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Island Landscape, Alcatraz Prison, San Francisco, California, United States Of America.

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posted by DM PHOTOGRAPHY alias [email protected] on Tuesday 1st of December 2015 11:10:09 PM

The San Francisco Bay Area, popularly referred to as the Bay Area or simply the Bay, is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun Bay estuaries in Northern California. While the exact boundaries of the region are variously defined, the Bay Area is defined by the Association of Bay Area Governments to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and San Francisco. Other boundaries may exclude parts of or even entire counties, or expand the definition to include neighboring counties that do not border the bay such as San Benito, San Joaquin, and Santa Cruz. Home to approximately 7.75 million people, Northern California's nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a complex multimodal transportation network. The larger combined statistical area of the region, which includes fourteen counties, is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 41st-largest urban area in the world with 9.67 million people.[7] The Bay Area's population is ethnically diverse: for example, roughly half of the region's residents are Hispanic, Asian, African American, or Pacific Islander, all of whom have a significant presence throughout the region. The earliest archaeological evidence of human settlements in the Bay Area dates back to 8000–10,000 BC (from shell mounds in the Coyote Hills). In 1769, the Bay Area was inhabited by the Ohlone people when a Spanish exploration party led by Gaspar de Portolà entered the Bay – the first documented European visit to the Bay Area. After Mexico established independence from Spain in 1821, the region was briefly controlled by the Mexican government until the United States purchased the territory in 1846 during the Mexican–American War. Soon after, discovery of gold in California attracted a flood of treasure seekers, many using ports in the Bay Area as an entry point. During the early years of California's statehood, state legislative business rotated between three locations in the Bay Area before a permanent state capital was established in Sacramento. A major earthquake leveled the city of San Francisco and environs in 1906, but the region quickly rebuilt in time to host the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. During World War II, the Bay Area played a major role in America's war effort in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, with San Francisco's Fort Mason acting as a primary embarkation point for American forces. In 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco, establishing the United Nations, and in 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco re-established peaceful relations between Japan and the Allied Powers. Since then, the Bay Area has experienced numerous political, cultural and artistic movements, developing unique local genres in music and art and establishing itself as a hotbed of progressive politics. Economically, the post-war Bay Area saw huge growth in the financial and technology industries, creating a vibrant and diverse economy with a gross domestic product of over $700 billion, and home to the third highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the United States (as of 2018).[8][9] Despite its urban character, the San Francisco Bay is one of California's most ecologically important habitats, providing key ecosystem services such as filtering pollutants and sediments from the rivers, and supporting a number of endangered species. In addition, the Bay is known for its stands of coast redwoods, many of which are protected in state and county parks. The region is also known for the complexity of its landforms, the result of millions of years of tectonic plate movements. Because the Bay Area is crossed by six major earthquake faults, the region is particularly exposed to hazards presented by large earthquakes. The climate is temperate and generally very mild, and is ideal for outdoor recreational and athletic activities such as hiking. The Bay Area is host to six professional sports teams and is a cultural center for music, theater, and the arts. It is also host to several institutions of higher education, ranging from primary schools to major research universities. Home to 101 municipalities and nine counties, governance in the Bay Area involves numerous local and regional actors, often with broad and overlapping responsibilities. San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the 16th most populous city in the United States, and the fourth most populous in California, with 881,549 residents as of 2019.[15] It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2),[20] mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second most densely populated large U.S. city, and the fifth most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is part of the 12th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States by population, with 4.7 million people, and the fourth-largest by economic output, with GDP of $549 billion in 2018.[21] With San Jose, it forms the fifth most populous combined statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area (9.67 million residents in 2018). Colloquial nicknames for San Francisco include The City, SF, Frisco and San Fran.[22][23] As of 2020, San Francisco has the highest salaries, disposable income, and median home prices in the world at $1.7 million,[24][25] as well as the highest median rents.[26] In 2018, San Francisco was the seventh-highest-income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $130,696.[27] In the same year, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $183.2 billion, and a GDP per capita of $207,371.[28][29] The CSA San Francisco shares with San Jose and Oakland was the country's third-largest urban economy as of 2018, with a GDP of $1.03 trillion.[30] Of the 500+ primary statistical areas in the U.S., this CSA had among the highest GDP per capita in 2018, at $106,757.[30] San Francisco was ranked 8th in the world and 2nd in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of March 2020.[31] As of 2016, the San Francisco metropolitan area had the highest GDP per capita, labor productivity, and household income levels in the OECD.[32] As of 2019, it is the highest rated American city on world liveability rankings.[33] San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established the Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, both named for Francis of Assisi.[3] The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856.[34] San Francisco's status as the West Coast's largest city peaked between 1870 and 1900, when around 25% of California's population resided in the city proper.[35] After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire,[36] San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater.[37] It then became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945.[38][39][40] After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines. A popular tourist destination,[41] San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, and its Chinatown district. San Francisco is also the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co., Gap Inc., Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Reddit, Square, Inc., Dolby, Airbnb, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation and Craigslist. The city, and the surrounding Bay Area, is a global center of the sciences and arts[42][43] and is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco (USF), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco State University (SFSU), the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the SFJAZZ Center, and the California Academy of Sciences. The earliest archaeological evidence of human habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC.