10 May 2016

San Francisco – a walk in the Mission, Noe Valley, the Castro, Fisherman's Wharf, the Marina and Little Italy: 10 May 2016

Roger joined me on this ramble. We used San Francisco's excellent public transportation system, in addition to burning some shoe-leather, to visit six diverse areas of San Francisco.

The map shows the path of the ramble. The route consists of five separate activities:  
1. A walking segment in the Mission District, Noe Valley, and the Castro District. 
2. Then, a streetcar segment as we took an F-Market Streetcar from its terminus in the Castro District, to its terminus at Fisherman's Wharf. 
3. Next up, another walking section as we walked from Fisherman's Wharf to the Marina District
4. Then a quick bus ride on a 30-Stockton MUNI bus from the Marina District to the Little Italy/Chinatown area. 
5. And finally, we walked to the Montgomery Street BART Station in the Financial District for the conclusion of the walk. 

The total approximate miles traveled was 15.4 miles. Approximately 7.5 miles of the 15.4 miles was traversed either on the streetcar or the bus. Thus, we walked about 7.9 miles (12.7 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was approximately 1,100 feet (335 meters). Click on the image to see the full-size map.
After we had exited BART at the Mission-16th Street stop, we headed directly to the intersection of 18th Street and Guerrero Street, the location of Tartine Bakery. We consumed delicious pastry, drank some hot coffee and were ready to tackle the adventure ahead of us.
Here is a scene of the downtown San Francisco skyline as seen from Mission Dolores Park. The park encompasses nearly 16 acres, and it is a favorite destination amongst San Francisco's many parks. 
In 1906-07, the park served as temporary housing quarters for more than 1600 families made homeless by the 1906 earthquake. The camp ceased operation in 1908. 
In the late 1800s, part of the park was a Jewish cemetery. Available land in San Francisco is finite. As the population increased, land available for housing and the necessary associated structures became scarce. The City of San Francisco eventually banned all new burials within the city limits. Some years later, the city required all cemeteries to cease operation. Human remains of more than 100,000 people were removed and transported to Colma, California where they were reburied. 
Other than Mission Dolores Park, the vast majority of the former SF cemeteries, located mainly in the Richmond District, are now sited with houses, apartments, stores, and schools.
Mission Dolores Park recently received a two-year, 20 million dollar renovation and it looks fabulous. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A beautifully renovated 19th Century House. The building is now being used as a four-unit apartment building. Click on the picture to see the full-size photo.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician and philanthropist, purchased a house in the Upper Mission District in 2012 for 10 million dollars. The house, hidden from the sidewalk, is challenging to view from the street. Here is a picture of the house taken from the sidewalk. From what I understand, the couple is still living in Palo Alto. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
We are cranking up 21st Street and heading for Sanchez Street. When we reach Sanchez Street, we will drop down to 24th Street, which is the main shopping area of the Noe Valley District. Then we turn up on Castro Street and ramble through the Castro District. This view is from Sanchez Street, looking north down Church Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
The Davies Campus of the California Pacific Medical Center, as seen from Corona Heights ParkClick on the image to see the full-size photo.
Here is another view from Corona Heights Park. In 1899 George and Harry Gray established a rock quarry and brick factory on what is now known as Corona Heights Park. The brothers were not known to be ethical businesspeople and in 1914 George Gray was murdered by a former employee who was owed $17.50 in back wages. The massive earthen scars from the rock quarry/brick factory are still visible. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
A view of the iconic Castro TheaterPatty Duke is the current featured Hollywood movie star as she appears in "The Miracle Worker" and "Valley of the Dolls". She died a few weeks ago at the age of 69, and the theater is featuring her movies as a tribute to her talents. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
 Roger is standing in front of Market Street Railway streetcar #1052. It was constructed in 1948 by the St. Louis Car Company. The streetcar will soon begin its trip to Fisherman's Wharf. We will board this streetcar and travel approximately 5 miles to the terminus of the F-Market route. We will then continue with our walk and go to the Marina District. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Our streetcar driver is having a short conversation with the driver of Streetcar #1080, which is right behind us. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
We are on the streetcar rolling down Market Street, as we pass the San Francisco Mint. Click on the picture to see the full-size photo.
We are still rolling down Market Street. Here is a picture of the intersection of Market Street & 5th Street. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A view of the beautiful, eye-catching Sentinel Building, located on Kearney Street at Columbus Avenue near Jackson Square. Construction of the building started in 1906 before the earthquake. The building had its first occupants in 1907. The Sentinel Building is San Francisco Landmark #33. The current owner of the building is Francis Ford Coppola, who is the father of Sofia Coppola, the well-regarded movie director. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
This photo shows the iconic Transamerica Pyramid Building. Construction commenced in 1969, and the building was ready for occupancy in 1972. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

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