of the city’s massive earthquake. During its history it has been in Seattle, a nearby SF amusement park, privately owned and finally installed at Yerba Buena Gardens in 1998. In 2014, it was refurbished and renamed after the Redevelopment Commissioner LeRoy King. It’s managed by the Children’s Creativity Museum.

221 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

5 Yerba Buena Gardens Children on Field Trip in San Francisco, California

It is common to see school children on a field trip in Yerba Buena Gardens because the public park is surrounded by cultural venues including the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Other destinations are designed for children like the Children’s Creativity Museum, a carousel, a bowling alley and a skating rink.

750 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

6 Skyline From Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, California

Until 1993, the area south of Market Street in downtown had virtually no green space. However, after decades of debate, a two block public park was created and named Yerba Buena after the Mexican town that preceded San Francisco. The size was doubled five years later. It contains a beautiful garden, multiple tiers of grassy areas, a huge fountain in tribute to Martin Luther King and an excellent skyline view of nearby buildings.

750 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

7 Skylight Cylinder on SF Museum Modern Art in San Francisco, California

The centerpiece of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s facade is this distinctive black and white striped cylinder that acts as a giant skylight. When the museum was built in 1995, it was the country’s second largest for modern art with 225,000 feet. That footage will double after an expansion project is completed and the SFMOM reopens in 2016.

151 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103

8 St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in San Francisco, California

Nestled among elaborate modern buildings devoted to museums, shopping and finance is the humble yet beautiful St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. It was established in 1851 to serve Irish immigrants and Gold Rush prospectors. It was restored after the 1906 earthquake destroyed most of San Francisco.

756 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

9 Cherubs Pediment on Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, California

After the 1906 earthquake, most of San Francisco was destroyed. An architect named Willis Polk was assigned several projects, including the rebuilding of the Jessie Street Substation. This beautiful terra cotta pediment of four cherubs graced the entry to the power plant. It’s now an axillary entrance to the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

736 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

10 Victory on Dewey Monument at Union Square in San Francisco, California

In 1898, Admiral George Dewy decisively won the Manila Bay battle during the Spanish-American War. In tribute to the Naval hero, a monument was erected in the center of Union Square in 1903. On top is “Victory,” a nine foot sculpture by Robert Aitken. The Goddess of Victory holds a trident in one hand, which is often associated with Poseidon and Neptune, and a wreath in the other.

333 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94108

11 Glass Rotunda Ceiling at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, California

While power shopping around Union Square, you must go inside Neiman Marcus and gaze at this stunning glass ceiling that covers a four-story atrium. If you want a more leisurely experience, have afternoon tea or a meal at their Rotunda restaurant. It is a bit expensive but this view is worth it. The dome is all that remains of the City of Paris department store that was built in 1896.

150 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108

12 Cable Car on Powell and Market Turntable in San Francisco, California

This is cable car No. 24 being reversed on a manual turntable at the intersection of Powell and Market. This transportation system started in San Francisco in 1873 and grew into 23 lines by 1890 but only three remain today. Nearly seven million tourists a year thrill to the iconic bells and rumbling sounds as the cars climb and descend the steep hills of the city.

Powell & Market Streets, San Francisco, CA 94102

13 Westfield San Francisco Centre in San Francisco, California

Power shoppers can spend days trying to visit the oversized stores of their favorite retailers around Union Square while also discovering specialty boutiques. If you have energy to spare, cross Market Street and explore the Westfield San Francisco Centre. This upscale shopping mall has over one million square feet containing about 175 stores. That should give your legs and credit card a workout.

865 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

14 Nordstrom California Flagship Store in San Francisco, California

The Nordstrom California flagship store has 350,000 feet of retail space on several levels of the Westfield San Francisco Centre. The shopping mall’s nine floors are traversed by the nation’s first spiral escalators. I, of course, was fascinated by their elegant design leading up to the glass dome.

865 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

15 Old United States Mint Building in San Francisco, California

During the Gold Rush in 1849, it was challenging to convert mined gold into coins. So, in 1852, Congress established the San Francisco Mint. In 1874, this imposing stone, classic revival building with fluted columns began manufacturing coins. It earned the nickname “Granite Lady” after surviving the 1906 earthquake. The mint operations moved in 1937. The Old Mint is now available for special events but may become the San Francisco Museum at the Mint in the future.

88 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

16 Pioneer Monument in San Francisco, California

The Pioneer Monument was created in 1894 by sculptor Frank Happersberger and now stands in the middle of the Civic Center Historic District. Among its depictions of early California history is the Gold Rush of 1849 on the left and on the far right is a woman in a boat which represents “Commerce.” The benefactor for this tribute was James Lick, the founder of the Ghiradelli Chocolate Company.