[41] The Yelamu group of the Ohlone people resided in a few small villages when an overland Spanish exploration party, led by Don Gaspar de Portolá, arrived on November 2, 1769, the first documented European visit to San Francisco Bay.[42] The first maritime presence occurred on August 5, 1775, when San Carlos—commanded by Juan Manuel de Ayala—became the first ship to anchor in the bay.[43] The following year, on March 28, 1776, the Spanish established the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by a mission, Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores), established by the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza.[3] View of San Francisco 1846–47 1853 United States Coast Survey map Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the area became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the mission system gradually ended, and its lands became privatized. In 1835, William Richardson, a naturalized Mexican citizen of English birth, erected the first independent homestead,[44] near a boat anchorage around what is today Portsmouth Square. Together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, and the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7, 1846, during the Mexican–American War, and Captain John B. Montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, and Mexico officially ceded the territory to the United States at the end of the war in 1848. Despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography.[45] Francis Samuel Marryat, Hilltop of San Francisco, California, Looking toward the Bay, 1849. M.& N. Hanhart Chromolithograph. Port of San Francisco in 1851 The California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers (known as "forty-niners", as in "1849"). With their sourdough bread in tow,[46] prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia,[47] raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849.[48] The promise of great wealth was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor.[49] Some of these approximately 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships, saloons and hotels; many were left to rot and some were sunk to establish title to the underwater lot. By 1851, the harbor was extended out into the bay by wharves while buildings were erected on piles among the ships. By 1870, Yerba Buena Cove had been filled to create new land. Buried ships are occasionally exposed when foundations are dug for new buildings.[50] California was quickly granted statehood in 1850, and the U.S. military built Fort Point at the Golden Gate and a fort on Alcatraz Island to secure the San Francisco Bay. Silver discoveries, including the Comstock Lode in Nevada in 1859, further drove rapid population growth.[51] With hordes of fortune seekers streaming through the city, lawlessness was common, and the Barbary Coast section of town gained notoriety as a haven for criminals, prostitution, and gambling.[52] Entrepreneurs sought to capitalize on the wealth generated by the Gold Rush. Early winners were the banking industry, with the founding of Wells Fargo in 1852 and the Bank of California in 1864. Development of the Port of San Francisco and the establishment in 1869 of overland access to the eastern U.S. rail system via the newly completed Pacific Railroad (the construction of which the city only reluctantly helped support[53]) helped make the Bay Area a center for trade. Catering to the needs and tastes of the growing population, Levi Strauss opened a dry goods business and Domingo Ghirardelli began manufacturing chocolate. Chinese immigrants made the city a polyglot culture, drawn to "Old Gold Mountain", creating the city's Chinatown quarter. In 1870, Asians made up 8% of the population.[54] The first cable cars carried San Franciscans up Clay Street in 1873. The city's sea of Victorian houses began to take shape, and civic leaders campaigned for a spacious public park, resulting in plans for Golden Gate Park. San Franciscans built schools, churches, theaters, and all the hallmarks of civic life. The Presidio developed into the most important American military installation on the Pacific coast.[55] By 1890, San Francisco's population approached 300,000, making it the eighth-largest city in the United States at the time. Around 1901, San Francisco was a major city known for its flamboyant style, stately hotels, ostentatious mansions on Nob Hill, and a thriving arts scene.[56] The first North American plague epidemic was the San Francisco plague of 1900–1904.[57] At 5:12 am on April 18, 1906, a major earthquake struck San Francisco and northern California. As buildings collapsed from the shaking, ruptured gas lines ignited fires that spread across the city and burned out of control for several days. With water mains out of service, the Presidio Artillery Corps attempted to contain the inferno by dynamiting blocks of buildings to create firebreaks.[58] More than three-quarters of the city lay in ruins, including almost all of the downtown core.[33] Contemporary accounts reported that 498 people lost their lives, though modern estimates put the number in the several thousands.[59] More than half of the city's population of 400,000 was left homeless.[60] Refugees settled temporarily in makeshift tent villages in Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, on the beaches, and elsewhere. Many fled permanently to the East Bay. "Not in history has a modern imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone." –Jack London after the 1906 earthquake and fire[61] The Palace of Fine Arts at the 1915 Panama–Pacific Exposition Rebuilding was rapid and performed on a grand scale. Rejecting calls to completely remake the street grid, San Franciscans opted for speed.[62] Amadeo Giannini's Bank of Italy, later to become Bank of America, provided loans for many of those whose livelihoods had been devastated. The influential San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association or SPUR was founded in 1910 to address the quality of housing after the earthquake.[63] The earthquake hastened development of western neighborhoods that survived the fire, including Pacific Heights, where many of the city's wealthy rebuilt their homes.[64] In turn, the destroyed mansions of Nob Hill became grand hotels. City Hall rose again in splendid Beaux Arts style, and the city celebrated its rebirth at the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in 1915.[65] It was during this period San Francisco built some of its most important infrastructure. Civil Engineer Michael O'Shaughnessy was hired by San Francisco Mayor James Rolph as chief engineer for the city in September 1912 to supervise the construction of the Twin Peaks Reservoir, the Stockton Street Tunnel, the Twin Peaks Tunnel, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, the Auxiliary Water Supply System, and new sewers. San Francisco's streetcar system, of which the J, K, L, M, and N lines survive today, was pushed to completion by O'Shaughnessy between 1915 and 1927. It was the O'Shaughnessy Dam, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, and Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct that would have the largest effect on San Francisco.[66] An abundant water supply enabled San Francisco to develop into the city it has become today. The Bay Bridge, under construction in 1935, took forty months to complete. In ensuing years, the city solidified its standing as a financial capital; in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash, not a single San Francisco-based bank failed.[67] Indeed, it was at the height of the Great Depression that San Francisco undertook two great civil engineering projects, simultaneously constructing the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, completing them in 1936 and 1937, respectively. It was in this period that the island of Alcatraz, a former military stockade, began its service as a federal maximum security prison, housing notorious inmates such as Al Capone, and Robert Franklin Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz. San Francisco later celebrated its regained grandeur with a World's fair, the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939–40, creating Treasure Island in the middle of the bay to house it.[citation needed] The USS San Francisco steams under the Golden Gate Bridge in 1942, during World War II. During World War II, the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard became a hub of activity, and Fort Mason became the primary port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater of Operations.[34] The explosion of jobs drew many people, especially African Americans from the South, to the area. After the end of the war, many military personnel returning from service abroad and civilians who had originally come to work decided to stay. The United Nations Charter creating the United Nations was drafted and signed in San Francisco in 1945 and, in 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco re-established peaceful relations between Japan and the Allied Powers.[68] Urban planning projects in the 1950s and 1960s involved widespread destruction and redevelopment of west-side neighborhoods and the construction of new freeways, of which only a series of short segments were built before being halted by citizen-led opposition.[69] The onset of containerization made San Francisco's small piers obsolete, and cargo activity moved to the larger Port of Oakland.[70] The city began to lose industrial jobs and turned to tourism as the most important segment of its economy.[71] The suburbs experienced rapid growth, and San Francisco underwent significant demographic change, as large segments of the white population left the city, supplanted by an increasing wave of immigration from Asia and Latin America.[72][73] From 1950 to 1980, the city lost over 10 percent of its population. Over this period, San Francisco became a magnet for America's counterculture. Beat Generation writers fueled the San Francisco Renaissance and centered on the North Beach neighborhood in the 1950s.[74] Hippies flocked to Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s, reaching a peak with the 1967 Summer of Love.[75] In 1974, the Zebra murders left at least 16 people dead.[76] In the 1970s, the city became a center of the gay rights movement, with the emergence of The Castro as an urban gay village, the election of Harvey Milk to the Board of Supervisors, and his assassination, along with that of Mayor George Moscone, in 1978.[77] Bank of America completed 555 California Street in 1969 and the Transamerica Pyramid was completed in 1972,[78] igniting a wave of "Manhattanization" that lasted until the late 1980s, a period of extensive high-rise development downtown.[79] The 1980s also saw a dramatic increase in the number of homeless people in the city, an issue that remains today, despite many attempts to address it.[80] The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused destruction and loss of life throughout the Bay Area. In San Francisco, the quake severely damaged structures in the Marina and South of Market districts and precipitated the demolition of the damaged Embarcadero Freeway and much of the damaged Central Freeway, allowing the city to reclaim The Embarcadero as its historic downtown waterfront and revitalizing the Hayes Valley neighborhood.[citation needed] Two recent decades have seen two booms driven by the internet industry. First was the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, startup companies invigorated the San Francisco economy. Large numbers of entrepreneurs and computer application developers moved into the city, followed by marketing, design, and sales professionals, changing the social landscape as once-poorer neighborhoods became increasingly gentrified.[81] Demand for new housing and office space ignited a second wave of high-rise development, this time in the South of Market district.[82] By 2000, the city's population reached new highs, surpassing the previous record set in 1950. When the bubble burst in 2001, many of these companies folded and their employees were laid off. Yet high technology and entrepreneurship remain mainstays of the San Francisco economy. By the mid-2000s (decade), the social media boom had begun, with San Francisco becoming a popular location for tech offices and a common place to live for people employed in Silicon Valley companies such as Apple and Google.[83] The Ferry Station Post Office Building, Armour & Co. Building, Atherton House, and YMCA Hotel are historic buildings among dozens of historical landmarks in the city according to the National Register of Historic Places listings in San Francisco.[citation needed] Geography The San Francisco Peninsula San Francisco is located on the West Coast of the United States at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula and includes significant stretches of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay within its boundaries. Several picturesque islands—Alcatraz, Treasure Island and the adjacent Yerba Buena Island, and small portions of Alameda Island, Red Rock Island, and Angel Island—are part of the city. Also included are the uninhabited Farallon Islands, 27 miles (43 km) offshore in the Pacific Ocean. The mainland within the city limits roughly forms a "seven-by-seven-mile square", a common local colloquialism referring to the city's shape, though its total area, including water, is nearly 232 square miles (600 km2). Cars navigate Lombard Street to descend Russian Hill. There are more than 50 hills within the city limits.[84] Some neighborhoods are named after the hill on which they are situated, including Nob Hill, Potrero Hill, and Russian Hill. Near the geographic center of the city, southwest of the downtown area, are a series of less densely populated hills. Twin Peaks, a pair of hills forming one of the city's highest points, forms an overlook spot. San Francisco's tallest hill, Mount Davidson, is 928 feet (283 m) high and is capped with a 103-foot (31 m) tall cross built in 1934.[85] Dominating this area is Sutro Tower, a large red and white radio and television transmission tower. The nearby San Andreas and Hayward Faults are responsible for much earthquake activity, although neither physically passes through the city itself. The San Andreas Fault caused the earthquakes in 1906 and 1989. Minor earthquakes occur on a regular basis. The threat of major earthquakes plays a large role in the city's infrastructure development. The city constructed an auxiliary water supply system and has repeatedly upgraded its building codes, requiring retrofits for older buildings and higher engineering standards for new construction.[86] However, there are still thousands of smaller buildings that remain vulnerable to quake damage.[87] USGS has released the California earthquake forecast which models earthquake occurrence in California.[88] San Francisco's shoreline has grown beyond its natural limits. Entire neighborhoods such as the Marina, Mission Bay, and Hunters Point, as well as large sections of the Embarcadero, sit on areas of landfill. Treasure Island was constructed from material dredged from the bay as well as material resulting from the excavation of the Yerba Buena Tunnel through Yerba Buena Island during the construction of the Bay Bridge. Such land tends to be unstable during earthquakes. The resulting soil liquefaction causes extensive damage to property built upon it, as was evidenced in the Marina district during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.[89] Most of the city's natural watercourses, such as Islais Creek and Mission Creek, have been culverted and built over, although the Public Utilities Commission is studying proposals to daylight or restore some creeks.