147 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94102

17 Pioneer Monument Eureka Statue in San Francisco, California

This bronze statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, with the word “Eureka” on her shield stands on top of the Pioneer Monument, an 800 ton granite pedestal with sculptures and reliefs that depict early California history. “Eureka” refers to the discovery of gold in 1848. It is the state’s motto and part of the California State Seal.

147 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94102

18 Female Carved Face with Corn Hair in San Francisco, California

The 1936 Federal Building at 50 United Nations Plaza was the last of several government structures for the San Francisco Civic Center project that was designed by architect Arthur Brown Jr. As a master at Beaux Arts architecture, he incorporated a series of mascarons or carved faces on the granite exterior. Historically, this ornamentation was meant to scare away evil. But this female with corn hair was one of several agricultural themes that also included wheat, cat tails and oak leaves.

50 United Nations Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94102

19 Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California

This Beaux-Arts building in the Civic Center Historic District of San Francisco was built in 1917 and served as the city’s main library. In 2003, after an extensive renovation, it became the home of the Asian Art Museum with its collection of over 18,000 art pieces, many of which were originally donated by Avery Brundage. He was a star track athlete, president of the International Olympic Committee and a successful Chicago businessman.

200 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

20 Main Library Branch Building in San Francisco, California

In 1966, after a $100 million investment, San Francisco’s Main Library moved out of their 1917 building in the Civic Center Historic District into this one nearby with a white granite façade. Designed by James Ingo Freed, it has over 370,000 square feet for its collection of nearly 3.5 million books and publications. The public library system has 27 branches throughout the city.

100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

21 City Hall Dome Close Up in San Francisco, California

Stunning is one of several superlatives that comes to mind when you stare up 390 feet to the peak of the gilded dome on San Francisco’s City Hall. The design was inspired by the Dôme des Invalides which is not surprising because the architect, Arthur Brown, Jr. studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Built in 1915, this 23.5 karat gold leaf dome is the tallest in the U.S. and the world’s fifth largest.

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

22 City Hall Rotunda Staircase in San Francisco, California

In the center of the half million square foot San Francisco City Hall is the sundrenched rotunda. The floor is pink marble and the walls are limestone. The grand staircase, which is named the Charlotte Maillard Shultz stairs, is accented with gilded bronze railings, pilasters and vaults. The medallions shown are “Strength” on the left and “Liberty” on the right. They were created by master sculptor Henri Crenier.

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

23 City Hall Rotunda Light Fixture in San Francisco, California

This bronze light fixture, which was manufactured by Leo J. Meyberg Co., is just one of many elegant features in the San Francisco City Hall. It is claimed that the architect, Arthur Brown, Jr., was so meticulous that he personally designed each exquisite element in the building. That success launched his career as the designer of several San Francisco landmarks in the early 20th century.

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

24 City Hall Supervisors’ Legislative Chamber in San Francisco, California

The Board of Supervisor’s Chamber in the San Francisco City Hall is where the eleven representatives of the city meet each Tuesday to conduct local government business. The room is surrounded by intricately carved Manchurian oak panels and the furniture is California oak. The ceiling also looks like wood but is actually plaster.

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

25 Jammin on Haight Storefront in San Francisco, California

If you are too young to have been a flower child during the psychedelic hippy days, you can still purchase your tie-dyed clothing from Jammin on Haight in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. They also sell original and in some cases signed art by Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist for the Grateful Dead. The band lived nearby during the mid-1960s.

1400 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

26 Tattoo Neon Sign and Victorian Building in San Francisco, California

As you stroll along Haight Street, you can buy endless memorabilia that’s reminiscent of the 1960’s including old record albums, drug paraphernalia, tie dyed clothes and love beads. But none of these souvenirs are as permanent as a visit to Rose Gold’s Tattoo & Piercing.

1157 Masonic Ave, San Francisco, CA 94117

27 Fishnet Stocking Female Legs Marquee in San Francisco, California

Most retail stores settle for simple signage but you expect to see the outlandish in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and the Piedmont Boutique delivers with these giant, female legs encased in fishnet stockings and red high heels. It’s the perfect magnet for customers looking for costumes, lingerie or alternative style clothing.