[90] Cityscape Main article: List of Landmarks and Historic Places in San Francisco Downtown San Francisco, seen from Twin Peaks, in October 2006 Downtown San Francisco, seen from Twin Peaks at dusk, in December 2009 Aerial view from the west in April 2018. San Francisco is seen in the foreground, with Oakland in the background. Neighborhoods Main article: Neighborhoods in San Francisco See also: List of tallest buildings in San Francisco San Francisco's Chinatown is the oldest (and one of the largest) in North America. The historic center of San Francisco is the northeast quadrant of the city anchored by Market Street and the waterfront. It is here that the Financial District is centered, with Union Square, the principal shopping and hotel district, and the Tenderloin nearby. Cable cars carry riders up steep inclines to the summit of Nob Hill, once the home of the city's business tycoons, and down to the waterfront tourist attractions of Fisherman's Wharf, and Pier 39, where many restaurants feature Dungeness crab from a still-active fishing industry. Also in this quadrant are Russian Hill, a residential neighborhood with the famously crooked Lombard Street; North Beach, the city's Little Italy and the former center of the Beat Generation; and Telegraph Hill, which features Coit Tower. Abutting Russian Hill and North Beach is San Francisco's Chinatown, the oldest Chinatown in North America.[91][92][93][94] The South of Market, which was once San Francisco's industrial core, has seen significant redevelopment following the construction of Oracle Park and an infusion of startup companies. New skyscrapers, live-work lofts, and condominiums dot the area. Further development is taking place just to the south in Mission Bay area, a former railroad yard, which now has a second campus of the University of California, San Francisco and Chase Center, which opened in 2019 as the new home of the Golden State Warriors.[95] West of downtown, across Van Ness Avenue, lies the large Western Addition neighborhood, which became established with a large African American population after World War II. The Western Addition is usually divided into smaller neighborhoods including Hayes Valley, the Fillmore, and Japantown, which was once the largest Japantown in North America but suffered when its Japanese American residents were forcibly removed and interned during World War II. The Western Addition survived the 1906 earthquake with its Victorians largely intact, including the famous "Painted Ladies", standing alongside Alamo Square. To the south, near the geographic center of the city is Haight-Ashbury, famously associated with 1960s hippie culture.[citation needed] The Haight is now home to some expensive boutiques[96] and a few controversial chain stores,[97] although it still retains some bohemian character. Skyscrapers are common in northeast San Francisco, the city's downtown. North of the Western Addition is Pacific Heights, an affluent neighborhood that features the homes built by wealthy San Franciscans in the wake of the 1906 earthquake. Directly north of Pacific Heights facing the waterfront is the Marina, a neighborhood popular with young professionals that was largely built on reclaimed land from the Bay.[98] The Transamerica Pyramid was the tallest building in San Francisco until 2016, when Salesforce Tower surpassed it. In the south-east quadrant of the city is the Mission District—populated in the 19th century by Californios and working-class immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Scandinavia. In the 1910s, a wave of Central American immigrants settled in the Mission and, in the 1950s, immigrants from Mexico began to predominate.[99] In recent years, gentrification has changed the demographics of parts of the Mission from Latino, to twenty-something professionals. Noe Valley to the southwest and Bernal Heights to the south are both increasingly popular among young families with children. East of the Mission is the Potrero Hill neighborhood, a mostly residential neighborhood that features sweeping views of downtown San Francisco. West of the Mission, the area historically known as Eureka Valley, now popularly called the Castro, was once a working-class Scandinavian and Irish area. It has become North America's first gay village, and is now the center of gay life in the city.[100] Located near the city's southern border, the Excelsior District is one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco. The predominantly African American Bayview-Hunters Point in the far southeast corner of the city is one of the poorest neighborhoods and suffers from a high rate of crime, though the area has been the focus of several revitalizing and controversial urban renewal projects. The construction of the Twin Peaks Tunnel in 1918 connected southwest neighborhoods to downtown via streetcar, hastening the development of West Portal, and nearby affluent Forest Hill and St. Francis Wood. Further west, stretching all the way to the Pacific Ocean and north to Golden Gate Park lies the vast Sunset District, a large middle-class area with a predominantly Asian population.[101] The northwestern quadrant of the city contains the Richmond, also a mostly middle-class neighborhood north of Golden Gate Park, home to immigrants from other parts of Asia as well as many Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. Together, these areas are known as The Avenues. These two districts are each sometimes further divided into two regions: the Outer Richmond and Outer Sunset can refer to the more western portions of their respective district and the Inner Richmond and Inner Sunset can refer to the more eastern portions. Many piers remained derelict for years until the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway reopened the downtown waterfront, allowing for redevelopment. The centerpiece of the port, the Ferry Building, while still receiving commuter ferry traffic, has been restored and redeveloped as a gourmet marketplace. Climate San Francisco Climate chart (explanation) J F M A M J J A S O N D 4.5 5746 4.5 6047 3.3 6249 1.5 6349 0.7 6451 0.2 6653 0 6754 0.1 6855 0.2 7055 1.1 6954 3.2 6350 4.6 5746 Average max. and min. temperatures in °F Precipitation totals in inches Source: [102] Metric conversion San Francisco has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) characteristic of California's coast, with moist mild winters and dry summers.[103] San Francisco's weather is strongly influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean on the west side of the city, and the water of San Francisco Bay to the north and east. This moderates temperature swings and produces a remarkably mild year-round climate with little seasonal temperature variation.[citation needed] Fog is a regular feature of San Francisco summers. Among major U.S. cities, San Francisco has the coolest daily mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures for June, July, and August.[104] During the summer, rising hot air in California's interior valleys creates a low pressure area that draws winds from the North Pacific High through the Golden Gate, which creates the city's characteristic cool winds and fog.[105] The fog is less pronounced in eastern neighborhoods and during the late summer and early fall. As a result, the year's warmest month, on average, is September, and on average, October is warmer than July, especially in daytime. Because of its sharp topography and maritime influences, San Francisco exhibits a multitude of distinct microclimates. The high hills in the geographic center of the city are responsible for a 20% variance in annual rainfall between different parts of the city. They also protect neighborhoods directly to their east from the foggy and sometimes very cold and windy conditions experienced in the Sunset District; for those who live on the eastern side of the city, San Francisco is sunnier, with an average of 260 clear days, and only 105 cloudy days per year.[citation needed] Temperatures reach or exceed 80 °F (27 °C) on an average of only 21 and 23 days a year at downtown and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), respectively.[106] The dry period of May to October is mild to warm, with the normal monthly mean temperature peaking in September at 62.7 °F (17.1 °C).[106] The rainy period of November to April is slightly cooler, with the normal monthly mean temperature reaching its lowest in January at 51.3 °F (10.7 °C).[106] On average, there are 73 rainy days a year, and annual precipitation averages 23.65 inches (601 mm).[106] Variation in precipitation from year to year is high. Above average rain years are often associated with warm El Niño conditions in the Pacific while dry years often occur in cold water La Niña periods. In 2013 (a "La Niña" year), a record low 5.59 in (142 mm) of rainfall was recorded at downtown San Francisco, where records have been kept since 1849.[106] Snowfall in the city is very rare, with only 10 measurable accumulations recorded since 1852, most recently in 1976 when up to 5 inches (13 cm) fell on Twin Peaks.[107][108] The highest recorded temperature at the official National Weather Service downtown observation station[a] was 106 °F (41 °C) on September 1, 2017.[110] The lowest recorded temperature was 27 °F (−3 °C) on December 11, 1932.[111] The National Weather Service provides a helpful visual aid[112] graphing the information in the table below to display visually by month the annual typical temperatures, the past year's temperatures, and record temperatures. San Francisco falls under the USDA 10b Plant hardiness zone.[113][114] Climate data for San Francisco (downtown),[b] 1981–2010 normals,[c] extremes 1849–present MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear Record high °F (°C)79 (26)81 (27)87 (31)94 (34)97 (36)103 (39)98 (37)98 (37)106 (41)102 (39)86 (30)76 (24)106 (41) Mean maximum °F (°C)67.3 (19.6)72.5 (22.5)75.7 (24.3)82.3 (27.9)82.7 (28.2)86.0 (30.0)83.1 (28.4)85.5 (29.7)89.6 (32.0)88.1 (31.2)76.1 (24.5)66.4 (19.1)94.3 (34.6) Average high °F (°C)56.9 (13.8)60.2 (15.7)61.8 (16.6)63.1 (17.3)64.3 (17.9)66.4 (19.1)66.5 (19.2)68.1 (20.1)70.2 (21.2)69.2 (20.7)63.1 (17.3)57.1 (13.9)63.9 (17.7) Daily mean °F (°C)51.3 (10.7)53.9 (12.2)55.1 (12.8)56.2 (13.4)57.6 (14.2)59.6 (15.3)60.3 (15.7)61.6 (16.4)62.7 (17.1)61.5 (16.4)56.6 (13.7)51.6 (10.9)57.3 (14.1) Average low °F (°C)45.7 (7.6)47.5 (8.6)48.5 (9.2)49.2 (9.6)51.0 (10.6)52.8 (11.6)54.1 (12.3)55.1 (12.8)55.1 (12.8)53.7 (12.1)50.1 (10.1)46.1 (7.8)50.7 (10.4) Mean minimum °F (°C)40.3 (4.6)41.8 (5.4)43.6 (6.4)45.1 (7.3)47.7 (8.7)50.2 (10.1)51.5 (10.8)52.6 (11.4)52.0 (11.1)49.6 (9.8)44.2 (6.8)40.1 (4.5)38.2 (3.4) Record low °F (°C)29 (−2)31 (−1)33 (1)40 (4)42 (6)46 (8)47 (8)46 (8)47 (8)43 (6)38 (3)27 (−3)27 (−3) Average rainfall inches (mm)4.50 (114)4.46 (113)3.26 (83)1.46 (37)0.70 (18)0.16 (4.1)0.00 (0.00)0.06 (1.5)0.21 (5.3)1.12 (28)3.16 (80)4.56 (116)23.65 (601) Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 in)11.711.111.06.53.81.50.31.01.73.98.911.673.0 Average relative humidity (%)80777572727175757371757875 Mean monthly sunshine hours185.9207.7269.1309.3325.1311.4313.3287.4271.4247.1173.4160.63,061.7 Percent possible sunshine61697378747070687371575469 Source 1: NOAA (sun 1961–1974)[106][115][116] Source 2: Met Office for humidity[117] Flora and fauna Historically, tule elk were present in San Francisco County, based on archeological evidence of elk remains in at least five different Native American shellmounds: at Hunter's Point, Fort Mason, Stevenson Street, Market Street, and Yerba Buena.[118][119] Perhaps the first historical observer record was from the De Anza Expedition on March 23, 1776. Herbert Eugene Bolton wrote about the expedition camp at Mountain Lake, near the southern end of today's Presidio: "Round about were grazing deer, and scattered here and there were the antlers of large elk."[120] Also, when Richard Henry Dana Jr. visited San Francisco Bay in 1835, he wrote about vast elk herds near the Golden Gate: on December 27 "...we came to anchor near the mouth of the bay, under a high and beautifully sloping hill, upon which herds of hundreds and hundreds of red deer [note: "red deer" is the European term for "elk"], and the stag, with his high branching antlers, were bounding about...", although it is not clear whether this was the Marin side or the San Francisco side.[121] Demographics Main article: Demographics of San Francisco Historical population YearPop.±% 18481,000— 184925,000+2400.0% 185234,776+39.1% 186056,802+63.3% 1870149,473+163.1% 1880233,959+56.5% 1890298,997+27.8% 1900342,782+14.6% 1910416,912+21.6% 1920506,676+21.5% 1930634,394+25.2% 1940634,536+0.0% 1950775,357+22.2% 1960740,316−4.5% 1970715,674−3.3% 1980678,974−5.1% 1990723,959+6.6% 2000776,733+7.3% 2010805,235+3.7% 2019881,549+9.5% Source: U.S. Decennial Census,[122][15][48][123][124] See also: Population Graph The U.S. Census Bureau estimates San Francisco's population to be 881,549 as of July 1, 2019, with a population density of 18,838/sq mi.[15] With roughly one-quarter the population density of Manhattan, San Francisco is the second-most densely populated large American city, behind only New York City among cities greater than 200,000 population, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, following only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco forms part of the five-county San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 4.7 million people, and has served as its traditional demographic focal point. It is also part of the greater 14-county San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area, whose population is over 9.6 million, making it the fifth-largest in the United States as of 2018.[15] Race, ethnicity, religion, and languages San Francisco has a majority minority population, as non-Hispanic whites comprise less than half of the population, 41.9%, down from 92.5% in 1940.[54] As of the 2010 census, the ethnic makeup and population of San Francisco included: 390,387 Whites (48%), 267,915 Asians (33%), 48,870 African Americans (6%), and others. There were 121,744 Hispanics or Latinos of any race (15%). In 2010, residents of Chinese ethnicity constituted the largest single ethnic minority group in San Francisco at 21% of the population; the other Asian groups are Filipinos (5%) and Vietnamese (2%).[125] The population of Chinese ancestry is most heavily concentrated in Chinatown, Sunset District, and Richmond District, whereas Filipinos are most concentrated in the Crocker-Amazon (which is contiguous with the Filipino community of Daly City, which has one of the highest concentrations of Filipinos in North America), as well as in SoMa.[125][126] The Tenderloin District is home to a large portion of the city's Vietnamese population as well as businesses and restaurants, which is known as the city's Little Saigon.[125] The principal Hispanic groups in the city were those of Mexican (7%) and Salvadoran (2%) ancestry. The Hispanic population is most heavily concentrated in the Mission District, Tenderloin District, and Excelsior District.[127] The city's percentage of Hispanic residents is less than half of that of the state. The population of African Americans in San Francisco is 6% of the city's population.[54][128] The percentage of African Americans in San Francisco is similar to that of California.[128] The majority of the city's black population reside within the neighborhoods of Bayview-Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley, and in the Fillmore District.