1452 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

28 Summerlove Mural by Amanda Lynn in San Francisco, California

The summer of 1967 was called the “Summer of Love” when the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood was the epicenter for counterculture musicians such as the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Crosby Stills and Nash plus the Jefferson Airplane. Muralist Amanda Lynn painted this flowerchild tribute to that era on the side of Jimi Hendrix’s former house. It is appropriately called “Summerlove.”

1524 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

29 Haight Street Market in San Francisco, California

Although the Haight Street Market was not in business during the hippy movement in the 1960s, it has been offering fresh, organic and locally grown produce since it opened in 1981. It is carrying on a historic tradition because the area now called the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood was populated by small farms during the 1800s.

1530 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

30 People Overlooking Downtown at Twin Peaks in San Francisco, California

It is fun to drive the winding road to the top of Twin Peaks. The real reward is the spectacular view of San Francisco. Eureka Peak, also called North Peak, offers the best observation point at an elevation of 925 feet. On a clear day you can see the local neighborhoods, down Market Street, through downtown and as far as the bay.

501 Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94131

31 Painted Ladies Victorian Houses in San Francisco, California

During the late 19th and early 20th century, thousands of Victorian row houses were built in San Francisco. Many that survived the 1906 earthquake were subsequently painted with bright colors during the Colorist Movement in the 1970s. The most famous are The Painted Ladies, also nicknamed Postcard Row, on Steiner Street across from Alamo Square Park.

Alamo Square Park, Steiner St, San Francisco, CA 94117

32 Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, California

Saint Mary’s Cathedral, which was built in 1971 in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood, has a bold, modern design that is uncharacteristic of most Roman Catholic churches. It is the third church in San Francisco to be called St. Mary’s. The 1854 original is now called the Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral. An image of that church near Chinatown is also available in this photo gallery.

1111 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94109

33 Peace Pagoda in Japantown in San Francisco, California

Next to Japan Center, which is a shopping mall in Japantown, is this five story Peace Pagoda that was designed by Yashiro Taniguchi and built in 1968. This symbol of world peace started after two Japanese cites were destroyed by atomic bombs. There are now more than 80 Buddhist stupas around the world.

1610 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94115

34 California Japantown Landmarks Project in San Francisco, California

As a tribute to the Japanese who contributed to the growth of San Francisco since the 1800s, a four panel bronze monument was created in 2006 called the California Japantown Landmarks Project. This detail quotes a poem by Janice Mirikitani named “Footsteps Lead to Destiny.” The sculptors are Louis Quaintance and Eugene Daub. The monument is located in the Japantown Peace Plaza.

1610 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94115

35 Golden Gate Bridge in Fog in San Francisco, California

The Pacific Ocean meets the San Francisco Bay beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. It is also here where the ocean’s marine layer of water vapor collides with the different air temperatures of the bay and the land. This result is almost a daily pattern of rolling fog or clouds that often swallows the bridge with an eerie yet beautiful result.

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36 Restaurant on Pier in Sausalito, California

A visit to Sausalito is a great excursion away from San Francisco’s bustle. The downtown is small but lined with boutique shops that are fun to explore. When you are hungry, grab a table at one of several restaurants on piers like Scoma’s and enjoy your seafood while overlooking San Francisco Bay.

588 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

37 Elephant Statue at Viña Del Mar Plaza in Sausalito, California

This 14 foot elephant statue is one of two named Jumbo and PeeWee. Originally, there were twelve of them at the Court of the Universe during the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. The building’s architect, William Faville, arranged for this pair to be shipped to his hometown of Sausalito after the World’s Fair. In 1935, they were recast in concrete. Today, they help light up the Viña Del Mar Plaza.

700 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

38 Water Fountain at Viña Del Mar Plaza in Sausalito, California

In downtown Sausalito is this fountain that was designed by William Faville. He was also the architect for the Court of the Universe building at the 1915 World’s Fair in San Francisco. This beautiful work of art is the centerpiece of Viña Del Mar Plaza, a park that is named after the Sister City relationship with the Chilean coastal town near Santiago.

700 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

39 Women Sitting Along Waterfront in Sausalito, California

A delightful way to finish your afternoon in Sausalito is to sit along the waterfront with a friend and watch sailboats floating along Richardson Bay with Belvedere Island in the background. A perfect spot to enjoy the view is Gabrielson Park.

Humboldt Ave & Anchor Street, Sausalito, CA 94965

40 Cyclists Boarding Ferry in Sausalito, California

After riding rented bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge and exploring Sausalito, these cyclists are catching the last ferry back to San Francisco. The end of their perfect daytrip is to float across The Bay with wonderful views of Alcatraz and the skyline of downtown.

2 Tracy Way, Sausalito, CA 94965