[127] Map of racial distribution in San Francisco Bay Area, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, or Other (yellow) Demographic profile[129][130][131]20102000199019701940 White48.5%49.7%53.6%71.4%95.0% Non-Hispanic White41.9%43.6%46.6%60.4%[132]92.5% Asian33.3%30.8%29.1%13.3%4.2% Black or African American6.1%7.8%10.9%13.4%0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native0.5%0.4%0.5%0.4%– Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander0.4%0.5%0.5%–– Some other race6.6%6.5%5.9%1.5%- Two or more races4.7%4.0%--- Hispanic or Latino (of any race)15.1%14.1%13.9%11.6%[132]2.5% Source: US Census According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, the largest religious groupings in San Francisco's metropolitan area are Christians (48%), followed by those of no religion (35%), Hindus (5%), Jews (3%), Buddhists (2%), Muslims (1%) and a variety of other religions have smaller followings. According to the same study by the Pew Research Center, about 20% of residents in the area are Protestant, and 25% professing Roman Catholic beliefs. Meanwhile, 10% of the residents in metropolitan San Francisco identify as agnostics, while 5% identify as atheists.[133][134] As of 2010, 55% (411,728) of San Francisco residents spoke only English at home, while 19% (140,302) spoke a variety of Chinese (mostly Taishanese and Cantonese[135][136]), 12% (88,147) Spanish, 3% (25,767) Tagalog, and 2% (14,017) Russian. In total, 45% (342,693) of San Francisco's population spoke a language at home other than English.[137] Demographic profile[138]2010 Total Population805,235 – 100% Hispanic or Latino121,774 – 15.1% White390,387 – 48.5% African American48,870 – 6.1% Asian267,915 – 33.3% American Indian and Alaska Native4,024 – 0.5% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander3,359 – 0.4% Other53,021 – 6.6% Two or more races37,659 – 4.7% Ethnic clustering San Francisco has several prominent Chinese, Mexican, and Filipino ethnic neighborhoods including Chinatown and the Mission District. Research collected on the immigrant clusters in the city show that more than half of the Asian population in San Francisco is either Chinese-born (40.3%) or Philippine-born (13.1%), and of the Mexican population 21% were Mexican-born, meaning these are people who recently immigrated to the United States.[139] Between the years of 1990 and 2000, the number foreign born residents increased from 33% to nearly 40%,[139] During this same time period, the San Francisco Metropolitan area received 850,000 immigrants, ranking third in the United States after Los Angeles and New York.[139] Education, households, and income Of all major cities in the United States, San Francisco has the second-highest percentage of residents with a college degree, behind only Seattle. Over 44% of adults have a bachelor's or higher degree.[140] San Francisco had the highest rate at 7,031 per square mile, or over 344,000 total graduates in the city's 46.7 square miles (121 km2).[141] San Francisco has the highest estimated percentage of gay and lesbian individuals of any of the 50 largest U.S. cities, at 15%.[142] San Francisco also has the highest percentage of same-sex households of any American county, with the Bay Area having a higher concentration than any other metropolitan area.[143] Income in 2011 Per capita income[144]$46,777 Median household income[145]$72,947 Median family income[146]$87,329 San Francisco ranks third of American cities in median household income[147] with a 2007 value of $65,519.[128] Median family income is $81,136.[128] An emigration of middle-class families has left the city with a lower proportion of children than any other large American city,[148] with the dog population cited as exceeding the child population of 115,000, in 2018.[149] The city's poverty rate is 12%, lower than the national average.[150] Homelessness has been a chronic problem for San Francisco since the early 1970s.[151] The city is believed to have the highest number of homeless inhabitants per capita of any major U.S. city.[152][153] There are 345,811 households in the city, out of which: 133,366 households (39%) were individuals, 109,437 (32%) were opposite-sex married couples, 63,577 (18%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 21,677 (6%) were unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 10,384 (3%) were same-sex married couples or partnerships. The average household size was 2.26; the average family size was 3.11. 452,986 people (56%) lived in rental housing units, and 327,985 people (41%) lived in owner-occupied housing units. The median age of the city population is 38 years. San Francisco "declared itself a sanctuary city in 1989, and city officials strengthened the stance in 2013 with its 'Due Process for All' ordinance. The law declared local authorities could not hold immigrants for immigration officials if they had no violent felonies on their records and did not currently face charges."[154] The city issues a Resident ID Card regardless of the applicant's immigration status.[155] Homelessness See also: Homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area A tent city in San Francisco in May 2020 Homelessness, historically, has been a major problem in the city and remains a growing problem in modern times.[156] 8,035 homeless people were counted in San Francisco's 2019 point-in-time street and shelter count. This was an increase of more than 17% over the 2017 count of 6,858 people. 5,180 of the people were living unsheltered on the streets and in parks.[157] 26% of respondents in the 2019 count identified job loss as the primary cause of their homelessness, 18% cited alcohol or drug use, and 13% cited being evicted from their residence.[157] The city of San Francisco has been dramatically increasing its spending to service the growing population homelessness crisis: spending jumped by $241 million in 2016–17 to total $275 million, compared to a budget of just $34 million the previous year. In 2017–18 the budget for combatting homelessness stood at $305 million.[158] In the 2019–2020 budget year, the city budgeted $368 million for homelessness services. In the propose 2020–2021 budget the city budgeted $850 million for homelessness services.[159] In January 2018 a United Nations special rapporteur on homelessness, Leilani Farha, stated that she was "completely shocked" by San Francisco's homelessness crisis during a visit to the city. She compared the "deplorable conditions" of the homeless camps she witnessed on San Francisco's streets to those she had seen in Mumbai.[158] In May 2020, San Francisco officially sanctioned homeless encampments.[160] Economy See also: List of companies based in San Francisco According to academic Rob Wilson, San Francisco is a global city, a status that pre-dated the city's popularity during the California Gold Rush.[161] Such cities are characterized by their ethnic clustering, network of international connectivity, and convergence of technological innovation.[139] Global cities, such as San Francisco, are considered to be complex and require a high level of talent as well as large masses of low wage workers. A divide is created within the city of ethnic, typically lower-class neighborhoods, and expensive ones with newly developed buildings. This in turn creates a population of highly educated, white-collar individuals as well as blue-collar workers, many of whom are immigrants, and who both are drawn to the increasing number of opportunities available.[162] Competition for these opportunities pushes growth and adaptation in world centers.[163] San Francisco has a diversified service economy, with employment spread across a wide range of professional services, including financial services, tourism, and (increasingly) high technology.[164] In 2016, approximately 27% of workers were employed in professional business services; 14% in leisure and hospitality; 13% in government services; 12% in education and health care; 11% in trade, transportation, and utilities; and 8% in financial activities.[164] In 2019, GDP in the five-county San Francisco metropolitan area grew 3.8% in real terms to $592 billion.[165][29] Additionally, in 2019 the 14-county San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland combined statistical area had a GDP of $1.086 trillion,[29] ranking 3rd among CSAs, and ahead of all but 16 countries. As of 2019, San Francisco County was the 7th highest-income county in the United States (among 3,142), with a per capita personal income of $139,405.[27] Marin County, directly to the north over the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Mateo County, directly to the south on the Peninsula, were the 6th and 9th highest-income counties respectively. California Street in the Financial District The legacy of the California Gold Rush turned San Francisco into the principal banking and finance center of the West Coast in the early twentieth century.[166] Montgomery Street in the Financial District became known as the "Wall Street of the West", home to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Wells Fargo corporate headquarters, and the site of the now-defunct Pacific Coast Stock Exchange.[166] Bank of America, a pioneer in making banking services accessible to the middle class, was founded in San Francisco and in the 1960s, built the landmark modern skyscraper at 555 California Street for its corporate headquarters. Many large financial institutions, multinational banks, and venture capital firms are based in or have regional headquarters in the city. With over 30 international financial institutions,[167] six Fortune 500 companies,[168] and a large support infrastructure of professional services—including law, public relations, architecture and design—San Francisco is designated as an Alpha(-) World City.[169] The 2017 Global Financial Centres Index ranked San Francisco as the sixth-most competitive financial center in the world.[170] Alcatraz receives 1.5 million visitors per year.[171] Since the 1990s, San Francisco's economy has diversified away from finance and tourism towards the growing fields of high tech, biotechnology, and medical research.[172] Technology jobs accounted for just 1 percent of San Francisco's economy in 1990, growing to 4 percent in 2010 and an estimated 8 percent by the end of 2013.[173] San Francisco became a center of Internet start-up companies during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s and the subsequent social media boom of the late 2000s (decade).[174] Since 2010, San Francisco proper has attracted an increasing share of venture capital investments as compared to nearby Silicon Valley, attracting 423 financings worth US$4.58 billion in 2013.[175][176][177] In 2004, the city approved a payroll tax exemption for biotechnology companies[178] to foster growth in the Mission Bay neighborhood, site of a second campus and hospital of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Mission Bay hosts the UCSF Medical Center, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, and Gladstone Institutes,[179] as well as more than 40 private-sector life sciences companies.[180] Ships docked at Pier 3, with Financial District skyscrapers in the background The top employer in the city is the city government itself, employing 5.6% (31,000+ people) of the city's workforce, followed by UCSF with over 25,000 employees.[181] The largest private-sector employer is Salesforce, with 8,500 employees, as of 2018.[182] Small businesses with fewer than 10 employees and self-employed firms make up 85% of city establishments,[183] and the number of San Franciscans employed by firms of more than 1,000 employees has fallen by half since 1977.[184] The growth of national big box and formula retail chains into the city has been made intentionally difficult by political and civic consensus. In an effort to buoy small privately owned businesses in San Francisco and preserve the unique retail personality of the city, the Small Business Commission started a publicity campaign in 2004 to keep a larger share of retail dollars in the local economy,[185] and the Board of Supervisors has used the planning code to limit the neighborhoods where formula retail establishments can set up shop,[186] an effort affirmed by San Francisco voters.[187] However, by 2016, San Francisco was rated low by small businesses in a Business Friendliness Survey.[188] Like many U.S. cities, San Francisco once had a significant manufacturing sector employing nearly 60,000 workers in 1969, but nearly all production left for cheaper locations by the 1980s.[189] As of 2014, San Francisco has seen a small resurgence in manufacturing, with more than 4,000 manufacturing jobs across 500 companies, doubling since 2011. The city's largest manufacturing employer is Anchor Brewing Company, and the largest by revenue is Timbuk2.[189] Technology San Francisco became a hub for technological driven economic growth during the internet boom of the 1990s, and still holds an important position in the world city network today.[139][163] Intense redevelopment towards the "new economy" makes business more technologically minded. Between the years of 1999 and 2000, the job growth rate was 4.9%, creating over 50,000 jobs in technology firms and internet content production.[139] In the second technological boom driven by social media in the mid 2000s, San Francisco became a location for companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter to base their tech offices and for their employees to live.[190] Since then, tech employment has continued to increase. In 2014, San Francisco's tech employment grew nearly 90% between 2010 and 2014, beating out Silicon Valley's 30% growth rate over the same period.[191] The tech sector's dominance in the Bay Area is internationally recognized and continues to attract new businesses and young entrepreneurs from all over the globe.[191] San Francisco is now widely considered the most important city in the world for new technology startups.[192] A recent high of 7 billion dollars in venture capital was invested in the region.[191] These startup companies hire a high concentration of well educated individuals looking to work in the tech industry, and creates a city population of highly concentrated levels of education. Over 50% of San Franciscans have a 4-year university degree, ranking the city among the highest levels of education in the country and world.[190] Tourism and conventions See also: Port of San Francisco Tourism is one of the city's largest private-sector industries, accounting for more than one out of seven jobs in the city.[172][193] The city's frequent portrayal in music, film, and popular culture has made the city and its landmarks recognizable worldwide. In 2016, it attracted the fifth-highest number of foreign tourists of any city in the United States.[194] More than 25 million visitors arrived in San Francisco in 2016, adding US$9.96 billion to the economy.[195] With a large hotel infrastructure and a world-class convention facility in the Moscone Center, San Francisco is a popular destination for annual conventions and conferences.[196] Lombard Street is a popular tourist destination in San Francisco, known for its "crookedness". Some of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco noted by the Travel Channel include the Golden Gate Bridge and Alamo Square Park, which is home to the famous "Painted Ladies". Both of these locations were often used as landscape shots for the hit American sitcom Full House. There is also Lombard Street, known for its "crookedness" and extensive views. Tourists also visit Pier 39, which offers dining, shopping, entertainment, and views of the bay, sun-bathing seals, and the famous Alcatraz Island.[197] San Francisco also offers tourists cultural and unique nightlife in its neighborhoods.[198] The Ferry Building along the Embarcadero The new Terminal Project at Pier 27 opened September 25, 2014 as a replacement for the old Pier 35.[199] Itineraries from San Francisco usually include round trip cruises to Alaska and Mexico. A heightened interest in conventioneering in San Francisco, marked by the establishment of convention centers such as Yerba Buena, acted as a feeder into the local tourist economy and resulted in an increase in the hotel industry: "In 1959, the city had fewer than thirty-three hundred first-class hotel rooms; by 1970, the number was nine thousand; and by 1999, there were more than thirty thousand."[200] The commodification of the Castro District has contributed to San Francisco's tourist economy.[201] Culture and contemporary life Main article: Culture of San Francisco See also: San Francisco in popular culture Boutiques along Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights Although the Financial District, Union Square, and Fisherman's Wharf are well known around the world, San Francisco is also characterized by its numerous culturally rich streetscapes featuring mixed-use neighborhoods anchored around central commercial corridors to which residents and visitors alike can walk. Because of these characteristics, San Francisco is ranked the second "most walkable" city in the United States by Walkscore.com.[202] Many neighborhoods feature a mix of businesses, restaurants and venues that cater to both the daily needs of local residents while also serving many visitors and tourists. Some neighborhoods are dotted with boutiques, cafés and nightlife such as Union Street in Cow Hollow, 24th Street in Noe Valley, Valencia Street in the Mission, Grant Avenue in North Beach, and Irving Street in the Inner Sunset. This approach especially has influenced the continuing South of Market neighborhood redevelopment with businesses and neighborhood services rising alongside high-rise residences.[203] High-rises surround Yerba Buena Gardens, South of Market. Since the 1990s, the demand for skilled information technology workers from local startups and nearby Silicon Valley has attracted white-collar workers from all over the world and created a high standard of living in San Francisco.[204] Many neighborhoods that were once blue-collar, middle, and lower class have been gentrifying, as many of the city's traditional business and industrial districts have experienced a renaissance driven by the redevelopment of the Embarcadero, including the neighborhoods South Beach and Mission Bay. The city's property values and household income have risen to among the highest in the nation,[205][206][207] creating a large and upscale restaurant, retail, and entertainment scene. According to a 2014 quality of life survey of global cities, San Francisco has the highest quality of living of any U.S. city.[208] However, due to the exceptionally high cost of living, many of the city's middle and lower-class families have been leaving the city for the outer suburbs of the Bay Area, or for California's Central Valley.[209] By June 2, 2015, the median rent was reported to be as high as $4,225.[210] The high cost of living is due in part to restrictive planning laws which limit new residential construction.[211] The international character that San Francisco has enjoyed since its founding is continued today by large numbers of immigrants from Asia and Latin America. With 39% of its residents born overseas,[184] San Francisco has numerous neighborhoods filled with businesses and civic institutions catering to new arrivals. In particular, the arrival of many ethnic Chinese, which began to accelerate in the 1970s, has complemented the long-established community historically based in Chinatown throughout the city and has transformed the annual Chinese New Year Parade into the largest event of its kind in its hemisphere.[212][213] With the arrival of the "beat" writers and artists of the 1950s and societal changes culminating in the Summer of Love in the Haight-Ashbury district during the 1960s, San Francisco became a center of liberal activism and of the counterculture that arose at that time. The Democrats and to a lesser extent the Green Party have dominated city politics since the late 1970s, after the last serious Republican challenger for city office lost the 1975 mayoral election by a narrow margin. San Francisco has not voted more than 20% for a Republican presidential or senatorial candidate since 1988.[214] In 2007, the city expanded its Medicaid and other indigent medical programs into the Healthy San Francisco program,[215] which subsidizes certain medical services for eligible residents.[216][217][218] San Francisco also has had a very active environmental community. Starting with the founding of the Sierra Club in 1892 to the establishment of the non-profit Friends of the Urban Forest in 1981, San Francisco has been at the forefront of many global discussions regarding the environment.[219][220] The 1980 San Francisco Recycling Program was one of the earliest curbside recycling programs.[221] The city's GoSolarSF incentive promotes solar installations and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is rolling out the CleanPowerSF program to sell electricity from local renewable sources.[222][223] SF Greasecycle is a program to recycle used cooking oil for conversion to biodiesel.[224] The Sunset Reservoir Solar Project, completed in 2010, installed 24,000 solar panels on the roof of the reservoir. The 5-megawatt plant more than tripled the city's 2-megawatt solar generation capacity when it opened in December 2010.[225][226] LGBT Main article: LGBT culture in San Francisco The rainbow flag, symbol of LGBT pride, originated in San Francisco; banners like this one decorate streets in The Castro. San Francisco has long had an LGBT-friendly history. It was home to the first lesbian-rights organization in the United States, Daughters of Bilitis; the first openly gay person to run for public office in the United States, José Sarria; the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, Harvey Milk; the first openly lesbian judge appointed in the U.S., Mary C. Morgan; and the first transgender police commissioner, Theresa Sparks. The city's large gay population has created and sustained a politically and culturally active community over many decades, developing a powerful presence in San Francisco's civic life.[citation needed] Survey data released in 2015 by Gallup place the proportion of the San Francisco metro area at 6.2%, which is the highest such proportion observed of the 50 most populous metropolitan areas as measured by the polling organization.[227] One of the most popular destinations for gay tourists internationally, the city hosts San Francisco Pride, one of the largest and oldest pride parades. San Francisco Pride events have been held continuously since 1972. The events are themed and a new theme is created each year. In 2013, over 1.5 million people attended, around 500,000 more than the previous year.[228] The Folsom Street Fair (FSF) is an annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair that is held in September, capping San Francisco's "Leather Pride Week".[229] It started in 1984 and is California's third-largest single-day, outdoor spectator event and the world's largest leather event and showcase for BDSM products and culture.[230] Media Main article: Media in the San Francisco Bay Area San Francisco Chronicle Building The major daily newspaper in San Francisco is the San Francisco Chronicle, which is currently Northern California's most widely circulated newspaper.[231] The Chronicle is most famous for a former columnist, the late Herb Caen, whose daily musings attracted critical acclaim and represented the "voice of San Francisco". The San Francisco Examiner, once the cornerstone of William Randolph Hearst's media empire and the home of Ambrose Bierce, declined in circulation over the years and now takes the form of a free daily tabloid, under new ownership.[232][233] Sing Tao Daily claims to be the largest of several Chinese language dailies that serve the Bay Area.[234] SF Weekly is the city's alternative weekly newspaper. San Francisco and 7x7 are major glossy magazines about San Francisco. The national newsmagazine Mother Jones is also based in San Francisco. The San Francisco Bay Area is the sixth-largest television market[235] and the fourth-largest radio market[236] in the U.S. The city's oldest radio station, KCBS, began as an experimental station in San Jose in 1909, before the beginning of commercial broadcasting. K



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